Course Catalog

Library and Information Science (MS)

 

Description

The SLIS Master of Science, Library and Information Science degree integrates theory with practice to help our graduates play dynamic roles in shaping the future of libraries, archives and museums. Our students learn to organize information, to preserve collections, and to support users as they seek reliable and rich information resources. Above all, SLIS is committed to helping libraries, archives and museums engage diverse audiences and address society’s critical information needs.

Our faculty bring real world experience to classrooms and take pride in being personal mentors. The interests and expertise of our faculty cover a wide range of areas, including access to information for all users, organization of information, big data, technology, ethics, and how this applies to archives, school libraries, public libraries, academic, and special libraries.

Through internships, site visits and pre-professional work opportunities throughout Massachusetts, across New England and all over the country, our students gain experience in their fields. Take advantage of what Boston has to offer while taking on a flexible schedule, with classes held on days, nights, weekends, part-time, full-time, or online. Achieve a successful career, a meaningful life and a powerful return on your educational investment.

Our students go on to a variety of successful careers as digital librarians, web developers, social media managers, school media specialists and much more. The skills and knowledge you gain in this program prepare you for libraries, museums, archives, management of information systems and also for data-rich business and research settings.

 

Concentrations

LIS students may choose to focus their studies by following a degree concentration curriculum designed to prepare students to work in a variety of information institutions with a diversity of materials and tools. Students who choose to concentrate their studies must complete the LIS core courses required of all MS students as well as a sequence of courses required to earn the degree concentration. The following concentrations are available. (See below for additional information)

  • Archives Management
  • Cultural Heritage Informatics 
  • Information Science and Technology
  • School Library Teacher Program

In consultation with their academic advisor students can also design their own program of study under Design Your Own (DYO) LIS program option.

 

Tracks

The LIS faculty has developed topical “tracks” that serve as guides for course selection and professional development in specific areas of the library and information science field. Students may customize their LIS degree program by working with their faculty advisor to select recommended “key courses” in a track of interest as well as elective courses that can broaden and deepen a student’s knowledge in the subject area.
Please refer to the description of the tracks on the web site to explore the key courses and electives in each curricular track:

  • Information Organization
  • Management and Leadership
  • Preservation Management
  • User Services
  • Youth Services

 

Learning Outcomes

1.   Apply professional standards, tools, and best practices in the information field and across specialized areas.

2.   Communicate effectively to different audiences through use of oral, written, and visual formats across multiple media.

3.   Develop appropriate technology strategies across a range of information settings.

4.   Critically analyze and apply research.

5.   Evaluate and create information services and/or systems to reflect and respond to the needs of diverse communities and stakeholders.

6.   Demonstrate individual and collaborative leadership ability.

7.   Be guided by professional ethics and values.

 

Requirements for entry into program

Applicants to the MS (LIS) program must have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Applicants must also submit official transcripts from all institutions attended (including transfer credits), three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a resume, a completed application form, and application fee. International applicants must also submit a minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based) or IELTS score of 6.5 in each part. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) tests are required only when an applicant’s Grade Point Average (GPA), when averaged and reflective of any and all degrees earned prior to application for admission to SLIS, measures less than 3.0. Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA for all degrees will be considered after they submit the GREs. 

 

Delivery Modes Available

Flexible schedule, with classes held on days, nights, weekends, part-time, full-time, or online.

Attend the master’s program part-time at SLIS West in South Hadley, Massachusetts. The small classes and cohesive community help our working students succeed in the classroom and in their careers.

Students may complete the Master of Science degree program in library and information science fully online.

 

Experiential Learning

SLIS students develop hands-on skills and experience through internships, practicums, and pre-professional jobs in a wide variety of settings, including schools, libraries, corporations, hospitals, government agencies, NGOs, and media organizations. We strongly encourage all students to gain experience in the field, and we help students connect with the best sites for their career goals.

Every SLIS student is offered the opportunity to gain experience via coursework or pre-professional positions within our ever-growing network of partner institutions, including not only those in Massachusetts and New England, but also institutions all over the country. Archives Management and School Library Teacher concentration students have experiential learning opportunities built into their programs, whereas students in the Design Your Own (DYO) LIS program can take an internship elective for credit. SLIS has a long history with internship sites, thereby providing matches for students rather than requiring students to find their own sites.

Degree requirements

Students in the MS (LIS) degree program must complete 36 credits of graduate coursework to be qualified to earn the MS (LIS) degree.

MS (LIS) students must maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 to continue in the program.

Students in the School Library Teacher Program (SLTP) must receive a “B” (3.0) or better in every course. Any course in which the student has received a grade lower than a B must be repeated before the candidate may enroll in a practicum or be recommended for licensure. See “Degree Progress and Academic Sanctions” for further information.

Concentrations and specializations

LIS students may choose to focus their studies by following a degree concentration curriculum designed to prepare students to work in a variety of information institutions with a diversity of materials and tools. Students who choose to concentrate their studies must complete the LIS core courses required of all MS students as well as a sequence of courses required to earn the degree concentration.

Program Requirements

MS (LIS) students are required to complete three courses equaling nine (9) credits of core coursework in library and information science.

