Fall Term of Entry only.

Information professionals are the human interface that connect people, information, and technology. They play a leadership role in the identification, organization, preservation, and effective use of information and cultural artifacts. The work of information professionals is essential to the public good because it supports equitable access to information for all and helps to ensure and informed society and vibrant democracy. While information professionals traditionally have worked in cultural heritage institutions such as libraries, their skills are now needed in all sectors of society. Now more than ever, the world needs highly qualified specialists in libraries and information services.

Program of Study

Students interested in this Pathway will take the four required core courses in the MLIS degree.

  • LIS 2000 Understanding Information (must be taken in the first term)
  • LIS 2005 Knowledge Organization
  • LIS 2600 Introduction to Information Technologies (must be taken in the first term)
  • LIS 2700 Managing & Leading Information Services

Field Experience (LIS 2921)

The Field Experience is a 3-credit/150 hour program of supervised professional work. Although not required in the library and information services pathway, it is highly recommended. Students must have completed a minimum of twelve credit hours in good academic standing in order to register for the Field Experience.

Faculty

The Library and Information Services Pathway is supported by a team of full-time regular faculty and adjunct faculty, all of whom are experienced practitioners in the field.

Leanne Bowler, Lead Faculty

Experiential Learning

The Partners Program
The Partners Program provides students with real-world experience as they earn their master’s degree in Library and Information Science. In the past, students interested in academic libraries have gained experience at the libraries of Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Duquesne University, Point Park University, Robert Morris University, and a variety of locations within the University of Pittsburgh Library System.

For more information about this area of interest, please contact us.

Areas of Interest

Fall Term of Entry only. Libraries in universities and colleges offer challenging and rewarding opportunities to apply the core knowledge and skills of the profession in new ways to meet the demands of the dynamic networked world. The academic library environment has changed radically in recent decades as a result of rapid advances in technology, the development of online education, and emergence of cyberscholarship. Academic librarians are taking on key roles in developing institutional repositories, managing digital datasets, and evaluating research outputs alongside established responsibilities for collection development, reference services, and information literacy. The academic libraries area of interest is designed to provide you with the theoretical knowledge, contextual understanding, and practical skills to work effectively as a librarian or information professional in a higher education sector that is continually evolving. Our teaching is informed and inspired by personal experience, current research and leading thinking in the field. The courses in this area of interest will equip you for the challenges and demands of planning, managing and delivering resources and services in academic libraries, through exploration of their historical contexts, current positions, and future directions. The foundational course on Academic Libraries examines traditional and emerging practices in areas such as collection development, academic liaison, scholarly communication, information literacy, digital services, research data management, library design, and impact assessment. Additional courses in Reference, Research Methods, and Teaching and Learning, will help you to develop the competencies needed to fulfill the academic library’s core roles in supporting the education and research missions of its parent institution, as well as giving you the skills needed for evidence-based practice in the field.

PROGRAM OF STUDY

Field Experience (LIS 2921) The Field Experience is a 3-credit/150 hour program of supervised professional work. Although not required in the Academic Libraries area of interest, it is highly recommended, especially for students who lack work experience in an academic library. Students must have completed a minimum of twelve credit hours in good academic standing in order to register for the Field Experience. To view the term in which a class is offered, please see the Projected Course Offerings page. Click here for the current plan of study.

FACULTY

The Academic Libraries area of interest is supported by a team of full-time regular faculty and adjunct faculty, all of whom are experienced practitioners in the field. Lead Faculty Sheila Corrall

Contact Us

For more information about this area of interest, please contact our Recruitment Team.
(On-campus and online) Fall Term of Entry only. Available to both the on-campus and online MLIS students, the Individualized area of interest will give you the practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to succeed as an information professional in a wide variety of positions. Graduates go on to work in government, healthcare, finance, public policy, scientific labs, museums, special libraries, nonprofits, universities, creative industries, the corporate sector, and more. During the course of your program, you will take four core courses to gain competency in organizing, retrieving, and managing information. These courses will introduce you to the key principles and technologies that shape contemporary information services. Beyond the four core courses, your plan of study can be designed around your individual and career interests by taking a series of eight elective courses. As part of your program of study, you may also develop individual research projects and undertake supervised field experience. This area of interest is flexible, personalized, and structured according to your individual interests and the latest developments in the information professions. To view the term in which a class is offered, please see the Projected Course Offerings page. Click here for the current plan of study.

