The top career in Library Science opportunities includes information and library science jobs beyond just working as a librarian. The phrase information and library sciences usually make us think of librarians. However, there are many library science jobs for information and library science majors beyond just working as a librarian.
Library and information science is a fulfilling field often chosen by individuals excited about making positive changes in the world. In fact, a recent survey indicated that 85 percent of the people who chose this career would do so again if given the opportunity. Regardless of where an individual’s interest may lay, there is a career opportunity to be found. Here are five possible library science careers available to information and library science majors.
Information and Library Science Majors Career Opportunities
- Children’s Librarian
- Information Architect
- Archives and Special Collection Librarian
- Competitive Intelligence Analyst
- Electronic Resource Librarian
What Jobs Can You Do with a Library and Information Sciences Degree?
Library sciences and information sciences jobs with a master’s degree can be found in many different settings, including academic libraries, public libraries, corporate libraries, government libraries, archives, and other organizations that require the services of a librarian or information specialist.
Library Science Careers
Most librarian positions involve collecting, organizing, and managing information and resources. Other duties involve providing library services and research assistance to library patrons and using digital technologies to provide access to library materials.
1. Children’s Librarian
This library science job is ideal for individuals interested in information and library sciences and those who enjoy spending time with children. It’s a well-known fact that children’s librarians usually love their jobs.
Working at a public library as a children’s librarian can be rewarding on its own. But it is also a great stepping stone for a higher-level career in this field, particularly for candidates with an LIS degree at the graduate level. Children’s librarians read to children, help them find appropriate reading materials, and coordinate children’s programs to help children enjoy reading and learning.
2. Information Architect
An information architect’s job is to make information appealing and accessible to readers and viewers. This might include graphic designs, written format, technical writing, or web development. Information architects generally work on digital landscapes. They use their knowledge of development tools like CSS and HTML to design specific presentations on a website or page. And information architecture professionals need a solid foundation in LIS and information technology.
They may also work on digital blueprints demonstrating goals for a specific project and construct digital presentations. Information architects may work for a specific department or many departments within an organization.
3. Archives and Special Collection Librarian
An archive and special collection librarian is an individual who oversees records and collections of enduring value. They must have the knowledge and solid understanding of the historical context in which certain items were created, their intended purpose, and how they relate to other sources. Many in this field study library science.
Archives and special collection librarians establish and maintain intellectual and physical control of pictures, graphics, texts, and records that have specific value because of their age. They analyze the items, catalog them and arrange them based on the facility’s standards and protocol. They are also responsible for ensuring that things are secure and not getting lost or stolen.
4. Competitive Intelligence Analyst
Competitive intelligence analysts are professionals who analyze products, determine their value, and investigate to determine the value of a competitor’s items. In a library setting, this individual might appraise the value of the archived articles in their library. Or they may use data analysis to research what type of archived items are held by competitors and how much the items are worth.
Using programs like SAS and Python, they also develop analytical tools to track the process of their and the competitor’s products and report the findings to management. Competitive intelligence analysts often choose to work in research.
5. Electronic Resource Librarians
An Electronic Resource Librarian is another of the many career opportunities with a LIS degree. These professionals oversee the life cycle of electronic resources, such as streaming video, e-books, databases, serial media, and other electronic data. In the case of serials, the electronic resource librarian is in charge of ordering, receiving, and maintaining them in both electronic and print formats.
They are also in charge of hiring, training, and supervising the staff. This individual also troubleshoots electronic resources and provides appropriate technical support. They work with vendors, maintain authentication protocols, customize and update electronic resource interfaces and work with publishers.
What is Information and Library Science?
Information and Library Science (ILS) is the study of how to collect, store, manage, and make accessible information in a variety of formats, including digital, print, and audio-visual. It focuses on acquiring, organizing, storing, retrieving, and disseminating information to give users the necessary information.
ILS uses technological tools and resources to facilitate information storage, retrieval, and access. It also encompasses the study of library and information services, such as cataloging, reference, user education, and cataloging standards.
Why Pursue a Career in Library Science?
This field provides job security that many other professions cannot match. In addition, libraries are often seen as pillars of the community, governments, schools, and corporations. They all rely on them for information and resources. As such, qualified librarians are in demand as libraries look to expand and improve their services.
