Library Science Scholarships

The availability of scholarships, grants and other financial assistance is a vital consideration with any educational program. And fortunately, library and information science is one of the best fields in this regard.

Thanks to a wealth of different professional organizations and a strong movement to attract new students to the career as it adapts to the digital age, there is no shortage of opportunities. In fact, library scholarships and grants are so numerous that it would be impossible to list them all on one page; instead, we will introduce you to the best places to start your search, along with recommendations for further exploration.

The place you’ll want to start is the oldest and largest library organization in the world, the American Library Association. Through the ALA Scholarship Program, they offer over $300,000 every year to students pursuing a degree in library and information science. Some of their scholarships are for general study in LIS, while others are for a particular area of interest or limited to a particular population of applicants. You can explore the different classes below:

Beyond ALA, there are numerous other organizations that offer their own scholarships, including the American Association of Law Libraries, the Medical Library Association and the Council on Libraries and Information Resources.

In addition, you should check with the individual universities to which you are interested in applying, as they will often have additional scholarship opportunities and possibilities for financial assistance. Many programs will offer need-based grants, and applicants can also look into federal and private loans if needed.

There will also usually be a limited number of graduate assistantships or fellowships, which offer a stipend and often a partial or full tuition waiver. These positions might be within the graduate school or at a library or information organization on campus, and they are merit-based and highly competitive. Beyond just offsetting the cost of the program, these opportunities provide great experience that will be extremely valuable when it is time to look for a library job.

Here are scholarship and fellowship pages from a few top library and information science schools to give you an idea of the types of financial assistance you will encounter. Of course, you will want to look in detail at the opportunities offered by the particular schools that interest you.

All in all, there are a wide variety of library scholarships available to students wishing to obtain a master’s degree in LIS. They may be tailored to a particular aspect of librarianship, or perhaps only offered to a particular underrepresented group of applicants. With hard work and a little good fortune, you might even find an opportunity to find funding for your entire education!