Why Not a Bachelor in Library Science? – Revisited


“Why isn’t that a good idea? Seems as though it is a very good idea in some librarians’ minds – at least those in Connecticut, Kentucky and Maine.” – and NORTH CAROLINA.

The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s renowned School of Information and Library Science has recently announced –

Dual Bachelor’s – Master’s Program
The Dual Bachelor’s – Master’s Program is a unique offering in higher education. Of the 24 iSchools in North America, only 4 offer an accelerated Bachelor’s – Master’s program of any sort; and other than these 4 iSchools, only 1 of the 58 programs accredited by the American Library Association offer an accelerated Bachelor’s – Master’s program.

The dual Bachelor’s – Master’s program is intended to enable Information Science (IS) majors to obtain both their BS and MS degree by early planning of an undergraduate program that integrates well with the graduate degree requirements for either a Master’s in Information Science (MSIS) or a Master’s in Library Science (MSLS). While the BSIS provides sound preparation for entry into the information professions, the Master’s degree provides a distinct advantage to those who aim to advance to managerial or leadership positions.

The BSIS and Master’s programs prepare students for careers in public, private, and governmental institutions of all kinds as information system analysts, designers and developers, data managers, web designers, librarians, archivists, and similar areas. The SILS curricula offer students a sound foundation of coursework, augmented by projects, internships (field experience), and research opportunities that contribute to making SILS graduates highly sought after by employers.

With this kind of horsepower behind a BS in library science, maybe we’ll see some movement in this direction – eventually.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Why Not a Bachelor in Library Science? – Revisited

  1. I don’t see the need. We have staff from High School degrees to Bachelor’s and Master’s in various subjects. We all do just about everything at our library, and I don’t see where a specific B.A. in Library Sciences would make a difference. I see the MLA’s as management positions, and you really take a back seat to servicing the public when you are in management. In my experience management is all about egos and power. That’s a shame because we rely on our management to guide us. Management needs to work at the front desk at least weekly to get in touch with the public they are serving.

  2. Frank

    Well I am thinking just the opposite the MLS or MLIS is what is making the hierarchy of Libraries obsolete. The entrepreneurial spirit found in the technology giants are about to start feeding on library territory in bgger numbers than what they have already gobbled up. Please go online and watch Charlie Rose’s interview with Michael Saylor of Microstrategy on 10/17/12 on the Charlie Rose Show. His new book is “The Mobile Wave”. The physical warehouses of books will dematerialize into cloud based data warehouses and because of the lack of demand the physical warehouses will have to close in favor of the cloud based data warehouses that have all the information and publications. Newsweek just announced this week they are going entirely digital, why, to eliminate the physical printing, distribution, and storage facilities. I recently volunteered at a library that has a state of the art video studio in it to create video tutorials. None of those employees have Masters degrees. Libraries need entrepreneurs who will create programs to help their patrons create information in the future this is how libraries will reinvent themselves with spirited Bachelor degreed entrepreneurs not the hierarchal status quo just waiting to be gobbled up. Kids are learning to manipulate Ipads and Ipods not coloring books.

    • Thanks Frank. I agree with everything except the MLIS “making the hierarchy of the Libraries obsolete.” Absolutely, the technology is making information access, storage and retrieval different than it has ever been, which affects the role of the librarian on many levels. I agree that more not less information is being born digital. Absolutely, kids are learning to create using technology not analog devices.
      But all of that supports the reason why librarianship should become more business-like and the professional career path should be the same as other fields. BS for entry, MS for advanced positions and leadership. If librarianship doesn’t fill the leadership void within its own organizations, other professions will. The kind of leadership I advocate for in Library Leadership… is not the young “spirited Bachelor degreed entrepreneurs,” but the mature experienced in librarianship “leaders” with the essential entrepreneurial spirit. Not that we don’t need the “spirited Bachelor degreed entrepreneurs” to help move that along faster.

      • Frank

        Coming from the corporate world into the library profession which I have always admired I still have this spirited entrepreneurial bent , in fact I would hate to see it succumb to the technology giants who have absolutely no concept of customer service. For that reason I seek what you seek Library Leadership with that spirit and yes it needs to show up sooner than some think. Thank you for leading the charge !

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