Career Pathway: Library and Information

Pathway Overview

Why Library & Information Science?

  • Flexibility of options, variety of specializations 
  • Room for growth
  • Desirable payscale

Library and information science is a dynamic and multidisciplinary field. Obtaining a degree prepares students to interpret and manage data for any organization. Students interested in a library science career will be able to leverage their information technology skills in academic, community, and law libraries. Students interested in information science will learn to drive business strategies that benefit people and organizations alike. 

In-Demand Skills

Ultimately, your ability to land a specific role rests on your experience and educational background as well as your proficiency in these skills below.

Transferable Skills and Qualities

  • Microsoft Office and Productivity Tool Proficient
  • Schedule-Oriented
  • Social Media Savvy
  • Customer-Service Oriented
  • Data-Driven 
  • Deadline-Driven
  • Organized
  • Presentation
  • Adept
  • Solution-Oriented
  • Management-Minded
  • Quality-Assurance
  • Proficient
  • Self-Development
  • Driven
  • Communicative

Field Specific Skills

  • Library and Cataloging
  • People Management
  • Budget Management
  • Teaching/Instruction
  • Project Management
  • Data Storage
  • Public Relations
  • Archiving
  • Database Administration
  • Content Development and Management

Job Titles

Note: This is a basic guide to kick-start exploration, not a complete list of all paths. See specific job descriptions for more details.

Entry-Level

Specialized Studies Liaison and Reference Librarian

This position serves as the subject-matter expert for all services related to their area of study, and provides general reference and information services to a university at large. They interpret and analyze the information needs of students, faculty, and other library users. They also direct users to appropriate sources of information, including special collections, databases, and digital collections and employ new technologies to enhance reference and instruction services (e.g., social networking tools, multimedia, and learning management systems) to reach users in an increasingly online environment. Tags: Academic Librarian, Law Librarian.

Future Roles: Librarian II-III, Acquisitions Librarian, Research Librarian  

Law Librarian

Law firms typically seek librarians to develop and maintain internal knowledge sharing resources, analyze research results, and answer specific research requests. Law librarians promote effective use of department and firm resources; collaborate with staff to collect, organize, and update information on intra-firm platforms; partner with attorneys, paralegals, and case teams to promote knowledge sharing and research best practices; monitor, curate, and share current legal trends with legal professionals and administrative management; conduct cost-effective and time-sensitive research and analysis using a variety of resources; work collaboratively to ensure continuity of operations; train attorneys and staff on department tools, research resources, and best practices; and evaluate, test, troubleshoot, and deploy department and research technologies with library staff, third-party vendors, and firm IT departments.  Tags: Law Librarian

Future Roles: Sr. Data Analyst, Consultant, BI Developer, Data Visualization, Data Engineer

Data Curator 

Data curators ensure best practices, consistency, and standard operating procedures in the cataloguing/curation of data assets, and provide input to updated training offerings. While specific experience in client curation tasks or tools is not required, some level of expertise in the discipline or foundational concepts associated with curation is required. Tags: Data Curator

Relevant Certifications: Occasionally Minimum Clearance FS Poly Required

Future Roles: Data Scientist, Data Curator II

Mid-Level

Academic Librarian II-III 

Level II-III librarians provide and grow library services while developing innovative information solutions to serve the faculty, staff, and students of a university. This informationist works as a subject-matter expert alongside faculty, staff, fellows, residents, and students in their areas of expertise. Tags: Academic Librarian

Previous Roles: Youth Services Librarian, Legal Reference Librarian, Library Technician

Future Roles: Director/Senior Architect, Project Manager

Reference and Research Law Librarian 

Reference and research law librarians offer knowledge and experience in multiple areas, including research and development, database management, web design and content management, library product evaluation, independent research, and project collaboration. These positions also require strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to both lead and work as part of a team.  Tags: Law Librarian

Previous Roles: Librarian, Library Technician

Future Roles: Data Scientist, Project Manager, Senior Business Analyst/Developer

Data Curator/Data Team Manager 

Mid- to upper-level data curation positions generally involve managing a team of associates or freelancers collecting data across multiple domains. They review and modify large datasets of images and videos, test neural networks, and support QA/QC efforts. They also provide feedback and support development of data management tools and research domains. Tags: Data Curator

Previous Roles: Data Analyst/Engineer

Future Roles: Senior or Director of Data Science

Senior-Level

Data Curator, Senior

In senior roles, data curators support expansion of research programs and mold company research policy through superior data science. Research is driven by ever-growing datasets gathered from a variety of internal efforts and external providers. They collaborate closely with teams to categorize samples, experiments, and data using systematic nomenclature. Depending on the industry, they may also collaborate closely with scientists or developers to build out tools for data analysis and  contribute to new data visuals for publications and presentations. Tags: Data Curator, Senior  

Previous Roles: Data Scientist, Business Intelligence Analyst

Director of the Library, Academic 

Directors of the library lead and manage development and operations. They are responsible for staff, collections, services, systems, facilities, and budgets to support the mission and goals of a university. The director formulates  strategic direction for the library by providing resources and services for faculty and students, and liaises with subsidiary campus libraries to ensure access to such resources and services. They should be aware of current and emerging trends in academic libraries, as well as in other areas of academic research and scholarly publishing. The director’s key responsibilities include gathering and analyzing information using bibliometrics and other relevant tools, and organizing external outreach and professional development activities in support of the local library community. Other key activities include advising faculty and departments on preservation and storage of physical and digital archive materials; acting as a key member of academic and operations committees; and managing the implementation, development, operation, and use of the library’s integrated software system and technical infrastructure. Tags: Senior Academic Librarian

Previous Roles: Librarian, Research Librarian

Additional Resources

Articles and Websites

Book and Reading List

Employer-Ready

We encourage everyone to become employer-ready, which means having an industry-backed resume and strong online presence (ex: LinkedIn).

Employer-Ready Means…

  • Meeting industry requirements.
  • Creating industry-backed materials.
  • Successfully networking.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to on-going learning.
  • Being proactive with outreach and follow-up strategies.

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