Academic Concentrations

The UK School of Information Sciences offers a course of study leading to the ALA-accredited* Master of Library Science degree (MLS) with a concentration in one of six concentration areas: Academic Libraries; Health Information; Information Technology & Systems; Public Libraries; School Libraries; and Youth Services and Literature. An option for general studies is also available. The areas here (with the exception of School Libraries) are suggested courses to take based on your area of interest and are not specialized degree programs themselves, although we encourage students to pursue additional certification(s) in their field of interest should they find it beneficial to do so.

 Be sure to select your courses in consultation with your faculty advisor.

*continued accreditation

Academic Libraries

Academic libraries, sometimes referred to as college, university, or research libraries, are attached to public and private institutions of higher education. These libraries provide resources and services to meet the curricular and research needs of the academic departments and community. Academic librarians work in many different capacities, including administration, collection management, public services, information technology, special collections, preservation, and data services, and they provide instruction, support, and access to resources in digital, print, and other formats, very often with a specialization in a subject or discipline.

 

  • LIS 608: Methods of Research in Library and Information Science
  • ICT 610: ICT Research Methods
  • LIS 625: Information Literacy Instruction
  • LIS 626: Electronic Information Resources in the Health Sciences
  • LIS 641: Law Librarianship
  • LIS 643: Archives & Manuscripts Management
  • LIS 646: Academic Libraries
  • LIS 658: Knowledge Management
  • LIS 659: Collection Development
  • LIS 661: Introduction to Data Science
  • LIS 662: Data Analysis & Visualization
  • LIS 665: Introduction to Digital Libraries
     

Students in the Academic Libraries concentration area may also wish to consider earning their Graduate Certificate in Instructional Communication.

Health Information

A health information professional or medical librarian assists physicians, clinicians, allied health professionals, students, patients, consumers, and medical researchers in finding health and scientific information to improve health care and patient well-being. Medical libraries (and patient education centers) are typically found in hospitals, medical schools, academic health science centers, private industry, and in medical or health associations. In addition to providing reference services and literature searches to hospital personnel and healthcare providers, medical librarians often provide orientation and instruction in the use of the (library's) information resources and services, and provide training to hospital staff and healthcare consumers on the use of online resources. With the increased role of health information technology, medical librarians also play a crucial role in healthcare information systems.

  • LIS 626: Electronic Information Resources in the Health Sciences
  • LIS 627: Consumer Health Information Resources
  • LIS 629: Introduction to Medical Informatics
  • LIS 640: Health Information Resource Services
  • LIS 661: Introduction to Data Science
     

Information Technology & Systems

Students in this concentration are interested in the application of technologies and system development for library and information services. They may seek positions such as IT coordinators, database administrators, data specialists, or system developers in library or information organizations. Topics covered by courses in this concentration include database management systems, web development, digital libraries, data analytics, and information architecture.

  • LIS 630: Information Retrieval
  • LIS 634: Information Architecture
  • LIS 636: Foundations of Information Technology
  • LIS 638: Internet Technologies & Information Services
  • LIS 661: Introduction to Data Science
  • LIS 662: Data Analysis & Visualization
  • LIS 665: Introduction to Digital Libraries
  • LIS 668: Information Systems & Design

 

Public Libraries

Public libraries provide information services to the general public. They are supported by public funding and are governed by a board to serve the public interest. Public libraries serve their communities by offering access to educational and recreational materials in print and digital formats, internet and computer access, programming, outreach, genealogy, and often, local history resources. Public librarians work in adult services, youth services, cataloging, electronic resources management, collection management, information technology, emerging technologies, administration, marketing, local history and genealogy, and outreach.

  • LIS 608: Methods of Research in Library & Information Science
  • LIS 610: Library Materials & Literature for Children
  • LIS 611: Critical Analysis of Children’s Literature
  • LIS 612: Youth Literature for a Diverse Society
  • LIS 613: Information Resources & Services for Children
  • LIS 614: Library Materials & Literature for Young Adults
  • LIS 625: Information Literacy Instruction
  • LIS 627: Consumer Health Information Resources
  • LIS 638: Internet Technologies & Information Services
  • LIS 645: Public Libraries
  • LIS 659: Collection Development
  • LIS 665: Introduction to Digital Libraries
     

School Libraries

As a skilled teacher and information specialist, the school librarian empowers children and young adults to be critical thinkers, engaged readers, and effective and ethical users of ideas and information. The school librarian facilitates access to literature and information in multiple formats, engages in evidence-based practice to ensure the school library program addresses the diverse needs of all students and teachers, and collaborates with other educators to design instruction promoting the development of an array of skills necessary for success in a technology, media, and information rich society.

See the School Librarian Program page for more information on this program.

 

Youth Services and Literature

Students in this concentration are interested in pursuing careers in public libraries in which they serve children and/or teens, as well as their parents and other adults in their lives.

  • LIS 610: Library Materials & Literature for Children
  • LIS 611: Critical Analysis of Children’s Literature
  • LIS 612: Youth Literature for a Diverse Society
  • LIS 613: Information Resources & Services for Children
  • LIS 614: Library Materials & Literature for Young Adults
  • LIS 659: Collection Development

 

Generalist Options

Students who seek a more generalized degree program or wish to select courses of interest across concentrations should work with their advisor to select courses most appropriate for each student's goals and skills. It should be noted that most School Libraries concentration courses are intended solely for students pursuing their MSLS concurrently with school media certification.