FACULTY

Lead faculty Elizabeth Mahoney, Lecturer

CONTACT US

For more information about this area of interest, please contact our Recruitment Team.
Fall Term of Entry only. Today, information technology influences almost every aspect of library management and services. Librarians must become proficient in using systems for a wide variety of tasks including circulation, acquisitions, cataloging, serial management, digitization, information storage and retrieval, and remote access for patrons. Given how quickly technology advances, it is critical to understand the concepts of such systems as well as how to use the current versions of software and hardware products. The Information Technology area of interest will enable graduates to assess, organize, and manage the various electronic systems that support library services. Courses will cover contemporary systems for tasks ranging from acquiring materials to managing patron records to providing reference support in online settings. Faculty will explore the theoretical underpinnings of such systems as well as provide a thorough understanding of their functions. This will prepare students to participate in the design -- and to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness -- of future systems. The program will emphasize database design and implementation, information architecture, and information visualization. Other courses will address digital preservation and managing digital collections, of extreme importance given the prevalence of digital materials in library systems. This area of interest will prepare students for such positions as Technical Services Librarian, Systems Librarian, Digital Assets Manager, and Digital Curators. These types of positions are most often available in academic, public, and special libraries. You should carefully consult with your advisor about the most optimal sequence of required and elective courses. In addition to the four required MLIS courses, students will take eight elective courses, which will allow them to design a course of study that will best meet career goals. To view the term in which a class is offered, please see the Projected Course Offerings. Click here for the current plan of study. LEAD FACULTY Christinger Tomer, Lead Faculty Daqing He, Lead Faculty CONTACT US For more information about this area of interest, please contact our Recruitment Team.
Fall Term of Entry only. According to the American Library Association, there are more than 16,000 public libraries across the United States and 58% of adults in this country have public library cards. Thus, public libraries…and the professionals who staff them…play a critical role in society. The public library is more than a repository of books. Such libraries provide FREE access to digital resources such as databases, local and national newspapers, job hunting tools, the Internet, and physical and electronic books and publications. They host programming to enhance financial literacy, to increase reading proficiency, and to gain skills in using new technology. Perhaps most importantly, they provide a welcoming, safe place in which to find information and a community. At this time of economic distress, the public library is a refuge and a resource for many who greatly need both. “You are on the front lines of a battle that will shape the future of our country,” Caroline Kennedy said in a speech at the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award ceremony in New York City in December 2011. “It is a battle that is fought out of view, and the heroes are people who didn’t seek a career of confrontation but who live lives of principle and meaning—understanding that the gift of knowledge is the greatest gift we can give to each other. Whether it is providing a social environment for seniors, a safe space for kids after school, or a makerspace to unleash the talent in the community, libraries are becoming more important than ever.” Public librarians are called upon to provide a great variety of services to patrons and programming to very diverse communities. They have the skills and knowledge to go beyond search engines in helping people find the right information by clearly defining the information need, identifying potential sources of information, and ensuring the validity of the gathered information. As a publically-funded entity, the library's resources are available to everyone, which is one of the great challenges of this type of career. Public librarians work with those who know how to use the web and do research, and those who are just learning these skills. The public librarian works with those who are just learning to read and those who have a lifelong love of learning. The professional will assist children, adults, corporations, media outlets, and government agencies in the search for appropriate information. In addition, the library serves as an increasingly important venue for community based events and programs. As part of the local fabric of a town, the public librarian goes beyond the physical walls of the building to provide service connections via social media, community daycare centers, Farmer’s Markets, Literacy Volunteers of America and so forth. Public librarians are part of local-based movements such as the "pop-up" library and the Little Free Library movement. Our teaching is informed and inspired by personal experience, current research and leading thinking in the field. The courses in the Public Libraries area of interest will equip you for the challenges and demands of planning, managing and delivering resources and services through exploration of their historical contexts, current positions, and future directions. THE PUBLIC LIBRARIANSHIP PROGRAM OF STUDY All students will take the four core MLIS courses. Choose 12 credits from the list below: LIS 2332 Resources & Services for Adults LIS 2500 Reference Resources & Services LIS 2537 Government Information Resources & Services LIS 2670 Digital Libraries LIS 2830 Marketing and Public Relations for Libraries LIS 2850 Information Professional’s Role in Teaching & Learning Students will complete their program of study with 12 credits of LIS elective courses. To view the term in which a class is offered, please see the Projected Course Offerings. Click here for the current plan of study. FACULTY The Public Libraries area of interest is supported by a team of full-time regular faculty and adjunct faculty, all of whom are experienced practitioners in the field. Elizabeth Mahoney, Lead Faculty PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS American Library Association (ALA) ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (ALA OIF) ALA Office for Library Advocacy (ALA OLA) Association for Library Services to Children (ALCS) Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) Public Library Association (PLA) Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) CONTACT US For more information about this area of interest, please contact our Recruitment Team.
