Certificate Programs


Archival Studies

MLIS-Archival Studies Concentration (18 credits)

The School of Library & Information Studies at The University of Alabama offers a program of study within the MLIS degree that leads to an ACHE-recognized concentration in Archival Studies. This concentration provides a comprehensive grounding in the academic discipline of archival studies, and an understanding of the theory, art, and practice that informs archival work. Students have the opportunity to develop competencies for work with rare books, manuscripts, traditional records, and digital media.

Graduates of the concentration leave prepared for employment in academic, cultural, public, governmental, and corporate environments. Recent graduates are currently employed at leading institutions, including the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), the New York State Archives, the University of Washington, Birmingham-Southern College, and Samford University.

In addition to the MLIS requirements, the Archival Studies Concentration requires completion of the following curriculum:

Archival Studies Concentration Requirements (in addition to MLIS Requirements):

 LS 555: Introduction to Archival Studies (3 credits; must be taken during first Fall semester.)

LS 556: Intellectual Foundations of Archival Theory and Practice (3 credits)

LS 557: Archival Appraisal (3 credits)

LS 558: Archival Representation, Access, and Use  (3 credits)

Approved archival studies electives (6 credits)

Admissions Information:

Prospective students apply directly to the Archival Studies concentration, indicating the archival studies concentration in their application. At the current time the full concentration may only be completed on-campus.

Contact Information:

Please contact Dr. Robert B. Riter for additional information.

 

Archival Studies Certificate (15 credits)

 The College of Communication & Information Sciences at The University of Alabama provides a program of study that leads to an ACHE-recognized Certificate in Archival Studies. This certificate offers a comprehensive grounding in the academic discipline of archival studies, and an understanding of the theory, art, and practice that informs archival work. Students have the opportunity to develop competencies for work with rare books, manuscripts, traditional records, and digital media.

Graduates of the certificate leave prepared for employment in academic, cultural, public, governmental, and corporate environments. Recent graduates are currently employed at leading institutions, including the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH), the New York State Archives, the University of Washington, Birmingham-Southern College, and Samford University.

 Archival Studies Certificate Requirements:

 LS 555: Introduction to Archival Studies (3 credits)

LS 556: Intellectual Foundations of Archival Theory and Practice (3 credits)

LS 557: Archival Appraisal (3 credits)

LS 558: Archival Representation, Access, and Use  (3 credits)

Approved archival elective (3 credits)

Admissions Information:

Applications are accepted from students pursuing in graduate work in allied disciplines, or already possessing graduate degrees in related disciplines. At the current time the certificate may only be completed on-campus. Students pursuing the MLIS should apply for admission to the archival studies concentration.

Contact Information:

 Please contact Dr. Robert B. Riter for additional information.

School Library Media

Class A Certification in School Library Media

The School of Library & Information Studies at The University of Alabama provides a program of study within the MLIS degree that satisfies the Alabama State Department of Education requirements for Library Media Certification. There are two (2) pre-conditions to this option. The applicant must have a currently valid teaching certificate and two years professional teaching experience. In other words, in order to qualify for certification, a student must meet these two requirements in addition to following the approved program of study.

Normally, the program of study which leads to A-level library media certification in Alabama requires a minimum 36 semester hours of course work. The required program of study is as follows:

  • LS 500 Organization of Information
  • LS 501 Introduction to Library & Information Studies
  • LS 502 Research Methods
  • LS 504 Media Production & Utilization
  • LS 507 Information Sources and Services
  • LS 520 Early Childhood Materials & Story Programs OR LS 521 Materials & Services for Children
  • LS 522 Materials & Services for Young Adults
  • LS 532 School Media Centers
  • LS 542 Instructional Design and Development
  • LS 560 Information Technologies
  • LS 572 Internship in School Media Centers
  • Foundations of Professional Studies in Education Course: Special Education is required if such a course has not already been taken.

Note: A special education course (e.g. SPE500) is required if such a course was not previously completed.  In addition, the student is required to pass SLMS Comprehensive Exam and the Praxis II Library Media Exam for certification. Once all of this has been accomplished, the student makes an application for certification in Alabama through the UA College of Education, which “recommends” the student for certification.

Other Options:

Alternative Certificate Approach: Preliminary Certificate

The Alabama State Department of Education provides an alternative approach to certification in library media. This is an option for those who do not have the teaching certificate or for those without two years of teaching experience. The Preliminary Certificate may ONLY be requested by an employing Alabama county/city superintendent or eligible non-public school administrator.

