This career pathway focuses on information intermediation and instruction. Work in this area requires an understanding of how to help users define and articulate their information needs; excellent communication skills; mastery of a wide range of information tools and retrieval techniques for answering users’ questions; and proficiency in evaluating and selecting information sources and services.
Learning effective techniques for instructing users in the retrieval and evaluation of information is central to this specialization. Students may also wish to focus on designing tools to facilitate users’ access to information and tutorials to enhance their information literacy skills.
See also: Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL): Roles and Strengths of Teaching Librarians (2017) ) and Reference and User Services Association (RUSA): Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians (2017).
Students who concentrate in this field may work as:
- Coordinators of library instruction
- Liaison librarians
- Data Services Librarians
- Scholarly communications librarian
- Innovations Librarian
- Library Consortia Liaison
- Social Media and Marketing Librarian
- Database trainers
- Educational liaisons for vendors
- Information consultants/information brokers
- Information services librarians
- Outreach librarians
- Open Learning librarians
- First year experience librarians
- Student success librarians
- Public services librarians
- Reference librarians
- Virtual reference librarians
MLIS Skills at Work
The includes important trends and data that are needed to prepare for career advancement within the information professions. The following information within the report relates directly to the information intermediation and instruction career path. However, slides #11 and #12 showcase/highlight the skills most valuable to employers.
- See the report, slides #5 through #7 for more detailed information about hiring trends and slide #10 for representative job titles
- Because this pathway may cover so many types of education and organization settings, you may want to look at this group of slides as well: #21 (Reference and Research), #22 (Outreach, Programming and Instruction), #31 (Public Libraries), #32 (College, University and Research Libraries), #35 (Government Agencies and Organizations), #36 (Business and Nonprofit Special Libraries), and #38 (Health - Academic, Government and Corporate)
Core Theory and Knowledge
- Knowledge of research methodologies
- Managing reference resources
- Communicating information literacy in the language of the stakeholders
- Ability to deliver information services in a variety of venues and through programs designed in partnerships with others
- Ability to develop relationships with community partners, campus units, and library stakeholders
- Awareness of the evolution of information services and the core values held by information service providers
- Ability to assess information services and to communicate the value of these services to potential partners
- Possession of a user-centered perspective and an in-depth understanding of information seeking behavior
- Familiarity with a range of information sources and the ability to effectively search, retrieve, and evaluate information from a variety of sources
- Ability to communicate successfully with diverse user populations, particularly with regard to understanding and responding to user needs and explaining search strategies
- Understanding of the principles of information literacy and familiarity with current information literacy models and practice
- Capacity to plan, execute and evaluate instruction in the use of information resources
- Ability to understand, use, and create technologies, and stay on top of technology trends
The MLIS program requires 43 units for graduation. Within those units, six courses (16 units) are required of all MLIS students and must be taken as part of all career pathways: INFO 203, INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204, INFO 285, and either INFO 289 or INFO 299. Beyond those six courses, a student is free to select electives reflecting individual interests and aspirations.
If you are interested in this career pathway, you may choose to select from the foundation or recommended course electives listed below. Foundation courses form the foundational knowledge and skills for this pathway. If you can only select a few electives, then choose from the foundation courses. The recommended courses are very relevant, but not as foundational to this career pathway.
The career pathway described here is provided solely for advising purposes. No special designation appears on your transcript or diploma. All students get an MLIS degree.
Faculty pathway advisors are available to help guide you and answer questions about planning a career in their area of expertise. Learn more about faculty pathway advisors.
- INFO 203 Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success
- INFO 200 Information Communities
- INFO 202 Information Retrieval System Design
- INFO 204 Information Professions
- INFO 285 Applied Research Methods in Library and Information Science (sections on Evaluating Programs and Services, Survey Research, Research in Academic Libraries are particularly useful), [Select class number and then topic]
- INFO 289 or INFO 299 Culminating Experience
- INFO 210 Reference & Information Services*
- INFO 234 Intellectual Freedom
- INFO 244 Online Searching
- INFO 246 Information Technology Tools and Applications: Advanced (Section on Web 2.0 and Social Media.) [Select class number and then topic]
- INFO 250 Design and Implementation of Instructional Strategies for Information Professionals*
- INFO 254 Information Literacy and Learning*
- INFO 281 Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Sections on Cultural Competency for Information Professionals*, Intercultural Communication*,Information Integrity, Open Education: OER and Open Pedagogy [Select class number and then topic]
- INFO 282 Seminar in Library Management
Section on Change Management [Select class number and then topic]
- INFO 283 Marketing of Information Products and Services
- INFO 286 Interpersonal Communication Skills for Librarians
- INFO 287 Seminar in Information Science
Sections on Gamifying Information, Design Thinking, User Experience* [Select class number and then topic]
- INFO 294 Professional Experience: Internships
* strongly recommended by the Information Intermediation and Instruction Program Advisory Committee
- INFO 220 Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines
Sections on Psychology of the Information User, Data Librarianship [Select class number and then topic]
- INFO 221 Government Information Sources
- INFO 240 Information Technology Tools and Applications (Web Site Design)
- INFO 246 Information Technology Tools and Applications: Advanced
Section on Information Visualization [Select class number and then topic]
- INFO 251 Web Usability
- INFO 266 Collection Management
- INFO 275 Library Services for Racially & Ethnically Diverse Communities
- INFO 282 Seminar in Library Management Sections on Grant Writing, Information Vendor Landscape [Select class number and then topic]
- INFO 287 Seminar in Information Science
Hyperlinked Library [Select class number and then topic]
Effective leadership and management (of people and information) is critically important for all types of work environments and clients.
We recommend that students consider also selecting some courses from the Leadership and Management career path to complement or supplement core skills in other areas.
- Read Community Profiles of students and alumni pursuing this career pathway.
- Browse presentations by professionals working in the field.
- Search the Alumni Career Spotlights for alumni working in this field. Consider contacting alumni for an informational interview.