Library and Information Studies

What is Library and Information Studies?

Those who work in Library and Information Studies bring together information in all its cultural forms with the people who need or want it. Most of the time, this process occurs in a library setting. However, students can also choose to focus on areas that prepare them to develop, manage, use and evaluate information technologies in a wide range of settings, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, or businesses. The American Library Association website is a good place to begin for anyone interested in careers in Library and Information Studies.

Choosing a Program

Each program has its own area of expertise, so always contact the schools you are thinking about applying to so that you can see what their programs have to offer. When looking at schools, consider these items: future career plans, interest in various specializations, geographic mobility, distance learning opportunities, and financial resources.

The American Library Association website has a nice section on Library Science Master’s Degree.

Preparation and Criteria for Admission

If you are thinking about applying for entrance into a Library and Information Studies Program, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself to meet the necessary criteria.

Preparatory items:

  • 90 credits in Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Strong specialization in a major discipline (science, history, literature), applied science (engineering, computer science, business administration), or a profession (law, education)
  • Advanced foreign language skills may be necessary for certain areas of information work, so be certain to check into this early on to make sure you have the necessary skills
  • Competencies in the use of computers is helpful – word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, database management
  • Work in some kind of a library setting is useful

Criterion for admission:

  • 3 letters of recommendation: 2 of the 3 must be academic references
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • May need to take the GRE depending on the program
  • Statement of educational and professional objectives