How to Become a Librarian in Pennsylvania 2024

Table of Contents

Top Schools and Colleges for Librarians in Pennsylvania 2023

Best College Majors for Librarians in Pennsylvania 2023

Librarian Salary in Pennsylvania for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $57,890 Hourly Rate: $27.83

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

Librarian Career in Pennsylvania: Schools, Programs, and Certifications

If you have a passion for books, knowledge, and helping others, a career as a librarian in Pennsylvania might be the perfect fit for you. Pennsylvania offers excellent schools, programs, and certifications to help you embark on this rewarding professional journey. Here are some reasons why becoming a librarian in Pennsylvania is a great choice:

1. Schools Offering Library Science Programs

Pennsylvania is home to several prestigious schools that offer library science programs:

  • University of Pittsburgh: The School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh offers a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. It focuses on preparing librarians for leadership roles in various information environments.
  • Drexel University: Drexel University's College of Computing & Informatics offers an MLIS program that prepares students for careers in diverse library settings.
  • Clarion University: Clarion University's Department of Library Science offers an MLIS program with a curriculum designed to meet the needs of librarians in today's rapidly changing digital world.

2. Certification Requirements

In addition to completing a library science program, aspiring librarians in Pennsylvania need to meet certain certification requirements:

  • Master's Degree: To become a certified librarian in Pennsylvania, you must hold a master's degree in library science or a related field from an accredited institution.
  • Clearances: You must obtain the necessary clearances, including criminal background checks and child abuse history clearances, as mandated by state law.
  • Praxis Exam: Pennsylvania requires aspiring librarians to pass the Praxis Library Media Specialist test, which assesses knowledge and skills related to library media programs.

3. Continuing Education Opportunities

Librarians in Pennsylvania have access to numerous continuing education opportunities to stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in the field. Some organizations that offer professional development programs and workshops include:

  • Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA): PaLA organizes conferences, webinars, and workshops that cover a wide range of topics relevant to librarianship.
  • Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC): ALSC offers online courses, webinars, and workshops specifically tailored to children's librarians.
  • Special Libraries Association (SLA): SLA provides resources and professional development opportunities for librarians working in special libraries.

4. Job Opportunities and Career Growth

Pennsylvania has a strong demand for librarians across various sectors, including public libraries, academic institutions, government agencies, and corporate libraries. As a librarian in Pennsylvania, you can expect:

  • Job Stability: Librarians are an integral part of communities, and their services are highly valued, ensuring long-term career stability.
  • Career Growth: With experience and additional certifications, librarians can progress to managerial positions or specialize in areas such as digital librarianship or data management.
  • Salary Range: The salary range for librarians in Pennsylvania varies depending on factors like location, experience, and education. On average, librarians in Pennsylvania earn around $50,000 to $70,000 per year.

Becoming a librarian in Pennsylvania opens up a world of opportunities to make a positive impact on people's lives through information and knowledge. With the right education, certification, and dedication to continuous learning, you can embark on a fulfilling career as a librarian in the Keystone State.

FAQs: Becoming a Librarian in Pennsylvania

1. What qualifications are needed to become a librarian in Pennsylvania?

To become a librarian in Pennsylvania, you typically need the following qualifications:

- A bachelor's degree: While it is not mandatory, having a bachelor's degree in library science or a related field can be beneficial.

- A master's degree in library science (MLS) or a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree: This is the most common requirement for librarian positions and is offered by several universities and colleges in Pennsylvania.

- Field experience: Many librarian programs require students to complete internships or practicums to gain practical experience in library settings.

2. Are there any specific programs in Pennsylvania for aspiring librarians?

Yes, Pennsylvania offers several programs for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a librarian:

- University of Pittsburgh: The School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh offers an ALA-accredited MLIS program with various specialization options, including digital content management and information architecture.

- Drexel University: Drexel's College of Computing & Informatics offers an MLIS program that prepares students for careers in academic, public, and special libraries. The program also offers concentrations in areas like digital curation and youth services.

- Clarion University: Clarion University's MLIS program provides a flexible online learning environment, allowing students to complete their coursework while balancing other commitments. The program offers specializations such as archival studies and children and youth services.

3. Are there any additional certifications or licenses required for librarians in Pennsylvania?

While Pennsylvania does not have any specific certification or licensing requirements for librarians, obtaining additional certifications can enhance your career prospects. Some relevant certifications include:

- Public Librarian Certification from the Office of Commonwealth Libraries: This certification is not mandatory but is often preferred by public libraries in Pennsylvania. It requires a master's degree in library science and passing a certification exam.

