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Library Science

Library Science is an interdisciplinary field that engages both the practical and theoretical perspectives of information science, technology, and management. Librarians collect, organize, preserve, and disseminate information. They also strive to educate library users in the skills of finding information and using it in an efficient and critical manner.

Library Science presents a wide-range of career opportunities in administration, management, instruction, user services, technical services, information technology, preservation and conservation. The principles and practices studied by librarians can be performed in an equally wide variety of environments: public, academic, medical, legal, or corporate libraries, special collections and archives as well as museum collections. The field of Library Science embraces ongoing change and allocates for learning opportunities throughout one’s career.

Goals and Objectives

The library science pre-professional track offers study in information policy issues and technological trends, and how these issues and trends affect libraries and information centers of all kinds. Students learn to manage and evaluate collections, respond to the information needs of patrons, and to use technology to improve access to information. Students who complete the curriculum are prepared for graduate study in library administration, public services, technical services, information instruction, and collection development at a variety of library settings.

There are three goals for this track:

  • To research current issues in library science
  • To understand the daily work in an academic library
  • To appreciate the varieties of library work in the public and private sectors

The Profession

Within library science, there are a variety of professional opportunities to pursue. With a Master’s in Library Science, individuals can consider careers both inside and outside of the traditional library environment. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for librarians is expected to increase through 2020 and beyond. Research and analytical proficiency combined with foundational skills and theoretical knowledge will provide trained LIS professionals the potential to use their skills in the library world as well as in business, legal, and information spheres where the organization, access, use, and preservation of information is essential for decision-making and long term data retrieval.

Independent Studies

In addition to the ENGL 490 survey course, there is the opportunity for students to enroll in directed independent studies—under the supervision of librarians and information professionals—on a topic of their choice. Students can explore a library or information question in depth or work on a specialized project that aligns with their research interest. HIST 390 is an independent study option for those specifically interested in Archival Science. There are also several off-campus programs available for students including the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) Newberry Library Seminar in Chicago.

Graduate School Opportunities

The library profession requires graduate coursework through the completion of a Master of Library Science or a Master of Library and Information Science. Graduate school programs are generally completed in a calendar year or two academic years. Any undergraduate major is accepted as a precursor to graduate work in the library science field, allowing undergraduate students flexibility in their course selection.

While there are many library science programs in the United States, only some graduate schools are accredited by the American Library Association. Monmouth College library science pre-professional students have continued their education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Iowa, Dominican University, the University of Arizona and the University of Wisconsin.

Career Opportunities

  • Librarians and School Librarians
  • Archivists
  • Information System
  • Market Researchers
  • Curators
  • Museum Technicians
  • Conservators
  • Information Architects
  • Web Developers
  • Bioinformatics
  • School Media Specialists

Recent Library Science Graduates

Rebecca Evans ’01
Follett School Solutions

Hope Grebner ’11
Project Archivist
Indiana University Libraries

Kelsey Cole ’09
Youth Services Librarian
Fremont Public Library