Metadata were traditionally used in the card catalogs of libraries. As information has become increasingly digital, metadata is also used to describe digital data using metadata standards specific to a particular discipline. Describing the contents and context of data or data files increases their usefulness. For example, a web page may include metadata specifying what language the page is written in, what tools were used to create it, and where to find more information about the subject; this metadata can automatically improve the reader’s experience.
Libraries employ metadata in library catalogs, most commonly as part of an Integrated Library Management System. Metadata are obtained by cataloging resources such as books, periodicals, DVDs, web pages or digital images. More recent and specialized instances of library metadata include the establishment of digital libraries including e-print repositories and digital image libraries.
One’s educational path should commence with a Bachelor of Arts in Library Science and Media. The courses include such topics as cognition, instructional design, and literature for children and teens. Discover media, literature, and resources that you could employ in multiple learning environments.
The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) is the master’s degree that is required for most professional librarian positions in the United States. The MLIS or MLS (prior designation) degree is usually acquired from an accredited library school, of which the ALA accredits 58 institutions across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Founded in 1876, it is the oldest and largest library association in the world. The complete database of ALA accredited programs for all states and provinces can be found at ala.org.
In order to advance in this profession and to increase your chances of obtaining employment, you’ll need a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS). Drexel University’s online accredited MSLIS program is an industry leader in digital information management and ranked top 10 among library science programs nationally. Drexel’s College of Computing and Informatics was named one of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” by U.S.News & World Report (2014.) This graduate program offers concentrations in: Archival Studies, Digital Curation, Digital Libraries, Library & Information Sciences and Youth Services. Their program is fully accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).
Some schools, for example Indiana University Bloomington, offer master’s degrees in information science and library science, not to mention an unmatched array of dual/joint degree programs and specializations. Whether your interest is in information architecture, rare books, information policy, digital libraries, data science, information management, or information visualization. Within their Master’s program in this field there are these specializations:
- Master of Information Science (M.I.S.): for students who like to analyze, organize, and manipulate information
- Accelerated Master’s Program in Information Science: a dual-degree program that combines a B.S. or B.A. and a Master of Information Science in five years
- Accelerated Master’s Program in Information Science: especially for Informatics undergraduates that combines a B.S. and a Master of Information Science in five years
- Master of Library Science (M.L.S.): for students who like to find, organize, and preserve information
- Accelerated Master’s Program in Library Science: a dual-degree program that combines a B.S. or B.A. and a Master of Information Science in five years