Masters in Library Science Degrees

Many ALA-accredited programs are offered online. A Master of Library Science is commonly referred to as a MLS or MLIS degree. MLS stands for Master of Library Science. MLIS stands for Master of Library and Information Science.

With advancements in technology, librarianship has become much different in the 21st century. Most categorization and organization is digital. More media is inventoried and archived. There are thousands more data points that are also categorized.

This is where the MLS or MLIS degree comes into play. Students are trained in categorization and archiving academic and non-academic work. Here are common concentration or specializations for many MLS degrees:

  • Archival studies
  • Informatics
  • Library studies
  • Media archival studies
    • Digital curation
    • Digital media
    • Information architecture
    • Law librarian

      If you are interested in librarianship, you need to know what kind of libraries and the work you would like to do. Typical divisions are school, public, academic, and special libraries. An undergraduate degree in any major and particularly a Bachelor of Library Science is typically a requirement for most Library Science Masters degrees.

      Majoring in education would be useful for those who want to be school librarians. An undergraduate music degree would be useful to someone who wants to be a special librarian in music. English and mass communication undergraduate degrees are helpful for reference librarians, and so on.

      Why Consider a Master of Library Science Degree?

      The Master of Library and Information Studies is required for most United States professional librarian positions. An older, common degree is the Master of Library Science. The American Library Association has various other names for the degree.

      ALA Accredited Masters in Library Science

      Affordable Online Masters in Library Science Degrees

      A career in library science may be the ideal fit for an intellectually curious person seeking a rewarding community-centered career. The programs listed here are among the most affordable online Masters in Library Science. Students receive training in information technology, research methods, digital literacy, information organization, resource management, and much more.

      University of Denver Master of Library and Information Science

      Denver's Morgridge College of Education offers an ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science program online. Students gain service-based skills required to connect communities and information in a digital age. There is no GRE required. The curriculum emphasizes the field's latest technologies and reflective educational practices. Students are effectively prepared to deliver communities with learning resources in the information era. The program takes 21 months to complete. Students participate in small online classes that encourage close relationships and collaboration. They have one-on-one opportunities to work with supportive Morgridge faculty.

      Syracuse University - School of Information Studies

      This online MS in Library and Information Science program takes 18 months to complete. It includes an opportunity to specialize in School Media. The GRE can be waived. Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree to apply. The program prepares students to help communities access, use, and understand information and resources. Through the online program, they learn to be effective specialists in information settings that include media, corporate, and academic libraries, nonprofits, and digital archives. Live online classes are taught by expert faculty. It is self-paced coursework with hands-on experience in the community.

      University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Master of Library and Information Science

      Earn a Master of Library and Information Science that prepares you for a range of careers that are focused on information services. The online program conforms to ALA standards. The university offers concentrations within the major that include Public Library, Information Technology, Information Technology, Information Organization, and Archival Studies. Students can tailor studies to meet their career goals by specializing in special libraries, information law, digital libraries, academic libraries, and others. Students complete 36 credits with a minimum of 30 coming from library and information courses. There is a research methods course that concludes the program.

      Valdosta State University

      The world of libraries is changing in the information age. This university's program helps stay on the cutting edge. Students gain experience to serve as special, public, and academic librarians. The program is completely online. It is a 39-credit program that does not require a thesis. It exposes students to technical knowledge of library systems, services in the knowledge society, finding resources for clients, and information administration. Students complete coursework in research methods, cataloging and classification, library management, and library and information science. At the end of the studies a capstone course is taken. The program is ALA-accredited.

      University of Kentucky Master's in Library Science

      Gain skills as an information specialist by earning a Master's in Library Science. Students design the degree to fit career goals, whether considering a librarian career or wanting to take a career to the next level in health sciences, school academic, and public settings. The program is entirely in an asynchronous format that allows for maximum schedule flexibility. The 36-credit-hour program includes four required courses in library science management, information representation, and information seeking and retrieval. Students build an understanding of technology through the information technology requirement before taking the elective component of the program. There are also opportunities for independent study abroad, and practicum experiences.

      Typical Coursework for the Master of Library Science

      The following are the typical courses in a Master of Library Science degree program.

      Cataloging and Classification of Materials – MARC (Machine-readable cataloging)

      formats, Dewey decimal classification, and the Library of Congress subject headings are the focus of this class. Major concepts in the role and use of technology, historical overviews or prominent figures and trends, and classification and cataloging are in the coursework. Current classification and cataloging topics are included in the program. Students usually perform hands-on work that allows them to gain an understanding of tools, rules, and practices of cataloging. They apply the knowledge to perform basic copy cataloging and decode MARC bibliographic records.

