How to Become a Librarian in Illinois 2024

Table of Contents

Top Schools and Colleges for Librarians in Illinois 2023

Best College Majors for Librarians in Illinois 2023

Librarian Salary in Illinois for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $60,860 Hourly Rate: $29.26

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Reasons For Becoming a Librarian in Illinois

If you have a passion for books, research, and helping others, a career as a librarian in Illinois may be the perfect fit for you. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider pursuing this rewarding profession:

1. Love for Literature and Knowledge

As a librarian in Illinois, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of literature and knowledge. If you have a deep love for books and enjoy exploring different subjects, this career path allows you to continuously learn and grow.

2. Helping Others

Librarians play a crucial role in assisting people with their information needs. Whether it's helping students find the right resources for their research papers or guiding individuals in finding their next great read, librarians provide valuable support to their communities.

3. Promoting Literacy

Illinois has a strong commitment to promoting literacy, and librarians play a vital role in achieving this goal. By organizing literacy programs, hosting book clubs, and collaborating with schools and community organizations, librarians contribute to improving literacy rates in the state.

4. Varied Career Opportunities

Becoming a librarian opens doors to various career opportunities within the field. Whether you prefer working in a public library, academic institution, corporate setting, or specialized library, Illinois offers a range of options to suit your interests and expertise.

Schools and Programs in Illinois

To pursue a career as a librarian in Illinois, it is essential to obtain the necessary education and training. Several universities and colleges in Illinois offer accredited library science programs that can equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in this profession. Some notable institutions include:

- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Offers a Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MS/LIS) program, which is highly regarded in the field.

- Dominican University: Provides a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program that focuses on practical skills and offers various specializations.

- University of Illinois at Chicago: Offers a Master of Science in Information (MSI) program with a concentration in library and information science.


While not mandatory, obtaining professional certification can enhance your career prospects as a librarian in Illinois. The American Library Association (ALA) offers several certifications, including:

- Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA): Designed for public library managers to demonstrate their expertise in leadership and administration.

- Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC): Geared towards library support staff who want to enhance their skills and advance their careers.

- Digital Archives Specialist (DAS): Focuses on the management and preservation of digital archives.

By obtaining these certifications, you can showcase your dedication to the profession and stand out among other job applicants.

Remember to research each institution's admission requirements, curriculum, and faculty to find the program that aligns best with your career goals. Pursuing a degree or certification from a reputable institution will provide you with a strong foundation to thrive as a librarian in Illinois.

FAQs: Becoming a Librarian in Illinois

1. What educational requirements are needed to become a librarian in Illinois?

To become a librarian in Illinois, you will typically need to obtain a Master's degree in Library Science (MLS) or a related field from an American Library Association (ALA)-accredited program. This degree provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the field of librarianship.

2. Are there any specific schools in Illinois that offer ALA-accredited library science programs?

Yes, several universities in Illinois offer ALA-accredited library science programs. These institutions are recognized for their quality education and adherence to ALA standards. Some notable schools include:

- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: The School of Information Sciences at UIUC offers a highly regarded MLS program with various specializations, such as youth services and digital libraries.

- Dominican University: Located in River Forest, Dominican University offers an ALA-accredited MLS program with flexible scheduling options, including evening and online classes.

- University of Illinois at Chicago: UIC's Graduate School of Library and Information Science offers an MLS program that focuses on preparing students for careers in diverse library settings.

3. Can I pursue a library science degree online?

Yes, many universities now offer online MLS programs, providing flexibility for individuals who may have work or family commitments. Online programs often offer the same curriculum as their on-campus counterparts, allowing you to gain the necessary knowledge and skills from the comfort of your own home. Some notable online MLS programs include those offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Dominican University.

4. Do I need any certifications to become a librarian in Illinois?

While not mandatory, obtaining additional certifications can enhance your professional credentials and increase job opportunities. The Illinois State Library offers the Illinois Library Certification Program, which provides different levels of certification based on your education and experience. Additionally, the American Library Association offers various certification programs, such as the Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) and the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC), which can further demonstrate your expertise in specific areas of librarianship.

5. Are there any specialized library science programs in Illinois?

Yes, several specialized library science programs are available in Illinois to cater to specific interests or career paths. For example:

- School Librarian Endorsement: Some universities, like Illinois State University, offer programs that prepare individuals to become school librarians. These programs typically include coursework in educational technology, children's literature, and instructional strategies.

- Archives and Records Management: If you're interested in working with archival materials or managing records, institutions like Northern Illinois University offer concentrations or certificates in archives and records management within their MLS programs.

6. What other resources are available for aspiring librarians in Illinois?

Aspiring librarians in Illinois can benefit from various professional organizations and associations. The Illinois Library Association (ILA) is a valuable resource that provides networking opportunities, professional development events, and access to job listings. Additionally, the American Library Association (ALA) offers numerous resources for librarians across the country, including webinars, conferences, and publications.

Remember, becoming a librarian in Illinois requires dedication, a passion for knowledge, and a commitment to serving the community. Pursuing an ALA-accredited MLS program and obtaining certifications can greatly enhance your career prospects in this rewarding profession.

List of Online Resources For Becoming a Librarian in Illinois

If you're interested in becoming a librarian in Illinois, there are several online resources available to help you navigate the educational requirements, programs, and certifications needed for this career path. Here is a list of online resources that can provide you with valuable information:

- Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA): ISLMA is a professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in school librarianship. Their website offers resources, conferences, and networking opportunities for aspiring librarians in Illinois.

- Illinois Library Association (ILA): ILA is another professional organization that supports librarians and libraries across Illinois. Their website provides information on job opportunities, continuing education programs, and scholarships.

- American Library Association (ALA): Although not specific to Illinois, ALA is a national organization that offers resources for librarians and library professionals. Their website features a section on education and careers, which includes information on accredited library science programs.

- Illinois State Board of Education: The Illinois State Board of Education's website provides information on licensing requirements for school librarians in the state. You can find details on the necessary qualifications, endorsements, and certification processes.

- is an online job board specifically for library and information science professionals. It's a great resource to search for job opportunities in libraries across Illinois and beyond.

- ALA's Library Job Resources: This section of the ALA website provides links to various job listing websites, including those specific to library positions. It can be a helpful tool for finding librarian job openings in Illinois.

- Illinois Heartland Library System: The Illinois Heartland Library System is one of the regional library systems in Illinois. Their website offers resources, training opportunities, and networking events for librarians and library staff in the area.

- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MS/LIS) program. This ALA-accredited program prepares students for careers in various library settings.

- Dominican University: Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science offers an ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. They provide flexible online options for students interested in pursuing a career as a librarian.

- Columbia College Chicago: Columbia College Chicago offers a Bachelor of Arts in Library and Information Science program. This program provides foundational knowledge and skills for aspiring librarians.

Remember to explore these resources thoroughly to gather all the necessary information about the educational programs, certifications, and licensing requirements needed to become a librarian in Illinois.