Library and Information Science

Students in the MLIS program gain a solid generalist foundation in library and information science through the core courses and then specialize through taking advanced electives.  

Full-time students (six or more credits per semester) can complete the program in two years, including the summer session. The average course load is one to two courses per semester. Students must be enrolled at least part-time (three credits per semester) to maintain financial aid eligibility.

The St. Catherine MLIS faculty have diverse expertise in library and information science. As advisors, they guide students in these areas of specialization to help them prepare for future careers. 

  • Academic Libraries
  • Archives and Special Collections
  • Digital Libraries
  • Public Libraries
  • School Libraries
  • Custom Pathway - craft a personalized plan of study for achieving your career goals

We prepare students to be leading information professionals who promote information justice and equity in a wide variety of educational, cultural, business, nonprofit, government, and other organizational settings. The MLIS Program prepares students for wide range of careers the information professions. This is just a sampling: Academic Librarian, Archives Manager, Business Information Specialist, Cataloger, Children’s Librarian, Collection Manager, Community Engagement Librarian, Content Management Analyst, Data Curation Manager, Digital Archivist, Digital Asset Manager, Digital Curator, Information Architect, Information Consultant, Instruction Librarian, Library Director, Literacy Coordinator, Metadata Coordinator, Online Learning Librarian, Public Librarian, Reference Librarian, Research Analyst, Research Librarian, Research Data Librarian, School Library Media Specialist, Special Librarian, Technical Services Librarian, Technology Liaison, Web Services Librarian, Youth Services Librarian.

LIS 6683 Directed Study — 3 credits

LIS 6953 Independent Study — 3 credits

Independent study offers students the opportunity for specialized research not covered in a course offering, by the action project or thesis. Students work with a faculty advisor to develop a learning contract, which specifies the content and objectives of the study as well as the requirements and procedures for evaluation. The amount of credit earned for the study also is included in the learning contract.

LIS 7010 Introduction to Library and Information Science — 3 credits

This course provides an overview of the functions and roles of information centers (including libraries, archives, special collections), and information professionals, users, and access to information. Students will examine the principles of the collection development process, relevant legal and ethical topics, as well as current professional issues and trends in a global information society. This course is the required first course for all MLIS students.

LIS 7030 Organization of Knowledge — 3 credits

Students in this course will examine the conceptual and theoretical frameworks for organizing and retrieving information, with special attention to organizational systems’ objectives, structures, formats, standards, and vocabularies. Students will practice interpreting and using bibliographic description standards, subject languages, classification schemes, and encoding and transmission protocols. 
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010 or approval of the Program Director.

LIS 7040 Information Access Services — 3 credits

As an introduction to effective access to information services, the course addresses philosophy, principles, and practice of reference services, including the selection, evaluation and use of general information sources; bibliographic control; electronic searching; reference research; reference interview; information literacy; and functions and management of reference and online services.
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010 or approval of the program director.

LIS 7050 Research Methods for Library Information Science — 3 credits

A basic research methods course for those with no previous course work or background in research methods. The course covers basic research concepts, measurement, and quantitative/qualitative data collection methods and analysis techniques, including some statistics. Because this course assumes no background in statistics, the focus is on major statistics concepts that will enable students to understand the research of others and do basic data analysis. Through readings, class workshops, and assignments, students will develop important research skills for evaluating published research and for designing and conducting their own research project.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7120 The History of Print, Early Books and Manuscripts — 3 credits

Students will explore the history of print and the book from clay, papyrus, and parchment origins; from ancient alphabets to the Roman; medieval manuscripts and illumination; book production and book selling; foundations of significant libraries; and bibliographic sources. Through guided research, the class will delve into the production and distribution of knowledge and how such distribution has evolved along with changes in technology, forms of text, and the objectives of academic and commercial entities. An examination of textual transmission, authorship, readers, book trades, and social change will lead to discussions of the nature of print and the distribution and reception of ideas.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7130 Preservation Management — 3 credits

Preservation and conservation of library materials, preventing damage, planning for disaster, restoration, equipment and supplies, environmental controls, storage and sources of information.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7160 Leadership in Theory and Practice — 3 credits

