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Online Master of Science in Library and Information Science Curriculum

Curriculum Details

36 total credits required

Throughout this curriculum accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), you will expand your knowledge and apply technical skills by building your professional portfolio, which will be built to meet eight program goals aligned with the eight ALA core competencies.

The online program consists of 36 credits of library science courses, including:

  • Core courses: 12 credit hours
  • Management course: 3 credit hours
  • Elective courses: 21 credit hours

Students may choose from one of four specializations. Read the specific courses below or click on a specialization title to learn more:

The optional 12-credit Advanced Certificates in Management for Information Professionals and the Social Justice in the Information Professions may be completed as part of the online Master of Science in Library and Information Science program with no additional coursework.

Core Courses

Theories, systems, and practices of information organization. Emphasis is on understanding the basic function of library catalogs, indexes, metadata, finding aids and internet search engines.
A survey of the field including theory and practice, historical trends/developments, computer-based and other information systems and societal concerns. Must be taken as one of the first two courses.
Scope, organization and evaluation of reference sources and services, with emphasis on information use and retrieval in a virtual environment and contemporary models of service delivery.
Social science research methods applicable to program evaluation and library and information science research; topics include research ethics, research design, literature reviews, data analysis, and reporting research to general and specialized users.

Management Required Course

This course will prepare information professionals to work effectively at the individual and organizational level by learning and applying management theories, techniques, and practices in any type of information setting. The course focuses on those management skills and competencies that information professionals require for managing their organizations, including, but not limited to, planning, organizing, leading, influencing, budgeting, and implementing change.

Academic Librarianship Specialization (Choose 4)

Theory and practice of user education with emphasis on developing information literacy programs. Standards, guidelines, instructional models, effective pedagogical techniques, collaboration, and assessment. Planning, delivering and evaluation of instruction.
Academic library administration, planning, staffing, and evaluation. The history of higher education and the college library in the U.S. The impact of demographic and social changes on the provision of service.
The contextual framework for digital libraries, including the creation, structure, access, and use of digital information. Analysis of digital library projects.
An information architecture approach to the design of web sites for large enterprises. Topics include information content, organization, labeling, navigation, searching, usability, and accessibility.
Survey/seminar on how LIS practitioners and researchers seek to understand user information needs/behaviors. Emphasis on theories of user needs and information use. Populations include children, business managers, attorneys, scientists, and university students.

Archival Studies Specialization (Choose 4)

An information architecture approach to the design of web sites for large enterprises. Topics include information content, organization, labeling, navigation, searching, usability, and accessibility.
Introduction to the theory and practice of oral history. Major topics include the ideological content of speech and storytelling, the role of class and ethnicity, the ethics of scholarly intrusion, and the use of technology.
Management of archives and manuscript repositories, including basic functions and skills required of an archivist or curator of manuscripts, as well as current issues and topics.

This course covers the history and principles of archival materials and examines the administrative decisions entailed in the management of an archival institution’s representation program.

Sources and services to assist patrons with genealogical research. Research methodology, conducting the reference interview, and the use and evaluation of print and electronic resources.

Public Librarianship Specialization (Choose 4)

Theory and practice of user education with emphasis on developing information literacy programs. Standards, guidelines, instructional models, effective pedagogical techniques, collaboration, and assessment. Planning, delivering and evaluation of instruction.
This online course is an exploration of the information needs, seeking, and use of library constituencies referred to collectively as “diverse populations”. Emphasis is on materials and services for diverse racial, ethnic, and linguistic groups, the aged, individuals with disabilities, and persons who cannot currently (or can no longer) read and/or write and/or access print or digitally-formatted information. This course covers needs assessment, resource evaluation, and program planning. This course will also discuss the “digital divide” and other barriers to information access. Other goals are to examine federal regulations and compliance issues, and to develop attitudes and techniques useful for information professionals to work effectively with diverse populations.
The objectives, organization, and services of the contemporary public library, including the ways in which they serve diverse communities and reach underserved populations. Field trips may be required.
An information architecture approach to the design of web sites for large enterprises. Topics include information content, organization, labeling, navigation, searching, usability, and accessibility.
Survey/seminar on how LIS practitioners and researchers seek to understand user information needs/behaviors. Emphasis on theories of user needs and information use. Populations include children, business managers, attorneys, scientists, and university students.
Sources and services to assist patrons with genealogical research. Research methodology, conducting the reference interview, and the use and evaluation of print and electronic resources.

