M.S. in Library and Information Science: Special Librarianship Specialization

Become an information resource expert and manage the special collection of any organization.

Today's special librarians do far more than locate and collect data for clients. Using the latest technologies, they evaluate, analyze, organize, and present information in a way that maximizes its value.

The curriculum for this specialization was guided by the Special Libraries Association, so you can enter the field knowing you are equipped with a relevant and comprehensive set of skills.

Career Outlook: In-Demand Across Industries

Corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations of all kinds need special librarians to support their goals by administering niche collections of information. Wherever you go, you are uniquely positioned to provide vital support in information organization and accessibility. Overall, the job outlook for librarians is projected to grow nine percent from 2016 to 2026.

Career Spotlight: Special Librarian

As a special librarian, you manage any dynamic collection of information in support of organizational goals, in settings ranging from specialized corporate libraries to the archival collections of museums. The average salary for special librarians is $52,326, and you could earn up to $81,639.2


Curriculum: Improve Access to Any Collection of Information

This 36-credit-hour program consists of 12 core credits, three management credits, and 21 specialization credits. Through 12 courses, the Special Librarianship curriculum prepares you to take on the challenges of managing any special collection—from database modeling and design to using metadata to improve information accessibility.

Students choose four of the following specialization courses:

  • LIS 232: Special Libraries and Information Centers
  • LIS 237: Metadata for Information Professionals
  • LIS 245: Special Collections Librarianship and History of the Books: Principles and Practices
  • LIS 248: Database Modeling and Design
  • LIS 282: Knowledge Management in Information Organizations
  • LIS 262: Project Management in Information Organizations


Specialization Outcomes

  • Organize recorded knowledge and information using the systems of cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods.
  • Learn about the use of metadata in the library, archival, museum, information center, and internet communities, including the use of metadata schemas in HTML/XHTML, XML, and RDF/XML formats.
  • Understand the concepts and issues related to the lifecycle of recorded knowledge and information, from creation through various stages of use.
  • Manage day-to-day planning, budgeting, team management, and human resources in libraries and other information agencies.
  • Examine concepts and methods involved in the acquisition and disposition of resources, and the management, preservation, and maintenance of collections.
  • Analyze complex problems, create appropriate solutions, and communicate them effectively in verbal and written format.

More Specialization Options

Learn More

Specialize in special librarianship and go beyond the responsibilities of a traditional librarian with an online Master of Science in Library and Information Science from St. John's University. Contact us at 844-393-1677 or request more information today!


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017, May). "Occupational Outlook Handbook: Librarians." Retrieved January 4, 2019, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm
  2. Payscale (2019, January). "Average Librarian, Special Library Salary." Retrieved January 4, 2019, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Librarian%2C_Special_Library/Salary