Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by dcv, Jan 17, 2005.
Just out of curiosity...anyone know of any distance Master of Library Science programs?
Texas Woman's University has a Dl MLS degree. I know there are others as well.
The University of North Texas(www.unt.edu) and Syracuse have ones as well. I completed 21 hours of my MLS at UNT.
US News and World Reports online has a list of ALA and RA accredited programs.
Here's a few others:
Southern Connecticut University
U of Northern Iowa
U of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
I believe that there are a few non-US programs as well.
I have heard very good things about University of Arizona's program (it has been running for several years) and Univerisity of Illinois-Urbana. Syracuse also has a well-regarded program.
You would likely do well to choose any on the U.S. News site referenced by Jim (thanks for a very useful link).
Northeastern Illinois University
San Jose State University in the Cal State system has an executive MLIS program which combines distance and short term residency.
Jim's US News link includes both schools that have RA/ALA accreditation and those that are RA only.
It is worth noting that most libraries require that their MLS/MLIS hires come from a school which is ALA accredited.
By this time, I think, there are more library schools that have online programs than those that do not.
Keep on bookin' . . .
After looking more closely at the US News list, three of the four most esteemed library schools have online programs-- Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Florida State. Maryland, apparently, is still solely B&M. (Four of the five if you include Illinois--Urbana in the most esteemed list, which many do.)
The University of Texas is also missing, if your thing is conservation/preservation.
Hard to learn applied conservation online, you know . . .
Actually, at the master's level, any of the ALA schools will do.
As marilynd pointed out, a degree without ALA accreditation has severely limited utility. The following page on the ALA web site will allow you to search for ALA accredited programs that offer distance education options.
As noted above, University of Wisconsin is a complete dl program and is ALA approved last time I checked. As always research yourself before making a commitment. Good luck.
FSU, I graduated from it. I am a librarian in a public library.
I find, and my co-workers concur, that the FSU DL degree is superior to the other library school in Florida USF (from which I have other degrees)
The FSU program can be completed completely by distance learning. It is not an easy program, but it most certainly can be done by a working adult.
A list of all ALA accredited library schools is available from http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=lisdirb&Template=/cfapps/lisdir/index.cfm .
Bear in mind that librarianship does not pay well for something that requires a Masters' degree. Also do not believe anything you are told about a librarian shortage, there is no librarian shortage and frankly I don't expect one any time soon.
Clark Atlanta is closing its library school. There will soon only be 48 library schools in the US.
I almost forgot, FSU is a member of the Academic Common Market http://www.lis.fsu.edu/Prospects/Grads/ssd84_commonmarket.cfm
This allows students resident in: Alabama , Arkansas , Delaware , Florida , Georgia , Kentucky , Louisiana , Maryland , Mississippi , North Carolina , South Carolina , Oklahoma , Tennessee , Texas , Virginia ,and West Virginia to pay in state fees.
This may be a significant savings for many students.
If ALA permits...
The University of Arizona (RA and ALA accredited) has a well-known Library Science program and a DL equivalent:
I agree with Mdoneil, as I am a degreed librarian as well. There isnt a librarian shortage as I am aware of. I hadnt heard that Clark Atlanta was closing their library school. Interesting.
I was excited to learn of the Academic Common Market, since I have been looking at a DL program in classics from UFlorida.
While FSU's excellent library school apparently does participate in this program (a boon to out-of-staters wishing to attend FSU), I was disappointed to learn that ACM is very much program specific. Not all public universities participate (UFlorida does not), and not all programs are eligible in those schools that do participate.
In fact, several programs I looked at (just to see how the system worked) make in-state tuition available to applicants from some ACM states but not others. Apparently, one rule is that the program in question cannot exist in the person's current state of residence.
If you are seeking a program where ACM applies, go for it. It's a great deal. Just be aware that it is not universally applicable (as I naively hoped*); e.g., any student entering any program in an ACM public university is eligible for in-state tuition.
Come to think of it, this makes me wonder if the FSU library school is available to all ACM states. Would it be available to Texas residents, for instance, since Texas has 3 library schools?
*I guess I'm just a communist at heart--with the politics and economics removed, of course.
If there is a program that is not in your state you can ask your ACM director to look into adding it to the ACM. it can't hurt to ask.
Thanks, Fed. I'll do so.