For this approach, students need to complete the MLIS degree and requirements for certification (i.e., criminal history background check, Basic Skills, Praxis II). The Preliminary Certificate is valid for one year and may be renewed for one or two additional years. At the end of the two or three years of experience, the student may earn A-level certification by being “recommended” by the employing school system or independent school. Neither SLIS nor the UA College of Education can “recommend” such certification. This option is available at the discretion of the school system or independent school only. Interested individuals should contact the school system or eligible non-public school in which employment is desired for information concerning certificate eligibility. This alternative certification route is only for those seeking certification in Alabama.

Out of State Certification

Students wishing to secure certification in other states are urged to check with that state’s department of education to determine certification requirements. Normally, those who meet the Alabama State Department of Education’s requirements may complete the approved program of study and secure the appropriate certification. Only those who meet the Alabama requirements are able to pursue this option as it does not apply to those who do not have a currently valid teaching certificate and two years teaching experience.  This site lists links to School Library Media Certification State by State.


Areas of Emphasis


Academic Libraries

Academic Libraries is an area of professional practice centered on serving the needs of institutions of higher learning. Students will choose this area of emphasis if they enjoy being in an educational setting, working with adult and young adult populations, researching, and managing large and often extensive collections. Examples of the kinds of academic institutions students might work in include two and four year colleges and universities, as well as vocational and trade schools. However, this excludes serving in medical schools, law schools, business schools and seminaries, which typically fall under the category of Special Libraries.

Academic librarianship tends to divide into three broad categories of professional practice: user services, technical services, and technology services. User services include but are not limited to reference work, information literacy instruction, scholarly communications, and community outreach. Technical services practice includes but is not limited to cataloging, series management, and collection development. Technology services practice includes but is not limited to information technology management, such as the library web site, social media platforms, facilitating data collection and analysis, and management of institutional repositories.

Many academic libraries require their librarians to publish scholarship as part of their professional duties. These institutions often prefer hiring applicants with existing scholarly output, such as a thesis. With this in mind, students should consult with their academic advisor about the possibility of pursuing the MLIS Thesis Option.

In addition to the six core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for those with an interest in Academic Librarianship. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. The management course LS 531: Academic Libraries is recommended for students interested in academic librarianship. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in this area. Discuss course selection and availability with your assigned academic advisor.

User Services Electives:

LS 512 Information Sources Sciences
LS 515 Advanced Information Sources and Services
LS 527 User Instruction
LS 567 Digital Reference
LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations

Technical Services Electives:

LS 505 Collection Development
LS 506 Cataloging and Classification
LS 566 Metadata

Technology Services Electives:

LS 524 Project Management in Information Settings
LS 581 Universal Design for Information Technologies

See also the Information Science & Technology Area of Emphasis for more Technology Services courses.

For additional information about Academic Librarianship please contact Dr. John Burgess at jtfburgess@ua.edu or speak with your academic advisor.

 

Digital Stewardship

Digital stewardship is an area of information practice that involves the care and management of digital resources over time. Digital stewards are involved in all stages of the digital resource lifecycle, including creation, appraisal, description, preservation, access, and reuse. This broad area of study incorporates digital archives, digital repositories, digital libraries, digital asset management, research data management, digital preservation, digital curation, and digital culture studies. Students best suited to this area of emphasis are those that enjoy working collaboratively to solve problems; those who seek to engage with diverse communities; and those who wish to encourage the open exchange of ideas and services.

Digital stewards work in many settings: in cultural heritage institutions such as archives, libraries, and museums; in educational, medical, scientific, business, and other organizations; and in academic and other research settings. New areas requiring expertise in digital stewardship are constantly emerging and evolving. In cultural heritage and organizational settings, digital stewards typically engage in activities such as preservation, outreach, curation, project management, building infrastructure, and designing systems. In academic and other research settings, digital stewards often manage data, create and remediate metadata, support technological advances, engage in preservation and outreach activities, work collaboratively or in teams to answer research-based questions, and envision creative solutions for research-oriented problems. Digital stewardship necessitates creativity, innovation, and strength in collaborative work practices, as projects can range from local and community partnerships to expansive global networks. All areas of professional digital stewardship require an ability to reach and serve culturally diverse populations.

In addition to the six core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for students with an interest in Digital Stewardship. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. The management course LS 508: Administration and Management is recommended for this area of emphasis. Students are encouraged to discuss course selection and availability with their assigned academic advisor.