This course presents theory, research, and practice of interpersonal and group leadership roles/skills at every level and relates them to the library field with particular emphasis on communication and advocacy.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7180 Storytelling for Children and Adults — 3 credits

The art of storytelling is perfected through presentation and self- and peer-evaluation. Students will present stories regularly in class and elsewhere, thereby developing their own styles and methods of presentation for different types of stories and audiences. They will also learn to evaluate and provide critiques of storytelling. Readings in folk literature, as well as more contemporary and classical sources, storytelling guidebooks, and theories of stories and storytelling, are required. 
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7190 Social Justice and Children's/Young Adult Literature — 3 credits

Students will learn to select, read, evaluate and analyze depictions and aspects of social justice and injustice in children’s and young adult literature and the publishing process. Through various genres of literature intended for both child and adolescent readers, students will develop an informed awareness of the complex perspectives, uses and boundaries of literature and will learn to recognize and analyze how children’s and adolescent literature depict stories related to social justice, tolerance, equality and social change. Students will also learn strategies for promoting and using social justice themed books with young readers.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7210 Library Materials for Children — 3 credits

Selection and critical evaluation of media for children in elementary schools and public libraries.  Curricular and recreational use of materials in a variety of formats and genres is considered in relationship to developmental characteristics of children in a contemporary, multicultural society.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7220 Library Materials for Young Adults — 3 credits

Selection and critical evaluation of media for young adults in middle schools, high schools, and public libraries. Curricular and recreational use of materials in a variety of formats and genres is considered in relationship to developmental characteristics of young adults in a contemporary, multicultural society.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7230 Services for Children and Young Adults — 3 credits

A foundation for planning, promotion, implementation and evaluation of services to meet the needs of and interests of children and young adults in school and public libraries. Emphasis is placed on techniques such as story programming, booktalking, parent/teacher workshops, summer reading, and programming.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7240 Technology for Teaching and Learning — 3 credits

This course provides an overview of media technologies used in the teaching/learning process. Emphasis is placed on the role of the library media specialist as a technology leader facilitating effective creation, production, and use of media by students and teachers. Learning theory and copyright issues with regard to technology will be explored. There will be opportunities for hands-on learning. Meets the technology course requirement.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7250 Curriculum and School Libraries — 3 credits

Introduction to information and technology literacy curriculum based on national and state standards. The critical and integral role of the school library media program in meeting the academic goals of the school is emphasized as well as the collaborative planning and instruction of the school library media specialist with classroom teachers. 
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7270 Information Literacy in the Digital Age — 3 credits

This course examines information literacy in the broad contexts of New Literacies studies, which regard literacy as a multifaceted concept that encompasses a set of skills, strategies, attitudes, and social and cultural practices. This course explores a wide range of perspectives, discourses and research studies regarding literacy in the digital age. Along the way, students will have opportunities to examine relevant terms such as media literacy, information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, digital literacy/literacies and new literacies. Throughout the course, students will define and redefine what it means to be “literate” and “information literate” in constantly changing digital environments. In turn, students will develop the basic frameworks for information literacy essential to promoting or teaching information literacy and full civic participation in a networked society.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7283 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching — 3 credits

This course is designed for students who already possess Minnesota Tier 3 or 4 teaching license. Requires completion of a minimum of 80 hours of supervised student teaching to address gaps in experience as determined by the program. Placements will be in elementary, middle or high school library media centers. Students currently holding media support positions do student teaching at sites other than where they work. This course meets with LIS 7286.
Prerequisites: LIS 7730, LIS 7250 and approval of the program director.

LIS 7286 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching — 6 credits

This course is designed for students who do not have Minnesota state teaching credentials. Students will complete a minimum of 12 continuous weeks, full time, face-to-face supervised student teaching in an elementary, middle or high school library media center. Students currently holding media support positions do their student teaching at a site other than where they work. Students currently holding a school librarian position student teach at their own site. This course meets with LIS 7283, but additional meetings are required for the edTPA process.
Prerequisites: Completion of all required school library media courses, required EDUC courses and program director approval.

