MLIS Specializations | Maryland's iSchool - College of Information Studies - Graduate Program - University Of Maryland

Information Studies

School of Communication and Information

Masters Degree

College of Communication and Information

MLIS Specializations

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Retired Specializations

Specializations

Students in the MLIS Program may elect to pursue one or more of our unique specializations. Pursuing a specialization will enrich the study of Library Science and provide additional preparation specific to a students’ desired career path. The available specializations draw on the expertise of exceptional iSchool faculty to prepare students to work in diverse and innovative information professions.

Students can also design their own program of study by selecting the Individualized Program Plan (IPP). IPP students design their own program of study using the Knowledge Area suggested course plans and coursework selected in consultation with their advisor.

Note: Students must receive a B or better in MLIS Core, MLIS required (field study or thesis), and courses required for specializations. Students who receive a B- or lower will be required to retake the course. Students may repeat a course only once. If a student fails to earn a B or better in the repeated course, they will be referred to the Students in Academic Difficulty Committee and may be dismissed from the program. 

NoteAt this time the MLIS Program does NOT support each specialization in each different learning format.

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  • Attend an Information Session

    The iSchool hosts online information sessions throughout the year. The schedule of information sessions and RSVP form are located here. Recorded sessions are also available for viewing, although they might not include the most recent program updates.

  • Thesis Option

    Students in most specializations* have the option of pursuing a thesis as part of their MLIS coursework. Students who elect to write a thesis should replace the (3) credit Field Study course (LBSC 703 or 707) with INST 701: Research Methods in Library and Information Studies (3 credits). Thesis students are also required to take (6) credit hours of LBSC 799: Masters’ Thesis Research which will take the place of two elective courses. Students must obtain approval from the MLIS Program in order to pursue the thesis option.

    Note: the requirements of some specializations necessitate that students who elect to complete a thesis will exceed the minimum 36 credit hour requirement.

 

Archives and Digital Curation

The Archives and Digital Curation specialization focuses on the creation, management and use, long-term preservation, and current and future access to records and information, both analog, and digital, in a variety of disciplines and sectors of the economy. Information is at the very heart of a modern society’s ability to learn, conduct business, recreate, and manage complex scientific, technological, industrial, and information infrastructures. It is a societal imperative that there be qualified professionals with the technical, intellectual, and social awareness required to manage complex collections of analog, born-digital, or digitized materials in a variety of organizational settings.

Students who began the MLIS Program before the combined Archives and Digital Curation specialization can review transition information here.

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    Access to information is essential for a vibrant and healthy democracy. Archivists, data curation managers and specialists, and other information professionals assist citizens seeking to assert their legal rights, hold public officials accountable and understand the documentary heritage of their community. In a diverse and multi-cultural world, access to records and information is a right that information professionals help to ensure. The challenges (technological, professional, and political) are great but the rewards are even greater.

    Students graduating from this specialization will have the academic, technical, and practical skills to work in diverse organizational settings such as the commercial sector, cultural heritage organizations, the digital arts and humanities, and scientific research and development. Students will master core competencies to manage the records life cycle and will demonstrate mastery in hands-on field study opportunities.

    Students graduating from this specialization will be able to:

    • Understand the role of archivists, data curation managers and specialists, and other information professionals in contemporary society.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the records life cycle from pre-creation activities through creation, use, preservation, and access.
    • Understand the linkages between analog and digital assets and how to manage diverse holdings and collections.
    • Demonstrate awareness of the intersection of legal, ethical, policy, and political sensitivities in managing analog and digital assets.
    • Apply academic principles and theories in field study work involving the management of analog and digital assets in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    Students in this specialization will participate in field study assignments at a variety of major public, private sector, and cultural heritage institutions or the College’s Digital Curation Lab. Some of these organizations could include the National Archives, the National Agriculture Library, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Institutes of Health, the American Institute of Physics, and the Library of Congress, among many other organizations.

    The Archives and Digital Curation Specialization is set up so students take required specialization courses and then choose a Career Pathway. These career pathways are meant to help teach students appropriate skill sets based on specific interests and career objectives. The Career Pathways are Archives & Special Collections, Records Management, Digital Curation & Preservation, and Data Management.

  • Specialization Requirements

    A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    • LBSC 602 Serving Information Needs
    • LBSC 631 Achieving Organizational Excellence
    • LBSC 671 Creating Information Infrastructures
    • LBSC 791 Designing Principled Inquiry
    1. Field Study - 3 credits
    1. Archives and Digital Curation Specialization Required Courses - 9 credits
    • INST 604 Introduction to Archives & Digital Curation
    • A Policy Course [choose 1 from the following]
    • INST 611 Privacy and Security in a Networked World
    • INST 612 Information Policy
    • INST 641 Policy and Ethics in Digital Curation (formerly Policy Issues in Digital Curation)
    • A Technical Course [choose 1 from the following]
    • INST 630 Introduction to Programming for the Information Professional
    • INST 733 Database Design
    • INST 742 Implementing the Curation and Management of Digital Assets
    1. Specialization Electives (choose 1 of the following)
    • Option 1: Select a Career Pathway & 1 elective
    • Option 2: Select 4 non-repeating courses from the electives list
       
