Professional PathwaysProfessional PathwaysProfessional Pathways

The MLIS program is designed to prepare library and information professionals to become leaders who implement information justice and equity, community engagement, and technology use in their communities of practice.

In addition to wide-ranging LIS electives, you can align your coursework to your professional goals with one or more of the following professional pathways.

User Services and Community Engagement

Whether working in a college/university library or a cultural institution such as public library and museum, user services and community engagement is one of the core functions of libraries and cultural institutions of all types. User services librarians have the responsibilities on information literacy training, instructions, references, collection management and outreach to diverse communities to assure equal access to library and information resources.

Sample job titles:

  • Dean of University Libraries
  • Web Services Librarian
  • Associate Librarian of Environmental Science
  • Public Services Librarian
  • Reference Librarian
  • Online Learning Librarian
  • Outreach and Assessment Librarian
  • Access Services and Instruction Librarian

Digital Curation and Services

Data librarians facilitate the management, curation, and preservation of data in a number of professional settings. They can locate data for business or academic use, use statistical methods to understand what stories a dataset tells or organize data for later retrieval. Students interested in the data curation and services pathway will gain knowledge of digital data systems, metadata theory and practices, programming and markup languages, and data services to the communities they serve.

Sample job titles:

  • Data Visualization Specialist
  • Data and Metadata Services Librarian
  • Director, Data Center Services
  • Data Management and Curation Fellow
  • Data Quality Specialist
  • Research Data Archivist
  • Data Services and Visualization Librarian

Organization and Management of Information and Knowledge

Libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) are central places for the acquisition, organization, management, and dissemination of information and knowledge. Organizing and managing information and knowledge of all types, formats and forms is the core function that supports LAM to achieve their goals and actualize their values.

Sample job titles:

  • Lead Technical Services Technician
  • Taxonomist
  • Metadata and Data Curation Librarian
  • User Interface Specialist
  • Metadata and Digital Initiatives Librarian
  • Metadata Information Architect
  • Digital Projects Librarian
  • Content Management Analyst

Children and Youth Services

Libraries strive to be places that facilitate lifelong learning. The urgency for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning initiatives in library settings, the proliferation of the makerspace movement and the widespread use of emerging technologies from a young age prove that the role and responsibilities of children’s and young adult librarians go beyond recommending a good read. Networking and marketing are important facets of a Youth Services Librarian’s job, as well as building relationships with parents, caregivers and teachers in the local community.

Sample job titles:

  • Children’s Reference Librarian
  • Teen Services Librarian
  • Coordinator of Youth Services
  • Youth Service Librarian
  • Young and Emerging Adult Librarian
  • Young Adult/Asst. Children’s Librarian

Digital Information Systems

Modern libraries run on digital data and information systems to provide services anywhere and anytime that require technically savvy librarians to innovate, support and maintain. Digital information systems in libraries and other types of organizations play a key role in making data and metadata findable, accessible, interoperable and usable/reusable. Knowledge and skills in this pathway can lead to jobs not only in non-traditional positions in libraries but also in non-library settings such as corporate and government.

Sample job titles:

  • Coordinator of Metadata
  • Catalog Management Librarian
  • Web Development Librarian
  • Librarian for Digital Publishing, Curation, 
    and Conversion
  • Software Librarian (Configuration Coordinator)
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Software Engineer
  • FOLIO Developer | Information 
    Technologist II

Information Research and Analytics

Whether you are conducting research on community profiles for building a new library branch, gathering data and information on emerging trends for a market research, or collecting information about products or companies for compiling competitive intelligence, the skills and knowledge in research methods and data science can go a long way in developing a career as a research librarian.

Sample job titles:

  • Collections & Metrics Facilitator
  • Director of Digital Initiatives
  • Research Support Librarian
  • Research Data Librarian
  • Legal Research Services Librarian
  • Senior Scientific Librarian
  • Research & Library Manager

Earn a Master’s that Aligns With Your Career Goals

Learn more about how the online MLIS program and professional pathways can help advance your career.