What can I do with this degree?

INFORMATION/LIBRARY SCIENCES

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AREAS
ACADEMIC LIBRARIES
Service to Faculty and Students
Reference
Circulation
Technical Services:
Acquisitions
Cataloging
System Automation
Indexing/Abstracting
Archives
Serials Management
Manuscripts
Access/Outreach
Music
Metadata
Web Design/Maintenance
Digital Files
Digital/Paper Preservation
Government Documents
Special Collections
Media Services
Teaching
Administration/Management
Research Support
Cartographic Information Specialist
Publishing
Bibliographic Support
Local Area Network Manager
Electronic Services
Prospect Research
Collection Development
Instructional Technology
Audiovisual Materials
Information Literacy

EMPLOYERS
Universities and colleges
Junior and community colleges
Specialized academic programs e.g., seminaries, optometrist programs

STRATEGIES

Academic librarians may work one-on-one with students and faculty, teach and present seminars, or work in technically- oriented positions such as systems design or database management. Any bachelor's degree in liberal arts is good preparation. Classes in communications, business/management, computer science and statistics can be helpful. Related undergraduate subject degree is useful when working with particular specialties such as art or agriculture. Develop excellent computer skills. Gain experience in business and management to work in administration. Work part-time in a college or university library to gain relevant experience. Earn a master's degree in library or information sciences from a program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).

AREAS
SCHOOL LIBRARIES AND MEDIA CENTERS
Teaching
Administration
Technical Services
Administrator (school system level)

EMPLOYERS
K-12 Schools: Public and private
Public school districts

STRATEGIES
School librarians or media specialists may help teachers develop curricula, prepare lesson units, team-teach or provide staff development. Many states require a master's degree in library science and some require a specialty certification or an educational endorsement. Some states also require teaching certification or student teaching in a library/media center. Work or volunteer experience related to children and teaching is useful. Become adept with various technologies and develop strong computer skills. Learn to work both independently and with groups.

AREAS
PUBLIC LIBRARIES
User/Reader Services
Reference
Information and Referral Services
Youth Services
Children
Young Adults
Special Collections
Technical Services
Acquisitions
Serials Management
Collection Development
Cataloging
System Automation
Archives management
Web Development/Maintenance
Special Collections
Administration
Genealogical Research

EMPLOYERS
Central libraries
Library branches
Library services to jails, retirement homes, nursing homes, hospitals, senior centers, etc.

STRATEGIES
Some librarians specialize in a particular subject area, such as government collections or technology, or a particular type of materials, such as maps or photography, or with a special population. Creativity, a flair for drama, and an enjoyment of children are important for those working in youth services. Courses in child development and psychology are helpful in this field. Develop a broad liberal arts background and earn a master's degree in library or information science from an ALA accredited program. Develop strong computer skills and learn to enjoy working with new technology.

AREAS
SPECIAL LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION CENTERS
Indexing/Abstracting
Competitor Intelligence
Strategic Information
Knowledge Management
Records Management/Archives
Information Architecture
Document Design
Information Management
Usability
Digital Preservation
E-mail Management
Hypermedia
Visual Resources
Reprography
Grey Literature
Antiquarian Books

EMPLOYERS
Large hospitals
Medical schools
Law firms
Law schools
Bar associations
Large corporations
Industrial and scientific collections
Research labs
Local, state and federal government agencies
Nonprofit organizations
Public libraries
Colleges and universities
Art schools
Museums and art institutions
Prisons
Galleries
Historical societies
Publishing houses
Advertising and public relations agencies
News organizations and electronic media
Picture services
Motion picture studios
Television stations
Trade and professional associations

STRATEGIES
Special collections librarians generally have interests, skills, and knowledge related to the collection and may work with a particular population in special libraries, e.g. lawyers or doctors. Most positions require a bachelor's degree in a field related to the collection topic, e.g. business, science, art, etc. Some require a graduate degree in the field. Many law librarians have a Juris Doctor (law degree). Knowledge of foreign languages may be required in certain fields. Develop skills in research and a solid background in information technologies.
Earn a master's degree in library or information science from an ALA accredited program.

AREAS
INFORMATION SERVICES
Research
Indexing/Abstracting
Online Retrieval
Information Architecture
Programming
Database Management

EMPLOYERS
Information service agencies
Outsourcing companies
Research centers
Large corporations
Self-employed
Consulting
Freelance editing
Research

STRATEGIES
Information services professionals provide research and services to corporations, writers or individuals needing information or references on a particular subject. Expertise in an industry or subject area may be helpful. Supplement undergraduate curriculum with courses in business to gain an understanding of marketing principles. Develop excellent research, writing and organizational skills.

AREAS
INFORMATION SYSTEMS/TECHNOLOGY
Design/Development
Management/Operation
Database Administration
Computer Support
Network Administration
Programming
Systems Analysis
Web Development/Maintenance
Training
Reprography
Information Architecture
Digital Preservation
Privacy Regulation

EMPLOYERS
Libraries
Public, academic and special
Data processing centers
Corporations
Research centers
Government
Universities

STRATEGIES
Professionals involved in information systems help organizations with the storage, retrieval, and management of records or information and support information technology in an organization. An undergraduate degree in management information systems (MIS) or computer science is the preferred background before earning a master's in information science. Build a strong computer background in programming skills using several languages, various operating systems, database management, software and networks. Increase employment opportunities through product-related certification or by earning Certified Computing Professional (CCP) status conferred by the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals. CCP's must pass an examination and meet various requirements. Gain related experience through internships, co-ops or part-time employment. Develop excellent written and oral communication skills. Learn to work well with both technical and non-technical staff.

AREAS
ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING

EMPLOYERS
Database producers
Distributors of electronic publications, e.g. business firms, universities, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, etc.
Electronic publishers
Self-employed

STRATEGIES
Electronic publishers or publishing professionals create and distribute publications in electronic form. Develop writing skills through classes in English, journalism or technical writing. Learn advanced website design and programming.

GENERAL INFORMATION Qualifications important to the field include the ability to work well with people, good written and oral communication skills, intelligence and curiosity, research and computer skills, an eye for detail and a general love of learning are also essential.

Understanding trends in media, computers/technology, Internet, and publishing is important to success in the profession.

Virtually any undergraduate degree can offer good preparation for ALA accredited graduate programs.

Maintain a high grade point average in undergraduate work and work on gaining strong recommendations from faculty.
Work in campus or community libraries part-time or during the summers to gain exposure to the library environment.

Supplement undergraduate curriculum with courses in communications, media, business or technology. Some areas of information or library sciences may require bachelor's or master's degrees related to the job environment.

Choose master's degree programs in library or information science that are accredited by the American Library Association to maximize employment opportunities.

Currently, most library science professionals work in school, public, and academic libraries, but employment opportunities are growing most for information specialists in settings such as corporations, consulting firms and information brokers and in environments involving Internet-based information.

A doctorate, either Ph.D. DLS, or DA may be required for research and university teaching in library and information science programs or to reach the highest levels of library administration.

 

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1998, Revised 2003, 2007) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer

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