    • Option 1: Archives & Digital Curation Career Pathway Courses
    • The following Career Pathways are meant to help students select the elective courses based on his or her interests and career goals. The pathways will teach students appropriate skill sets for specific career objectives. Students should select one Career Pathway and one elective course from the approved list below. 
      • ​Archives & Special Collections Career Pathway
        • LBSC 782 Arrangement, Description, and Access for Archives
        • LBSC 785 Documentation, Collection, and Appraisal of Records
        • LBSC 786 Library and Archives Preservation
        • Approved Elective 
      • Records Management Pathway
        • INST 715 Knowledge Management
        • LBSC 680 Principles of Records and Information Management
        • LBSC 682 Management of Electronic Records & Information
        • Approved Elective 
      • Digital Curation & Preservation Pathway
        • INST 643 Curation in Cultural Institutions
        • INST 742 Implementing the Curation and Management of Digital Assets
        • LBSC 784 Digital Preservation
        • Approved Elective 
      • Data Management Pathway
        • INST 627 Data Analytics for Information Professionals
        • INST 737 Digging Into Data
        • INST 767 Big Data Infrastructure
        • Approved Elective 
           
    • Option 2: Individual Pathway - Choose 4 Approved Specialization Electives
      The Individaul Pathways allows students select the elective courses based on their individual interests and career goals. If you want assistance in selecting courses please consult your academic advisor. NOTE: You may NOT count a required specialization course towards both the requirement and the elective options. E.g. You cannot apply INST 612 Information Policy towards your required policy course AND your approved electives). 
       

    Approved Specialization Electives*

    • INFM 700 Information Architecture
    • INFM 706 Project Management
    • INFM 711 Financial Management of Information Projects
    • INFM 747 Web-Enabled Databases
    • INST 607 E-Government: Information, Communication, and Policy
    • INST 611 Privacy and Security in a Networked World
    • INST 612 Information Policy
    • INST 613 Information and Human Rights
    • INST 621 Managing Digital Innovations in Organizations
    • INST 627 Data Analysis for Information Professionals
    • INST 630 Introduction to Programming for the Information Professional
    • INST 641 Policy Issues in Digital Curation
    • INST 643 Curation in Cultural Institutions
    • INST 644 Introduction to Digital Humanities
    • INST 728R Data Management
    • INST 715 Knowledge Management
    • INST 733 Database Design
    • INST 734 Information Retrieval Systems
    • INST 737 Digging Into Data
    • INST 742 Implementing the Curation and Management of Digital Assets
    • INST 745 Introduction to Digital Arts Curation
    • INST 767 Big Data Infrastructure
    • LBSC 622 Information and Universal Usability
    • LBSC 680 Principles of Records and Information Management
    • LBSC 682 Management of Electronic Records & Information
    • LBSC 723 Advocacy and Support for Information Services
    • LBSC 731 Special Collections
    • LBSC 735 Legal Issues in Managing Innovation
    • LBSC 782 Arrangement, Description, and Access for Archives
    • LBSC 784 Digital Preservation
    • LBSC 785 Documentation, Collection, and Appraisal of Records
    • LBSC 786 Library and Archives Preservation
    • LBSC 788 Seminar in Archives, Records, and Information Management

    * If a you wish to take an elective that is not on this list and have it count towards your ADC requirements you must request approval from your academic advisor. 

  • Applying

    Students interested in pursuing the specialization should indicate their interest in their initial admissions application.

    For specific information on how to apply students should visit the MLIS Admissions page

    Apply Now!

  • Specialization Contact

    Dr. Ken Heger
    kheger@umd.edu

Community Analytics and Policy

The Community Analytics and Policy (CAP) specialization focuses on the nature of developing local data infrastructures designed to promote civic engagement at the community level, and the roles that libraries can play in supporting that engagement. Replacing the Government Information Management and Services specialization, this new program of study will focus on the nature of open data and information; the ability of the public to be informed about local issues through open government and data; the ways in which information professionals can serve as key community-based intermediaries between governments, the public, and local issues; the curation and management of digital assets, particularly datasets; the ability to create and foster data-driven communities of practice; and the role of the political process and information policy in shaping the development of community data.

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    Communities face opportunities and challenges in many areas, including education, health and wellness, workforce and economic development, housing, and the environment. Through a combination of open government, open data, and civic engagement, however, governments, citizens, civil society groups, and others are creating data-driven means to promote openness and transparency – and fostering engagement within communities informed by data. Underlying this openness and engagement is open data – particularly local data about community issues such as housing, air quality, graduation rates, literacy rates, poverty, disease, local government, and more.

    Data (via large-scale national datasets such as Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control that have varying levels of local granularity – or more local data such as city/county/town, neighborhood) have existed in key domain areas for some time. Newer data integration capabilities and analytic techniques, however, enable novel ways of viewing and analyzing data informing policy-makers, decision-makers, stakeholders, and citizens about their communities and potential ways to resolve challenges, seek opportunities, and foster greater openness and transparency. Often referred to as Big Data, the ability to harness geo-spatial data, chronic disease data, literacy data, and others to create data visualizations, interactive map-based analysis, and more can often shed light on critical community needs, gaps, and solutions. Big Data, however, are often manifestations of smaller localized datasets aggregated into larger and often more complex data.

    In order to engage in these data science efforts; create analytic tools; and foster civic engagement, there are underlying needs such as, but not limited to:

    • Central data repositories, where data are stored, maintained, and catalogued;
    • Data standards, to which collected data adhere;
    • Data communities, which collect, maintain, and curate data;
    • Effective information structure/ecology, through which to foster data communities, engagement, and use;
    • Awareness of frameworks for openness and transparency; and
    • Awareness, at the organizational, neighborhood, and individual levels, that data affect their daily well-being and functioning.

    In short, data – and their analysis – are increasingly central to better understanding and improving the communities in which we live. Libraries and information organizations play an important role at the intersections of government, civic organizations, neighborhoods, and the public – thus making them critical elements of community information and data ecosystems.