Digital Stewardship

LS 566 Metadata
LS 562 Digital Libraries
LS 524 Project Management in Information Settings
CIS 660 Database Analysis and Design
CIS 662 Knowledge Management
CIS 666 Information Policy
LS 590 Special Topics: Foundations of Digital Curation
LS 590 Special Topics: Curating Digital Culture

See also Archival Studies for information about caring for unique records and digital objects/artifacts.

For additional information about Digital Stewardship please contact Dr. Tonia Sutherland at tnsutherland@ua.edu or speak with your academic advisor.

 

Public Libraries

Public Libraries is an area of professional practice centered on serving the needs of public libraries and their constituencies. Students will choose this area of emphasis if they enjoy working with patrons of all ages and backgrounds, interacting with civic groups and public officials, and managing diverse collections.

Public librarianship tends to divide into three broad categories of professional practice: user services, technical services, and technology services. User services include but are not limited to administration, reference work, and community outreach. Technical services practice includes but is not limited to cataloging, and collection development. Technology services practice includes but is not limited to information technology management, such as the library web site, social media platforms, and facilitating data collection and analysis.

In addition to the six core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for those with an interest in public Librarianship. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. Discuss course selection and availability with your assigned academic advisor. The management course LS 530: Public Libraries is recommended for students interested in this area. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is also recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in public libraries.

User Services Electives:

LS 515 Advanced Information Sources and Services
LS 520 Early Childhood Materials and Story Programs
LS 521 Materials and Services for Children
LS 522 Materials and Services for Young Adults
LS 523 Materials and Services for Adults
LS 541 Youth Programming
LS 543 Traditional and Digital Storytelling
LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations

Technical Services Electives:

LS 505 Collection Development
LS 506 Cataloging
LS 566 Metadata

Technology Services Electives:

LS 524 Project Management in Information Settings
LS 581 Universal Design for Information Technologies

For additional information about Public Librarianship please contact Dr. Jeff Weddle or Dr. Jamie Naidoo or speak with your academic advisor.

Special Libraries

Special Libraries is an area of professional practice centered on serving the needs of institutions in settings such as corporations, medical schools; hospitals, law schools and law offices, business schools, research laboratories both public and private, and seminaries. Students will choose this area of emphasis if they enjoy being in a business or specialized information services setting, working with adult populations who are often experts in their field who need timely access to accurate, relevant research outside of the physical library itself.  Special libraries range in size from the single, solo librarian to the librarian attached to a large academic/corporate organization.

While focusing on added value user services, professional practice in special librarianship also includes other areas of service including technical services and technology services. User services include but are not limited to reference/research work, organizational communication, and outreach to decision makers throughout the enterprise. Technical services practice includes but is not limited to cataloging, series management, and collection development. Technology services practice includes but is not limited to information technology management, such as the library web site, social media platforms, data collection and analysis, and management of institutional repositories.

Many special libraries require their librarians to publish professional and scholarly work as part of their professional duties. These institutions often prefer hiring applicants with demonstrated good writing capabilities and social media use.  Core competencies for successful special librarians include both professional (knowledge of subject matter and customer requirements) and personal (ability to work with experts and be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing) skills.

Many different titles are used in special libraries to denote work of the special librarian: Medical Librarian, Law Librarian, Technical Information Specialist; Bioinformationist; Data Manager, etc.

In addition to the six core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for students with an interest in Special Librarianship. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. The management course LS 533: Special Libraries and Information Centers is recommended for students interested in this area. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in this area. Discuss course selection and availability with your assigned academic advisor.

User Services Electives:

LS 512 Information Sources Sciences
LS 515 Advanced Information Sources and Services
LS 527 User Instruction
LS 567 Digital Reference

Technical Services Electives:

LS 505 Collection Development
LS 506 Cataloging and Classification
LS 566 Metadata

Technology Services Electives:

LS 524 Project Management in Information Settings
LS 581 Universal Design for Information Technologies

See also the Information Science & Technology Area of Emphasis for more Technology Services courses.

For additional information about Special Librarianship please contact Sybil Bullock at bullo006@ua.edu, Dr. Steven MacCall atsmaccall@slis.ua.edu, or speak with your academic advisor.

 

Social Justice and Inclusivity

Social Justice and Inclusivity is an area of emphasis that expands upon the ALA core values of social responsibility and diversity in professional practice.  Students most suited to this area of emphasis are those that want to gain the skills necessary to respond to the needs of diverse communities in a global society.  Social justice and inclusivity represent an approach to professional practice that can be applied broadly to all dimensions of library and information science, as well as across institutional contexts.

