How to Become a Librarian in Nebraska

One of the subjects that librariesNebraska Librarian Education in Nebraska often feature in presentations to the public is the history of the state. Recently, a program on the first years of the Nebraska Territory, entitled “The (Mad) Queen of the Prairies: Frenzied First Years of the Nebraska Territory,” was presented at the Wahoo Public Library by Humanities Nebraska. Among other notable mentions, Nebraska’s early history featured a Native American chief as its first governor, banks printed their own money, and women almost won the right to vote, all in the 1850s.

This is just one example of the many roles that libraries in Nebraska fulfill. The Nebraska Library Commission, the state agency that receives federal funds to disperse to state libraries via the Library Services and Technologies Act, strives to make sure that all Nebraskans benefit from cultural enrichment and lifelong learning through programs and services offered by state libraries. Additionally, the Commission makes sure that all staff and supporters of Nebraska libraries have the skills and the tools necessary to provide these programs and services to all ages of Nebraskans. 

Whether you want to work as a public librarian, school librarian, archivist, music librarian, medical librarian, law librarian, or the many other types of librarian opportunities available throughout Nebraska, this guide will instruct you in becoming a Nebraska librarian.

What Does a Nebraska Librarian Do?

The job description of a Nebraska librarian will vary based on the category of librarian position as well as the setting in which one works. Generally, however, the following duties and responsibilities are expected of a Nebraska librarian:

  • Maintaining circulation of library materials and resources
  • Maintaining circulation procedures
  • Obtaining requested material through conducting interlibrary loans with other libraries
  • Classifying and cataloging materials such as books, DVDs, CDs, periodicals, documents, journals, digital media, supplies and images
  • Providing assistance to library users in research and reference queries, including database searches
  • Selecting and purchasing library materials and equipment through grants and the library’s general budget
  • Participating in budget planning and writing grant proposals as assigned
  • Recommending changes and giving input on library procedures and policies
  • Weeding out and discarding unusable or outdated materials
  • Compiling various statistics
  • Filing documents and correspondence
  • Writing reports related to library activities and needs

Librarian Education in Nebraska

If you want to become a librarian in Nebraska, you must earn either a Master of Library Science (MLS) or Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree, at a school where these degrees have been accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Nebraska currently houses none of these programs. Neighboring states, however, such as Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado have MLS or MLIS programs that are ALA-accredited. Because you may earn this degree in any state in which the degree is ALA-accredited, many Nebraskans get their education out-of-state or online. You may also choose from among the many online, distance education learning programs offered by the ALA. 

Nebraska Librarian Certification

Certification is optional and voluntary for public librarians in Nebraska. It is offered at different levels, based upon your educational level, from high school diploma/GED to graduate degree. 

Nebraska does not have state standards for school librarians. They must, however, have a teaching license and pass the Praxis II Library Media Content examination.

Librarian Jobs in Nebraska

The Nebraska Library Commission hosts a job search site called Now Hiring@your library, in which librarian positions for Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri, Wyoming, and remote librarian jobs are advertised. You may also find librarian employment through the ALA’s JobList. Classified ad sites on the internet may also advertise open librarian jobs in Nebraska and neighboring states.   

Librarian Salary in Nebraska

Librarians in Nebraska earn an hourly mean wage of $26.82, translating to an annual mean wage of $55,780, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021). Librarians employed in the Lincoln area make higher wages, at $32.39 per hour and $67,380 per year. Those working in the Omaha/Council Bluffs NE/IA area also make more than the average state wage, at $31.08 hourly and $64,650 yearly. 

Job Prospects for Nebraska Librarians 

The websites listed above will advertise librarian jobs in Nebraska and neighboring states as they become available. A search conducted circa February 2023 found the following librarian jobs available in the area:

  • Chair, Archives and Special Collections – Love Library, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
    • Wage: $84,000 yearly
    • Must have an MLIS or MLS from an ALA-accredited institution
    • Must have seven years of experience in an academic library, archives or related institution
    • Must have demonstrated archival theory and practice experience through training or field experience 
  • Instructional Technology Integration Specialist/Media Specialist – Ashland-Greenwood Middle/High School, Ashland-Greenwood Public Schools, Ashland, NE
    • Wage: not specified
    • Must have a bachelor’s degree
    • Must have a Nebraska teaching certificate and necessary endorsements
    • Must be familiar with methods for integrating technology into curriculum such as online resources, Web Quests, digital portfolios
  • Archivist, USSTRATCOM – Solutions Through Innovative Technologies, Inc., Offutt Air Force Base, NE
    • Wage: $65,500 to $83,000 yearly
    • Must have an MLIS or MLS from an ALA-accredited institution, or a master’s degree in archival studies
    • Must have five years of related experience
    • Must be a U.S. citizen
    • Must be eligible for Top Secret security clearance, and be eligible for Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) and Nuclear Command and Control-Extremely Sensitive Information (NC2-ESI)
  • Reference and Instruction Librarian – Concordia University Nebraska, Seward, NE
    • Wage: $42,200 to $53,500 yearly
    • Must have an MLIS or MLS from an ALA-accredited institution
    • Must have at least one year of related experience
    • Must have ability to teach research concepts and information literacy to a variety of learning styles
  • Librarian, Technical Services – Nebraska State College System, Chadron, NE
    • Wage: $47,051 to $55,000 yearly
    • Must have an MLIS or MLS from an ALA-accredited institution
    • Preference given to candidates with library experience
    • Preference given to candidates with experience in cataloging and acquisition technologies