    While smaller communities often lack the resources, personnel, and infrastructure to fully realize the potential of Local Big Data using the same strategies employed by larger cities, it would be incorrect to assume that they have no information institutions. There are over 16,700 library buildings across the US, most of which are in small and rural communities. Although libraries are not the first organizations that come to mind in discussions of “Big Data,” they have a long history of working with community members to make use of information resources to meet their individual and community needs, as well as fostering openness, transparency, and democratic engagement.  This, coupled with the growing role for libraries in the dissemination of government data and provision of public services, offers significant opportunity for libraries to help their communities realize the potential of Local Big Data.

  • Specialization Requirements

    A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    2. Field Study - 3 credits
    • LBSC 707 Field Study in Library Science
      • To learn more about the field study for this specialization, click here
    1. Seven Community Analytics and Policy Specialization Required Course - 21 credits
    • INST 612 Information Policy
    • INST 607 E-government: Information, Communication, and Policy
    • LBSC 620 Diverse Populations, Inclusion, and Information
    • LBSC 622 Information and Universal Usability
    • INST 627 Data Analytics for Information Professionals
    • INST 733 Database Design OR INST 6xx: Data Manipulation, Cleaning, and Assessment (forthcoming)
    • INST 714 Information for Decision-Making
  • Applying

    Students must apply for the specialization during their initial admissions application. Students who are accepted to the program will be notified in their acceptance letter and are required to formally accept admission to this specialization.

    Apply Now!

  • Specialization Contact

    Dr. Paul T. Jaeger
    pjaeger@umd.edu

Diversity and Inclusion

Given the importance of equal access to information by all members of society, the study of information must be framed in the most inclusive terms possible. The Diversity and inclusion specialization focuses on instruction about and research into the design, development, provision, and integration of information services, resources, technologies, and outreach that serve diverse and often under-served populations.

*The Diversity and Inclusion specialization is replacing the Information and Diverse Populations specialization, and its name is pending final approval from the University.

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    Students enrolled in the specialization will be uniquely prepared to provide inclusive information services in their professional careers, regardless of their career goals. The specialization will enable students to develop a range of practical and analytical skills to provide information and technology services to diverse populations in a variety of information centers.

    Students who complete the Diversity and Inclusion specialization will be prepared to:

    • Demonstrate cultural awareness and be prepared to work with populations that are diverse in terms of gender, ability, language, literacy, socio-economic background, age, and other factors.
    • Comprehend and describe the issues related to providing inclusive information services to different populations in a range of settings.
    • Anticipate and implement solutions to address the challenges in providing inclusive information services to a variety of user populations.
    • Identify best practices and lessons in inclusive information services from different institutions.
    • Analyze how best to design, develop, and provide information services, resources, and technologies that serve diverse populations.
    • Integrate inclusive information practices with other practices of an information organization.
    • Conduct research about information and diverse populations.
    • Understand and demonstrate through practice, the ethical responsibilities of information professionals in terms of service to diverse populations.
  • Specialization Requirements

    A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursuing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    2. Field Study - 3 credits
    • LBSC 707 Field Study in Library Science
      • To learn more about the field study for this specialization, click here
    1. Diversity and Inclusion Specialization Required Courses – 12 credits
    • LBSC 620 Diverse Populations, Inclusion, and Information
    • LBSC 622 Information and Universal Usability 
    • INST 612 Information Policy
    • INST 613 Information and Human Rights
    1. Three Elective Courses – 9 credits
    • These additional courses are selected in consultation with an advisor

    If you started your specialization prior to Fall 2013, you can find your specialization requirements here.

  • Applying

    Students who wish to apply to the Diversity and Inclusion specialization should indicate their interest in their initial admissions application.

    Apply Now!

  • Specialization Contact

    Dr. Paul T. Jaeger
    pjaeger@umd.edu

Dual Degree: History and Library Science

The History and Library Science (HiLS) dual-degree program is the result of a cooperative agreement between the iSchool and Department of History. HiLS students graduate with both an MLIS and an MA in History. 

Students in the program must be formally admitted by both the iSchool and the Department of History in order to be admitted to the HiLS program. Students who are admitted by a single department have the option of pursuing the degree program in the accepting department. The History and Library Science Dual Degree Program webpage has more details on the program and its requirements.

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  • Why Should I Choose This Dual-Degree Program?

    The HiLS program is ideally suited for students interested in historical scholarship and research as well as applied skills. Because of the proximity of the College Park campus to a variety of immensely rich research collections, students are able to gain first-hand experiences through internships that reinforce their classroom instruction. As a result of the dual-degree studies, students in the HiLS Program gain skills in historical methodology and cutting-edge library and information science practices that prepare them for careers in libraries, archives, museums, and other information centers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

  • Program Requirements

    Students admitted to the HiLS Program typically complete the program of study in three (3) years, but they have up to five (5) years to complete the program. The HiLS Program requires fifty-four (54) credit hours of study, with a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours in both the Department of History and the College of Information Studies. Students select how to use the remaining six (6) credits.

