The Master of Library Science, also known as the Master of Information Science, is the bachelor's degree required for many professional librarian roles in the U.S. and Canada. This bachelor's degree can be obtained online or at an accredited university in the U.S. or Canada and is one of the first two years of a four year degree program for library professionals. Many master's degrees in information science and librarianship are completed over four years and involve a combination of online study and on-campus studies.
The online master's program requires less than two years of full time study, however students will not receive their degrees from an accredited university. Some students choose this method of receiving their bachelor's degree, while others prefer a traditional on-campus program. Both methods of receiving this degree offer the same Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, and students will take the MLIS as a separate major. MLIS is considered a specialized area of study and is not commonly used by employers seeking a generalist librarian for a position at a university or library.
An applicant to the MLIS must complete a generalist bachelor's degree with an emphasis in the discipline of libraries. Students may elect to enroll in a specialization in the areas of computer information systems or information sciences. After students have completed a Bachelors degree, they will be able to begin working towards the MLIS, which will give students more than enough preparation to start their career as a librarian. Students who want to pursue a doctoral degree in libraries may also consider pursuing the MLIS after completing their bachelor's degree.
Programs in this field can be taken in a variety of settings, including universities, colleges, community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, vocational academies, vocational centers, vocational universities, and online training programs. Some schools and colleges offer online programs, while many universities and community colleges offer on-campus training programs, as well.
There are a number of reasons why an individual may choose to get their bachelor's degree through a university or vocational school. Some of these reasons include the flexibility of being able to take courses at a convenient time and location, being able to earn their degree in the field of their choice and earn a certificate at the same time, and the opportunity to work toward advancing their degree while they are still earning employment. These options are available for those who have a full-time job and who desire to further their degree. For those who are unemployed, there is no problem obtaining their bachelor's degree with a university training program.
A master's degree can be obtained by earning . . . . . . a Master of Science (MS) in Library Science through an accredited university or a college, or it can be earned through a bachelor's degree program through a community college or other type of institution. In either case, students will need to meet specific requirements and pass tests in order to advance their academic programs. Some institutions require students to take courses in mathematics, chemistry, reading, science, humanities, computer science and more.