Library & Information Science Careers

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Apply to the Masters in Information program today at the College of Computing & Informatics. Please refer to the application deadlines below:

For Winter 2024:

Winter classes start on Monday, January 8, 2024.

  • International Applicants: October 15, 2023
  • U.S. Applicants (On-campus and Online): December 11, 2023

For Fall 2024:

Fall classes start on Monday, September 23, 2024.

  • International Applicants: June 1, 2024
  • U.S. Applicants (On-campus and Online): August 27, 2024

What is Library Science? 

Library and Information Science is the integration of technology to create, manage, organize and use information. It makes information accessible to people, communities, businesses and organizations. 

A Library and Information Science degree can provide you the opportunity for a career in academia, law or medicine where you help people access special resources or develop competitive intelligence. It could also lead you into a career designing and developing knowledge-organization systems to help audiences from children to CEOs connect with the informational resources that they need to learn and work. 

In both cases, a degree in Library and Information Science can be a career path that connects a love of learning with a love of technology. 

What is the difference between Library Science and Information Science?

While Library Science and Information Science are interconnected, it’s helpful to understand the difference between the two disciplines:

Library Science focuses on managing books and other media that are collected, preserved and organized in different types of libraries, including public and academic libraries. Library science is also the study of the management and curation of specialized libraries and archives used by hospitals, cultural organizations, corporations, museums, legal organizations, the military and other government branches. 

Information Science focuses on the properties and behavior of information and how it can be managed and processed for optimum accessibility and usability. Information scientists may design indexing systems for libraries, digital archival software for art museums and special collections or medical reference systems used by health care professionals. 

Library and Information Science Industry Trends and Career Outlook 

Current trends in Library and Information Science show that libraries and information centers in communities, businesses and government are becoming technology hubs. Beyond books, music, movies and research materials, libraries are becoming places where people can access: 

  • 3-D Printing – Some libraries offer the general public with access to 3-D printers, allowing them to create prototypes, custom field and research equipment and visualization models for little to no cost. 
  • Virtual Reality – Libraries are incorporating VR into their offerings to help patrons and researchers access virtual views of the world, access museums, collections and archives and look into the past and future. 
  • Educational Games – Libraries provide access to educational and social games that help learners of all ages develop new skills, learn new topics and improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  

Library scientists will need to understand these new trends in Library and Information Science to help make information more accessible to their audiences. This technological expansion of the traditional library field offers potential for growth and the chance to make a difference for many different communities and business sectors. 

The need for libraries and other information collections to provide access to more data and technology is expanding. Information scientists will be needed to create the systems required to organize that data and ensure that people can access it. 

The field of Library and Information Science is diverse, with a wide array of job opportunities. The us Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the job opportunities in this field will grow by 7% in the next 10 years, slightly faster than the average growth rate for all other occupations. 

While library and instructional services positions, records management and data curation careers come to mind, the field is expansive, including these career paths:  

  • Archive Management – Preserves manuscripts and other materials from the past as well as items from the present that may be of historical, cultural or scientific interest. 
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) – Deals with the preservation, organization and storage of digital materials and digitized copies of analog materials. 
  • Bibliometrics – Analyzes and quantifies the impact of specific works of research and measures the influence they have on a field of study. Research institutions then use this information to allocate resources. 
  • Medical Informatics – A specialty in the field of health informatics, medical informaticists create information technology systems that allow health care providers to access patient medical information and available research to make critical medical decisions. 

A Degree in Information (MSI or MI) Library Information Science (LIS) major from Drexel University equips students with the tools, knowledge and skills to pursue a diverse range of competitive library science jobs. 

Examples of Library and Information Science careers that graduates holding a MSI-LIS degree may wish to explore include:

  • Associate Editor – While the precise tasks of an associate editor vary from one company to the next, the typical duties of this library science job include fact-checking content, compiling and reviewing material, and providing support for a team of writers. The average salary for an associate editor is around $44,000 per year. 
  • Chief Information Officer – A Chief information officer (CIO), also called an IT director or chief digital information officer (CDIO), is an executive whose job is to ensure that the company is supported by technology that aligns with the company’s goals and vision. The yearly salary for a CIO position ranges from approximately $99,000 to $295,000, among the highest in library science careers (based on PayScale data). 
  • Digital Archivist – Our library science curriculum prepares students for the role of a digital archivist. Digital archivists compile, organize and maintain virtual archives. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), archivists earn around $50,000 per year on average. 
  • Government Records Analyst – Government records analysis is the practice of reviewing, assessing, and seeking ways to improve record keeping and data maintenance. According to Glassdoor, the yearly salary for a public records analyst ranges from $22,000 to $61,000. 
  • Library Systems and Applications Developer – A library systems and applications developer is generally responsible for ensuring that library systems are set up for maximum efficiency. The salary for a library systems and applications developer ranges from $57,000 to $106,000
  • Competitive Intelligence Analyst – A competitive intelligence analyst contributes to executive decision-making by providing and evaluating intelligence on competitors, consumers, or products and services. The average competitive intelligence analyst salary is slightly over $87,900, with a potential range anywhere from $28,000 to $127,000. 
  • Information Architect – An information architect implements data-driven design strategies to make using applications and websites easier and more informative for users. The salary range for a person in the field of information architecture ranges anywhere from approximately $58,000 to $130,000, depending on experience.
  • Knowledge Management Specialist – Working in industries from insurance to pharmaceuticals, those within the knowledge management field evaluate, present, and distribute data to help companies implement best practices and achieve higher efficiency. According to LinkedIn, the average knowledge management specialist salary is $64,500.

Many students of Library and Information Science also find their training valuable in other fields of computer science such as data analysis, digital content management and more. 

What Do You Learn in Library Science? 

Studying Library and Information Science can include topics including digital preservation and stewardship, electronic records management, educational literacy, research methodology, collection development and archives management. 

A Degree in Information (MSI or MI) Library Information Science (LIS) major from Drexel University equips students with the tools, knowledge and skills to pursue a diverse range of competitive library science jobs.

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