    MLIS Requirements

    1. MLIS Core Courses (12 credits)
      • LBSC 602 Serving Information Needs
      • LBSC 631 Achieving Organizational Excellence
      • LBSC 671 Creating Information Infrastructures
      • LBSC 791 Designing Principled Inquiry
    2. Field Study (3 credits)
      • LBSC 707 Field Study in Library Science
    3. Electives (9 credits)

    Students must fulfill the requirements for the MLIS including the MLIS core courses and the field study. In addition, MLIS students choose a specialization or develop an individualized course of study (Individualized Program Plan, or IPP), which allows them to select electives based on their interests, career goals, and knowledge areas in which they want to build their skills. Students in IPP may take all masters-level courses offered in the iSchool, as long as course prerequisites are met. These include courses offered in the MLIS Program's areas of specialization: Archives and Digital Curation, Diversity and Inclusion, Community Analytics and Policy, and School Library. Students in the HiLS Program who want to prepare for a career in archives and digital curation should follow the Individualized Program Plan and take INST 604 Introduction to Archives and Digital Curation as well as other courses in archives and digital curation. Students are encouraged to consult specialization course plans and knowledge areas to aid them in creating a sequence of courses that address their career goals. Students who elect to complete a specialization outside of IPP may need to complete coursework beyond minimum HiLS requirements.

    HiLS students working within the minimum 54 credits for the joint degree program may take 24-30 credits in the iSchool and 24-30 credits in History for a total of 54 credits.

    MA in History Requirements

    The mandatory course requirements for the Department of History are as follows:

    1. History and Contemporary Theory (HIST 601; 3 credits)
    2. Field General Seminar(s) (HIST 608; 3-9 credits)
      • 608A-B (United States)
      • 608C (Modern Europe)
      • 608D (Middle East)
      • 608E (Women's and Gender History)
      • 606F (Science and Technology)
      • 608G-I (Latin America)
      • 608J-K (East Asia)
      • Equivalent seminar(s) in other historical fields
    3. Research Seminar (HIST 8XX; 3 credits)

    Students must fulfill all the requirements for the MA in History and the Masters of Library science. In History, students choose an area of concentration and take a certain number of courses-the General Seminar, readings courses, and research seminars-in that area of concentration. Students may choose to do the thesis or non-thesis option. In the thesis option, students write an MA thesis, and in the non-thesis option, students take two research seminars and an MA comprehensive exam. For more details, see the section on the MA degree on the History Department's website.

  • Applying

    Admission requirements for the HiLS Program combine requirements for the MA in History and the MLIS. Successful applicants make the case that they maintain a strong academic interest in historical scholarship and research, as well as a demonstrated interest in becoming a leader in information science, who will succeed in the dynamic and evolving global information society. Prospective students should consult the admissions guidelines for the Master of Arts in History and the Master of Library Science.

    HiLS applications are reviewed for admission separately by the iSchool and the History Department. A joint History Department/iSchool committee then reviews all those applicants recommended for admission by each program and decides which applicants will be admitted to HiLS. Students in the program must be formally admitted by both the iSchool and the Department of History in order to be admitted to the HiLS Program. Students who are admitted by a single department have the option of pursuing the degree program in the accepting department.

    The application deadline is December 15.

    Prior to applying applicants should review the minimum requirements of admission as outlined by the Gradaute School to ensure that they are eligible for consideration. Applicants can find those requirements here.

    Application Materials

    HiLS applicants submit only one graduate school application online.

    As part of the application HiLS applicants must submit:

    • A single Graduate School application
    • GRE Scores (GRE waiver option for MLIS applicants is not available to HiLS applicants, as the Department of History requires the GRE for all of its graduate applicants)
    • Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
    • 3 Letters of recommendation (these letters will be reviewed by both programs)
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Writing Sample, typically a 20-page research paper.
    • A 500 word targeted essay-addressing questions outlined on the MLIS Admissions Page
    • A current resume/CV
  • Specialization Contact

    iSchool Contact:
    MLIS Program
    mlsprogram@umd.edu

    Department of History Contact:
    Ahmet Karamustafa
    Professor & Director of Graduate Studies Department of History
    Room 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall
    (301) 405-4295
    akaramus@umd.edu

Individualized Program Plan

The Individualized Program Plan (IPP) allows to students to design their own course of study based on their interests, career goals, and the knowledge areas in which they want to build their skills. Students who select the Individualized Program Plan have two options in planning out their course work:

  1. Students may select from one or more of the knowledge areas below and construct a course plan using the recommended courses the selected knowledge area(s).
  2. Students may work with an advisor and/or faculty member to create a completely unique program of study. 

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    IPP is ideal for students who want the opportunity to design their own program to suit their particular interests and career goals. This program offers the most flexibility in course selection, location, and format. IPP can be done in person at our College Park campus, 100% online, or using a hybrid approach.

  • Specialization Requirements

    A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursuing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    2. Field Study - 3 credits
    • LBSC 707 Field Study in Library Science
      • To learn more about the field study for this specialization, click here
    1. Seven Elective Courses – 21 credits
    • These additional courses are selected in consultation with an advisor

    Please see the Knowledge Areas below for suggested course plans

    If you started your specialization prior to Fall 2013, you can find your specialization requirements here.

  • Knowledge Areas

    The MLIS Program has created suggested course plans for in-demand skill sets and common career paths in LIS. The following Knowledge Areas are designed to help students pick courses based on skill sets that are useful across a variety of information settings.  The Knowledge Areas were selected and designed after an extensive review of job postings and consultations with hiring authorities.  Courses were then selected based on the correlation between course outcomes and job requirements specified by either the job ad or the hiring authority.  These guides are designed to help students designing the IPP select their elective courses based on their interests and career goals and are particularly useful for IPP students who have a clear career objective. Plans for the following Knowledge Areas can be found here.

    Students should note that these are suggested courses. Each student should work with his/her advisor to design the course plan that best suits the student’s specific needs and interests.

  • Applying

    Students who wish to apply to the Individualized Program Plan specialization should indicate their interest in their initial admissions application. 

    Students who wish to join the specialization after their acceptance have until the end of their first semester to declare their intention to pursue the specialization. 

