Q: Are there any positions I can apply for with my BS in the LS field while continuing my education?

Q:  I am 27 and currently employed with the U.S. Navy.  I will be receiving my BS in Human Resource Management in February of 2011.  Upon completion of my degree I was planning on continuing school and receiving my MLS while remaining military.  At this point I no longer wish to remain with the military and am planning to get out in July of 2011.  Are there any positions I can apply for with my BS in the LS field while continuing my education?

TA:  Most professional librarian positions require an MLS/MLIS and/or an advanced graduate degree in a specific discipline.  However, there are two ways that come to mind to work in the profession with a BS in the LS field, while also continuing your education.

First, many smaller institutions are staffed by individuals who may not possess the MLS.  The BS in LS could provide a strong foundation for providing access and services to that library’s constituency, and may provide an opportunity to pursue further educational credentials in the field.

Second, on the opposite end of the spectrum, larger institutions, especially public and academic libraries, will have support staff positions that do not require the MLS.  These positions may require a BS and will often focus primarily in one area of librarianship, such as technical services, access services, or public services.  The benefits of these positions are many: they provide a strong foundation in the fundamental operations of libraries; as large organizations, they may offer educational assistance to pursue an advanced degree; and because of the size of the organization, there may be promotional opportunities and room for professional growth.

I wish you the best when completing your degree and your service.  Thank you for your military service and welcome to librarianship!

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