Careers in Libraries: Getting Your MLIS


Academic librarian positions almost always require a graduate degree in library and/or information science that is accredited by the American Library Association. Occasionally, depending on the assignment, other subject master's degrees are required. The UO Library School was suspended in 1978 and has not offered credit coursework since then. The closest accredited library schools for in-person MLIS programs are University of Washington in Seattle, and San Jose State University in California. There are many options available for distance education programs, as well, including through UW and SJSU, and Emporia State University's Portland-based Distance-MLS. The American Library Association has the complete directory for accredited programs for the United States and Canada.

Academic Librarianship

Examples of academic librarian specialities include:

  • reference librarians: work directly with patrons in helping them develop a strategy for their research needs

  • instruction librarians: teach users how to access materials

  • subject specialists: work with departmental representatives to help select materials for the library collections

  • acquisitions librarians: procure materials from vendors

  • collection development librarians: work with subject specialists, departmental representatives, and acquisitions librarians to develop the scope of the collections

  • catalog librarians: process the materials so that they are accessible to the public

  • systems librarians: manage behind-the-scenes network operations

  • web librarians

  • human resources librarians

  • rare books and manuscripts, special collections, and archives

  • law library careers

  • area-specific librarians, such as: math, science, humanities, history, languages or area studies, government documents, geography and GIS, business, music, art,  architecture, digital collections, etc.

There are many other types of librarians:

  • public librarians

  • school/media librarians

  • corporate or special (companies such as Time/Warner, government agencies, The Los Angeles Times, Microsoft, pharmaceutical companies, medical and/or hospital libraries--anywhere information is gathered and sought!)

Great Resources to Check Out!