Digital Library Science Degrees

A digital collection, repository, or library is an online objects database that may include video, audio, still images, text, and other digital media formats.

Content, like digitized photographs and prints, and digital content that is originally produced, like social media posts, or word processor files, make up the objects. Digital libraries also provide a means for searching, retrieving, and organizing the content of a collection. They vary in scope and size. Organizations or individuals can maintain digital libraries.

What Can You Do With a Degree?

The content may be accessed remotely through computers or stored locally. Information retrieval systems can exchange information through sustainability and interoperability with each other. Two types of digital libraries are institutional repositories and digital archives.

Many academic libraries are involved in building repositories of the institution's theses, papers, and books, and other digitizable or born-digital works. With few restrictions, the repositories are available to the public. Archives differ from libraries in the materials they hold.

The journals and books in a library are not unique. Multiple copies exist. The material in manuscript and archive libraries are exclusive records of the papers of families, individuals, and records of corporate bodies.

What Is this Program Area?

Digital librarianship involves information systems and computer science as students prepare to work with audiobooks, e-books, and other online resources. The specialization focuses on the operation and design of digital libraries from a perspective that is socio-technical.

An information environment internship may be required. Students continue to hone their expertise as digital library specialists by their choice of electives that include courses in web programming, indexing, human-computer interaction, and information architecture for the internet.

Digital services are an area of growth for librarians and other institutions of information science. Students who specialize in digital libraries become architects of information exchange. They explore how new technologies can share information and how to preserve cultural materials.

The degree can provide the experience and knowledge to help launch a career to take a student to the next level at a range of organizations and businesses in the private and public sectors. Full-time and part-time programs are available. The program can be completed anywhere with an internet connection, whenever the time fits the student's schedule. The programs are designed for working professionals in mind.

Are There Online Programs?

The term 'digital library' has various meanings, including digitized collections of material found in traditional libraries, or collections of digital information, and related accessibility and usability services. The programs have opportunities beyond formal coursework, including industry exposure, hands-on library learning, and one-on-one faculty interaction. The curriculum is meant to engage and challenge while remaining convenient for working professionals.

Graduates are prepared to be technologically focused and socially engaged information professionals who are ready to innovate, create, and educate. It is a professional degree providing students with a comprehensive basis in practice and research in the library and information science. The foundation prepares students for a government agency, archive, museums, library, or startup careers. Students from a variety of career and academic backgrounds enroll in the program. They have many opportunities to combine the study of new digital media forms and identify with analytical and creative practices that utilize digital media and the application of computational techniques and tools to traditional humanistic areas of study. While it is often applied or hands-on, the program encourages and demands work that is experimental, theoretical, and critical.

Sample Universities with this Online Program

The following are top online schools for digital librarianship.

Syracuse University – The University is an ALA-accredited school that provides flexibility in the kinds of jobs and libraries that students can apply and enhance their career mobility.

University of Texas – Austin – Supports digital scholarship with a staff that helps students think through every aspect of digital projects. The University has liaisons who are experts in research and publication methods in their areas. They have experts who provide information advice on the best practices for managing data and about resources available at UT. Infrastructure support for preservation and dissemination through their online archive, Texas ScholarWorks, is provided.

Drexel University – Drexel’s online ALA-accredited Master in Library & Information Science programs is a leader in the digital information management industry. The Digital Librarianship program received top national recognition. It is an innovative curriculum with a focus on teaching career skills and a strong technical background in all information management aspects. The program is taught by Drexel University’s College of Computing and Information distinguished faculty.

University of Maryland – College Park – The College of Information Studies is a leader in the library and information science field education. It offers prominent programs that are a combination of responsive coursework, a faculty of professional leaders and noted scholars, and opportunities only available within this area, making a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Maryland an excellent career starting point. The commitment to the success of students’ careers is reflected in the strong rate of graduate placement with full-time jobs in the profession. The Digital Librarianship specialization program ranks Number 8 in the nation.

Typical Coursework for this Degree

Information Environments – Function and role of organizaions information. Informational prespective guiding organizational culture and structure, communication strategies, and decision making. Informational impact on organizational and individual life, such as ethics and privacy.

Information Technology and Organizational Context – Applications of information and communication technologies to support work processes that inclue systems analysis, interactive systems decision support systems, computer-supported collaborative work, and technology-enhanced communication networks. Acquiring information systems and integrating them into the organization.

Users and Use Control – Individuals’ use of information. Nature of information, mental models, and information behavior. Characteristics of decison making, problems, problem-solving, and task analysis. Information access. Information technology as a tool in using information.

Management of Information Programs and Services – Administration of information projects, services, and programs including the four areas of management: the plan, organization, leadership, and control. Case studies in all areas cover goals, vision, developing a mission, and leadership information programs and management; professional ethical and conduct issues; global information management; and managing professionals. A hands-on information management project is administered.

Introduction to Strategic Information Management – Information resourses are no longer just back-office process enablers. They can have strategic importance to an enterprise. The course provides an introduction to strategic information resources management to ready students for the challenges of the environment. It specifically covers practices, principles, and concepts to information resource formulating, implementing, monitoring, and controlling.

Specific Scholarships

Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship -A $3000 scholarship granted each year to students who plan to follow a library technology field career. Eligible students demonstrate leadership potential, have earned less than 13 graduate credits, exhibit an economic need, possess experience in library work, and maintain academic excellence.

Peter Lyman Memorial Scholarship The scholarship presents a $2500 award through the ALA to graduates who apply for admission in a formal library and information Master’s degree program. Eligible candidates must be enrolled in an ALA-accredited school, have United States or Canadian citizenship, completed less than 13 graduate credits, pursue a new media specialty area, possess leadership qualities, and demonstrate excellence academically.

Rev. Andrew L. Bouwhuis Memorial Scholarship – As part of the Catholic Library Association, the $1500 scholarship is granted to promising young students each year who intend to foster their talents in a graduate library science program to earn a Master’s degree that is ALA-accreded. Selection is based on career objectives, involvement in library work, leadership abilities, admission into a graduate school, evidence of financial need, collegiate academic record, and potential for professional success.

Top Organizations to Know

The Digital Public Library of America empowers people to contribute to a better-functioning and diverse society as they learn and grow. DPLA connects people to America’s riches held in museums, archives, libraries, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials – government documents, artwork, museum objects, personal letters, oral history, news footage, maps, books, photographs, and much more are immediately available and free in digital format. The cultural institutions that participate in DPLA represent the diversity and richness of America from the largest cultural institutions in the nation to the smallest local museum of history.

Special Libraries Association offers members professional development opportunities. Members participate in the library symposium, certificate programs, online learning programs, and the annual conference to learn skills crucial to career success and job satisfaction. Members can continue to improve their value as information professionals. There is a student chapter that facilitates communication between professionals and students while having fun. The Special Libraries Association is the only Information Professionals global organization. It represents more than 12,000 members in more than 80 countries.

Career Options with this Degree

As various collections and libraries migrate material, and more information is made available to the public, the digital librarian need continues to grow. Candidates may inquire at any institution that maintains information and records to share with the public, such as museums, art galleries, and local public libraries. Financial services firms and banks proactively seek digital librarians for the task of archiving information for historical purposes. Internet job banks include positions for digital librarians and archivists.