The Information and Learning Commons
The MLIS program requires 43 units for graduation. Within those units, five courses are required: LIBR 203, LIBR 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204, LIBR 285, and either LIBR 289 or LIBR 299. Beyond those five courses, a student is free to select electives reflecting individual interests and aspirations.
The Career Pathway described here is provided solely for advising purposes. No special designation appears on your transcript or diploma. All students get an MLIS degree.
Academic libraries are found in institutions of higher education — in community colleges, private colleges, major universities, or specialized research institutes. Academic libraries support the mission of their institution, which ranges from student instruction to academic or scientific research. Increasingly the focus is on instruction, technologies, and distance delivery.
The ACRL research committee in 2007 listed the following assumptions for the future of academic libraries — which are proving true today.
- There will be an increased emphasis on digitizing collections, preserving digital archives, and improving methods of data storage and retrieval.
- The skill set for librarians will continue to evolve in response to the needs and expectations of the changing populations (students and faculty) that they serve.
- Students and faculty will increasingly demand faster and greater access to services.
- Debates about intellectual property will become increasingly common in higher education.
- The demand for technology-related services will grow and require additional funding.
- Higher education will increasingly view the institution as a business.
- Students will increasingly view themselves as customers and consumers, expecting high-quality facilities and services.
- Distance learning will be an increasingly more common option in higher education, and will coexist but not threaten the traditional bricks-and-mortar model.
- Free public access to information stemming from publicly funded research will continue to grow.
- Privacy will continue to be an important issue in librarianship.
The leading issues to be considered in the roles and functions of the academic library in the 21st century are:
- collaboration with and outreach to academic faculty, researchers, end users, and content providers
- educating "by design," or with an emphasis on undergraduate research methodologies
- evolving and leveraging digital library service frameworks
- implications of online access to content
- library roles in e-research
- new forms of scholarly publishing
Today's academic librarians are involved in a variety of challenging activities devoted to meeting the information needs of students, faculty, researchers, and other library users.
- collaborate with classroom faculty, computer specialists, and instructional developers
- consult with individuals in analyzing, identifying, and fulfilling their information needs
- contribute to effective teamwork among colleagues
- create campus-wide information literacy programs and develop and teach library instruction sessions or courses both in the classroom and online
- design and manage Web sites
- develop, evaluate, and organize electronic databases
- facilitate the use of social media tools
- keep abreast of technological advancements and develop strategies to take advantage of them
- participate in and lead public relations efforts to promote and raise funds for academic libraries
- plan, implement, and administer computer-based systems
- select, organize, and facilitate access to information in a variety of formats increasingly virtual
Core Theory and Knowledge
- Ability to work in a team environment
- Experience in teaching
- Familiarity with research methodology in the context of a research university
- Good online technical skills especially in Web site development and social media
- Knowledge of the issues facing libraries and higher education
- Knowledge of the uses of technology for access to and dissemination of information
- Leadership ability
- Strong communication skills both in person and online
- LIBR 203 Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools
- LIBR 200 Information and Society
- LIBR 202 Information Retrieval
- LIBR 204 Information Organizations and Management
- LIBR 285 Research Methods in Library and Information Science
- LIBR 289 or LIBR 299 Culminating Experience
- LIBR 210 Reference & Information Services
LIBR 220 Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines
Sections on library services for distance learners, digital humanities, data librarianship and library data service models; other subject topics based on student interests
- LIBR 230 Issues in Academic Libraries
- LIBR 240 Information Technology Tools & Applications
LIBR 246 Information Technology Tools & Applications: Advanced
Sections on Web 2.0 and XML
- LIBR 250 Design and Implementation of Instructional Strategies for Information Professionals
- LIBR 266 Collection Management
LIBR 282 Seminar in Library Management
Sections on leadership, grant writing, managing change
LIBR 287 Seminar in Information Science
Sections on information literacy, open movement, digital libraries
- LIBR 294 Professional Experience: Internships
- LIBR 221 Government Information Sources
- LIBR 247 Vocabulary Control
LIBR 281 Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Sections on metadata and new perspectives on literacy
- LIBR 286 Interpersonal Communication Skills for Librarians
Effective leadership and management (of people and information) is critically important for all types of work environments and clients.
We recommend that students consider also selecting some courses from the Leadership and Management career path to complement or supplement core skills in other areas.