Students pursuing the online MSLIS may choose a specialization to inform their program of study. Working with a faculty advisor, students are encouraged to consider electives that align with educational standards established by professional associations focused on various aspects of Librarianship.
Rapid changes in higher education, along with major shifts in publishing and information technologies, underscore the continued need for well-trained, innovative academic librarians. New teaching methods, new kinds of information and information behaviors, increased digitization of collections, current and emergent information literacy needs, interdisciplinary collaboration, and other trends call for hybrid professional skills. The Academic Librarianship specialization offered by the Division of Library and Information Science trains information professionals to assume leadership roles for these functions at community colleges, four-year colleges, and research universities.
The selection of courses for the Academic Librarianship specialization was guided by The Association of College and Research Libraries (2011) Standards for Libraries in Higher Education. These standards consist of a set of principles and performance indicators that address institutional effectiveness, professional values, educational roles, facilitation of discovery, collections, space, management and administrative issues, and external relations.
In accordance with these ACRL standards, the recommended DLIS courses for the Academic Librarianship specialization are designed to impart the skills and competencies needed in contemporary college or research library contexts.
The Archival Studies specialization at the St. John’s University Division of Library and Information Science provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work in archives, special collections, historical societies, government agencies, business, museums, and various other curatorial environments. The principles and practices of archives and records management are based on provenance, collection-level arrangement, description, and context, all of which are becoming increasingly relevant with the massive explosion of information across all sectors of society.
The course selection for the “Archival Studies” specialization was guided by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) “Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies (2016).” This statement is divided into three subsections which identify the core knowledge and skill-sets archive and records managers are expected to have upon graduation. They are (1) Knowledge of Archival Material and Archival Functions, (2) Knowledge of the Profession, and (3) Contextual Knowledge.
The courses for the “Archival Studies” concentration are designed and tailored to educate and train archive and records manager professionals to possess the competencies recommended by SAA.
American public libraries are increasingly important social, intellectual, and cultural hubs. Equal access to information, leisure and educational programs, information literacy programs, information technology training, and workforce development programs are among the services offered by public librarians. The Public Librarianship specialization delivered by the Division of Library and Information Science trains information professionals to assume innovative leadership roles for these and other public library functions in libraries that serve diverse communities with a variety of information needs.
The selection of courses for the Public Librarianship specialization was informed by The American Library Association’s (2009) “Core Competencies of Librarianship”, and the Ohio Library Council’s (2014) “Ohio Public Library Core Competencies”. These documents provide guidance for competency standards on many aspects of public librarianship.
In accordance with these sets of competencies, the recommended DLIS courses for the Public Librarianship specialization are designed to impart the skills and competencies needed for diverse public library contexts.
The course selection for the Youth Services specialization was guided by the core set of competencies developed by two key library and information organizations: the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), which are both divisions of the American Library Association (ALA). In addition, the guidelines for library services to babies and toddlers, children, and young adults set forth by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), provide the global perspective 21st Century youth librarians need. The ALSC and YALSA have independently identified the following seven competency areas as essential to information professionals that work with children and/or young adults: Leadership and Professionalism, Knowledge of Client Group, Communication, Administration, Knowledge of Materials, Access to Information, and Services. The ALSC recognizes two additional areas: Advocacy and Technology. According to YALSA (2009), LIS schools are well suited to foster these competencies. The suggested courses for the Youth Services Concentration are designed to do just that.