Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rutgers University

Today, I will provide an in-depth view of Rutgers’ Library and Information science program. This program was first accredited by the ALA in 1992, however it has been continually reaccredited and recognized as an excellent program. Located just an hour from my current residence, Rutgers is home to the 6th best ranked program in the country. Rankings are done every few years; the results of the 2006 US News and World Reports survey ranked Rutgers first in school library media, 3rd in services for children and youth, sixth in digital librarianship, and eighth in information systems.

AN MLIS degree from Rutgers prepares graduates to work in a variety of areas, including business industries, government agencies, research corporations, and libraries. Students will work closely with an advisor to design a course catalogue that reflects their career goals and interests. Thirty six credits (12 courses) are required to earn the MLIS degree. Courses are offered online and on campus, however how students must be able to attend a few on campus classes throughout the program. If a student intends to take more than three classes in a term, one of these classes must be on campus.
Course schedules are customized to fit the needs of individual students. The program has six concentrations”
1). Human interaction
2). Information access
3). Information and society
4). Information systems
5). Management
6). Organization information.
Regardless of the particular concentration chosen by the individual, classes in all areas must be taken to obtain a degree. Two noncredit classes are also acquired to attain the degree: 501-Introduction to Library and Information Professions and 502-Colloquium of Library and Information Studies. The program also encourages students to gain optimal field experience by working in an information center or library; this will not earn students credit, however it will enhance their learning experience and resume.
The on campus program consists of about 325 students: half are full-time while the other half are part-time. Students may enter the program in the fall or spring, however the department recommends stating in the fall so that courses can be taken in appropriate sequences.
To be admitted into Rutgers’ MLIS program, students must be academically accomplished. Requirements include:
1). A Bachelor’s degree
2). B average (or higher)
3). GRE, LSAT, GMAT, or MCAT scores
4). Transcript
5). Two letters of recommendation (3 are suggested) that focus on the applicant as an academic and critical thinker
6). A personal statement (no more than 750 words) explaining why the student wants to enter the library science and information field and their goals for a future in this area
7). $65 application fee (nonrefundable)

The application is available online at the following web address:
Students may submit all paper documents or the application itself to Rutgers’ mailing address:
Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
18 Bishop Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8530 USA
732/932-7711 Fax: 732/932-8231

Students applying for the fall must send in all required application materials by February 1st. Notifications of the outcome will be sent out by March 15th. Applicants offered admissions must notify Rutgers, if they accept, by April 15th. Students wishing to begin the MLIS program in the spring must submit applications by September 15th. Notifications will be sent out by October 31st. Students wishing to accept admission must notify Rutgers by November 30th.
The next on-campus admission session will be held on Monday, December 7th, from 4:00 to 5:00pm in room 323 of the SC&I building. If you wish to attend, please email: (

Tuition for the 2006-2007 year: In-state students pay $515.85 per credit while non-state students pay $766.90. By this estimate, a full degree would cost an in-state student, like myself, $6, 192.00. Tuition for the following year is decided in July by the board of governors. Current information is updated to the following site. 6, 192

Rutgers’ offers a very limited amount of financial aid to graduate MLIS students, however many outside organizations offer scholarships to future librarians. The following website is a great resource for this:

Next week, I will explore another highly esteemed University in my local area, Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The American Library Association

The ALA, American Library Institution, is an important resource for teachers, parents, and librarians across the country. The ALA is largest and oldest library organization in the world, founded in Philadelphia in 1876. Currently, this association has over 67,000 members, including school, government, academic, business, and historical library staff. There are different degrees of membership: student, personal, organizational, and corporate. The ALA promotes librarianship and library service by adhering to its mission: “To provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” This will be achieved through seven key action areas: diversity, equitable access to services, education and lifelong learning, advocacy for libraries and librarians, intellectual freedom, organizational excellence, and literacy. The ALA consists of a variety of divisions, based on various specialties and interests in the library science field. Some include the Assn. of College and Research Libraries, American Association of School Librarians, Reference and User services Assn, Library and Information Technology Assn, and Assn. of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies. The ALA’s next national meeting, which is open to all prospective members, will occur January 15-19th in Boston. On January 18th, the conference will release the names of the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott medals.

The most useful element of the ALA site for undergraduate students is its list of accredited programs in library science. The following link will take you to an interactive google map with all of the accredited programs in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.,-93.515625&spn=89.94393,163.125&z=3

Some of the accredited masters programs near The College of New Jersey Include Rutgers University, University of Pittsburgh, University at Albany SUNY, Long Island University, Syracuse University, Catholic University of America, and Southern Connecticut State University. The ALA page includes admissions information, types of degrees offered, financial aid statistics, and links to the individual University’s department pages. Once a student is accepted into a masters or doctorate program, he or she is able to join a student chapter of the ALA. This provides many benefits for networking, learning, and teaching.
Later in the week, I will be exploring various degree programs at the accredited institutions mention above to determine what classes I will be taking and what materials I will be studying as a graduate student in library and information technology.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Who, What, When, Why, How

To begin this quest to explore the field of information and library science, one should read this website:
This is a great website for basic information about all aspects of the field. The website highlights both the job description, qualifications, degree programs, employment, projected job outlook, salary, and related occupations.
The website reveals many interesting, perhaps unknown elements of the field. Many people are unaware of the technological aspect; Librarians are constantly working to master new technologies both on the Internet and within the library in organizational data bases. Librarians are needed in a variety of businesses, including law firms, marketing companies, and government agencies. The most positive new information concerns job prospects. The majority of librarians, roughly 2 out of 3, will be retiring in the next decade. This will result in many job openings, especially for librarians with ample experience with new technologies and teaching certifications. A typical library science program requires one year of graudate school, however it seems to be more benefifical to also gain a degree in education.
The next step in understanding the field will be to learn more about the American Library Association and the fivty-six colleges accredited by this offical organization.

A humble beginning

Hello, and welcome to my blog!
As a college student rapidly approaching her graduation date, I am constantly worrying about what career I want to pursue. Recently, I have come to the conclusion that I would really enjoy the field of information and library science. After I graduate from The College of New Jersey with an English Degree and Professional Writing Minor, I hope to attend the college for a one year graduate program to be certified as a teacher. This will help my ability to market myself both as a public and school librarian. I then hope to attend Rutgers' Information and Library Science graduate school to earn my PhD. The purpose of this blog is to gain a greater understanding of the field; what exactly librarians do, where they work, and the topics they study in graduate school. By understanding exactly being a librarian entails, I can decide if this is defiantly the career for me. I also hope to learn what skills I should focus on improving in hopes of earning an internship this summer. This blog will be updated weekly, with interesting links, summaries, and reflections on the field of library science. I welcome comments and suggestions, as this is not just for my benefit, but for the benefit of all readers who are interested in this field.