How to Become a Librarian in Alaska - 2024 Guide

by Staff

Updated: April 10th, 2024

Alaska’s Diverse Library Landscape: Qualifications for Success

Alaska’s library system boasts a variety of librarian roles, each demanding specific qualifications for optimal service. Many of the different librarian roles require different education and experience backgrounds. Most of the requirements are informal in the form of employer requirements. However, school librarianship requirements are formally documented through state regulations culminating in certification (see Alaska school librarian certification). 

Education: A Foundational Pillar

An advanced degree is the most common requirement across librarian positions. Most employers seek candidates with a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS). This degree equips librarians with the essential knowledge and skills for information organization, research assistance, and library service delivery.

However, there might be exceptions. Some specialized librarian positions, particularly those focused on specific information domains, may require a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field coupled with relevant library science coursework or certifications. See all library and information science related degree programs offered in Alaska.

Building Experience for Success

Regardless of the specific librarian role, gaining experience in libraries or related fields is highly recommended. Volunteering, internships, or part-time library jobs provide valuable opportunities to develop crucial skills in library operations, cataloging systems, and customer service. This experience strengthens your candidacy for full-time librarian positions.

School Librarianship: A Specialized Path

While certification isn’t mandatory for all librarian positions in Alaska, it’s required for school librarians. To become a certified school librarian, the state enforces specific educational requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: A Bachelor’s degree (or higher) in Library Media Education (LME) from a regionally accredited university is essential.
  • Alaska Studies & Multicultural Education: Completion of coursework totaling six credit hours is mandatory. Three credits must focus on Alaska studies, and the remaining three on multicultural education or cross-cultural communication.

Networking: Building Your Professional Circle

Building strong professional relationships with other librarians, educators, and relevant professionals is crucial for long-term success. Networking opens doors to valuable insights, mentorship opportunities, and potential job leads in your chosen library specialty.