Library and Information Science Master’s Degree

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Promote justice and equality through the power of literacy.

How do libraries serve their communities? What knowledge and skills do librarians need to ensure equitable access and use of information? How do you preserve history and memories for future generations? How can you help people evaluate the authenticity of information they receive? Explore these questions and more as a Library and Information Science student.

Here, you’ll focus on information justice and equity, community engagement, and technology use in your community. Gain knowledge and skills in user services, information and data literacy training, management, organization and discovery of information resources, data protection and privacy, and diverse cultures and communities. And put your training to work through experiential learning opportunities in a variety of settings.

Through coursework and residency workshops ranging across five professional pathways, you’ll experience the broad reach of librarianship and information science and explore what it means to be a librarian or information professional today.

Accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1928, our Library and Information Science program centers around one goal: to change how communities and organizations use libraries and information resources for the better. 

Our LIS degree program is 36 credits, and is typically completed within 2 years. The program prepares you for a career in a broad range of organizations, including academic institutions, public libraries, corporations, government agencies or cultural institutions.

The 36 credits are distributed as follows:

  • 18 credits in Core Knowledge and Skills
    • 3 credits in Introductory Core
    • 9 credits in Information Resources Core
    • 6 credits in Management and Policy Core
  • 15 credits in electives
    • Can be used toward a C.A.S. in Data Science, a Focus Area, or however you wish.
  • Graduate Immersion Milestone Event – non-credit, required
    • This 2-to-3 day residency workshop presents emerging topics in the information studies field. Students must complete one residency workshop during the duration of their program of study. You can find more information by visiting the iSchool Seminar page.

View Curriculum in Course Catalog

Here at the iSchool, our vision is to provide quality professional education for library and information science professionals. Our goals and outcomes guide our direction, provide a framework for assessing our achievement, and most importantly, communicate our beliefs in the foundational skills that modern library professionals must have.

Graduates of the iSchool’s Library and Information Science program:

  • Apply the skills and attitudes of visioning, entrepreneurship, advocacy, planning and management to leadership in the information field.
  • Manage information resources and the information life-cycle through the processes of collection development, representation, organization, preservation, curation, access, and dissemination in accordance with physical, virtual, and technical infrastructure and needs.
  • Apply appropriate pedagogical and learning theory principles in the design, development, implementation, and assessment of library instruction and learning that contribute towards an information and technology literate society.
  • Design and employ policies essential for creating and providing information services and resources guided by the values of patron privacy, equitable access, intellectual freedom, and ethical use of information.
  • Possess the skills to respect, engage, and collaborate with a diverse community in order to advocate for and construct inclusive, meaningful, and participatory library services, programs and resources.
  • Perform and assess research based practices through the application of information literacy, inquiry, and research methods including data discovery, analytics and qualitative measures.

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. The MSLIS curriculum is designed to prepare library and information professionals with a broad range of knowledge and skills needed for exemplary practice in the library and information profession. You can discuss your interest with your faculty advisor to plan your program study and focus one or more following professional pathways:

User Services and Community Engagement

Whether working in a college/university library or a cultural institution such as public library and museum, user services and community engagement is one of the core functions of libraries and cultural institutions of all types. User services librarians have the responsibilities on information literacy training, instructions, references, 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 and Instruction Librarian

Archives and Special Collections

Many different kinds of institutions handling historical materials offer job opportunities for a graduate holding an MSLIS degree, including special collections within large academic institutions, historical societies, museums, and even zoos. Digital technologies play an important part in this career pathways as well.

Sample job titles: Photo Archives Manager; Curator of Historical Collections; Director of Special Collections; Rights and Reproductions and Digitization Assistant

Data Curation and Services

Data librarians facilitate the management, curation, and preservation of data in a number of professional settings. They can locate data for business or academic use, use statistical methods to understand what stories a dataset tells, or organize data for later retrieval. Students interested in the data curation and services 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 Fellow; Data Quality Specialist; Research Data Archivist; Data Services and Visualization Librarian

Organization and Management of Information and Knowledge

Libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) 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 LAM to achieve their goals and actualize their values. This career pathway has a wide range of employment potentials, ranging from LAM to 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 be places that facilitate lifelong learning. When is a better time to provoke a permanent passion for curiosity than in the early years of a patron’s life? The urgency for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning initiatives in library settings, the proliferation of the makerspace movement, and the widespread use of emerging technologies from a young age prove that the role and responsibilities of children’s and young adult librarians go beyond recommending a good read. Networking and marketing are important facets of a Youth Services Librarian’s job, as well as building 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; Young Adult/Asst. Children’s Librarian

research iconResearch

Delve deeper, explore farther.

In addition to getting practical, on-the-job experience, you’ll have opportunities to join a research lab or collaborate with faculty on their academic work, exploring  the role of information in furthering social justice.

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Pursue your interests.

Explore topics that interest you most. Our flexible program offers focus areas, a specialization or standalone Certificate of Advanced Study in School Media, and the opportunity to solidify your expertise with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Data Science.