Best Library Science Programs in The World

April 19, 2023
The 20 Best Online Master of

There are several factors to consider when choosing a school that will best meet your needs:

  • ALA accreditation - To receive accreditation from the American Library Association, a school must meet a wide variety of criteria. If desire a position that requires a master of library science degree, the fact that your degree is ALA accredited is perhaps the most important factor. There are over 60 programs in the United States and Canada that meet this requirement.
  • Program emphasis - In the 1990s several traditional library science schools began a transformation into more broadly-defined "information schools." To the ire of some, the names of the schools even dropped the word "library" entirely. The result is a wide variety of schools, some more traditional and others much more geared towards a variety of information professions. The library world benefits from both, and you can, too.
  • Course offerings and schedule are important to review to ensure that the school will meet your needs in terms of the types of courses offered. For example, if you wish to become a youth services librarian, you will want to be certain that the school offers courses on children's literature, storytelling, early literacy, shona language etc. School librarians will want to be particularly careful that they can receive certification in school library media. Some schools are geared towards full-time students, while others offer courses in multiple locations and during weekend and evening hours. Other items to consider are the options to take cognate courses in other schools, dual degree programs, and PhD programs.
  • Distance learning is becoming more prevalent, and offers students a greater variety of choices in programs. There are pros and cons to online coursework, and it is a good idea to understand these up front.
  • Cost can vary greatly from one university to the next. The total cost for each person will be different. Factors to consider are: out-of-state tuition, total number of credits required, room and board, books and fees, travel, and parking. Scholarships and paid internships can help defray some of the costs. See the Getting help section for more information.
  • A personal visit is highly recommended to get a better feeling for the program environment. Admissions officers can arrange for you to meet faculty and students, tour the school and attend a few classes.
  • Current students and recent graduates can be a good source of information about their experience in a school. The school's admission's officer can often put you in touch with both, although you may wish to join a discussion list that may include many recent graduates. Resources >
  • Admissions requirements vary by university. Graduate programs typically require a four-year undergraduate degree (from any program); some will have additional requirements such as an entry essay or a minimum score on the Graduate Record Exam.
  • Other sources that attempt to "rate" graduate programs such as U.S. News & World Report are fine as a starting point, but be very careful to understand what criteria are used by the evaluator-ultimately the best evaluator will be you!
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Sapporo Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri)

This exuberant celebration of snow and ice has been held since 1950 in Sapporo, the capital city Hokkaido. The week's activities feature a colorful parade and competitive events in winter sports, as well as a display of colossal snow sculptures along the main street and in Odori Park. The sculptures are spectacular—intricately carved and often several stories high. About three weeks before the festival, a wooden frame is built and packed with snow; after the snow has hardened the frame is removed and the carving begins. A different theme is chosen each year for the sculptures. More...

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Who can look down upon the grave even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb, that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies moldering before him?
Washington Irving