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Recommendations for Getting the Most Out of Your MSLIS Program

Recommendations for Getting the Most Out of Your MSLIS Program

On Wednesday, November 15th, Dr. Jill Hurst-Wahl hosted a webinar as part of the iSchool’s Webinar Series dedicated to helping prospective, current, and former library students take advantage of their master’s education.

Jill is an author, speaker, consultant and instructor. Formerly, she was an IT professional, corporate librarian, and director of the MSLIS program (2012-2017).

Key Takeaways

Before your program

  • Write down your long-term goals and stay motivated
  • Read about the courses provided at the school you are interested in

During your program

After your program

Questions and Recommendations


Q: I am an online student and we all get too many emails as it is. I feel almost like it’s a bother to email my professor, especially when it’s related to me personally and not to the coursework specifically. Recommendations?

If you are receiving a lot of emails, try organizing your mailbox into folders to help with the clutter and prioritizing the inbox.

When sending an email to your professor, make sure the subject line is specific to what your email is about and not generic such as the class number or “question.” This will help when your professor is checking their email. They will look at your subject heading they’ll have a better idea of what your email is about.

When writing the body of the email, create an informative email about why you are emailing and what are you looking for in turns of a response.

Also, if you are asking a question, make sure there is a question in the email and not just a list of statements. Let them know if you have a preferred way of response, such as Skype or a phone call, and what times you are available for such a meeting.


Q: Concerning networking: do you have suggestions for how we might build our professional profile via LinkedIn. Is this a good forum for us as emerging professionals?

LinkedIn is a great place to be, but it’s not the only place to link with other LIS professionals. Use multiple different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Do be mindful of how you are using your profiles and that you don’t do anything stupid on those platforms.

With LinkedIn, make sure to keep your profile updated and give detailed information about the jobs you’ve had. If you volunteered at a library make sure to add details to what kinds of jobs you did while at that library.

LinkedIn is used for making connections and try to build up over a hundred connections. They do not need to be people you know well, like students in your cohort, previous professors, or other professionals in the field.


Q: Do you believe that it is important for students to attend professional conferences?

Yes! Join professional organizations and yes, attend LIS and related conferences. Try to join more than one LIS organizations and if needed ask family and friends to gift you the membership.


Q: Do you have some favorite blogs and podcasts that you read/listen to?

Search broadly, the blogs and podcasts don’t always have to be library specific.

Jill’s Blog Recommendations

Jill’s Podcast Recommendations


Q: Which LIS skills do you think are most broadly applicable?

The skills are all broadly applicable, but it depends on how you talk about them. Instead of using the library term “reference” you would use the more broadly used term of “research.” Cataloging and metadata can be broken down into being the organizing and compiling of information.

It’s how you talk about what you do and the skills you have. When you apply for those jobs, you will need to stay away from the library jargon and use the terminology used in their job description.