Note: There is a close relationship between this pathway and the Emerging Technologies Pathway. This pathway focuses on the technical and usability aspects of building digital platforms for users. The emerging technologies pathway focuses more on the user experience. Students might want to mix and match classes from both pathways.
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.
Any information can be represented and stored as a string of bits. Therefore, the significant differences existing between objects, printed material, and even buildings or landscapes in the material world blurs in the digital environment. Library services are increasingly migrating to the digital environment in both the building of collections and other information-based services. This migration has encouraged the emergence of new LIS disciplines that have various titles such as digital collections coordinator or digital initiatives & Integration librarian, or digital library architect, or digital learning services librarian, or digital repositories coordinator, or digital services technician, or digital technologies development librarian.
It has also led to the transformation of traditional concepts (e.g. bibliographic description to metadata standards). Working in this environment requires technological skills and experience, an understanding of metadata, and an ability to create and manage digital content, along with the managerial skills to lead change and collaboration.
This career pathway concentrates on the theories and supporting techniques related to:
- Creation and maintenance of digital libraries
- Management of digital collections
- Mediation and representation of cultural heritage in the digital environment
- Economics of digital repositories
- Quality and sustainability of digitization initiatives
Students pursuing this career will develop skills and expertise in the following areas:
- Selection strategies for building a sustainable digital collection with emphasis on ownership and rights
- Techniques of converting digital materials from one format to another to ensure the continuing accessibility of vast heterogeneous collections of digital data stored over time in diverse formats
- Ontologies and metadata schemes
- Open source catalogs
- Build and manage virtual public library branches
- Oversee technical issues of digital conversion
- Manage digital collections and digital repositories
- Implement digital initiatives between museums, archives and libraries
- Provide services in academic environments to distance learners
Students who concentrate in this specialization may work as:
- virtual services managers
- knowledge integration librarians
- digital assets managers
- digital media managers/librarians
- digital archivists
- digital collections managers
- metadata librarians
Core Theory and Knowledge
- Able to implement and manage emerging technologies in a library or any information environment.
- Understand the nature of digital information, its main features, and transformations of information in the digital environment.
- Develop and maintain a working competence in prevalent digitization technologies and methods.
- Familiarity with the prevailing national and international metadata schemes, classification systems, and ontological frameworks.
- Management of user-centered design through the whole process of the development of an application.
- Understand the intellectual and economic factors involved in digitization.
- 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
Note: For this career path, LIBR 202 is the most important course. If you are not comfortable with the material and format of LIBR 202, then this is not the career for you.
- LIBR 240 Information Technology Tools and Applications
- LIBR 242 Database Management
LIBR 246 Information Technology Tools and Applications: Advanced
Classes on metadata, XML, information visualization are especially important. Select at least one programming class.
- LIBR 251 Web Usability
- LIBR 259 Preservation Management
LIBR 281 Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Section on metadata
LIBR 284 Seminar in Archives and Records Management
Particularly sections on digitization and digital assets, preservation, electronic records, curation of digital media
- LIBR 294 Professional Experience: Internships
Select from the following:
- LIBR 243 Systems Analysis
- LIBR 247 Vocabulary Design
- LIBR 281 Seminar in Contemporary Issues
- LIBR 283 Marketing of Information Products and Services
LIBR 287 Seminar in Information Science
Particularly sections on smart objects, designing mobile apps, user experience
Special session MLIS Students may wish to consider taking courses from the MARA degree program to transfer to their MLIS degree as many MARA courses are very relevant for this career pathway. Important: MARA is only offered in special session and is only available to special session students. Visit the MARA Courses as Electives page for additional details.
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.