A number of areas of specialization are available which give students the opportunity to customize their elective coursework and focus their studies on a special area of interest. The recommended courses listed below can be used as a guide to help you map out your academic program. We also encourage you to contact your faculty mentor to discuss career and academic goals.

Recommended Courses for all Specializations

The profession is traditionally divided into four major areas: academic libraries, public libraries, school library media centers, and special libraries and information centers. Some specializations, such as archives or digital libraries, can cross library types which means that the specialties below are not mutually exclusive.

  • INFOST 521 Introduction to Reference Services and Resources
  • INFOST 520 Managing Library Collections
  • INFOST 524 Management of Libraries and Information Services
  • INFOST 661 Ethics and the Information Society
  • INFOST 862 Legal Issues for Library and Information Managers
  • INFOST 990 Fieldwork in Library and Information Science Services
Academic Libraries Specialization

Description: Appropriate preparation for most careers in academic librarianship consists of the core courses, a selection of the strongly-recommended courses, practical experience, and a selection of specialized courses from the following list. Because some academic positions require extensive disciplinary knowledge (i.e., selector for geography or other academic discipline, law librarian, music librarian, etc.), they may require graduate degrees in those fields in addition to an MLIS. Specialized disciplinary courses related to sources and services in music, law, and cartographic collections, among others, can also be beneficial. Information literacy programs are central to the services of many academic libraries and some coursework or experience in instruction would be desirable.

Recommended courses:
INFOST 520: Managing Library Collections
INFOST 521: Introduction to Reference Sources & Services
INFOST 682: Digital Libraries
INFOST 691: Information Literacy Instruction
INFOST 735: The Academic Library
INFOST 739: Digital Information Services

Recommended Courses – Technical Services:
INFOST 520: Managing Library Collections
INFOST 685: Electronic Publishing & Web Design
INFOST 711: Cataloging & Classification
INFOST 712: Resource Description for Library Catalogs
INFOST 713: Subject Analysis for Library Catalogs
INFOST 714: Metadata

Depending on background and/or interests, one or more of the following:
INFOST 627: Music Librarianship
INFOST 633: Cartographic Resources in Libraries
INFOST 738: Legal Information Sources & Services
INFOST 831: Information Sources & Services in Social Sciences & Humanities
INFOST 832: Competitive Intelligence & Business Information
INFOST 834: Information Sources & Services in Science & Technology
INFOST 835: Information Sources & Services in the Health Sciences

Digital Libraries Specialization

Description: Sufficiently specialized to have become a career track, this area of practice may be found in and out of library settings. Education or experience related to library settings may beneficially supplement the following courses.

Recommended courses:
INFOST 682: Digital Libraries
INFOST 685: E-Publishing & Web Design
INFOST 714: Metadata
INFOST 717: Information Architecture & Knowledge Organization
INFOST 739: Digital Information Services
INFOST 780: XML for Libraries
INFOST 786: Multimedia

Information Law, Policy & Ethics Specialization

Description: This specialization introduces students to critical areas of law, policy, and ethics as they impact the LIS field and profession. Courses are designed to provide specialization in the area of sociomatics—with a focus on additional decision-making and analytical skills for information and technology-rich environments. The broader context of information issues is also developed with society at large.

Career opportunities: Chief Information Officer or other managerial positions, Government Compliance Officer, Legislative Specialist, Ethics Officer, Chief Privacy Officer, Chief Ethics Officer

Recommended Courses:
INFOST 465: Legal Aspects of Information Products & Services
INFOST 660: Information Policy
INFOST 661: Ethics & the Information Society
INFOST 738: Legal Information Sources & Services
INFOST 861: Seminar in Intellectual Freedom
INFOST 862: Legal Issues for Library & Information Managers

Information Literacy Specialization

Description: Academic libraries and school library media centers promote information literacy using various methods of instruction. Coursework and experience in specific library settings would be reasonable preparation for a career in information literacy, in addition to the following:

Recommended Courses:
INFOST 521: Introduction to Reference Sources & Services
INFOST 670: Instructional Technologies
INFOST 691: Gaming & Information Literacy
INFOST 740: Information Literacy Instruction

Public Libraries Specialization (Children/Adult Services)

Description: Appropriate preparation for most careers in public librarianship consists of the core courses, fieldwork, and a selection of specialized courses from the following lists, depending on interests in public or technical services, or adult or children’s services.

Recommended Courses:
Also consider the Public Library transcript designated concentration:
http://www.uwm.edu/informationstudies/academics/graduate/mlis-public-lib/

Recommended Courses – General:
INFOST 736: The Public Library
INFOST 861: Seminar in Intellectual Freedom
INFOST 862: Legal Issues for Library & Information Managers
INFOST 691: Infopreneurship

Recommended Courses – Public Services:
INFOST 521: Introduction to Reference Sources & Services
INFOST 721: Readers and Readers Advisory
INFOST 734: Library Services for Adults
INFOST 739: Digital Information Services

Recommended Courses – Technical Services:
INFOST 520: Managing Library Collections
INFOST 685: Electronic Publishing & Web Design
INFOST 711: Cataloging & Classification
INFOST 712: Resource Description for Library Catalogs
INFOST 713: Subject Analysis for Library Catalogs
INFOST 714: Metadata

Recommended Courses – Children’s Services:
INFOST 645: Library Materials for Children
INFOST 646: Library Materials for Young Adults
INFOST 741: Multi-cultural Children’s Literature
INFOST 745: Library Services for Children & Young Adults

Special Libraries Specialization

Description: Special Libraries are libraries or information centers in corporations, law firms, trade associations, government agencies, research institutions, and other organizations. Careers in such settings can benefit from disciplinary education or experience (e.g., degrees in law or health sciences) and from courses such as the following.

Recommended Courses:
INFOST 737: The special Library & Information Center
INFOST 622: Information Marketing
INFOST 655: Information & Records Management OR 656: Electronic Records Management
INFOST 691: Infopreneurship
INFOST 714: Metadata
INFOST 716: Indexing and Abstracting

Depending on background and/or interests, one or more of the following:
INFOST 738: Legal Information Sources & Services
INFOST 833: Competitive Intelligence & Business Information
INFOST 834: Information Sources & Services in Science & Technology
INFOST 835: Information Sources & Services in the Health Sciences