Your Master's of Library and Information Science degree is one of the most versatile, preparing you for a number of careers in the INFORMATION INDUSTRY where connecting information and knowledge to human users is the focus. Here are just some of the examples of professional paths that will open up to you with your MLIS degree:
PUBLIC LIBRARIES: You will meet your most diverse array of information users as you assist in meeting the recreational, economic, occupational, and educational information needs of entire communities. You may choose to center on the information needs of individuals generally, or on the needs of specific groups by age (such as children, youth, adults), circumstances (such as illiteracy, special needs), or subject interest (such as business, local history, and government information).
SCHOOL AND ACADEMIC LIBRARIES: You will connect information services support to diverse curricula in the K-12 environment or to scholarly research in the college environment. School library media specialists in elementary and secondary schools create collections, provide information on literacy education, and collaborate with teachers to foster a wide range of learning opportunities for students. Librarians and information specialists in academic and research libraries focus on the curricular and research information needs of students and faculty at the college and university level. Instruction in the use of bibliographic and electronic tools has become a critical part of academic librarianship at all levels.
MANAGERS: Every information organization requires managers skilled in up-to-date applications of information technologies. You will pay particular attention to the theory and practice of administration; issues relating to human resource management; legal, political, professional, social, and community contexts of information organizations; the applications and evaluation of technology; and the components of responsible financial management.
TECHNICAL AND AUTOMATIED SERVICES: You will provide essential support for information users in the forms of catalogs and indexes; electronic data retrieval systems; and automated acquisitions and ordering processes. You will learn to capture information in multiple formats, and to mine the Internet and its worldwide extensions for the right information for the right purpose. These skills touch on the technical and the conceptual, with significant implications for information users in libraries, homes, and workplaces.
INFORMATION BROKERS, ENTREPRENEURS, LIBRARY PLANNING AND TECHNOLOGY CONSULTANTS, RESEARCHERS, and EVALUATORS: In addition to libraries and other information centers, your skills will be called upon at corporations, in government, and at specialized nonprofit entities. Every organization requires information retrieval and analysis, database development, the analysis of archival collections, and advice on information and documentation formats. You can also find specialized training in information skills for business information, marketing, finance, and administration.
In sum, you will design, organize, produce, and retrieve information in systems for people.
In all applied areas of library and information science, you will wield information technology in all of its forms, and make critical decisions on information in new formats as well as forms of information that have not yet appeared. Your world remains a stimulating and exciting world of books and journals, to be sure; with equal assurance it is also a promising and engaging world of computers, electronic information retrieval, telecommunications, digital images, multimedia, the Internet, the World Wide Web, and whatever expansive technology may be emerging in the future.
Your careful consideration of your own career goals will help you to make appropriate course choices, in consultation with your academic advisor. But no matter your focus, your professional life will demand careful inquiry and critical thinking about information and the changing lives and needs of information users.
For other information about library and information science careers, you can also visit these websites:
- Become A Librarian
- Careers in Libraries from the American Library Association
- Law Librarianship from the American Association of Law Libraries
- Medical Libraries Association Careers
- School Librarianship from the American Association of School Librarians
- Special Libraries Association Career Center
- Placements and salary information
- General career information for LIS from our 501/Intro course (click on "The LIS Field" in the left column)
Finding a Job
Here are some great resources to help you as you look for a job:
The site includes a searchable database of hundreds of jobs and information about accessing the Rutgers/MonsterTrak database of jobs. The site also has links to dozens of other job posting and career advising sites. Employers looking to hire may post their jobs directly to the SCI Placement site
SCI students seeking help with job placement and career development are urged to make an appointment for individual and group counseling, including help with resume writing, interview preparation, and search strategies.
This wiki contains some checklists, guidelines, tips and tricks for how to get a library job. Questions candidates should ask are also listed.
NJHire is the New Jersey's Department of Education FREE education recruitment website. Here you will be able to access listings for jobs at NJ public schools, post your resume, and find tons of other helpful resources.