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Programs with realistic funding opportunities?

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Hi everyone. I'm looking to get my Library Science degree in Canada, but the costs of the programs and the seeming lack of funding available is extremely disheartening. Since I won't be SSHRC or OGS eligible, I will be relying on internal funding. So far all I've seen is a program (Western) where the only opportunities available are extremely competitive scholarships against all of North America basically. Does anyone have any suggestions of other schools to look at, or is this degree in general not funded well?

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I didn't research any Canadian schools, but the unfortunate reality is that library science degrees are notoriously poorly funded. Even more unfortunately, professional library jobs are hard to come by once the program is complete. If you already know that and you want to go forward anyway don't lose hope. It's hard but paying for school can be done. Most people pay with a mismash of savings, loans, income from part time or full time jobs, and small scholarships. I've heard of people working full time for the university (for tuition waver or discount) and working on their degree part time. Some employers are willing to pay for part or all of the degree. Occasionally the departments of large schools will hire out of department students to work as TAs which often waives tuition for the semesters spent RAing.

Be creative when looking for funding and don't be afraid to ask around. Research professional groups in your area and see if they have any ideas for you. If you aren't sure you qualify or are competitive for a scholarship apply anyway. What do you have to lose? Some schools might have funding available that they don't openly advertise. You may want to contact the admissions office and ask about what type of funding they have available and how competitive it is. Ask them how most of their students are paying. Maybe they'll tell you and maybe they won't. You'll never know if you don't ask. Apply for everything you find, no matter how small. Every bit helps.

Online schools are becoming more and more popular. They're generally more affordable, but in order to find employment you have to go out of your way to get good experience working in a library/archive/wherever you hope to work post-degree. You also need to really research the strength of online programs and how well their graduates do in finding employment. Some online schools are better than others. My personal view is that unless you already have extensive experience in a library or are currently working in one, residential programs devoted to getting their students real life experience are a much better choice than online schools. However, every situation is different and I know lots of people who have had success with online programs and they can save you a lot of money, especially if you work full time.

When I was researching grad schools I went through the list of ALA accredited programs and looked at those in areas I was willing to live. Here's a link to the directory: http://www.ala.org/accreditedprograms/directory There aren't a whole lot in Canada, but I'm not sure how important the ALA accreditation is there.

As I said before, I'm not very familiar with Canadian programs. There are a lot of people on this board who know a lot more about them than I do and I bet one of them will chime in soon.

Good luck!

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