Utah Library Science Degree Programs

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Updated on May 9, 2024
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Located in the western United States, Utah has something for almost everyone. The Beehive State is home to more than 3 million people, and with the bustling excitement of Salt Lake City and the pristine nature of five national parks, it’s easy to see why. More than 60,000 people moved to Utah between July 2021 and July 2022, and considering everything the state has to offer, it’s not surprising.

Unfortunately, one thing Utah does not have is library science programs. There are no master’s or Ph.D.-level library science programs in the state. However, Emporia State University, based in Emporia, Kansas, offers a Master of Library Science degree through its branch campus in Centerville, Utah.

There are also some graduate and undergraduate programs for those interested in becoming school library media specialists. Additionally, Utah has a program called UPLIFT (Utah Public Library Institute For Training), which provides training for people without library science degrees. 

Keep reading to learn more about these library science opportunities. This article will also cover career opportunities and salary information for librarians in Utah.

ALA-accredited Master’s Programs in Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Library Media in Utah

As mentioned, there are no universities based in Utah that offer master of library science programs. While this may discourage those hoping to study library science in Utah, there are still options. One university in Kansas, Emporia State University, has a branch campus in Centerville, Utah, where students can earn an MLIS.

Emporia State University’s Master of Library Science Degree

Emporia State University offers a master of library science degree through its School of Library and Information Management. Students can complete this degree at the university’s branch campus in Centerville, Utah.

The two-year, 36-hour program is primarily online, with two weekend “intensive” classes for each course. Students are admitted every January as a cohort that studies together for six semesters.

  • ALA-accredited
  • 36-hour degree program
  • Concentrations in Archives Studies, Informatics, Leadership and Administration, and Youth Services
  • Online/in-person hybrid program

How to Apply:

To qualify for Emporia State University’s master of library science program, you must have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, although those with a lower GPA may be considered on a probationary basis. You must complete the graduate school application and provide two letters of reference, a resume, and a statement of objectives. You must also complete an interview. The GRE is not required.

School Library Media Programs 

While there aren’t any ALA-accredited library science graduate programs in Utah, programs are available for those looking to become school library media specialists. In Utah, you must have a teaching license to become a school librarian or media specialist. You must also pass the Praxis II Library Media Content Test with a minimum score of 141.

Southern Utah University’s Graduate Library Media Endorsement

At Southern Utah University, graduate students can earn a Graduate Library Media Endorsement. To earn this endorsement, students must have a teaching degree and license. The program requires 18 credit hours, or six classes. At least 12 of those credit hours must be completed at Southern Utah University.

How to Apply

Students at Southern Utah University can apply for the Graduate Library Media Endorsement by completing the Library Media Application. You must be a current or incoming student to apply.

Southern Utah University’s Undergraduate Library Media Endorsement

The Undergraduate Library Media Endorsement at Southern Utah University is designed for students who already have or are seeking a Utah teaching license. Like the graduate program at Southern Utah University, the endorsement requires 18 credit hours, or six classes, and 12 of those credit hours must be completed at SUU. 

How to Apply

Current or incoming students at Southern Utah University can apply for the Undergraduate Library Media Endorsement by completing the Library Media Application.

Southern Utah University’s Library Media Minor

Students at Southern Utah University who want to learn more about libraries can obtain a Library Media Minor. Unlike the other programs at SUU, the Library Media Minor does not lead to an endorsement. The minor requires 17 credits, 13 of which come from core requirements and four from electives, and students must complete nine of those credits at SUU. 

How to Apply

Like the endorsement programs, incoming or current students who wish to get a Library Media Minor must complete the Library Media Application.

Utah State University’s School Library and Media Administration Program

The program at Utah State University is for those who want to work in a school library media center. Depending on their goals, students have the option of earning an endorsement, minor, or choosing school library administration for their master’s of education emphasis. Classes are also available for those seeking professional development or just personally interested in school libraries.

How to Apply

Whichever track you choose, you must first be a student at Utah State University. If you aren’t a student, complete either the undergraduate or graduate application, depending on which option you are seeking. From there, the requirements for the endorsement, minor, emphasis, or professional development are different, but you will work with your advisor to schedule the right classes to complete your program.

Utah Public Library Institute For Training

In Utah, the state library offers a program called UPLIFT: Utah Public Library Institute For Training. This program is designed to help library staff and other people interested in libraries learn more about the profession. Those without MLIS degrees or library science training can take courses in this program to advance their skills. There are six categories of training: Technology, Reference, Library Administration, Cataloging/Acquisitions/Technical Services, Youth Services, and Collection Development. 

How to Become a Librarian in Utah

Like most states, to become a librarian in Utah, you need to have a master’s degree in library and information science, whether that be a master of arts or a master of science. This degree should be accredited by the American Library Association. For most positions, you will also need experience in a library setting. 

Below are library jobs that are common in Florida and the job qualifications:

Library Assistant/Associate: A library assistant or associate usually assists librarians with various duties depending on the department. The position generally requires a minimum of a high school diploma and experience working in customer service, with library experience preferred.

Circulation Clerk: This position is an excellent entry-level position for someone without an MLIS who wants to work in a library. Circulation clerks provide customer service by checking out patrons, helping them find books, and directing them to other library services.

Library Media Specialist: To work as a library media specialist or school librarian in Utah, you must have a teaching degree and license, as well as a school library media endorsement or degree.

Library Management/Administration: Library directors or head librarians are part of library management or administration. Depending on the size of the library, there could be one person or several people in this department. A library management or administrative position will require an MLIS from an ALA-accredited program, multiple years of experience in a library, and experience in a supervisory role.

Youth Program Librarian: In general, Utah youth program librarians all hold MLIS degrees and have experience in library settings. They may also have previous job experience working with young adults or children.

What Else Can You Do With A Library Science Degree in Utah?

The state’s moderate cost of living and beauty are just a few reasons people move to or stay in Utah. The state is second in growth rate in the United States and has the top economy of all 50 states. That economy is growing, making Utah a great place for people looking for various types of jobs.

While the biggest industries in Utah, like cattle ranching and coal mining, are more blue-collar, there are many jobs someone with a library science degree could have. The technology industry in Utah is growing, and a degree in library science can lead to employment in information science, research, or even website and app creation. 

Because Utah has such an exciting and rich history, those interested in archives or museum studies will find many jobs available in Utah. Several public libraries have genealogy or history librarians, and many historical societies and archival institutions have positions for librarians.

Salary Opportunities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a librarian’s average salary at a college, university, or professional school was $48,341 in 2021. Meanwhile, school librarians in elementary or secondary schools made an average of $47,637, and those employed by the local government (public librarians) typically made around $46,470. 

Additional Resources

For more information on libraries in Utah, visit: https://library.utah.gov/directory/

For more information about librarianship and Library Science, visit: https://www.ala.org/

For more information about School Library Media Specialist requirements in Utah, visit: https://www.schools.utah.gov/curr/librarymedia

For more information about UPLIFT, visit: https://library.utah.gov/uplift/

Library Science Degree Programs in Other States