LIS 7300 Cataloging and Classification — 3 credits

The detailed study of current descriptive cataloging, subject analysis and classification systems, their theoretical foundations, and their encoding in contemporary online bibliographic and authority systems. Special emphasis is given to the practical application of these systems in creating cataloging records for bibliographic objects in many different formats and media, to the decision-making processes involved in creating such records, and to the maintenance and coherence of collections of bibliographic metadata.
Prerequisites: LIS 7010, LIS 7030.

LIS 7370 Online Information Systems — 3 credits

Fundamentals of library automation, with a central emphasis on the design, development, management and uses of integrated library systems. This course studies design, selection, evaluation and use of the ILS for acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, serials control and other library processes. This course also focuses on managerial issues, including system migration, RFPs, local system design, interfaces with third-party software and applicable standards and protocols.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7440 Government Information Resources — 3 credits

Production, management,  retention and accessibility of information resources created by federal, state and local governments. Policy as it relates to government information. 
Prerequisites with concurrency: LIS 7010, LIS 7040.

LIS 7450 Searching Electronic Databases — 3 credits

This course is an advanced study of the principles and concepts of information retrieval required for effective research and reference services. Students will acquire skill in searching a variety of online resources in the humanities, arts, social sciences, sciences, government, law and business. They will learn to identify and synthesize appropriate materials to meet client needs. Students will also attain skill in teaching the nuances of online-database-searching to others.
Prerequisites: LIS 7010, LIS 7030.

LIS 7480 Collection Management — 3 credits

This course provides an overview of collection development and management issues for libraries and information centers. The evaluation and selection of materials in all formats are discussed. Particular emphasis is given to an analysis of issues related to access of electronic content. In addition, methods for managing print, digital and multimedia collections are examined. Publishing trends and emerging information product formats are considered.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7500 Information Seeking and Discovery — 3 credits

This course focuses on the foundational search algorithms of library discovery layers and search engines to provide an overview of text retrieval and search systems and their use in library systems, digital collections, and on the Internet. By mirroring it to human information seeking, students will gain understanding of the cognitive and linguistic nature of information needs, the concept of relevance, and evaluation methods. “Libraries are software” (Cody Hanson), in the sense that there are few services that are not provided by or through software. Understanding the inner workings of the search system will enable you to critically examine the current development and its implications of AI-based natural language processing tools such as text mining, multimedia retrieval and Internet/Web searching, and the newly emerging products and services in the publishing platform of library systems.
Prerequisites with concurrency: LIS 7010, LIS 7030.

LIS 7510 Database Management — 3 credits

An introduction to database concepts, design and implementation. The focus is on database design using the ER model, as well as managing and implementing relational database systems. The design process is iterative and consists of four phases: Requirements, Design, Coding, and Testing. This process is often employed in many project management and technology development projects. Topics include Data Modeling Using Entity-Relationship Model, Chen and Crow’s Foot Notation, Relational Database Implementation, Structured Query Language, and schema Normalization. This course is co-convened with DSCI 3100. The courses share the same course description, objectives and content, with different course requirements. Meets the technology course requirement.
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010.

LIS 7530 Web Design and Accessibility — 3 credits

An introduction to the fundamentals of the Internet that integrates an overview of basic Internet concepts with actual website development. Concepts include the Internet's origins, evolution, architecture, telecommunications and networking, and critical issues such as security, privacy, copyright, and governance. Students gain a basic understanding of web content languages, website management, and design/usability principles through creating websites validated by World Wide Web Consortium standards. Meets the technology course requirement.
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010.

