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Library Science Online Courses: Master Degree in Library and Information Science

Library science professionals help people find information on virtually any topic. Library and information science degree programs provide students with the skills and training needed to conduct in-depth research for high quality sources of information in the shortest amount of time, and some degree programs allow students to specialize in a particular area. Today's library science professionals have advanced Internet and database research skills, and can take on a wide range of responsibilities and roles.

Career Options with a Library and Information Science Degree

Individuals that complete a library and information science degree program can take on a variety of roles working in a university library, research facility or other venue that has a large archive of information. Some career options for people with a library and information science degree include:

  • Library Technician
  • Library Technician Assistant
  • Media Aide
  • Information Architects
  • Physics instructor
  • School Media Specialists
  • Information Publishing
  • Library Trainer
  • Database Trainer
  • Freelance Librarian
  • Knowledge Management Specialist
  • Digital Librarian

Most librarian jobs require a master's degree in library science (MLS). These programs must be accredited by the American Library Association, but some states also require the library to meet certain State teaching license requirements if they wish to work in a school setting.

Individuals with strong information management and research skills may also consider exploring Internet-based research jobs and careers. Some people with library and information science degrees work in the field of database development, publishing, marketing, database training and reference tool development.

Library Science Degree Programs

Library science degree programs provide students with advanced knowledge, skills and training to access and retrieve different types of information from an archive or database. Today's librarians use computer and web technologies to conduct research, catalog and organize information, and create highly efficient knowledge management networks and systems.

Some schools offer students the chance to choose a concentration or specialty as part of their library science degree program. These concentrations may include:

  • Archival Studies – this concentration under the library science degree program provides students with advanced skills to work in an archival setting such as a government agency, historical society, museum, non-profit organization or religious institution.
  • Competitive Intelligence and Knowledge Management – this concentration focuses on the library and knowledge management needs of a corporation, special library or other organization that needs to organize and access vast amounts of information.
  • Digital Libraries – this concentration provides students with information about digital collections, archives and services. Most students use web-based applications to conduct and organize information.
  • Library and Information Services – a general concentration that provides students with basic skills to work as a librarian.
  • School Library Media – designed for students that wish to work as a school librarian or media aide.
  • Youth Services - designed for students that wish to work in a public library setting or pursue a career with an nonprofit organization that works with youth populations.

Types of Library Science Degree Courses

The most common types of library science degree courses that are a part of a bachelor's and master degree in library science curriculum include:

  • Information Users and Services
  • Information Access and Resources
  • Managing Information Organizations
  • Foundations of Information Systems
  • Public Library Service
  • Collection Management
  • Library Programming
  • Academic Library Service
  • Legal Research
  • US Government Publications
  • Metadata and Resource Description
  • Library Technical Services
  • Library Automation
  • Internet Information Resource Design
  • Digital Library Technology
  • Information Architecture
  • Competitive Intelligence

Completing a Library Science Degree Online

Individuals interested in completing a library science degree from a distance or on their own schedule may consider enrolling in an online program. Completing a library science degree online offers several advantages and benefits over completing a degree at a college and university campus, and may be an attractive option for those who want to study at their own pace, for students that want to take care of a family while completing their degree, or for individuals that want to work while still in school.

Online library science degree programs offer the same curriculum as a regular degree program, except students are involved with submitting assignments and quizzes over the web, participating in online lectures and discussion groups, collaborating with students and professors around the country, and using various Internet applications and online resources to conduct their research.

An online library science degree program prepares students for a successful career as an Internet content library, knowledge management specialist, digital librarian or a traditional librarian. Online programs must be fully accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) and are typically highly interactive in nature.

Getting a Master Degree in Library Science

A master degree in library science gives students the advanced skills and training they need to serve as a professional librarian, digital librarian or knowledge management specialist in fields such as business, education, government and even the legal field. Most employers look for a librarian that has completed a master degree in library science, and some organizations prefer to hire individuals that have selected a particular concentration or specialization.

The typical graduate program includes courses in areas such as the history of books and printing, reference tools and strategies, resources for young children, government publications and resources, library administration and library automation.

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