A career in LIS can take many different paths. Librarians can specialize in a particular field, such as children’s literature, or take on various roles, such as managing a library, teaching classes, or developing new technologies. So, library workers stay on top of the latest information and technologies. As a result, librarians have access to a wealth of knowledge and can remain on the cutting edge of their field.
Personal Satisfaction is another factor. Working in a library is a rewarding experience. Librarians can make a difference in the lives of those they serve. They help people of all ages find the resources and information they need and, in doing so, help to make the world a better place.
Other Information Professions
In addition to working as a professional librarian, there are many other roles. Graduates can pursue positions and other career paths in a specialized area or similar field. They can work for public libraries, government agencies, and private libraries.
- Chief Information Officer (CIO)
- Associate Professor
- Program Director
- Media Collections Specialists
- Instruction Librarian
- Metadata Librarian
- Public Librarians
- Digital Archivist / Archives Management
- Library Technician
- Digital Preservation
- Law Librarian
Library Science Job Outlook
The career outlook for library science is positive, and the field is expected to grow over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that job opportunities for these professionals will increase by 6% between 2021 and 2031. This rate is slightly higher than the average rate of growth across all occupations (4%).
As technology evolves, library science professionals with library science knowledge and tech skills are increasingly crucial to help libraries provide access to digital content. Additionally, the growing demand for access to information and resources will likely drive the need for librarians to create and manage digital collections.
Other library science-related roles are also expected to grow in demand. These include library technicians, library assistants, library media specialists, and library and information science professionals. Overall, career prospects remain strong, and the field is expected to grow over the next decade.
Master’s Degree in Library Science
The most popular library science program is at the graduate level. A graduate library science degree focuses on library and information science principles and practices. These library science programs teach students the knowledge and skills to become practical librarians and technicians.
Coursework typically covers library management, cataloging, information systems, information organization, and digital libraries. Graduates from ALA accredited library programs may pursue careers as librarians in various settings and organizations. Some paths include public libraries, school libraries, and corporate and non-profit organizations.
How to Advance Your Career in Library Science
A master’s degree in library science can open opportunities for career advancement. A Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree can help you gain the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a leadership role.
Graduates develop specialized knowledge in a particular library type. Some of these include academic libraries, public libraries, and school libraries. You can also specialize in a specific material, such as rare books or archives.
Take on more responsibility and Become a technology expert. Technology is increasingly important in libraries, so staying up-to-date on the latest trends and software is essential. Volunteer to take on additional responsibilities, such as leading a project or organizing an event.
Attend professional conferences and workshops to meet other professionals in the field. Make sure to exchange business cards and stay in touch with your contacts. Join professional organizations. Joining library or information science professional organizations such as the American Library Association (ALA) can help you stay informed about the latest developments in the field and give you access to valuable networking opportunities.
Library Science Certifications and Licensure
Library Science certifications and licensure vary by state, country, and library type. For example, some states require public and school librarians to have a master’s degree in Library Science or a related field and to have passed a state-administered exam.
Library paraprofessionals must also have a license or certification in some states, such as California. In addition to state-issued credentials, several voluntary certifications are available from professional organizations, such as the American Library Association (ALA), ALA’s Certification Subcommittee, and the Special Library Association (SLA).
The ALA certification is available for public library directors, school library media specialists, and academic library directors. The SLA certification is available for special librarians and information professionals. In addition, some countries, such as the United Kingdom, require librarians to be registered with a professional body.
The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) is responsible for setting professional standards and writing qualified library professionals in the UK. In addition to state and national certifications and licensure, many employers require or prefer library professionals to have specific skills or knowledge related to their particular library.
In addition to the various career opportunities for information and library science majors, there are also organizations graduates and interested individuals can join, such as the Association for Library and Information Science Education. The ALISE offers tons of information on library science education programs, job opportunities, research data, and various ways members can network.
- American Library Association (ALA)
- Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)
- Special Libraries Association (SLA)
- American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)
- Medical Library Association (MLA)
There are various types of librarians and library positions. Some librarians work with the general public and help patrons find books or reference materials. Others work with special populations like young adults or special collections. Job duties include managing books, organizing information, and independent research. Additionally, librarian positions require many specialized skills like problem solving skills and community engagement.
An information science degree studies emerging trends in information resources and research methodology. Information management offers a wide array of career opportunities and many positions are in high demand. A graduate degree can increase your career options and your median annual salary. Most master’s programs take two years to complete and create a career path for advanced roles and a higher average salary!
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