Information & Library Science Department Program Descriptions

Preparing for Information Careers 

In companies across the country, corporate library science specialists are integral parts of the management team, as they track and organize information on products, trends and markets. In hospitals, these information experts organize the barrage of material on medical developments. In law libraries, museums, research centers, universities and government agencies, library science experts handle the complicated and important job of managing the world's information.

At the local library information experts are a familiar face, a helping hand, and resident expert to patrons of all ages, helping others access and use information. Whether running a story-hour for preschoolers, helping senior citizens navigate the World Wide Web, or choosing books for a library's collections, library science specialists are the local authorities on information and access.

At Southern, the only school in Connecticut to offer an American Library Association accredited program (Master of Library Science), undergraduate majors gain many of the skills, knowledge, and professional perspective necessary to begin building careers in this exciting field. 

The Department of Information and Library Science offers academic programs at the undergraduate level leading to the degree of Bachelor and Science, and at the graduate level leading to the degree of Master of Library Science, a professional diploma in Library Information Studies, and coursework leading to Connecticut certification as a School Media Specialist.

The Bachelor of Science program in Library-Information Service integrates coursework in information science, library science, instructional technology, and related fields and prepares graduates positions in a variety of information-based fields and for support positions in cultural institutions: libraries, museums, archives, and art galleries.

The graduate programs include Master in Library Science (MLS), School Media Certification program, and the Professional Diploma in Library Information Studies (Sixth-Year Certificate program). The department also offers a number of continuing educational programs. 

From:  Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition

Job Outlook for Librarians

Job growth is expected to be as fast as the average and job opportunities are expected to be favorable, as a large number of librarians are likely to retire in the coming decade.

Employment change. Employment of librarians is expected to grow by 8 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is as fast as the average for all occupations.

Jobs for librarians outside traditional settings will grow the fastest over the decade. Nontraditional librarian jobs include working as information brokers and working for private corporations, nonprofit organizations, and consulting firms. Many companies are turning to librarians because of their research and organizational skills and their knowledge of computer databases and library automation systems.

Job prospects. Job prospects are expected to be favorable. On average, workers in this occupation tend to be older than workers in the rest of the economy. As a result, there may be more workers retiring from this occupation than other occupations. However, relatively large numbers of graduates from MLS programs may cause competition in some areas and for some jobs. 

Job Outlook for Library Technicians and Library Assistants

Employment of library technicians and assistants is expected to grow about 10 percent, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Opportunities will be best for those with specialized postsecondary library training. Prospects should be good, because many workers leave these jobs and need to be replaced.

Employment change. Between 2008 and 2018, the number of library technicians is expected to grow about 9 percent, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations and the number of library assistants is expected to grow by about 11 percent, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Increasing use of library automation creates more opportunities for these workers. Electronic information systems have simplified some tasks, enabling them to be performed by technicians, rather than librarians, and spurring demand for technicians. 

Job prospects. Job prospects should be favorable. In addition to job openings from employment growth, some openings will result from the need to replace library technicians who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force. Opportunities will be best for library technicians with specialized postsecondary library training. Each year, many people leave this relatively low-paying occupation for other occupations that offer higher pay or full-time work. This creates good job opportunities for those who want to become library assistants.

General information for all ILS programs

ILS 2012-2013 Student Handbook [pdf]

Information on Mentoring/Coaching