Here I am! After years of considering a Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS), I’m finally starting my first semester at the iSchool. In the last month I’ve quit my job, moved to Syracuse, registered for classes, bought books, started classes, met lots of new colleagues, started tweeting, and dipped a toe into the information science waters. Scratch that, I’ve dived in. In less than two years, I’ll graduate Syracuse University as an information professional… but what am I going to do after that?

My Future in Library Science

When I started looking into the MLIS degree, I had the idea it could lead me down a couple different career paths: I could become a librarian at a community or university library, or maybe work with children in a school. What I soon realized is that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The more I learn about the career possibilities for a librarian, the more inspired I get, and the more I see that this field is the perfect fit for a curious person like me. It seems like every class I’ve had in the last two weeks has revealed a fascinating type of library-related job I’d never considered.

How do I decide what kind of librarian I want to be? While sitting in classes, surfing the internet, and talking to the people I’m meeting in the iSchool community, I’ve been taking notes. I’m making a list of possible career choices, and I’m getting pretty excited. I’m opening myself to the possibilities and I really can envision how each one could be an amazing experience.

Surprising Ways To Use An MLIS

  • Be my own boss as an independent research consultant (like our own Professor of Practice Jill Hurst-Wahl)
  • Support patients in a medical library (like recent iSchool grad Melissa McElroy-Elve, the Director of the Family Resource Center at Upstate Medical in Syracuse)
  • Work with a historic collection at a unique place like The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, PA
  • Manage an unusual collection of objects, like SU’s Plastics Collection
  • Track industry or market trends as a research analyst
  • Do research for a business or non-profit organization (Check out this interview with the research librarian for the Food Network)
  • Help scholars in a special library like the Hirshhorn Museum Library in Washington, DC

This is just the beginnings of what I’m sure will be a long list; I know there are many more atypical librarian positions out there for me to discover.

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Do you know about other surprising jobs held by iSchool Library and Information Science grads? What do you plan to do with your MLIS? Inspire me! Contact Mia at or on Twitter @MiaBreitkopf.