Having worked for a university library system, I am aware of internal politics and bending of rules in regards to hiring non-ALA accredited degree graduates for emplyment as librarians. Nearly all job descriptions require an ALA accredited degree. However, an employee who started a position as a library assistant or senior level, may be quietly promoted to librarian
( librarians don't want to hear this ). For prospective elearners, if you pursue an online library science degree at an accredited ALA college, you may work as a full time librarian at the same time.
In regards to librarian shortage, I believe there are an abundance of librarians in the job market. They just choose not to work in library science. Library science can be boring most of the times. The public and university librarians have nothing to do half do time. Ironically, that is what some of them want. I know cause I worked side by side with them. I also believe that libraries do not make full use of their talents. I have glanced at librarians, working night and weekend shifts, sitting in their chairs looking at air.
Sometimes they make their jobs more difficult than what it really is and stress as a result of bordem. Believe me, I've seen this happen. My generalizations are biased to certain areas of the hillsborough county library system. I do acknowledge there are dedicated ambitious librarians ( even in florida ) who teach, research, work 40hours and still have time for committee, administrative, and association duties.
For those interested in an online MLA degree, a library science degree with specialization in educational media may offer more job opportunities. Some librarians employed as educational media specialists in secondary schools quit after 1 to 3 years. Some librarians enjoy the challenge of educational media and stay in those positions for a long time. Educational media is a field of library science that has a high turnover. If anyone is interested, law librarianship and positions as archivists for federal government can be quite lucrative.
Going back to the perceived shortage, this depends on the geographical area one is located. As a bilingual in english and spanish, I may have better opportunities for employment in california than florida. As a hispanic male with experience in library science and educational technology, I have applied to numerous library science positions in hillsborough county, been passed over for employment opportunities, and lied to about job openings by libarians in person ( whom have hired new employees afterwards ).
On a positive note , my experience interacting with people at the USF tampa campus library was a wonderful experience. I meet and dated a wealthy beautiful japanese women who worked as a fashion designer, dated a university professor
( hmm.. I think that's why I wasn't hired.. hahaha ), flirted with college girls in certain silent corners of the library, and meet my long time best friend and business partner.
Here are some job opportunities for those seeking library science employment ( yes.. there are challenging library science jobs out there.. search and apply for them! and good luck ).
For prospective elearners, if you pursue an online library science degree at an accredited ALA college, you may work as a full time librarian at the same time.
You can work as a full time neurosurgeon too, but you would not be one of those either. A librarian has an MLS (or MSLIS or MLIS or whatever degree is accredited by the ALA at that particular school from which the librarian graduated).
The public and university librarians have nothing to do half [of the] time. I have no idea where you get this information because it is simply not true. I spend my days providing reference service to patrons, providing bibliographic instruction to patrons, providing readers' advisory service to patrons, developing the collection including acquisitions, weeding, and selection. I also provide online reference service two hours a week on our statewide ask-a-librarian service and teach at least one public computer class a week. In addition to that I attend professional development classes to keep up with the ever-changing world of commercial data providers such as Dialog, LexisNexis, Factiva and US Courts Pacer. If you see someone sitting around doing nothing I guarantee they are not a librarian, at least not a good librarian.
I am a librarian in Pinellas county, adjacent to Hillsborough and all of the librarians (masters degreed librarians not clerks improperly titled librarian) I know from your county are hard working and provide excellent service to their patrons.
For those interested in an online MLA degree, a library science degree with specialization in educational media may offer more job opportunities An online MLS that would qualify someone for a position as a School Library Media Specialist is not currently available. School Library Media Specialists have an MLS and a teaching certificate. To obtain the teaching certificate practical experience (practice teaching) is required -just like all other teachers. You can get the MLS but the practice teaching is of course hands on and supervised by an appropriate teacher training institution.
As to USF, the least well-prepared librarians I have met have come from USF. This too may be a matter of geographics as I live closer to USF than any other library school in the country including my alma mater. FSU.
Summarily, no one is a librarian simply because they or their employer decide they are a librarian. A librarian is someone who holds an ALA accredited (or other equivalent foreign library accrediting association) Masters degree in Library Science. Working in a library does not make someone a librarian any more than working at a produce stand makes someone an onion.
As to being passed over for librarian positions, get your MLS. Bilingual librarians with any type of library automation experience -even as a circulation clerk- would certainly outshine a new monoglot MLS graduate with no library experience.
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