LIS 407Information Sources & Services

3.00

LIS 415Information Organization

3.00

 

LIS 488Technology for Information Professionals

3.00

or, if a student is in the School Library Teacher Program (SLTP)

LIS 460Technology and the School Library Teacher

3.00

These core courses must be completed within a student’s first twelve (12) hours of coursework. SLT students must complete LIS 407 and LIS 415 within their first twelve (12) hours of coursework and may complete LIS 460 any time during the course of their degree program.

The School has initiated a program to provide a common base of knowledge of the technologies and tools students will encounter during the course of their studies, as well as resources available to them as a Simmons LIS student. All students entering the program are required to register for the 0-credit LIS 400 – Virtual Orientation, which introduces students to the full range of academic, administrative, and social expectations for students, and the environment in which they must meet those expectations. Intended for both online and on campus students, this course describes program requirements; university, school, and program policy; and offers information about the full range of resources available to the students in support of their programs. It also offers basic tutorial and instruction related to the use of Moodle (the learning management system used in online and on campus courses), library resources, and other key tools used to support student learning.


Concentrations and specializations

LIS students may choose to focus their studies by following a degree concentration curriculum designed to prepare students to work in a variety of information institutions with a diversity of materials and tools. Students who choose to concentrate their studies must complete the LIS core courses required of all MS students as well as a sequence of courses required to earn the degree concentration.

Archives Concentration Course Requirements

LIS core courses (9 credits):

LIS 407Information Sources & Services

3.00

LIS 415Information Organization

3.00

LIS 488Technology for Information Professionals

3.00

Take the following:

LIS 438Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice

3.00

LIS 440Archival Access and Use

3.00

LIS 442Establishing Archives and Manuscript Programs

3.00

One of the following:

LIS 456Records Management Environments

3.00

LIS 476Archives & Cultural Heritage Outreach

3.00

LIS 441Appraisal of Archives and Manuscripts

3.00

LIS 433Oral History

3.00

One of the following

LIS 439Preservation Management

3.00

LIS 448Digital Stewardship

3.00

Four elective courses

Information Science and Technology Concentration Course Requirements

LIS core courses (9 credits):

LIS 407Information Sources & Services

3.00

LIS 415Information Organization

3.00

LIS 488Technology for Information Professionals

3.00

Take the following:

LIS 484Theories of Information Science

3.00

LIS 485Introduction to Programming

3.00

LIS 458Database Management

3.00

Two of the following:

LIS 421Social Informatics

3.00

LIS 455Usability & User Experience Research

3.00

LIS 462Digital Libraries

3.00

LIS 465Knowledge Management

3.00

LIS 467Web Development and Information Architecture

3.00

LIS 473Information Visualization

3.00

LIS 487Data Interoperability

3.00

Four elective courses

Cultural Heritage Informatics Concentration Course Requirements

LIS core courses (9 credits):

LIS 407Information Sources & Services

3.00

LIS 415Information Organization

3.00

LIS 488Technology for Information Professionals

3.00

Take the following:

LIS 432Concepts in Cultural Heritage Informatics

3.00

LIS 438Introduction to Archival Theory and Practice

3.00

LIS 439Preservation Management

3.00

LIS 477Digital Asset Management

3.00

Five elective courses

LIS 445Metadata

3.00

LIS 458Database Management

3.00

LIS 449Rare Book and Special Collections Librarianship

3.00

LIS 425History of the Book

3.00

LIS 462Digital Libraries

3.00

LIS 447Collection Maintenance

3.00

LIS 446Art Documentation

3.00

LIS 471Photographic Archives

3.00

ART 547Art of the Gardner

3.00

Two Elective courses

School Library Teacher Program Course Requirements

LIS core courses (6 credits)

LIS 407Information Sources & Services

3.00

LIS 415Information Organization

3.00

Take the following:

LIS 406Management & Evaluation of School Library Programs

3.00

LIS 459School Library Teacher Pre-Practicum

3.00

LIS 460Technology and the School Library Teacher

3.00

LIS 461Curriculum & Instructional Strategies

3.00

LIS 481Library Collections & Materials for Children

3.00

LIS 483Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults

3.00

LIS 498Practicum (PreK-8)

3.00

LIS 499Practicum (7-12)

3.00

Two elective courses

Changing to or from a Concentration

Students who have begun their program of study within a concentration may decide to leave the concentration or switch to an alternate concentration. Students who wish to leave a concentration or switch to an alternate concentration must complete the Change of Advisor/Change of Program form and submit this form to the Student Services Center.

Students electing to leave a concentration or change from one concentration to another may request a new advisor to guide their progress through the degree program. To request a new advisor, students must first contact the advisor with whom they wish to work and then complete the Change of Advisor/Change of Program form, which requires the signature of the student and their new advisor, and submit this form to the Student Services Center.

MS (LIS) Students in the Archives Management Concentration. Students currently enrolled in the MS (LIS) program and in the Archives Management concentration can apply for admission to the dual degree (MA/MS) program in Archives and History by submitting an application and the required materials with the Ifill College admissions office. Once these materials have been received, an interview with the history program director is also required.