The amount of data and information that surrounds us increases every second, and so does the value of professionals who can help us to find what we need fast.
A master’s degree in library and information science will teach you how to navigate efficiently in the digital world. Earning a master’s degree in library and information science will prepare you to play an important part of how the global information network across the world is evolving. With a library science degree, you will have the skills and knowledge to improve the links among people, information, technology and libraries.
A master’s degree in library and information science will provide you with a strong skillset in information management, research and practice. Many with this master’s degree will have a rewarding career in research libraries, technical libraries, nonprofits, government agencies and public and private libraries.
This advanced degree will help you to land a position in a library in most cases. The type of library in which you work will largely dictate what you do from day to day:
- User services librarian: Assist people in finding information and conducting research for their personal and professional projects. Job duties will always vary depending upon the type of facility in which you work. You may also teach people in a library how to use resources and help them to search electronic and paper archives.
- Technical services librarian: Obtain, prepare and organize many different electronic library materials. They will arrange library materials to make it an easier process for patrons to locate what they need.
- Academic librarian: Help students, staff and faculty in a college or university library. They will assist students in researching topics that are relevant to their classes, and also teach them how to access important information. Some campuses may have libraries that focus on specific subjects, such as engineering or medicine.
- School librarian: Work in K-12 libraries and help student to find what they need and to use library resources efficiently. Some school librarians also assist educators in developing lesson plans and to find materials for classroom instruction.
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Why Earn a Master’s in Library and Information Science?
A master’s degree in library and information science is a versatile degree. Librarians have the opportunity to not just manage collections, they also must analyze, evaluate, organize and present large amounts of information in many different jobs and train people how to use the information.
A library science graduate degree will introduce you to new manners of research, theories and approaches to information, as well as advanced practices of library and information science that are applicable to many fields.
Graduates with this degree are finding work today in government agencies, nonprofits, software and hardware firms, information collection and delivery companies, service corporations and consulting.
Job demand outside of libraries is also trending upwards, with significant job growth in special libraries:
Earning a master’s degree in library science will require you to meet these sort of qualifications:
- 0 GPA
- GRE scores usually required
- Three professional or academic recommendations
- Bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts
- Extensive writing samples
Curriculum and Courses
The University of Michigan offers a unique Master of Science in Information that will prepare you for a career in library science or in other information management positions in the public and private sectors.
The University of Michigan understands that information professionals today play a vital role in the analysis, systemizing and evaluating large amounts of data that are being created daily by the digital revolution.
This program attracts undergraduate students from more than 100 majors, including engineering, psychology and computer science. It is looking for leaders who possess a team oriented approach to solving problems, and can deal with a high level of ambiguity and change.
This is a 48 credit hour program that can be completed in two years full time. You will complete these foundational courses first:
- SI 501: Contextual Inquiry and Project Management (3)
- SI 502: Networked Computing: Storage, Communication, and Processing (3)
After those courses are completed successfully, you must take three credits in management distribution. The purpose of the requirement is to ready students for careers in management in their future, such as in planning, organizing, leading and controlling the information of companies and facilities. Required courses include:
- SI 523 Information and Control (3)
- SI 530 Principles in Management (3)
- SI 534 Theories of Social Influence (3)
- SI 617 Choice Architecture (3)
- SI 626 Management of Nonprofit Libraries and Information Services (3)
- SI 627 Managing the Information Technology Organization (3)
After completing required courses, you may choose one of these specializations:
- Archives and Records Management
- Human Computer Interaction
- Information Analysis and Retrieval
- Information Economics for Management
- Library and Information Science
- Social Computing
- Preservation of Information
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
There are many possible career paths with this master’s degree. Some of the job titles you may have could include the following:
- Library manager
- Library technician
- Circulation manager
- Document analyst
- Management analyst
- Training and development manager
- Director of information services
- Digital resources manager
- Information architect or manager
Job and Salary Outlook
- Librarian — The job outlook for traditional librarians is below average with only 2% growth anticipated by 2024. There are budgetary limitations in cities and counties today, and less use of libraries overall. However, there is still a strong need for information professionals to help people to find the information they need. Many parents still value libraries for their children because it allows them to access real books at very low cost. The median salary in this field is $56,800.
- Archivist — Employment in this field is expected to rise by 7% by 2024, which is about as fast as average. Demand is going to rise because public and private organizations want to see more volumes of information and records be preserved and made available to the public. The transition to electronic records is causing more demand for digital archivists, and this trend should increase in the future. The median salary is $46,700, and the top 10% earn $83,000 per year.
- Training and Development Manager — Some library science majors eventually work in training and development; they find that being able to organize information and present it effectively to the public is a good background for this field. The field will grow by 7% by 2024. Many companies are requiring employees to take more continued education courses to develop their skills more. There will be more innovations in how people are trained and how they learn in the coming years. This will require experienced information and training professionals to teach them many different job skills. The median salary is $102,000.
Scholarships and Grants
- American Library Association: This leading organization representing library science professionals offers many different scholarships, internships and other financial aid for library science students.
- American Association of Law Librarians: This association for law librarians has several fellowships and scholarships annually.
- American Association of School Librarians: This organization has thousands of school librarians in its membership and is a great resource for education and scholarships.
- Association for Library Collections and Technical Services: If you are interested in working in a library with an extensive older collection, this is a good resource for your future career.