The Big Picture
There are people whose job it is to preserve, promote and provide access to centuries of human achievement and imagination. They can help someone articulate the information they need, even when they're not sure they know what it is. They understand how information technologies work, and how they could work better. They provide systems and services that allow people to create and collaborate, to perpetuate their histories and cultures, and share information for the betterment of humanity.
The work these people do is critical, but not always obvious. They have different job titles, and they work in a more diverse range of organizations than you probably expect. Libraries, archives and other traditional information institutions are on the forefront of offering new information services to meet changing needs, but the essence of the profession hasn't changed: helping people articulate, seek and fulfill their unique information needs, while cultivating within them the skill and passion to find and evaluate information for themselves.
Still, a modern library and information science education is a passport to transcend traditional boundaries. Every organization needs its data accessed, analyzed and visualized, so they can make well-grounded decisions. Integrating data from diverse sources—think of the last time you scoured the Web before making a purchase decision—requires people who can find, evaluate, translate and transport information from where it exists to where it can do the most good.
Those with a library and information science education, whether they're analyzing scientific data collections or reading a book to a child, are in a position to profoundly influence people's lives.
LIS students must successfully complete 39 credits (13 classes) of approved graduate coursework to earn a Master of Library and Information Science (MLISc) degree. While most students build their program of study entirely within the LIS core and elective course offerings, we encourage students to explore courses beyond LIS, to maximize the uniqueness of their educational experience. A maximum of nine of the 39 credits may be taken from other programs, with the approval of an LIS faculty advisor.
Students have five years to complete their degree work, though the LIS Program and UH Graduate Division can approve extensions in special circumstances. Most full-time students complete the program in approximately two years.
We strongly encourage students to take advantage of our many internship opportunities. There are currently more than 50 active internship sites across the state.
Most courses meet on the UH Mānoa campus once a week for 2.5 hours during the fall and spring semesters, with several evening and asynchronous online course options available each semester. Fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long, and we also offer a selection of summer courses that are usually 6 weeks long.
Though our program is primarily face-to-face, we support neighbor island students through distance education via Zoom, which we use to webcast a rotating selection of onsite courses each fall and spring semester. Most Zoom-enabled courses will have a student assistant present to support neighbor island students to participate and interact with students and faculty during synchronous courses on the UH Mānoa campus.
If you want to expand your career opportunities with an MLISc degree, please review the Programs and Admissions sections of our web site. If you have further questions about the LIS Program, send an email to LISinfo@hawaii.edu and the LIS Program Coordinator will follow-up with you within 1-3 business days.
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on librarianship as a career, see: the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, the American Library Association's Library Careers site, SJSU's Emerging Career Trends for Information Professionals report, Library Journal's Placements & Salaries Surveys, ALA's Career Development Resource Guide, and from Buzzfeed News "Here's What It's Actually Like To Be A Librarian" for anecdotes from the trenches.
MLISc Career Options
Content Management Analyst
Emerging Technologies Librarian
Instruction & Outreach Librarian
School Library Media Specialist
User Experience Designer
...just to name a few!
"I entered the Program knowing that I enjoyed leadership. I emerged a teacher, a mentor, a peer, a leader, and a librarian. The faculty helped me find my voice and they remain a guiding light after graduation." Liz T. (2015)
"The coursework gave me an excellent foundation, drawing on the best traditions of librarianship while incorporating forward looking ideas, new technologies, and consideration of collaborative discovery processes." Matt B. (2012)