Youth Services Specialization (Choose 4)

A survey of books and other materials for children, with emphasis on selection criteria, developing evaluation skills, familiarity with award-winning titles and book presentation. Requires fieldwork.
Materials and services for the young child (infant through preschool). Theories underlying services. Selection, analysis and presentation of books, and other appropriate materials. Requires fieldwork.
A survey of books and other materials for young adults, with emphasis on selection criteria, developing evaluation skills, familiarity with award-winning titles and book presentation. Requires fieldwork.
Serving children in the public library, with emphasis on user needs, storytelling and book talk skills, programming, information services, policies and guidelines, and maintaining collections. Requires fieldwork.
An exploration of contemporary, popular entertainment media oriented toward and accepted by adolescents, with emphasis on film, television, music, magazines, and the Internet.
Non-fiction and reference sources and services in school and public libraries as they relate to curriculum support and information literacy. Focus on the child as reference interview participant/learner.

Management for Information Professionals Certificate

This course will prepare information professionals to work effectively at the individual and organizational level by learning and applying management theories, techniques, and practices in any type of information setting. The course focuses on those management skills and competencies that information professionals require for managing their organizations, including, but not limited to, planning, organizing, leading, influencing, budgeting, and implementing change.
This course provides students with an overview of project management and guides them through many of project management tools and skills required in information organizations.
This course prepares students to design, implement, and evaluate marketing, communications, and advocacy plans in order to improve service experiences of information users.
The process and practice of facilitating the operation, sharing, acquisition and application of knowledge in an organization; dissemination according to needs and preferences of stakeholders.

Social Justice in the Information Professions Certificate

This online course is an exploration of the information needs, seeking, and use of library constituencies referred to collectively as “diverse populations”. Emphasis is on materials and services for diverse racial, ethnic, and linguistic groups, the aged, individuals with disabilities, and persons who cannot currently (or can no longer) read and/or write and/or access print or digitally-formatted information. This course covers needs assessment, resource evaluation, and program planning. This course will also discuss the “digital divide” and other barriers to information access. Other goals are to examine federal regulations and compliance issues, and to develop attitudes and techniques useful for information professionals to work effectively with diverse populations.
This course prepares students to work effectively at the individual and organizational level by learning and applying cultural competence knowledge, skills, and practices required in a culturally diverse environment. It is designed to develop cultural competency in decision-making, problem solving, and creating inclusive programs and services. It explores cultural competence expectations in organizations at the management, and consumer service levels. This course emphasizes the practical applications of cultural competency and how cultural competency affects information organizations.
Through individual exploration and online group discussion, this online graduate seminar focuses on social justice trends in the information sciences and professions. Covered topics include social justice theory, the history and philosophy of human rights, social activism in librarianship, and the relationship between information access and human development. Particular emphasis is placed on examining policy and information services (i.e., reference, cataloging, collection development, access to materials, public access computing, user studies, and evaluation), for traditionally under-served populations, including the physically challenged, the poor, senior citizens, citizens of developing countries, ethnic, religious, sexual, and linguistic minorities, etc.
This course emphasizes access to the authoritative information as a social justice issue and utilizes a social justice perspective to explore the evolution of fake news, misinformation, and conspiracy theories and their implications in contemporary society. Students will examine cognitive factors and emotional filters through which people process information. The course equips students with the necessary skills, strategies, and resources to address fake news, misinformation, and conspiracy theories, and their implications for public health, civic engagement, and overall well-being in an information society.

Additional Courses

Philosophy and methods of managing collections in physical and virtual libraries, with emphasis on assessing and meeting information needs. May include service learning requirement.
Metadata applications in a variety of information environments, libraries, archives, museums and information centers. Major metadata schemes, encoding standards, and structures.
The fundamental concepts and issues of database management systems. Topics include entity and relationship modeling, SQL, relational database design, data integrity, and XML.
Through individual exploration and online group discussion, this online graduate seminar focuses on social justice trends in the information sciences and professions. Covered topics include social justice theory, the history and philosophy of human rights, social activism in librarianship, and the relationship between information access and human development. Particular emphasis is placed on examining policy and information services (i.e., reference, cataloging, collection development, access to materials, public access computing, user studies, and evaluation), for traditionally under-served populations, including the physically challenged, the poor, senior citizens, citizens of developing countries, ethnic, religious, sexual, and linguistic minorities, etc.

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