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Master of Arts in Librarianship and Information Service

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  • Course description
    The Master of Arts (MA) degree program aims to provide students with the values, skills and knowledge to enter the information professions, and in particular to:

    1. Understand the characteristics of, and interactions among, information, information technologies, and the people who provide and use these sources and services, from all segments of a multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual society;
    2. Comprehend the philosophies and uphold the principles of information ethics, and ethical information policies;
    3. Aspire to leadership in a continuously changing field;
    4. Envisage and plan how to meet the varied and changing information needs of individuals and groups in a global society;
    5. Provide public service through continuing education programs, consulting services for library and information centers, and participation in professional organizations;
    6. Promote excellence in research contributions to the base of theoretical and practical knowledge in libraries and archives, and in information studies.

    Students who successfully complete the Master of Arts degree in Library and Information Studies demonstrate knowledge, understanding of, and proficiency in:
    1. Theoretical and historical perspectives that provide a critical grounding for practice, including theories, concepts, and issues in the organization of and access to information, the history of American librarianship, reading, information technology in society, and theories and issues of the relationship of information and power;
    2. Professional techniques and technologies, including research skills, knowledge of all types and formats of information sources and the ability to evaluate them, familiarity with technical services and public services and how they work together, high level of skill at negotiating information needs from the reference interview to community analysis, and competency with software and hardware that provides the foundation for confidently and quickly learning new systems and programs;
    3. The practice of good teamwork and communication skills, a reflective, problem-solving mindset, and the creative vision to take on and grow with leadership roles, including the ability to work effectively in groups and with diverse people, to give excellent presentations and facilitate meetings, and effectively to write planning and other administrative documents;
    4. Formal and informal information policies and ethics from the global to the local level, a strong service ethic and commitment to intellectual freedom required to cope with the necessary tensions pervading information provision, including knowledge of organizational, governmental, and international policy, understanding of societal communication processes, including scholarly communication, and commitment to excellent service;
    5. Library and information services for a particular client group, context, or type of agency (e.g., children, small public libraries, the disadvantaged, humanities scholars);
    6. Library and information services within a particular functional area or type of service (e.g., cataloging and classification, reference services, collection management)

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