    Apply Now!

  • Specialization Contact

    For MLIS Questions:
    MLIS Program
    mlsprogram@umd.edu

    For Course Planning Questions:
    Student Services Office
    Telephone: (301) 405-2038
    ischooladmission@umd.edu

School Library

The School Library specialization provides candidates a firm educational foundation in information studies while pursuing requirements for School Library (SL) certification in the state of Maryland. The mission of the SL specialization is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. The specialization accomplishes this mission by:

  • Providing intellectual and physical access to materials in all formats.
  • Providing instruction to foster competence and stimulate interest in reading, viewing and using information and ideas.
  • Working with other educators to design learning strategies to meet the needs of individual students.

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    Students who are interested in providing services in a K-12 school environment are ideally suited for the School Library specialization. The SL specialization’s mission and curriculum are aligned with the latest national guidelines and standards for school library programs published by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). By adopting the mission endorsed by AASL, which represents the school library field nationally, the SL specialization ensures that its theoretical framework and philosophy are consistent with the latest and most advanced national statements regarding the profession. Additionally, the SL program is also nationally recognized by the Council on Accreditation of Educator Prepartion (CAEP), formerly the  National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

    As part of the program, ALL School Library candidates participate in a 30 day internship in public school environments, during which they are mentored by working school librarians. Fifteen (15) days are spent in an elementary school, and fifteen (15) days are spent working in either a middle or a high school.

    The primary goals of the specialization are to:

    • Provide candidates with a theoretical and research-based foundation in the historical and contemporary issues influencing the development of the field of information studies and SL.
    • Help candidates develop the understanding and skills necessary to fulfill the five roles of the contemporary school librarian — leader, teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator.
    • Prepare candidates to be (1) effective team members and advocates to integrate information literacy throughout the curriculum and (2) leaders in using technology to enhance learning.
    • Help candidates master the most advanced thinking about learning theory, pedagogy, information access and delivery, educational and information studies research, and concepts and techniques of program management.
    • Provide rich field-based experiences that will enable candidates to apply theoretical understandings to practical settings.
    • Foster a professional attitude, a commitment to the ethics of the SL profession, and a dedication to becoming engaged an active leader in the learning community of the school.
  • Specialization Requirements

    The School Library specialization requirements will be updated as of Fall 2016 pending University and state of Maryland approval. Below are the current and future requirements. A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursuing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    Current (2015-2016)

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    2. Field Study - 3 credits
    • LBSC 744 Internship in School Library
      • To learn more about the field study for this specialization, click here
    1. School Library Specialization Required Courses – 21 credits
    • LBSC 640 School Librarians as Information Professionals
    • LBSC 641 Selecting and Evaluating Resources for Learning
    • LBSC 642 Integrating Technology into Learning and Teaching
    • LBSC 645 Literature and Materials for Children
    • LBSC 646 Literature and Materials for Young Adults
    • LBSC 741 Seminar in School Library Administration
    • LBSC 742 Collaborative Instructional Design and Evaluation

    As of Fall 2016 (Pending Approval)

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    2. Field Study - 3 credits
    • LBSC 744 Internship in School Library
    • To learn more about the field study for this specialization, click here
    1. School Library Specialization Required Courses – 21 credits
    • INST 650 Facilitating Youth Learning in Formal and Informal Environments (formerly LBSC 640)
    • LBSC 641 Selecting and Evaluating Resources for Learning 
    • INST 651 Promoting Rich Learning with Technology (formerly LBSC 642)
    • LBSC 645 Literature and Materials for Children
    • LBSC 646 Literature and Materials for Young Adults
    • LBSC 741 Seminar in School Library Administration
    • LBSC 742 Collaborative Instructional Design and Evaluation

    Field Study/Internship

    LBSC 744, Internship in School Library, provides candidates with an extended clinical internship. In LBSC 744, each candidate is expected to demonstrate the ability to function effectively in the five roles of the school librarian: teacher, leader, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator under the supervision of a certified school librarian.

    For LBSC 744, each candidate is expected to participate in the operation of a school library program in an elementary school and a secondary school for a total of 30 full school days. Each candidate must complete two placements and each placement must be in a different district. One placement must be in an elementary school (a minimum of 15 days). For the second placement, candidates must choose between a middle OR a high school (a minimum of 15 days). Candidates enroll in the internship for one semester near the end of their studies, but may extend the placements over two semesters, with the instructor's approval. Candidates who are currently working in a school are not allowed to complete their internship in the school in which they are employed, but may complete a placement in another school within the district.

    Candidates identify the school districts in which they wish to complete their placements the semester prior to their field study. However, identification and assignment to specific schools is handled by personnel within the school systems. Some school systems limit significantly the number of candidates they will accept for placements; therefore, requests for placements in specific districts cannot be guaranteed. Candidates will need to submit the Internship Application Form to their instructor and relevant documents as indicated by school districts the semester prior to field study. The LBSC 744 instructor will announce specific deadlines for submission of this form in the Fall and Spring semester. A copy of the Internship Application Form can be found here. Candidates may complete one placement in an independent or non-public school. However, the candidate must identify the school and make the initial contact. The supervising school librarian in any non-public school must be state-certified or eligible for PK-12 Certification in the state in which the school is located.

    In LBSC744, specific expectations and responsibilities for each candidate, which reflect the five roles of the school librarian, are outlined in an Evaluation Rubric that is submitted to the instructor by the cooperating school librarian in each placement. A copy of the Evaluation Rubric can be found here.

    The School Library internship is mandatory. Students may not seek a waiver because it is a state mandated certification requirement. 