- School Librarian Certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Education: This certification is required for individuals who wish to work as school librarians in Pennsylvania's public schools. It involves completing an approved program and passing the appropriate certification exams.

4. Can I pursue a librarian career with an online degree?

Yes, many universities and colleges in Pennsylvania offer online MLIS programs, allowing students to pursue their librarian education remotely. Online programs provide flexibility and convenience for those who may have other commitments or live far from campus.

5. How long does it take to become a librarian in Pennsylvania?

The time it takes to become a librarian in Pennsylvania varies depending on the educational path you choose. Typically, it takes:

- Four years to complete a bachelor's degree (if pursuing a bachelor's degree in library science or a related field)

- One to two years to complete a master's degree in library science or information science

- Additional time for field experience, internships, or practicums

Overall, it can take approximately five to six years to become a librarian in Pennsylvania, including both undergraduate and graduate studies.

6. Are there job opportunities for librarians in Pennsylvania?

Yes, there are job opportunities for librarians in Pennsylvania. Librarians can find employment in various settings, including:

- Public libraries

- Academic libraries

- School libraries

- Special libraries (e.g., law libraries, medical libraries)

Pennsylvania is home to numerous libraries and educational institutions, creating a demand for qualified librarians across the state.

7. What skills are important for librarians in Pennsylvania?

To succeed as a librarian in Pennsylvania, it is essential to possess the following skills:

- Information literacy: Librarians must be proficient in locating, evaluating, and organizing information from various sources.

- Communication skills: Strong written and verbal communication skills are necessary for assisting library patrons and collaborating with colleagues.

- Technological proficiency: Librarians should be familiar with library management systems, online databases, and digital resources.

- Customer service: Providing excellent customer service and addressing the needs of library users is crucial.

- Organization and attention to detail: Librarians must be well-organized, able to manage multiple tasks, and pay attention to details when cataloging and organizing library materials.

By acquiring these skills, aspiring librarians can enhance their employability in Pennsylvania's competitive job market.

List of Online Resources For Becoming a Librarian in Pennsylvania

If you're considering a career as a Librarian in Pennsylvania, it's important to gather all the necessary information to make an informed decision. Thankfully, there are several online resources available that can provide you with valuable insights into the field of librarianship and help you navigate the path towards becoming a librarian in Pennsylvania. Here is a list of online resources that can assist you in your journey:

- Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA): The Pennsylvania Library Association is a professional organization that supports librarians and library professionals throughout the state. They offer resources, networking opportunities, and professional development programs to help individuals interested in pursuing a career in librarianship.

- University of Pittsburgh Libraries: The University of Pittsburgh Libraries provide access to a wealth of resources for aspiring librarians. They offer various degree programs, including a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, which is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). The MLIS program prepares students for careers in libraries, archives, and information centers.

- Pennsylvania State University School of Information Sciences: The School of Information Sciences at Pennsylvania State University offers an MLIS program that prepares students for careers in libraries, archives, and other information-related fields. The program is available online, allowing students to pursue their degree at their own pace while balancing other commitments.

- Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics: Drexel University offers an MLIS program with a specialization in digital librarianship. This program focuses on the management and preservation of digital information, preparing students for careers in libraries and information organizations in the digital age.

- Wayne State University School of Information Sciences: Although not located in Pennsylvania, Wayne State University's School of Information Sciences offers an online MLIS program that is available to students nationwide, including those residing in Pennsylvania. This program provides a comprehensive education in library and information science, equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as librarians.

- Library Research Service (LRS): The Library Research Service is a research unit of the Colorado State Library that provides data-driven research and statistics on libraries. While not specific to Pennsylvania, their reports and publications can offer valuable insights into the library profession and trends within the field.

- American Library Association (ALA): The American Library Association is a national organization that supports librarians and library professionals across the United States. Their website provides a wealth of resources, including information on accredited library programs, professional development opportunities, and job listings.

- Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science: The School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University offers a Master of Information Systems Management (MISM) program with a concentration in library and information science. This program combines the fields of information technology and librarianship, preparing students for leadership roles in libraries and information organizations.

These online resources offer a wealth of information and opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a librarian in Pennsylvania. Whether you're looking for degree programs, professional development opportunities, or research insights, these resources can help guide you towards a successful career in librarianship.