See yourself leading an information revolution in public libraries? The Public Library Concentration prepares MLIS graduates to positively engage with the range of opportunities facing the post-modern public library: extended community involvement, incorporation of emerging technologies, and pro-active advocacy for service populations.

Public library leaders build vital, resilient communities through their understanding of user needs, community partnerships, access to information and library services, and the legal and financial frameworks of public libraries. The objective of the Public Library Concentration is to enable graduates to take strong leadership positions with sensitivity to community needs and the possibilities engendered by new media technologies.

Career Opportunities

Library Director Public Services Librarian
Adult Services Librarian Coordinator of Library & Information Services
Information Services Specialist Patron Services Manager
Outreach Coordinator Young Adult Coordinator
Children & Young Adult Coordinator

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To pursue the Public Library Concentration you must complete and submit the Public Library Concentration Declaration of Intent. This will allow the program coordinator to track your progress and communicate with you via the email list.

Things to know…

  • The concentration is a credential which appears on your transcript, and is completed within the context of the MLIS program.
  • You may not earn a concentration and a certificate based on identical coursework.
  • Upon completion of your coursework, your concentration program will be reviewed and approved by the coordinator of the Public Library Concentration.
Program Requirements

The Public Library Concentration requires a minimum of 18 credits of coursework taken from the list of qualifying courses below. Your program must be approved by the Public Library Concentration Coordinator.


Required: Students must take the following courses

  • 736 – The Public Library (3 credits)
  • 861 – Seminar in Intellectual Freedom (3 credits)
  • 864 – Critical Approaches to Public Librarianship (3 credits) (Previously – Public Libraries: Philosophy, Politics and Policy (891 topic))

Electives: Students must take at least three of the following courses

  • 520 – Managing Library Collections (3 credits)
  • 524 – Management of Library and Information Services (3 credits)
  • 622 – Information Marketing (3 credits)
  • 661 – Ethics and the Information Society (3 credits)
  • 682 – Digital Libraries (3 credits)
  • 685 – E-publishing and Web Design (3 credits)
  • 862 – Legal Issues for Library and Information Managers (3 credits)
  • 999 – Independent Research (3 credits)