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Coursework in Master’s Degree Programs in Library Science

Majors Overview July 7, 2015

Prior to enrolling in electives for school media, academic library, public library, or other specialized tracks, students will have to take core classes in master’s degree programs in library science. Those interested should look for programs with the American Library Association’s (ALA) accreditation.

Information on Library Science Programs

Individuals who seek careers as librarians would benefit from earning a master’s degree in information studies or library science. Students take 1-2 years to complete master’s degrees; schools offer their degrees under varying names. In 2013, there were 57 library and information science master’s degree programs offered in the United States (ALA). Obtaining teaching certification additionally will enable individuals to seek public school librarian careers.

The following are some typical courses in a master’s degree program in library science or information studies.

Coursework in Cataloging and Classification of Materials

This class focuses on Library of Congress subject headings, Dewey decimal classification, and machine-readable cataloging (MARC) formats. Major concepts in classification and cataloging, historical overviews of prominent trends and figures, and the use and role of technology are in the coursework. Current topics in cataloging and classification are also in the program coursework. Students typically perform hands-on work.

Coursework in Children’s Literature and Library Materials

Library science students seeking to serve the entertainment and educational needs of children might have to complete this course. Coursework involves the survey of major writers, themes, and trends in children’s literature, suitable for each age group. Courses include collection development of audiovisual materials, literary criticism, and strategies to reach out to age-appropriate people.

Coursework in Collection Development

In this core course, students learn about concepts that they must be familiar with in order to build and maintain collections of library materials. The course introduces a variety of collection development tools, in addition to techniques for managing electronic, audiovisual media, and print collections. Budgeting, working collaboratively, and challenged materials may also be discussed by students.

Coursework in Foundations in Information Technology for Libraries

These courses are a requirement for some programs. The technologies that working librarians are likely to see are also in the coursework. Coursework requires students to complete projects where they learn to budget, plan, implement, measure, and evaluate a variety of technologies. Coursework covers topic areas such as social media networking, computer troubleshooting and networking, Internet technology, and telecommunications.

Coursework in Information Sources and Services

Students enrolled in a library science degree program often take this required class early. The course introduces students to information and reference services. They become adept at identifying and using online, print, audiovisual and electronic sources to meet the needs of library patrons. Students also learn about the principles of development, measurement and evaluation of the information services that will be provided by them as working librarians.

Coursework in Young Adult Literature and Library Materials

This class may be a requirement for students in the school media or public library tracks. The focus of lessons is on collection development and historical overviews of electronic, print, audiovisual and online materials that meet the recreational and educational needs of adolescents. Students also discuss outreach services, in addition to major trends, genres and authors related to young adult literature.

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  • Accredited by the American Library Association, this program focuses on both the theory and practice of library science and grounds students in the knowledge, skills and values to become change agents in the field across a broad range of industries.
  • The MS in Library and Information Science (MLIS) curriculum prepares students for careers in a broad range of settings, including academic institutions, public libraries, corporations, government agencies, and cultural institutions.
  • This program is 36 credits and can be completed in 18 months.
  • The innovative learning technology platform helps students cultivate lifelong professional relationships and personally interact with a worldwide community of students and alumni—all while having the flexibility to continue working full time.
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  • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
  • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
  • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
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  • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
  • Programs are continuously updated to ensure classes are career-relevant and in sync with what's needed in the industry
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
2 Program(s) Found
  • Earn a Master of Social Work online from top-ranked USC
  • Program can be completed in as little as one year
  • The CSWE-accredited program features live, online classes and hands-on field experiences near your community.
  • GRE scores are not required to apply
  • Bachelor's degree is required to apply
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  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

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