Unusual Applications of Library Science
A degree in information sciences in the information age is a sound investment in your most valuable asset – yourself. Many people wrongly assume that training in library sciences restricts graduates to only working in libraries. In fact, the ability to navigate and manage information is a useful skill and there are many non-librarian jobs the degree qualifies graduates for. As with any degree, a Master of Management in Library and Information Science may be a more traditional advanced degree, but that doesn’t mean that how you use it has to be.
Careers exist for students interested in social justice, data science and management, managing technical or creative projects, and many others – and while some may still have “librarian” in the title, they’re about as far away from book stacks as you can imagine. Here are some of the more non-traditional career options for graduates with a Master of Management in Library and Information Science degree.
Creative Project Managers oversee teams of designers, as well as developers if the projects are for the web. While this may not seem like much of a fit on the surface, to be a successful project manager you have to be organized, disciplined, and able to manage budgets, schedules, creative assets, and large amounts of data – and be meticulous about their categorization and documentation, all things that a Master of Management in Library and Information Science graduate would excel at.
Curators manage collections of cultural heritage in different mediums, and in the digital age a Media Curator can not only oversee new creations but the digitization and archiving of historical ones. Digital media curation will help mitigate digital obsolescence while democratizing access to information of all kinds indefinitely.
Metadata Analysts work with document metadata – basically, the data that describes the data – to support digital scholarship, digitization, special collections access, and other efforts to describe, manage, expose and share collections with users. They can interact with curators, archivists, librarians, technologists, researchers, and students to optimize the collection and categorization of their collections to increase use.
A Web Analytics Manager or Data Scientist manages the collection, organization, and analysis of vast amounts of data to derive business intelligence insights. For any business to succeed, it needs to continually acquire and convert new customers, then engage and retain them. The proliferation of big data, made possible by advances in technology, the internet, and social media, have allowed businesses to capture large amounts of customer and operational information. And library science graduates are equipped with the organizational skills to help make sense of this data and analyze it to give business leaders’ visibility into every facet of their organization and help inform actionable outcomes.
And finally, a Wine Librarian. Yes, a wine librarian. Trained not only in the taste of wine, but in documenting the history, production, and industry as well as the collection, storing, and organizing of collections of wine itself. A wine librarian can also help educate the public through photo or document archives, rare wine lists, menus, historical wine periodicals, and old wine label collections either at individual wineries or public museums.