Library science makes use of a wide variety of traditional and emerging technologies to meet the world's information needs. Librarians and other information professionals work in a variety of institutional settings, including school library media centers, public libraries, academic libraries, and special libraries (including business, government, law, and medical libraries). Students learn how to acquire, organize, and provide access to information in all formats while gaining experience with a wide variety of information systems and developing advanced database search skills. While baccalaureate students are eligible for Pennsylvania school library media certification and/or provisional certification as a public librarian, most professional library positions require a master's degree from an institution accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).
Clarion University has offered undergraduate library education since 1937 and is one of only three universities in Pennsylvania to offer an ALA-accredited master's degree-permitting students in any degree program to progress from a bachelor degree to a master's degree without changing universities. Faculty represent a variety of specializations, including school media librarianship, public librarianship, reference services, organization of information, and information technology. Students have ready access to a variety of advanced information systems in the department's computer laboratory. Many courses feature early field experiences, and students can gain additional pre-professional experience through membership in Lambda Sigma, Clarion's honorary library science fraternity, and in student chapters of both the American Library Association and the Special Librarian Association.
The Department of Library Science offers one undergraduate major and offers one concentration. The primary focus of the department's undergraduate program is the preparation of students for careers as school library media specialists. In this respect, the department plays a unique role within the commonwealth: it is one of only three institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania providing undergraduate school library media certification; it is the only such institution in western Pennsylvania; and it is the only institution in Pennsylvania providing both graduate and undergraduate school library media certification programs.
The Bachelor of Science in Education in Library Science degree program is a 120-credit major that prepares students for Pennsylvania School Library Media Certification, grades K-12. The program emphasizes field experiences and the use of advanced information technology. Pennsylvania School Library Media Certification, K-12, also is valid for initial certification in more than 40 other states. The following courses are required:
ED 110: Introduction to Education, 3 credits
ED 122: Educational Psychology, 3
ED 417: Advanced Educational Technology, 3
ED 225: Multicultural Education, 3
ED 327: Instructional Strategies and Management, 3
ED 329: Educational Evaluation, 3
EDML 333: Teaching of Reading, 3 or
ED 350: Teaching English Language Learners, 3 or
ENG: 462 Methodology in Teaching English to Nonnative Speakers or
ED 423: Library Practice/Secondary S.T., 6
EDML 424: Library Practice/Elementary S.T., 6
SPED 418: Exceptionalities in the Regular Classroom, 3
SPED 442: Differentiated Instruction in Inclusive Settings, 3
SPED 443: Prevention and Treatment of Academic and Learning Problems, 3
LS 255: Introduction to Librarianship, 3 credits
LS 257: Basic Information Sources and Services, 3
LS 258: Selection of Library Materials, 3
LS 356: Media for Young Adults, 3
LS 357: Organization of Information, 3
LS 358: Media for Children, 3
LS 361: Administration of Libraries, 3
LS 385: Library Automation, 3
LS 459: Media, Methods, and Curriculum, 3
Students must also complete 48 credits in general education requirements. All library science specialization courses must be completed prior to student teaching.
Education majors may elect to pursue a double major in library science. The number of credits required for a dual secondary education/library science major varies depending on the education certification. In addition to the requirements for their education major, students complete 27 credits of library science specialization courses, plus 12 credits of student teaching.
Early Field Experience
The library science early field experience is a combination of intensive course work and field experience taken the Fall Semester prior to student teaching. Students enroll in prescribed courses and spend approximately 150 hours during three weeks in school library media centers. The prescribed early field experience course is:
LS 459: Media, Methods, and the Curriculum
Students are encouraged to take LS 361 as part of the early field experience in semesters in which it is offered. Students will also benefit from taking a 300-level education course in conjunction with these library science courses.
Any student who completes a prescribed set of credits in Library Science can qualify for certification as a provisional public librarian in Pennsylvania.
The entry-level degree for most professional positions in libraries and information centers is a master's degree accredited by the American Library Association. The department's Master of Science in Library Science (M.S.L.S.) Program is one of only 56 such programs in North America. While no specific undergraduate preparation is required for admission into the M.S.L.S. Program, all prospective students are advised to develop their technology skills. Good written and oral communication skills also are critical.