    Additional Coursework

    In addition, School Library specialization candidates who do not have teaching backgrounds must take additional education coursework outside the MLIS degree program — 3 credits in learning theory and 3 credits in classroom techniques. These courses may be at the graduate or undergraduate level (online courses are acceptable), but they do NOT count toward the basic 36 credits required by the MLIS degree program itself. For students who are not a currently certified teacher/practitioner, coursework must be less than five years old at the time of the request. Please note that the College of Information Studies will not recommend candidates for certification without a teaching background or this additional coursework in education.

    A directory of institutions and their education course offerings in learning theory and classroom methods can be found here.

    If you started your specialization prior to Fall 2013, you can find your specialization requirements here.

  • MLIS Holders Seeking School Library Certification

    The School Library (SL) specialization was designed to ensure that graduates meet the requirements for certification as a school library specialist as outlined in Section 13A.12.03.03 of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR). According to COMAR, there are two routes to school library certification in the State:

    • Completion of a State-approved program, such as the MLIS with SL specialization, and recommendation by the iSchool to the Maryland State Department of Education.
    • Completion of a number of specialized courses within or beyond a master's degree as determined directly by the Certification Division of the Department of Education.

    MLIS-holders can become eligible for certification under the second option (sometimes called the "credit count" option) by completing certain courses at the iSchool as Advanced Special Students. These courses are listed below. Please note that only holders of ALA-accredited MLIS degrees may pursue this option, and these students must meet SL specialization requirements, as well as those of the State. Those who complete the requirements listed below are eligible for recommendation by the College to the State as having mastered the same knowledge and skills as those regularly enrolled in the iSchool MLIS program with SL specialization.

    MLIS-holders who wish to pursue School Library certification through Maryland’s iSchool should take the following steps:

  • Delivery Format

    The School Library specialization required courses are offered exclusively online. Students are welcome to take MLIS Core courses on the College Park campus should they choose to. 

    As of Fall 2016 the proposed schedule (and suggested course plan) of School Library courses is as follows. Note: MLIS Core courses can be taken in different semesters than those suggested but must be taken within the first 18 credits unless otherwise specified. Please contact an advisor to discuss individual course plans. 
     

    Fall 2016
    I​NST 650 Facilitating Youth Learning in Formal and Informal Environments**
    LBSC 602 Serving Information Needs
    LBSC 671 Creating Information Infrastructures

    Spring 2017
    LBSC 641 Selecting and Evaluating Resources for Learning
    LBSC 646 Literature and Materials for Young Adults
    LBSC 631 Achieving Organizational Excellence

    Summer 2017
    INST 651 Promoting Rich Learning with Technology**

    Fall 2017
    LBSC 741 Seminar in School Library Administration
    LBSC 645 Literature and Materials for Children
    LBSC 791 Creating Principled Inquiry 

    Spring 2018
    LBSC 742 Collaborative Instructional Design and Evaluation
    LBSC 744 Internship in School Library

  • Graduation and Gaining Certification

    During the final semester in the MLIS program, each candidate is required to complete two forms:

    The university requires that a candidate be registered during the semester (s)he plans to graduate. If not taking classes on campus, the candidate must register for one hour of audit credit.

    For the most up-to-date information on graduation and commencement, please visit the Graduation and Commencement page.

    The state of Maryland — not the College of Information Studies or the University of Maryland — certifies individuals as School Librarians for the state; however, because the SL specialization has been approved by the state, graduates are automatically eligible for State certification by virtue of completing specialization requirements. The Student Services Office facilitates the process by which candidates gain certification through several steps:

    • During the last semester that a candidate is enrolled, he or she applies for certification by completing the School Library Certification Checklist;
    • The Student Services Office analyzes the candidate's program to be sure that all requirements have been met, and the SL Director signs the Certification Checklist, approving that the candidate has met all academic requirements for certification;
    • The Student Services Office submits a formal recommendation for certification to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), listing all candidates being recommended for certification. Each recommended candidate will receive a copy. This letter serves as the College's endorsement of candidates for certification and for the MLIS with a School Library specialization.

    In Maryland, certification is normally processed upon hire by a school district. The letter from the College is a necessary prerequisite, but the actual application for certification is handled through the local school districts. Although the specialization meets all the requirements of the state of Maryland for certification, candidates should be aware that local school districts may add their own requirements to those stipulated by the state. Graduates who have questions about this process or the requirements of individual districts should consult the SL Director.

    Candidates who plan to work in Maryland, but do not plan to seek employment immediately upon graduation, should begin the certification process during their last semester; however, they should consult the SL Director for further information about the appropriate procedures. Candidates seeking certification in other states should also consult the SL Director for assistance.

  • Applying

    In addition to the standard application materials outlined on the MLIS Admissions page, School Library applicants are required to submit:

    After initial application review, applicants still under consideration for admission will be invited to participate in an interview. Student admissions will be granted in accordance with iSchool and University policies. 

  • Specialization Contact

    MLIS Program
    mlsprogram@umd.edu

Youth Experience (YX)

The YX specialization prepares leaders, educators, and change agents who deeply understand the dynamic contexts of youth. Today’s children and adolescents need cultural institutions that can rapidly evolve their services, spaces, leadership, and programs. The YX specialization in the MLIS program enables candidates to design and implement policies, programs, and technology to support young people’s learning, development, and everyday lives.

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    Given how ubiquitous technology has become in the lives of youth, the fact that education, learning, and information-seeking behaviors are changing is not surprising. No longer is education confined to the school building. Instead, youth are learning across both formal and informal learning spaces, including libraries, museums, community centers, and online environments, such as social media. Research shows that interest-driven learning is the key to reaching today’s youth. Information professionals must be prepared to meet youth in their own spaces, use technology to facilitate existing interests, and be in tune with what is personally relevant and motivating to them.

