The MSLIS program strides to cultivate leaders in the library and information profession who will become implementers and advocates for information justice and equity, community engagement, and technology use in their communities of practice. It is designed to prepare library and information professionals with a broad range of knowledge and skills needed for exemplary practice and leadership in the library and information profession.
You can discuss your interest with your faculty advisor or learn more using our LIS Handbook. Plan your program study in one or more of the following professional pathways:
User Services and Community Engagement
Whether working in a college or university library or a cultural institution such as a public library or museum, user services and community engagement is one of the core functions of libraries and cultural institutions of all types. User services librarians are responsible for information literacy instruction, reference, collection management, and outreach to diverse communities to assure equal access to library and information resources.
Sample job titles: Dean of University Libraries; Web Services Librarian; Associate Librarian of Environmental Science; Public Services Librarian; Reference Librarian; Online Learning Librarian; Outreach and Assessment Librarian; Access Services Librarian; and Instruction Librarian
Archives and Special Collections
Institutions handling historical materials offer job opportunities for a graduate holding an MSLIS degree, including special collections within large academic institutions, small historical societies, museums, and even zoos. Courses in this pathway are suitable for careers in cultural heritage, archives, and special collections.
Sample job titles: Photo Archives Manager; Curator of Historical Collections; Director of Special Collections; and Digitization Librarian
Digital curation has become an increasingly important part of library operations. Digital library work includes the management, curation, and preservation of digitized and born-digital resources, including data, in libraries, archives, and museums. These librarians develop policies and workflows, help users locate digital information and data for business or academic use, and organize digital resources for retrieval. Students interested in the digital curation pathway will gain knowledge of digital data systems, metadata theory and practices, programming and markup languages, and data services to the communities they serve.
Sample job titles: Data Visualization Specialist; Data and Metadata Services Librarian; Director, Data Center Services; Data Management and Curation Librarian; Data Quality Specialist; Research Data Archivist; Data Services and Visualization Librarian
Organization and Management of Information and Knowledge
Libraries, archives, and museums are central places for the acquisition, organization, management, and dissemination of information and knowledge. Organizing and managing information and knowledge of all types, formats, and forms is the core function that supports information organizations to achieve their goals and enact their values. This career pathway has a wide range of employment potentials, ranging from libraries, archives, museums, government agencies, businesses, and almost any organizations that need professionals to perform functions of organizing, managing, retrieving, and use/reuse information resources.
Sample job titles: Lead Technical Services Technician; Taxonomist; Metadata and Data Curation Librarian; User Interface Specialist; Metadata and Digital Initiatives Librarian; Metadata Information Architect; Digital Projects Librarian; Content Management Analyst
Children and Youth Services
Libraries strive to facilitate lifelong learning. When is a better time to provoke a permanent passion for curiosity than childhood and adolescence? Children and youth services librarians focus on early literacy, information literacy, readers’ advisory, and the use of emerging technologies by young people. Librarians focusing on children and youth services build relationships that support the learning of young people as well developing sustaining relationships with parents, caregivers, and teachers in the local community.
Sample job titles: Children’s Reference Librarian; Teen Services Librarian; Coordinator of Youth Services; Youth Service Librarian; Young and Emerging Adult Librarian
Digital Information Systems
Modern libraries run on digital data and information systems to provide services anywhere and anytime that require technically savvy librarians to innovate, support, and maintain. Digital information systems in libraries and other types of organizations play a key role in making data and metadata findable, accessible, interoperable, and usable/reusable. Knowledge and skills in this pathway can lead to jobs not only in non-traditional positions in libraries but also in non-library settings such as corporate and government.
Sample job titles: Coordinator of Metadata; Catalog Management Librarian; Web Development Librarian; Librarian for Digital Publishing, Curation, and Conversion; Software Librarian; Digital Asset Management
Information Research and Analytics
Whether you are conducting research on community profiles for building a new library branch, gathering data and information on emerging trends for market research, or collecting information about products or companies for competitive intelligence, the skills and knowledge in research methods and data science can go a long way in developing a career as a research librarian.
Sample job titles: Collections and Metrics Facilitator; Director of Digital Initiatives; Research Support Librarian; Research Data Librarian; Legal Research Services Librarian; Senior Scientific Librarian