Fall Term of Entry only. For more than 100 years, library services to young people have been a cornerstone of education at the School of Computing and Information. Founded in 1901 as a part of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the school was first known as the Carnegie Training School for Children's Librarians. By 1919, the School had moved to the Carnegie Institute and the name had changed to the "Carnegie Training School" to include educating other librarians. Nonetheless, the program strongly advocated children's services and continues to do so over 100 years later. Children’s and Young Adult Librarians are needed today more than ever. Young people live in a world rich in technology and media, where direct contact with an adult who knows books and loves to read is sometimes hard to come by. At the same time, we can’t forget that today’s children are digital natives and they interact with information, story, and the world at large in ways that their parents could hardly imagine. We acknowledge the changing landscape of children’s and young adult librarianship. Without forgetting our important roots in children’s literature, our school prepares information professionals who can reach out to the child of the 21st century. COMPETENCIES FOR LIBRARIANS SERVING CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS IN PUBLIC LIBRARIES Several library organizations have determined the core set of skills for information professionals who will work with children or young adults. Our curriculum is designed to provide students with those mandated skills as well as the theoretical knowledge necessary for leadership in the library profession. Guidelines for library services for babies and toddlers, children, and young adults. Children’s and Young Adults Section. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries. Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Competencies for Librarians Serving Young Adults. Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) PROGRAM OF STUDY All students will take the four required courses in the MLIS degree, followed by at least four courses from the following: LIS 2322 Resources for Children LIS 2323 Resources for Young Adults LIS 2324 History of Children’s Literature LIS 2326 Storytelling LIS 2335 Library Services for Early Childhood LIS 2630 Human Information Interaction LIS 2633 Technology in the Lives of Children Students may select their remaining elective credits from outside the Children and Young Adults area. To view the term in which a class is offered, please see the Projected Course Offerings. Click here for the current plan of study. FACULTY The Services to Children and Young Adults area of interest is supported by a team of full-time regular faculty and adjunct faculty, all of whom are experienced practitioners in the field. Leanne Bowler, Lead Faculty CONTACT US For more information about this area of interest, please contact our Recruitment Team.
Fall Term of Entry only. Reference services are central to the mission of contemporary libraries. Identifying and retrieving highly relevant information is critical to the productivity of individuals and organizations. The task is made difficult because the information environment is so large and so complex. The knowledge and skills needed to be successful in providing reference services have always been formidable; now, reference librarians must take into consideration technological advancements (such as the Internet and the World Wide Web), the exponential growth in the volume of available material, and the increasing diversity of the library’s clientele. Reference work is arguably the most demanding and rewarding of librarianship’s specializations. According to ALA’s Reference and User Services Association, reference staff “recommend, interpret, evaluate, and/or use information resources to help others to meet particular information needs.” The Reference area of interest here at the iSchool will provide students with working knowledge of a wide array of reference sources and services in areas such as government documents, social sciences, science and technology, law, health, and humanities. This course of study will enable you to analyze users’ needs to determine what information is appropriate; to make useful judgments about the relevance, trustworthiness, and quality of sources; and to assess methods for delivering the desired information. Reference librarians are sought after by public, academic and special libraries. Students will take the four required courses in the MLIS degree program. In addition to the four required courses for the MLIS degree, students interested in this area will take 12 credits from the following courses: LIS 2500 Reference Resources & Services LIS 2537 Government Information Resources & Services LIS 2850 Information Professional's Role in Teaching & Learning LIS 2921 Field Experience To view the term in which a class is offered, please see the Projected Course Offerings. Click here for the current plan of study. FACULTY Elizabeth Mahoney, Lecturer CONTACT US For more information about this area of interest, please contact our Recruitment Team.
Fall Term of Entry only. The School Library Certification Program (SLCP) will allow you to earn both your MLIS degree and your Instructional I teaching certificate in Library Science, K-12, from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. You will gain the critical skills needed through competency-based learning experiences in collaboration with practitioners. You will be prepared to embark upon one of the most challenging and rewarding careers in the Library and Information Sciences field. As a school librarian, you will: work with educators in the teaching-learning process; help K-12 students learn; contribute your skills in evaluating and using resources in all media; and use instructional technology to help teachers and students learn. To be employed as a school librarian in a Pennsylvania public school, you must hold a valid Instructional I or Instructional II teaching certificate in Library Science, K-12. If you want to become a library media specialist in an elementary or secondary school, the Library and Information Science Program offers two options, both of which are approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). If you want to become a school library media specialist in another state, you can visit the PDE Web site for a list of reciprocal arrangements. Currently, Pennsylvania has a signed interstate reciprocity agreement with 45 states. If you hold a valid teaching certificate from another state, you should consult with Dr. Biagini in planning your program. SLCP has three options to meet your needs: Library Science Endorsement Option, (K-12): If you already hold a valid PDE teaching certificate Library Science Intern Option, (K-12): If you want to earn an initial teaching certificate Supervisor of Library Science Certificate Program: You must hold a valid Pennsylvania Instructional I or II certificate in Library Science, K-12, and have five years of experience working as a school librarian. This is the only PDE-approved program in Pennsylvania.