    Students graduating from this specialization will be able to:

    • Rely on a unique, interdisciplinary experience and coursework that moves beyond the bounds of traditional programs related to youth.
    • Adapt to the changing needs of youth.
    • Understand the connections among myriad youth-related issues including learning, personal development, and changing technical and societal contexts.
    • Pursue a variety of potential avenues as educators, YX designers, technology specialists, youth librarians, researchers, or policymakers.
  • Specialization Requirements

    A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    • LBSC 602 Serving Information Needs
    • LBSC 631 Achieving Organizational Excellence
    • LBSC 671 Creating Information Infrastructures
    • LBSC 791 Designing Principled Inquiry
    1. Field Study - 3 credits
    1. YX Specialization Required Courses - 9 credits
    • INST 650 Facilitating Youth Learning in Informal and Formal Environments
    • INST 651 Promoting Rich Learning with Technology
    • INST 652 Design Thinking & Youth
    • Specialization Electives
    1. YX Elective Courses - 12 credits
    • Option 1 - Take 4 classes from a career pathway below
    • Option 2 - Select 4 non-repeating courses from the electives list

    Option 1 - The following Career Pathways are meant to help students select the elective courses based on their interests and career goals. The pathways will teach students appropriate skill sets for specific career objectives. Students should select courses from the Career Pathways below.

    Education Pathway - General

    • ​LBSC 622 Information and Universal Usability
    • LBSC 641 Selection and Evaluation of Resources for Learning
    • LBSC 742 Collaborative Instructional Design and Evaluation
    • EDCI 633 Teaching for Cross Cultural Communication

    Education Pathway - Reading

    • LBSC 645 Children's Literature and Materials
    • LBSC 646 Literature and Materials for Young Adults
    • LBSC 745 Storytelling
    • EDCI 634 Methods of Teaching ESOL

    Education Pathway - STEM

    • INFM 747 Web-enabled Databases

    Social Justice/Diversity Pathway

    • LBSC 620 Diverse Populations, Inclusion, and Information
    • LBSC 622 Information and Universal Usability
    • LBSC 735 Legal Issues in Managing Information
    • INFM 605 Users and Use Context
    • INST 612 Information Policy
    • EDCI 633 Teaching for Cross Cultural Communication
    • EDCI 634 Methods of Teaching ESOL

    Information Policy/Leadership Pathway

    • LBSC 713 Planning and Evaluating Information Services
    • LBSC 735 Legal Issues in Managing Information
    • INST 607 E-government: Information, Communication, and Policy
    • INST 610 Information Ethics
    • INST 612 Information Policy
    • INST 627 Data Analytics for Information Professionals
    • INST 660 21st Century Leadership
    • INST 706 Project Management
    • INFM 600 Information Environments
    • INFM 605 Uers and Use Context
    • INFM 706 Project Management

    Building/Design Pathway

    • INST 627 Data Analytics for information Professionals
    • INST 733 Database Design
    • INFM 747 Web-enabled Databases

    As of Fall 2016 the proposed schedule of required YX courses is as follows. Note: Semesters in which students will complete MLIS Core courses as well as specialization electives are to be determined by the student. Please contact an advisor to discuss individual course plans. 

    Fall 2016
    I​NST 650 Facilitating Youth Learning in Formal and Informal Environments**

    Spring 2017

    ​​(Specialization electives and/or MLIS Core courses)

    Summer 2017
    INST 651 Promoting Rich Learning with Technology**
    INST 652 Design Thinking & Youth**

    Fall 2017
    I​NST 650 Facilitating Youth Learning in Formal and Informal Environments**

    Spring 2018

    ​​(Specialization electives and/or MLIS Core courses)
     

  • Applying

    Students interested in pursuing the specialization should indicate their interest in their initial admissions application.

    For specific information on how to apply students should visit the MLIS Admissions page

    Apply Now!

  • Specialization Contact

    Dr. Mega Subramaniam
    mmsubram@umd.edu

**Archives, Records, and Information Management

Beginning in Fall 2015, the Archives, Records, and Information Management specialization will be retired and replaced with the newly formed Archives and Digital Curation specialization.  If you have any questions, please email mlsprogram@umd.edu

Students who began the MLIS Program before the combined Archives and Digital Curation specialization can review transition information here.

The Archives, Records, and Information Management specialization in the College of Information Studies is a leader in its field. The innovative curriculum ensures that graduates will be prepared for successful careers in the 21st century. The specialization meets all requirements recommended for archival education by the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    Entering into an archival career is the start of an exciting journey into the heart of what makes modern society work-the preservation and access of records and information critical to understanding the past and navigating the future. Archivists have a unique role. They identify, preserve, and provide access to records vital to preserving cultural heritage, and they aid organizations and individuals in managing the vast amount of contemporary records that will form the archives of the future. In a real sense archivists help shape societies’ understanding of itself-past, present, and future.

    Access to information is essential for a vibrant and healthy democracy. Archivists and other information professionals assist citizens seeking to assert their legal rights, hold public officials accountable, and understand the documentary heritage of their community. In a diverse and multi-cultural world, access to records and information is a right that archivists help to ensure.  The challenges (technological, professional, and political) are great but the rewards are even greater.

    Students graduating from this specialization will be able to:

    • Understand the role of archivists and other information professionals in contemporary society.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the records life cycle: creation, use, preservation, and access. 
    • Apply archival principles and methods in a variety of organizational settings.
    • Effectively use various media and formats found in archival and information systems.

