Library & Information Science

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Roles and Work Environment

Roles in the field of library science have changed drastically with new technology. Professionals in this field play various roles in organizing and storing information and guiding others who need help finding or using that information. Examples of work environments may include:

  • Public libraries
  • K-12 Schools
  • Universities
  • Special libraries (support research labs, businesses, government agencies, museums, hospitals, etc.). Examples include the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and National Library of Agriculture

There are also many different types of library and information science roles, including:

  • Acquisitions Librarians
  • Archivists
  • Book Conservators
  • Children's Librarians
  • Corporate Librarians
  • Database Specialists
  • Exhibit Designers
  • Film and Video Librarians
  • Information Brokers
  • Law Librarians
  • Librarians
  • Library and Information Science Instructors
  • Library Assistants
  • Library Directors
  • Library Media Specialists
  • Library Technicians
  • Medical Librarians
  • Music Librarians

Skills and Training

Many roles in the library and information science field require a master’s degree. Examples include a master’s in library science (M.L.S.), a master’s in library and information science (M.L.I.S) or a master’s in information science. The American Library Association publishes a list of ALA-Accredited graduate programs. Depending on your field or specialty, the degree may be different - for example, an archivist might focus in art history. Potential skills include:

  • Research and analytical skills
  • Organization skills
  • Familiarity with electronic databases
  • High attention to detail

Industry Timeline

Roles within universities and school systems may hire on the academic year timeline (positions open in spring/summer to start working at the beginning of the school year). Nonprofits, NGOs, and other public service organizations normally hire for internship and full-time opportunities based on immediate needs. Some positions may become available in late spring/early summer, so you should continue to look for opportunities throughout the academic year and beyond. Review the Public Service and Government Community page for examples of recruiting timelines for Nonprofits & NGOs.

Find Opportunities



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Applying and Interviewing

Resumes and Cover Letters

Make sure to check out the Resumes and Cover Letters section of the website for helpful advice and sample resumes and cover letters.


If you have never interviewed before, make sure to check out the interviewing section of our website. You can also conduct a mock interview with a career counselor for practice.

Additional Industry Resources

Blogs and Industry Research

Professional Associations

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