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* Library & Information Science: Professional Development

For students in the UK Library & Information Science master's program or anyone with an interest in library science

Professional Development Resources

Professional development is an important ongoing activity which continues long after you finish the program.

Take time now to familiarize yourself with some useful resources that are freely available. While many of these resources are focused primarily on academic libraries or educational institutions, your librarian is continually working to add more resources. Let your librarian know if there are any favorites you'd like included here.

Resources for UK MSLS Students

News Sources to Review

It's long been said that every good librarian should skim the newspaper each morning. In addition to that, it's helpful to consider the news in your general area: academic librarians look at higher education, school media specialists look at K-12, public librarians look at community news, special librarians look at the news of their company's industry, etc. Below are just a few news sources to get you started.

Research Educational Institutions

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal organization that collects and analyzes data on educational institutions. This includes K-12, higher education, and academic libraries.

This data can be very useful when learning about an institution in the job application process. In a job, it can be useful in benchmarking your institution with others.

Organizations and Research to Follow

These organizations/research groups frequently produce reports and articles that are relevant to many types of library and information centers. Keeping up with these (often free) reports can be useful to the operation of your library/information center and also serve as a potential conversation starter with administrators, funders, and other constituents.

Professional Organizations

It is so important to get involved in professional organizations! As a student, it's a great time to start your involvement. The dues are usually substantially cheaper. You can start building your network now, and maybe even take on volunteer leadership roles. This can help you in landing your first job, and throughout your career, your professional involvement can help you continue to learn, practice leadership skills, grow your network, and potentially land future jobs/promotions. Professional involvement can be so rewarding.

Please note that there are many other organizations that may be relevant to you as well. There are organizations for librarians/information professionals focused on law, medicine, engineering, etc. International organizations such as the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) can be a great resource as well. If you'd like to talk more about IFLA or other organizations, contact your librarian!

Professional Involvement

Reading/skimming some of the reports and news sources above can be a great way to continue to stay current with what's happening in the profession. Participating in a professional organization can be important as well, particularly in attending the organization's webinars, workshops, conferences, etc. 

If you have the opportunity now, conference attendance can be quite valuable. At conferences you'll meet new people, hear new ideas, and perhaps have a chance to contribute to the conversation yourself. When you attend a conference, remember that everyone else attending was once new, too. Often other librarians are very welcoming to students or recent graduates, so feel free to introduce yourself and join a discussion. It may feel difficult to do at first, but it gets easier! Feel free to get in touch with your librarian if you have any questions.