Monday, September 25, 2006

Getting the MLS -- Getting info on programs in library science

Susan Lewis-Sommers, at American University, gathered information on MLS programs that allow distance degrees, sometimes without residency requirements. She found, through some excellent collaborative reference efforts, that this can be searched on the American Library Association (ALA) website, at link. You can limit your searches there in different ways, which is very helpful. There is another wonderful site, which has a helpful chart of MLS programs comparing them in a variety of ways, including residency requirements link here. Note that most library employers will want to know that the Masters in Library Science comes from a program accredited by the ALA, just as employers want to know your law degree comes from a law school accredited by the ABA (usually, anyway!).

One last little point. It's expensive to get both degrees. There are scholarships available that might help with tuition. They are not huge, but every little bit helps. Scholarship info at

ALA link- there is a huge list and not all are scholarships. Use the control F function on your browser and look for scholarship on the page.

AALL (American Assn. of Law Libraries) link - scholarships for folks with the JD to get the MLS, and vice-versa.

Your school may have other scholarships or lists of scholarships and grants. If you are lucky, you may be able to get a full time position at the school you will attend, and take advantage of tuition remission. Many universities offer this benefit to full time employees and their families. You can attend a certain number of class hours, at no charge. Of course, you have to be an employee at a university that has an accredited program!

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