Social justice refers to the view that all people deserve equal social, political, and economic rights.  Inclusivity is the intent to actively incorporate people and communities who have been marginalized or otherwise excluded socially, economically, and politically. Within LIS, social justice and inclusivity as an area of emphasis signals the active recognition and incorporation of diverse perspectives and experiences into professional practice and scholarship. This requires active reflection about both historic and current practices within the field; engagement with broader systems of social, economic, and political power; and the cultivation of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Students specializing in this area will gain facility in identifying, discussing, and intervening on structural systems of inequality such as those shaped by race, ethnicity, class, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, religious preferences, and age. Social justice and inclusion provide ethical orientations and practical frameworks that students can use to guide a range of professional practices including: information access and organization, policy development, collection development, interpersonal interactions, reference work, information literacy, programs and services, technology design, outreach activities, and data management.

In addition to the six core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for students with an interest in Social Justice and Inclusivity. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. Students are encouraged to discuss course selection and availability with their assigned academic advisor. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in this area.

Archives

LS 558 Archival Representation, Access and Use
LS 590 Curating Digital Culture

Collections

CIS 621 Intercultural Perspectives in Youth Literature

Community Outreach & Services

LS 544 Cultural Diversity Programming
LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations

Information Technologies

LS 581 Universal Design for Information Technologies
LS 583 Social Aspects of Information

Issues in the Profession

LS 582 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in LIS

For additional information about Social Justice and Inclusivity courses please contact Drs. Miriam E. Sweeney (mesweeney1@ua.edu) or Jamie C. Naidoo (jcnaidoo@slis.ua.edu) or speak with your academic advisor.

 

Youth Services

Youth (Children and/or Young Adult) Services is an area of professional library practice centered on serving the informational, recreational, educational, and cultural needs of children, young adults, and their caregivers within a public library setting. This diverse area includes library services to youth ages birth up to nineteen. Students most suited to this area of emphasis are those that enjoy working with a wide range of youth and their caregivers, interacting with diverse clientele, engaging in creative activities (such as puppetry, traditional and digital storytelling, dramatic play, poetry slams, spoken word, etc.), and planning literacy-related programs. Some youth services librarians only work with teens, others only work with children, and still others work with both age groups.

Youth services librarians generally possess three broad categories of professional skills: collection development and readers’ advisory, service and program planning and management, and community outreach. Collection development and readers’ advisory skills embody a broad, working knowledge of children’s and young adult print and digital materials, an ability to use specially-designed collection development and reference resources to develop a rich collection of these materials, and an understanding of the reading interests of contemporary youth. Service and program planning and management skills exemplify an understanding of how to manage the day-to-day operations of the youth services department in a public library, how to determine the informational needs of diverse youth and develop appropriate library services, and how to create engaging library programs that connect contemporary youth with library collections via booktalking, read-alikes, hands-on activities, etc. Finally, community outreach skills include the ability to connect library collections, services, and programs to the larger community, local nonprofit organizations serving youth, and specific populations that may be unable to physically visit the library. Within all three categories of professional skills is an underlying ability to reach and serve culturally diverse populations.

In addition to the six core courses required of all MLIS degree-seeking students, the following courses are among those recommended for students with an interest in Youth Services. This is not an exhaustive list, as special topics courses may also be of interest. Students are encouraged to discuss course selection and availability with their assigned academic advisor. The management course LS 530: Public Libraries is recommended for students interested in youth services librarianship. LS 570: Internship in Library and Information Studies is also recommended for any students who do not already possess practical experience in this area.

Collection Development & Reader’s Advisory

LS 520 Early Childhood Materials & Story Programs
LS 521 Materials & Services for Children
LS 522 Materials & Services for Young Adults
CIS 621 Intercultural Perspectives in Youth Literature

 Service & Program Planning & Management

LS 541 Youth Programming
LS 543 Traditional & Digital Storytelling

 Community Outreach

LS 580 Outreach to Diverse Populations
LS 544 Cultural Diversity Programming

Other Electives Useful to Youth Librarians:

LS 505 Collection Development
LS 506 Cataloging and Classification
LS 523 Materials & Services for Adults

See also School Libraries for information about serving youth in a school library setting.

For additional information about Youth Services please contact Dr. Jamie Naidoo at jcnaidoo@ua.edu or speak with your academic advisor.