Tennessee Libary Science Programs

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Updated on October 25, 2023
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Tennessee residents take great pride in their state and enjoy not having an individual state income tax. It is home to Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains, Dollywood, Graceland, the Grand Ole Opry, and the great cities of Nashville and Memphis. Tennessee is a southern state, but it has longer winters and autumns than many other southern states like Alabama or Georgia. The cooler weather lasts even longer in the Great Smoky Mountains. However, summers are often hot and humid, as they are in other southern states. 

Tennessee’s library and information science programs are some of the best in the nation. They offer a Master of Science in Information Science from the University of Tennessee, which is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The University of Tennessee also offers a Ph.D. in communication and information with a concentration in information sciences. Additionally, in Nashville, Trevecca Nazarene University offers a master’s in library science specific to school librarianship. 

If you want to know more about these programs and the opportunities in Tennessee, keep reading. For each library and information program, this article highlights what to expect from the program, how to apply, and who’s qualified for the program. Additionally, we cover the average salaries of librarians in Tennessee and the career opportunities for librarians and information specialists. Additionally, the article covers library and information science programs and librarian career opportunities in each of Tennessee’s largest cities. 

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Syracuse University

Master of Science in Library and Information Science Online


Syracuse University offers an online MS in Library and Information Science. The program can be completed in 18 months and includes the option to specialize in School Media. No GRE is required.*

  • ALA-Accredited Program
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University of Denver

Master of Library and Information Science Online


University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education offers an online, ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science program. Learn from practitioners and gain the service-based skills needed to connect communities with information in the digital age. No GRE is required.*

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Arizona State University

Master of Arts in Education Online, Literacy Education Concentration


The Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in literacy education will equip you to be a literacy leader in any educational setting.*

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St. Johns University

Online Master of Science in Library and Information Science


Gain the advanced expertise that information specialist positions require with the online M.S. in Library and Information Science program from St. John’s University.*

ALA Accredited MLIS Schools and Programs in Tennessee

The American Library Association (ALA) sets the standard for librarianship, library science, and information science. Any program that is accredited by ALA meets the requirements, and the program will be respected by future employers because they know the degree coursework includes the necessary instruction for working as a librarian or as an information specialist. Tennessee has one program accredited by ALA and it is the Master of Science in Information Science from the University of Tennessee of Knoxville. Keep reading if this program interests you. 

Master of Science in Information Science at the University of Tennessee of Knoxville

The School of Information Sciences’ Master of Science in Information Science degree is ranked #1 among the SEC schools and is ranked in the top ten in the nation by U.S. News Report. This degree can be taken entirely online or on campus. Both choices are interactive and collaborative and are comprised of 36 credit hours. Students will take 27 hours in information sciences and may include 9 credit hours outside of the School of Information. Each student will take three required courses and then work with a faculty member to choose courses based on career choice. 

How to apply

Applicants need a 3.25 GPA and an undergraduate degree to qualify for the program. To apply, applicants must fill out the online application and send in unofficial transcripts, a written statement, a resume, and letters of recommendation, and pay the online application fee. 

Ph.D. in Library Science Programs in Tennessee

Tennessee has a doctoral program in communication and information with a concentration in information science, and it is from the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee of Knoxville, which is accredited by ALA. A Ph.D. in information science will give students the expertise to become researchers, professors, administrators, and expert information scientists. Graduates will be able to conduct independent research and become reliable consultants for information technology and information organization methods. 

Ph.D. in Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee of Knoxville 

This degree will prepare you for work in large corporations, libraries, and academic settings. Graduates have gone on to work for companies like Oak Ridge National Lab and the Department of Energy, as well as respected institutions like Syracuse University, the University of South Carolina, Simmons University, and Kent State University. The curriculum is flexible and created to mold around the graduate student’s professional interests and research preferences. The faculty uses their expertise in collaboration with graduate students during their research. Some of the faculty’s expertise includes data management, human-computer interaction, information behavior, evaluation of information technology, libraries, information services, and how information can improve communities’ social and economic conditions. 

How to apply 

Applicants need a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work and a 3.5 in graduate work to qualify for the doctoral program and a GRE score of 50% or more in verbal, quantitative, and analytical aptitude. Applicants must submit an online application and pay the application fee. Additionally, applicants need to send in three letters of recommendation from professors or professional colleges, and any professional work or research they have completed. An interview may be required. 

