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Fastest, Easiest, Cheapest

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Hi all! This might sound kind of awful, but I'm looking for the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to get an MLS. I already work in reference at a public library, and the head of our library described the degree as a "hoop to jump through". Most have gone through online programs, and I would also like to do that, but would like to do it as cheaply as possible so I can be a "real" librarian (and get paid more). I have asked some of my colleagues their advice, but was wondering if any of y'all have any ideas.

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fastest, easiest, and cheapest - pick any two.


​Fastest would be full-time study, for a typical 36 credit program, you could do this in a year (if you did summer courses). It might also be the cheapest route if you didn't need to move or did it online, since there would be no moving expenses, and you would be limited to only 3 sets of the 'fixed' fees related to whatever university you went to. It would not be the easiest - you would have no life other than school - even less than other grad students. You would also be at the mercy of the school's scheduling department - not every course me be available when you need/want to take it.


Cheapest might be online (beware some schools charge an additional course fee for online if they have a traditional on campus route also), but it may not be the easiest. I have found that online courses tend to be way more time consuming, especially if you need to participate in message board discussions/debates weekly. Any group projects can be difficult to do online also - way more coordination is needed between your project partners. Just a warning - library schools are big on group projects.


The head of the library that you are working at is correct the mls/mlis is mostly a hoop to jump through to get that next pay bump.


I'm in the same position that you are, I am on the info science side of things with a full time job, and just want the mlis to pull out of my back pocket if it ever comes time to job switching (or to give me something do do in retirement). It probably won't help me at my current job, but would open more opportunities in the future. 


FWIW - I am going part time, 2 classes/semester and have finished 1 year already. I refuse to do a summer session course, so I should be finished in 2 more years.

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