How Can I Learn Library and Information Science?

Do you enjoy books and literature? Do you want to know what it takes to work in a library? If you answered yes, then continue reading to discover ways you can learn about library and information science. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Research Library and Information Science

Library and information science is a term that encompasses the technology, perspectives, tools and practices related to libraries along with the preservation, organization, presentation and collection of information resources. This field is closely related to archival science. Typically, library and information science studies are broken up into three specializations: technical services, user services and administration services.

If you're interested in working directly with visitors to the library, then you want to get involved in user services. In this area, you help determine the needs of a visitor and then ensure that he or she finds the proper information. Administrative services librarians oversee the planning and management of the library, while technical services librarians help with cataloging and labeling materials.

Important Facts About These Programs

Online Availability Programs are offered at both the bachelor's and master's level.
Possible Careers Metadata Analyst, Archivist, Information Research Specialist
Continuing Education Professional licensure depends on your state.
Specializations Academic librarianship, museum studies, digital preservation, cataloging/metadata

Pursue Your Degree

If you're interested in working as a technician or in an assistant role, certificate programs or an undergraduate degree may be sufficient, and some positions may only require a high school diploma. However, if you're looking to work in head librarian positions, you're going to need to go to graduate school.

Undergraduate Programs

If you're pursuing a certificate or associate's degree, you'll of course need to have obtained your high school diploma. You'll then engage in a program featuring courses in topics such as cataloging, reference materials, and automated library systems.

If you do wish to become a professional librarian, you'll generally need a master's degree program in library and information science. First then, you must gain your bachelor's degree; any undergraduate field of study can provide a suitable background for a graduate library science program, since librarians deal with facts and information from all fields imaginable. Degrees in library science, of course, will be most directly beneficial, though programs in English and literature or in computer science can provide a solid groundwork for your eventual graduate studies.

Graduate Degree Programs in Library and Information Science

The American Library Association (ALA) accredits certain schools with master's-level programs in library science, and you may want to choose to attend one of those schools. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers frequently give preference to candidates with degrees from ALA-accredited programs (www.bls.gov).

After you complete your master's degree, you may want to look into a doctorate degree or graduate certifications. Different specializations and graduate certifications include information management, archival administration, museum and arts librarianship and public library services. Some library and information science course topics include foundations of librarianship, information analysis, library management, library science research and information technology.

Gain Work Experience

Regularly participating in work associated with library and information science is one way to learn this field. Internship and externship opportunities are available at the graduate level. Work-study opportunities are an early way to become familiar with library and information science. Also, many libraries offer a variety of volunteer opportunities for those interested in this line of work.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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