How to Become a Librarian in Tennessee

There are no set requirements by the state of Tennessee to become a librarian at a university, or public library. However, most library systems seek a candidate with a Master of Library and Information Science from an ALA-accredited program. And, for those seeking to become school librarians in the public school system, they need a teacher’s certificate, a bachelor’s in education, a master’s in library science, a 146 on the PRAXIS II Library Media test, and some experience in education. 

What Else Can You Do with a Library Science Degree in Tennessee?

Some of the largest employers in Tennessee are FedEx, HCA Healthcare, Access Control Systems, Hercules Holding II LLC, Community Health Systems, Quorum Health, and Caterpillar Financial. All of these companies hire information technology specialists and data organizers. HCA Health Care is the most notable of this list because of its wide range of jobs and the number of opportunities it provides. They employ over 200,000 people, and they have a revenue of approximately 60.2 billion dollars annually. 

For those interested in historical research and archives, you may be able to work for the Tennessee State Archives and Library. They have frequent events and exhibits, and much of their material is available for the public to view. Additionally, they print and send publications like the Tennessee Blue Book,  rules and regulations, oaths of office, etc. 

Memphis Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

The Memphis Metropolitan area has 19 different library locations, and the entire system holds ongoing programs for children, teens, young adults, and adults. They also offer basic computer classes, Spanish classes, homework help, book clubs, writing clubs, anima clubs, and various other classes, workshops, and clubs. Additionally, they offer online services, outreach services, and services within the library. 

Memphis is also home to around 45 colleges and universities. The University of Memphis is the largest in the great city. They employ nearly 80 library staff members and have five different libraries on campus. They offer services in technology use and assistance, study rooms, access to interlibrary loan materials, research services, and much more. 

Sponsored Library Science Degree (MLIS) Programs*

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Top-Ranked MLIS Program
  • ALA-Accredited
  • Complete in 18 Months

Syracuse University

Master of Science in Library and Information Science Online


Syracuse University offers an online MS in Library and Information Science. The program can be completed in 18 months and includes the option to specialize in School Media. No GRE is required.*

  • ALA-Accredited Program
  • Top Faculty & Support
  • No GRE Required

University of Denver

Master of Library and Information Science Online


University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education offers an online, ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science program. Learn from practitioners and gain the service-based skills needed to connect communities with information in the digital age. No GRE is required.*

  • Become a Literacy Leader
  • Top 10 M.Ed. Program
  • 100% Online

Arizona State University

Master of Arts in Education Online, Literacy Education Concentration


The Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in literacy education will equip you to be a literacy leader in any educational setting.*

  • ALA-Accredited Program
  • 2-Year Program
  • 100% Online

St. Johns University

Online Master of Science in Library and Information Science


Gain the advanced expertise that information specialist positions require with the online M.S. in Library and Information Science program from St. John’s University.*

Nashville Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

Nashville has a library and information science program for those pursuing a library media certificate to work as a school librarian. Trevecca Nazarene University is the university that offers this program, and it is accredited by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).  This program is offered online and can be completed in 15 months, or students can take one course at a time. The entire program is 30 credit hours long. Additionally, the class sizes are small, which encourages collaboration. 

The Nashville Public Library System is made up of 22 library branches and provides services for educators, immigrants, parents, people with disabilities, children of all ages, and teens. They offer basic computer classes, bicycle passes, children’s programs, adult book clubs, and various other programs through their studio learning lab and mobile. Some of the programs in the learning lab include 3D printing, music and film recording, STEAM activities, photography and design, and creative writing.  

Knoxville Library Degree Programs and Career Opportunities

Knoxville is home to the only master’s in library and information science program in the state that is accredited by ALA, and the only Ph.D. program in information science in the state. Both are offered at the University of Tennessee. The university is also one of the largest employers in the city and has six library locations and various other meeting spaces, study spaces, and computer labs on campus in addition to its digital collection. 

The Knox County Public Library System is made up of 20 library and archive locations. This library system has children’s librarians, teen librarians, research and reference librarians, catalogers and data organizers, and archivists. They have city and state archives preserved and available for people to view and use for research. They also offer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. 

Salary Opportunities in Tennessee for Librarians

In the state of Tennessee, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded that there are 2,270 library positions, and they make a mean annual wage of $55,820. There are careers such as academic librarians, school librarians, public librarians, archivists, and special librarians. Within all of those library systems, there are many different specializations, including youth and children’s services, teens and young adult services, adult services, reference librarians, educators, and data catalogers.  

Additional Links

If you want to know more about librarianship and public libraries visit https://www.ala.org/.  

To learn more about Tennessee libraries visit https://www.tnla.org/. They also post job advertisements. 

Library Science Degree Programs in Other States

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