The ability to generate, access, and use information has become the key factor in personal, social, and economic growth. The expanding global information society is encouraging the free flow of information; and the impact of rapidly changing information and communications technologies is reshaping our personal, educational, and social activities, our organizational and political practices, and our local, national, and international institutions. The impact of these changes on all types of organizations and on the professionals who manage them is unprecedented. Managing, organizing, and providing access to information have become key elements in the promotion of a free and democratic society. Information management covers not only resources in traditional library settings, but encompasses all information assets whether they are physical or digital. Information studies practitioners encourage lifelong learning through providing access to information in a multicultural society.
The University of Oklahoma School of Library and Information Studies is the only American Library Association-accredited master's degree in Oklahoma (continued accreditation). The Master of Library and Information Studies offers specialized tracks within traditional library settings and supports the development of skills, knowledge, and attitudes required in information agencies and in positions of information management, storage, organization, access, and use within profit and not-for-profit institutions.
SLIS offers a comprehensive degree program through coursework and practical experience. The MLIS degree requires a minimum of 36 hours of completed coursework. Students complete their degree through one of three options: passing a comprehensive examination, completing a written thesis, or completing a portfolio.
MLIS Career Opportunities:
According to the US Department of Labor, 3 in 5 librarians are aged 45 or older and will become eligible for retirement in the next 10 years. There are often more positions available than applicants in this job field. The average salary for librarians from 2010-2011, as reported in a Library Journal survey, was $44,507. The average starting salary in 2011 ranged from $39,785 to $55,866. The 2013 Library Journal survey reports the average starting salary in 2012 as $44,503, with a range from $33,893 to $65,000.
MLIS graduates work in many career settings, including:
- Public Libraries
- Academic Libraries
- School Library Media Centers
- Special Collections
- Publishing Industry
- Corporate Libraries, Archives, or Data Management Centers
- Government Information Centers
Recent MLIS graduates are currently employed with job titles, including:
- Reference Librarian
- School Library Media Specialist
- Academic Librarian
- Branch Librarian
- Government Librarian
- Web and Digital Initiatives Coordinator
- Children's Services Coordinator
- Young Adult Librarian
MLIS students can tailor their educational experience to focus on a specific area of library and information services, including:
- Academic Librarianship
- Children and Young Adult Services
- Information Organization
- Information Technology
- Public Librarianship
- Reference Services
- School Library Media
- Special Librarianship