      Children’s Literature and Library Materials

      Students who want to serve the educational and entertainment needs of children take this course. It involves the survey of trends, themes, and major writers suitable for different age groups. The course includes strategies to reach out to people of appropriate age, literacy criticism and development of audiovisual materials. Typical children’s literature courses cover various genres. Students read selected works and write analytic papers about them. Some courses emphasize aspects of children’s literature, such as style, format, and composition.

      Collection Development

      Students learn about concepts needed to maintain and build library material collections. It introduces various collection development tools and techniques for managing electronic, print collections, and audiovisual media collections. Other topics that may be discussed are challenged materials, working collaboratively, and budgeting. At the end of the course, students can describe the responsibilities, required skills, and competency of a Collection Development Manager; list collection development policy elements; write a policy for collection development; explain collections analysis; develop a plan to increase activities in the areas.

      Foundations in Information Technology for Libraries

      Some programs require this course to be taken. The technologies librarians are likely to encounter are discussed in the coursework. Students complete projects that require budgeting, planning, implementing, measuring, and evaluating various technologies. Topic areas covered include telecommunications, internet technology, computer troubleshooting and networking, and social media networking. The course is useful in learning about data security, system analysis, database design, and computer programing.

      Information Sources and Services

      The objectives of the course are to acquaint students with and increase their knowledge of reference tools that are fundamental in answering typical questions in information centers and libraries. They are introduced to the procedures and techniques for critical reference material evaluation. Students are introduced to standard techniques used to solve information questions. They become acquainted with communication skills and helping relation concepts in information retrieval and reference work. Students are exposed to the fundamental concepts in reference and information services, including that of electronic information delivery. They are introduced to the basic procedures of planning, evaluating, and managing reference services.

      Young Adult Literature and Library Materials

      Students in school media or public library tracks may have to take this course as a requirement. Lessons focus on collection development and historical overviews of audiovisual, online, electronic, and print materials that meet the recreational and educational needs of adolescents. Along with outreach services, topics discussed include genres, authors, and major trends in young adult literature. Students develop an appreciation and awareness for the need of young adult literature in libraries and the many genres of multimedia and literature available.

      Managing a Library

      The course offers individuals the opportunity to learn a variety of skills needed by librarians in the school systems of today. It provides opportunities to gain the needed understanding and skills required to be a successful manager of a modern library. Topics include grant writing, marketing, managing infrastructure, strategic planning, identifying community needs, personnel diversity, and budgeting and finance. Various assessment tools are used to understand a communities desires and synthesize them into a plan.

      Library Administration

      The course emphasizes the development of a program, planning cycle, evaluation, budget process, and services for diverse constituencies. It examines the effects of the district, state, and national policies on library programs. Students learn to understand the needs and wants of a community through assessment tools and can synthesize them into a plan. They are taught fiscal stewardship through financial practices, long-term planning, and budgeting. Students gain the information needed to plan for technology, utilities, infrastructure, maintenance, and related expenses. They learn to manage a workforce through hiring, evaluation, diversity practices, and other personnel issues. Students learn to expand the impact of a library by writing effective grants and crowdfunding efforts.

      Politics and Partnerships

      The learning objectives of the course are to allow students to gain an understanding of the strategies for planning successful political action that includes understanding the culture and demography of a local service area. It identifies key decision-making players at all political effectiveness levels. Students develop skills in building coalitions. They learn to discern how decisions are made on the local level. Students develop political advocacy skills.

      They learn about the impact and process of political campaigning and polling. Students develop team planning skills with regional Commissions and Boards. They develop skills in effectively handling the media, compromises, and negotiation. Students understand and develop the role of lobbyists and how to effectively use them at the federal, state, and local levels. They earn to assess current political issues, including the role of editorial boards and newspaper editors. Students develop political skills in working with community leaders and support groups.

      They learn to develop the recruitment, tactics, and legal issues of developing support groups. Students become knowledgeable of legal and governance structures of Commissions, Boards, and support groups. They prepare useful educational materials that assist others with assessing and understanding the political process. Students become knowledgeable of local, state, and federal resolutions, ordinances, and statutes that impact local decision-making. They outline recommendations for action plans.

      List of the Top Online Master of Library Science Programs

      University Degree Program Location

      Catholic University of America

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Dominican University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Dominican University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Drexel University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Drexel University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Emporia State University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Florida State University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Florida State University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Indiana University - Bloomington

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Kent State University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Kent State University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      North Carolina Central University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      North Carolina Central University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      San Jose State University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Simmons University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Simmons University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Syracuse University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Texas Woman's University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      Texas Woman's University

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Alabama

      Master of Library and Information Studies Online

      University of California - Los Angeles

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Maryland

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Maryland

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Missouri

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Missouri

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Washington

      Online Masters in Library Science Online

      University of Washington

      Online Masters in Library Science Online