New LIS Specialization
SIS announces a new specialization in its MLIS degree program, enabling students to focus their studies in Academic Libraries, a growing field with numerous opportunities for employment and career development. SIS and the University Library System (ULS) have collaborated to develop a specialization that will educate librarians for positions in academic libraries of all types and sizes, with an emphasis on work related-learning experiences for students.
The new Academic Libraries track builds on the strengths of both the SIS faculty and the ULS, a top-quartile Association of Research Libraries library system consisting of more than 20 libraries and collections. The Library System offers SIS faculty and students the opportunity to work with more than 50 faculty librarians from a wide variety of units in a laboratory-like setting to develop practical applications of the theory of librarianship.
Students specializing in this 36-credit track will follow a sequence of courses, with opportunities for electives for developing individual interests. Students will take courses including Understanding Information, Retrieving Information, Introduction to Information Technologies, Reference Resources and Services, Organizing Information, Managing Libraries, Government Documents, Issues in Academic Libraries, The Library’s Role in Teaching and Learning and Collection Development.The Academic Libraries Track incorporates the highly successful ULS Interns Program which calls for interns to work approximately 10 hours/week as student assistants assisting with a variety of academic library functions. In addition to those duties, interns participate in special projects that focus on the connections between their job duties and the broader roles and operations of academic libraries. Interns participate in training sessions in their respective libraries to learn more about reference service processes and other aspects of academic librarianship. The interns also develop personal portfolios over the course of the year that includes descriptions of each of their job areas and reflections on how those activities relate to the overall operation of an academic library.
Internships have been available at Bevier Engineering Library, Chemistry Library, Frick Fine Arts Library, Hillman Library Reference, Music Library, SIS Library, and the University of Pittsburgh Archives Service Center
Students interested in the Academic Libraries track also have the option of doing the program part-time and completing internships in other academic libraries in the Pittsburgh region. Students who work part-time, for either 10 or 20 hours a week, in paid positions in academic libraries also will have the opportunity to participate in the Partners Program, for which the LIS Program offers tuition scholarships of three or six credits and the library provides an hourly wage depending on hours worked.