LIS 7550 Information Policy — 3 credits

Participants in this course will examine a selection of fundamental information policy issues. Special attention will be given to complex questions involving value conflicts among stakeholders in the areas of information ownership, personal information privacy, and access to information. Participants will consider a broad spectrum of policy perspectives (including governmental, professional, corporate, and civil-society) from multiple organizational levels (including international, federal, state, and local).
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7580 Making and Makerspaces — 3 credits

This course is intended as an introduction to DIY culture and the maker movement. It focuses on developing creativity and learning through play and tinkering. This is a hands-on course in experiential learning. Students will explore both physical and digital content creation including: music production, video production, 3D printing, computing, laser and vinyl cutting, and other tools. Emphasis will be placed on the implications of the maker movement in libraries and the library’s role in STEM education. Meets the technology course requirement.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7590 Digital Libraries — 3 credits

This course examines both theoretical and practical aspects of digital library activities, focusing on issues in building and creating digital collections including selection, collection, organization, dissemination, access and preservation of digital resources. It aims to develop a broad understanding of digital libraries including basic concepts, types and formats of digital content, the creation and organization of digital collections, underlying technologies, preservation of digital content, access management and user services /usability factors. Students learn in the context of building their own prototype digital collection and will be able to demonstrate and exemplify current activities in the digital library.
Prerequisites: LIS 7010 and LIS 7030.

LIS 7600 International Librarianship — 3 credits

Participants in this course will survey the field of international librarianship focusing on issues affecting libraries worldwide and to integrate these understandings with knowledge and experiences in American libraries.  When possible students and instructor will attend and participate ininternational conferences i.e. the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Annual General Congress, BOBCATSSS. 
Prerequisites: LIS 7010, LIS 7030, LIS 7040.

LIS 7610 Marketing and Public Relations — 3 credits

Marketing library and information center services is becoming increasingly important to the success of these organizations. This course explores the following: the role of marketing in the organization; the function of marketing in relationship to organizational strategy and units; the behavior of library and information center users; and the four P’s of the marketing mix. The course also focuses on strategies to improve the organization’s brand, identity, communication and marketing efforts.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7630 Readers Advisory Services — 3 credits

An introduction to serving adult fiction and nonfiction reading needs. The relationship of readers advisory services with reference and other library programs, research on adult reading and popular reading in an information society are examined. Students gain experience in leading adult book discussions.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7640 Information Literacy Instruction — 3 credits

An introduction to the principles of information literacy with two emphases: 1) developing a conceptual framework for library user education, including an overview of learning theory, teaching methods and instructional design; and 2) applying the theory in practical library teaching/learning situations.
Prerequisites: LIS 7010, LIS 7040.

LIS 7690 Information Technology, People and Society — 3 credits

This seminar course critically examines information technology (IT) and its relationship to people, work and society. It covers a series of concepts and perspectives and empirical studies about social aspects of IT, also known as social informatics (SI). Along the way, students will learn how IT is interacted with social forces and social practices, and IT is not value neutral. The course will explore how seeing IT as merely “a tool” simplifies the complexity of IT. In turn, by understanding the social nature of IT and digital information, students will be prepared to become socially responsible information professionals and citizens with respect to IT and digital information.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7700 Management of Libraries and Information Centers — 3 credits

This course is the introduction to basic management theories and their applications to libraries and information centers. It highlights important management issues concerning planning, organizing, coordinating and leading an organization.
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010.

LIS 7710 Public Libraries — 3 credits

An introduction to the public library through analysis of the organizational management, funding, and program services commonly provided.  Public library history, library law, intellectual freedom issues and library advocacy are featured. 
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010.

LIS 7720 Academic Libraries — 3 credits

This seminar-style course examines the academic library within its college and university setting, informed by a wide-ranging overview of the history and current state of higher education in the United States. Specific topics include (but are not limited to) the organization and governance of academic libraries, the library's instructional role, with special attention to the development and practice of information literacy, library-faculty and library-institution relations, and current and developing staffing patterns.
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010.

LIS 7730 School Libraries — 3 credits

Introduction to the history, purpose, functions, structure and management of the school library media program. The course covers broad planning in areas such as curriculum, personnel, facilities, finance, collection development and maintenance, and public relations. Contemporary issues are examined.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7740 Special Libraries — 3 credits

This course is an introduction to the objectives, organization and operation of special libraries. Includes an overview of special libraries and the roles played within organizations. Topics to be considered for all types of special libraries include services, value, planning, organization, content management, management and leadership, and professional development. Specific focus will be placed on competencies and organizational alignment.
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010.