    Students in this specialization will also participate in field study assignments at a variety of major public, private sector, and cultural heritage institutions.  Some of these include the National Archives, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Institutes of Health, the American Institute of Physics, and the Library of Congress among others 

  • Specialization Requirements

    A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    2. Field Study - 3 credits
    • LBSC 703 Field Study in Archives, Records, and Information Management
      • To learn more about the field study for this specialization, click here
    1. Archives Specialization Required Courses – 12 credits
    • LBSC 605 Archival Principles, Practices, and Programs
    • LBSC 684 Archival Arrangement and Description
    • LBSC 781 Access Techniques and Systems for Archives
    • LBSC 785 Documentation, Collection, and Appraisal
    1. Three Elective Courses – 9 credits
    • These additional courses are selected in consultation with an advisor.

    If you started your specialization prior to Fall 2013, you can find your specialization requirements here.

**Curation and Management of Digital Assets

Beginning in Fall 2015, the Curation and Management of Digital Assets specialization will be retired and replaced with the newly formed Archives and Digital Curation specialization.  If you have any questions, please email mlsprogram@umd.edu

Students who began the MLIS Program before the combined Archives and Digital Curation specialization can review transition information here.

The Curation and Management of Digital Assets specialization focuses on the creation, management and use; long-term preservation; and current and future access to digital assets in a variety of disciplines and sectors of the economy. Digital information is at the very heart of a modern society’s ability to learn, conduct business, recreate, and manage complex scientific, technological, industrial, and information infrastructure. It is a societal imperative that there be qualified professionals with the technical, intellectual, and social awareness required to manage complex collections of born-digital or digitized materials in a variety of organizational settings.

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    In the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore region, across the nation, and around the world, the need for professionals to manage and curate digital assets is acute. Major corporations, government agencies, international organizations, universities, cultural heritage institutions, and scientific organizations need professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to manage, preserve, and curate digital resources.

    Students graduating from this specialization will have the academic, technical, and practical skills to work in diverse organizational settings such as the commercial sector, cultural heritage organizations, the digital arts and humanities, and scientific research and development. Students will master core competencies to manage the digital assets lifecycle and will demonstrate mastery in hands-on field study opportunities.

  • Specialization Requirements

    A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    2. Field Study - 3 credits
    • LBSC 703 Field Study in Archives, Records, and Information Management OR LBSC 707 Field Study in Library Science
      • To learn more about the field study for this specialization, click here
    1. Digital Curation Specialization Required Courses – 9 credits
    • INST 640 Principles of Digital Curation 
    • INST 641 Policy Issues in Digital Curation 
    • INST 742 Implementing Digital Curation 
    1. Digital Curation Specialization Electives (select two from the following) – 6 credits

    • INFM 700: Information Architecture 
    • INFM 718G: Web-Scale Information Processing Application 
    • INFM 747: Web-Enabled Databases 
    • INST 643: Curation in Cultural Heritage Institutions 
    • INST 644: Introduction to Digital Humanities 
    • INST 645: Personal Digital Curation (iCuration) 
    • IINST 715: Knowledge Management 
    • INST 733: Database Design 
    • INST 734: Information Retrieval Systems 
    • INST 745: Introduction to Digital Arts 
    • LBSC 680: Principles of Records and Information Management 
    • LBSC 682: Electronic Records Management 
    1. Two Elective Courses– 6 credits​​
      These additional courses are selected in consultation with an advisor

​**Information and Diverse Populations

Given the importance of equal access to information by all members of society, the study of information must be framed in the most inclusive terms possible. The Information and Diverse Populations (IDP) specialization focuses on instruction about and research into the design, development, provision and integration of information services, resources, technologies, and outreach that serve diverse populations.

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  • Why Should I Choose This Specialization?

    Students enrolled in the specialization will be uniquely prepared to provide inclusive information services in their professional careers, regardless of their career goals. The specialization will enable students to develop a range of practical and analytical skills to provide information and technology services to diverse populations in libraries, archives, school media centers, government agencies, and numerous other information settings.

    The primary goals and objectives of the Information and Diverse Populations specialization are to prepare students to:

    • Be culturally aware information professionals who are prepared to work with populations that are diverse in terms of gender, ability, language, literacy, socio-economic background, age, and other factors;
    • Understand the issues related to providing inclusive information services to different populations in a range of settings;
    • Anticipate the challenges in providing inclusive information services;
    • Identify best practices and lessons in inclusive information services from different institutions;
    • Analyze how best to design, develop and provide information services, resources, and technologies that serve diverse populations;
    • Integrate inclusive information practices with other practices of an information organization;
    • Conduct research about information and diverse populations; and
    • Understand the ethical responsibilities of information professionals in terms of service to diverse populations.
       
  • Specialization Requirements

    A checklist showing program and specialization requirements can be found here.

    Pursuing this specialization consists of the following courses:

    1. MLIS Core Courses - 12 credits
    2. Field Study - 3 credits
    • LBSC 707 Field Study in Library Science
      • To learn more about the field study for this specialization, click here
    1. Information and Diverse Populations Specialization Required Courses – 15 credits
    • LBSC 620 Diverse Populations, Inclusion, and Information
    • LBSC 622 Information and Universal Usability 
    • INST 612 Information Policy
    • INST 613 Information and Human Rights
    • INST 614 Inclusion, Literacy, and the Public Good
    1. Two Elective Courses – 6 credits
    • These additional courses are selected in consultation with an advisor

    If you started your specialization prior to Fall 2013, you can find your specialization requirements here.