Woman With A ‘Master's In Library Science’ Explains Why Librarian Jobs Require A College Degree

She pointed out that librarians are doing more than people would automatically assume with skills that need to be learned through higher education.

Woman taking book from library bookshelf. Popartic | Shutterstock

A librarian and author revealed why her line of work is more fulfilling and time-consuming than most people would outright assume. 

In a TikTok video, Hayley DeRoche responded to another content creator's video who questioned what librarians actually do that requires them to have a college degree, and DeRoche insisted that there's more to the job than meets the eye.

She explained why librarians require a college degree.

"I'm gonna say this with all of the love in my heart, the reason why I think people say, 'Why do you need a degree to be a librarian?' is because it's a female-coded job," DeRoche pointed out. 


She explained that she got her Master's in Library Science and manages a public library. A lot of her duties are things that most people wouldn't automatically assume a librarian would need to do because librarians are thought to only shelve books, check out books that people are getting, and help people get library cards. However, there's so much more to the job.

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As a public library manager, DeRoche is responsible for more than just scanning books. She recalled that in the past, she was a community technology librarian and had to travel around her county for her job. She was able to teach computer classes to people in different areas who were unable to attend the library that she worked for.

"I'm talking going to Goodwill Workforce Center with six laptops to teach people individually how to use a computer and then how to use a computer to apply for jobs, which they had not done before and did not know how to do in this day and age," she said. 

She explained that when librarians are reading to children during the summer, that's only brushing the surface of their knowledge and capabilities. Librarians cultivate an incredible wealth of knowledge about early literacy that they then pass on to parents, guardians, and caregivers. 

Librarians travel to different schools, where they meet with children, host outreach events, and specifically teach parents how to incorporate early literacy into their children's lives at home.


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She compared getting a Master's in Library Science to having a Master's in Education.

"It is different, but we are also teaching people. Sometimes it's for 10 minutes sitting next to somebody and gently walking them through how to do a task. Sometimes it's sitting with them for an hour, sometimes it's teaching an entire class."

Many of these tasks don't even consider the social work that librarians do because, most of the time, they end up becoming de facto social workers. DeRoche explained that her library is running a summer series on tenant rights. Many of their skills aren't things that every person can have, like other careers and jobs out there.

You do have to attend college, attain a degree, and study to develop these skills so that you can use them to help others. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many female-coded jobs, as DeRoche previously mentioned. Most people automatically assume a certain stereotype of librarians, failing to take into consideration the plethora of other things that they do


student talking to librarian while returning book at the library. Drazen Zigic | Shutterstock

"You do not want your children's librarians to simply be volunteers who have no knowledge of children's literature, who have no knowledge of how children learn how to read, who have no knowledge of how to help parents teach their children these skills," DeRoche insisted. "In the same way that schools are helping your community to grow productive members of society, libraries are doing the same thing in different ways."

When it comes to teaching, most people don't question or criticize why that career path needs a degree and higher education, so realistically, it should be the same for librarians. To imagine a world without libraries and librarians would be along the same lines as imagining a world without schools and teachers.


There's value in working at a library or running a public library. It offers so many benefits to people and communities, and librarians are an integral part of that — that type of work is extremely commendable.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.