LIS 7750 Introduction to Archives and Special Collections — 3 credits

This course seeks to introduce students to basic archival concepts and processes. Students will become familiar with archival theory and principals, and how they translate to archival work in the field. This course provides a foundation for students who wish to pursue a career in archives and special collections and offers an overview for students who simply wish to know more about the core functions of archives.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7920 Human Information Behavior — 3 credits

Human information behavior encompasses multiple dimensions of how people interact with information. This course provides an introduction to research, theories and models of information behavior and addresses information needs and barriers, information seeking processes, and information use in various professional, educational, and everyday life contexts. Because the process of understanding information behavior tends to be qualitative and inductive in nature, a major focus of the course is qualitative research methods. This course complements courses in user services, human-computer interaction (HCI), and information retrieval. Assignments include in-class exercises, a critical analysis of the literature in a chosen area of study, and original research resulting in a presentation and research proposal.
Prerequisites: LIS 7010.

LIS 7963 Topics — 3 credits

Topics courses vary from term to term. See the online course schedule for topics course descriptions.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7970 User Experience Design — 3 credits

This course will provide an overview of basic principles and techniques used for User Experience Design, utilizing the iterative process of interaction design methods for capturing and modeling user needs in designing information contents and interaction. The emphasis will be on the user-centered design for information architecture and interaction process. During the course, students will work on a project involving various methods and tools such as user experience maps, personas, user flow, content mapping, prototyping, and usability testing. 
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 7993 Practicum — 3 credits

Supervised, paid (not at current place of employment) or unpaid experience (120 hours) in an approved library or information center under the direction of a MLIS faculty member. The student, library supervisor, and practicum instructor develop student learning outcomes that address both learning needs of the students and project needs of the co-operating library or information center. The library supervisor and practicum instructor will meet periodically with the student to review progress.
Prerequisites: 24 credits, including the requirements (LIS 7010, LIS 7030, LIS 7040) completed, GPA of 3.3 or higher, and instructor permission.

LIS 8020 Seminars — 3 credits

As demand arises, this course addresses the needs of librarianship in disciplines such as music, theology, health sciences, and law, as well as trends and current issues in librarianship.
Prerequisite with concurrency: LIS 7010 or permission of the instructor.

LIS 8810 Advanced Archival Management — 3 credits

This course is intended for students who are interested in becoming archivists. This course will address archival processes from the view of the administrator (or supervisor) as well as those who develop policies. One of the primary goals of this course is for students to think critically as they make decisions pertaining to archival administration – with a mind to theory as well as practice.
Prerequisites: LIS 7010, LIS 7750.

LIS 8820 Metadata For Internet Resources — 3 credits

This seminar-style course provides a comprehensive and practical understanding of cataloging Internet Resources— from selection and collection management to cataloging/classification and catalog maintenance. It explores cataloging complements and alternatives such as TEI, EAD, Dublin Core, MODS, and other metadata standards, and studies the underlying concepts of these approaches and their implementation. New technology applications are explored by examining automated metadata record creation, subject analysis and classification. Meets the technology course requirement.
Prerequisite: LIS 7010.

LIS 8900 ePortfolio — 0 credits

All students are required to complete an ePortfolio in order to fulfill graduation requirements. Students in the School Library Media Specialist License Program (SLMS) should not register for LIS 8900. They will complete their ePortfolios during their student teaching course LIS 7283/6 Clinical Experience/Student Teaching. The ePortfolio provides students with the opportunity to integrate learning across the entire MLIS program and to present their reflections on their achievements in the program. Most aspects are completed as part of coursework. Developing an ePortfolio encourages the student to take a systematic look at learning experiences through self-reflection, self-evaluation, and synthesis and integration of knowledge with real world applications.The ePortfolio process also nurtures lifelong learning skills to prepare students for future challenges facing information professionals. The ePortfolio is submitted for initial review to a faculty review committee by October 15 for Fall graduation and by March 15 for Spring and Summer graduation. For specific requirements, please refer to the MLIS ePortfolio Guidelines.
Prerequisite: Taken in final semester (Fall or Spring) with permission of the instructor.