Library and Information Science Master degrees attract those who are truly researchers at heart. Librarians are often mistaken for bookworms who merely sit behind a desk, shush people, and are proficient with the Dewey decimal system. This could not be further from the truth, especially in the digital age of information. Librarians hold one of the few jobs that actually require a master’s degree to even be considered for the position.
The degree goes by several names:
- Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)
- Master of Library Science (MLS)
- Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS)
Some programs merge a bachelor’s and a master’s into one program of study, but most Master of Library Science programs appreciate people from diverse undergraduate backgrounds.
When choosing between an online degree or a traditional brick-and-morter program, keep one important thing in mind: while being a librarian requires a master’s, being a library assistant, aid, or technician does not. Whether it be organizing resources, collecting journals and periodicals, or preparing materials so that they are easily accessible to the public, working as an assistant or technician will give you invaluable experience acclimating you to every aspect of the job.
Most librarian positions require previous work experience, so an online Master’s in Library Science is ideal, as it provides you the flexibility to work as an aid or technician while simultaneously getting your degree.
A librarian’s job is much more diverse than one would expect. They are not merely focused on organizing information. They are compassionate to the needs of the general public with whom they work. They may teach classes for people wanting to learn computer programs like Word or Excel. They might organize literacy initiatives for children and adults or provide story hour and reading sessions during after school or summer months. They are aware of the needs and developmental aspects of children and the elderly so as to direct families to the proper level of reading, or participate in therapeutic bibliotherapy.
Good librarians stay up to date with all types of research methods and tools, help people with technical issues encountered in their searches for material, and cultivate good relationships with local schools and partnering organizations. They are a jack-of-all-trades, skillful at organization, public relations, technology, and communication.
An online Master’s in Library and Information Sciences can be the perfect fit for those who want to combine their love of research, books, organization, and helping people. Find the best online program for you, in our article: “The 20 Best Master of Library and Information Science Degree Programs.”