5 Concentrations for a Master’s in Library Science Degree

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Updated August 4, 2020

Master's in Library Science Concentrations

  • School Librarianship
  • Archives
  • Library and Information Services
  • Curation
  • Youth Services

Librarians can choose concentrations in library science that will prepare them to work in schools, government buildings, public libraries, or hospitals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their job expectancy is expected to rise from two to seven percent through 2024. Librarians need a Master's in Library Science and this degree takes between one to two years to complete.

Resource: Top 30 Affordable Online Master's in Library Science Degree Programs

The American Library Association states that common job titles found among librarians include: Systems Librarian, Virtual, Services Manager, Answer Curator, and Information Specialist. With library jobs becoming more diverse, Master's of Library Science programs are offering more opportunities for students to choose concentrations in their fields. Some of the concentrations include:

School Librarianship

Many Master's of Library Science programs offer some kind of concentration in school libraries. This concentration allows for students to work in K-12 school libraries. Schools often require a teaching certification, but having a Master's of Library Science also gives students an edge on the competition.

Often students will complete a practicum and/or field experience in a school library, often referred to as a media center. Students have the opportunity to work in an elementary school and a secondary school. While working on their practicums, they will complete portfolios of their experiences.


A concentration in Archives allows students to work in places such as historical societies, special collections, or archives. They may work in colleges, museums, or medical or law libraries. Larger public libraries may have archival departments as well. A librarian's responsibility in this field includes the handling of sensitive historical documents such as letters, maps, and photographs.

Librarians work to preserve these documents so they will be available for generations to come. Oftentimes members of the public, writers, and researchers will come to review these documents. The librarians will assist them in finding what they need and help them to find more information.

Library and Information Services

This is a general concentration that provides students with the ability to work in many different settings. A concentration in library and information services allows students to work in public libraries, academic libraries, and special libraries in locations such as museums, hospitals, the government, and the military.

Having a library and information sciences degree gives a student the ability to work with all kinds of patrons, giving them the opportunity to move around within the field if they wish. Students can work with the public in answering questions or creating programs in the library. They can also choose to work in technical services such as cataloging.


Data curation is "the active and ongoing management of data through its lifecycle and usefulness to scholarship, science, and education." As students work in data collection and management, they gain the ability to manage large amounts of data and often work for large corporations. Librarians in this concentration work to make sure that data is accurate and available for use.

Graduates of programs are able to work in places such as academic libraries, corporations, government, and nonprofit organizations. They may hold job titles such as research data librarian, data curator, and data analyst.

Youth Services

Youth services librarians work in the children's and teen's departments of public libraries. They are also called children's librarians and teen or young adult librarians. They work in collection management, making sure the collections meet the current popular and educational needs of children. In their graduate studies, students often choose to work with either children or teenagers.

They often collaborate with teachers and other educators to stock appropriate materials that children will use in local schools. They also work to organize literacy groups and parenting education programs. They work with the children of the community to provide engaging activities, summer programs, and study programs.

Master's of Library Science programs have worked to adapt to changing times. Students in Master's of Library Science programs can choose many different concentrations according to their choices and needs. They are creating new technology advanced programs to prepare their students for new jobs in the library field. Among these and more library science students can choose concentrations in their field.

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