Missouri State University
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Library Science

Department of Library Science 

For More Information

Dr. Bill Edgar
Department of Library Science
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-836-4529
Fax: 417-836-4764
Email: BillEdgar@missouristate.edu

Career Preparation

Librarianship is a service profession that seeks to meet both individual and societal information needs. Librarians and information professionals help users identify and locate information resources most helpful to them. Libraries serve the public’s educational, cultural and recreational needs. 

Academic, public, school and special libraries play a major role in the process of education, socialization and transmission of culture. Librarians have a responsibility to promote information literacy, reading, and free access to information. While the role of librarians is every-changing, the essence of librarianship is concerned with selection, acquisition, organization, preservation, conservation, retrieval and dissemination of information.

For well-qualified candidates, librarianship offers a wide range of career options. Opportunities are open in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. In the related field of information science, opportunities are available for information technologists who can design, manage and evaluate library information systems. Regardless of the type of library, specialties exist – some by function and others by clientele, profession or age-specific categories (e.g., medical library, corporate library, or children’s or youth services in a public library).

Educational requirements vary according to type of library. Entry level professional positions in academic, public and most special libraries require a master’s degree in library and/or information science from an institution accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Educational requirements for school library media specialist certification vary from state to state. Missouri school library certification requires initial certification in a content field with an additional 30 hours of library science coursework.

Academic Program

Missouri State offers school library media certification courses. This certification enables students to become school librarians in Missouri.

The Library Science Department has a cooperative agreement with the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (SISLT) of the University of Missouri–Columbia (MU). In this arrangement MU students living in southwest Missouri can pursue an ALA-accredited master’s degree by taking core courses at Missouri State. Also, MU, as well as most other ALA programs, will accept transfer credit for Missouri State graduate coursework.

The Library Science Department offers a library science minor of 22 hours toward the Bachelor of Science in Education degree; a minor of 18 hours toward the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees.

The Department also offers a general introductory information-seeking skills course for undergraduates. Students are advised to take LIS 101 in the freshman year to become familiar with library facilities, materials and services.

500-level courses may be taken for undergraduate credit. 600-level courses may be taken for graduate credit. Courses do not have to be taken in numerical sequence at either level, although many have prerequisites.

Information about the library science program, a course rotation schedule listing courses for each semester, including summer sessions, and links to other library science related sites are available on the Library Science program website.


Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at www.missouristate.edu/catalog for specific course descriptions.

  • LIS 101: Introduction to the Library
  • LIS 500/600: Libraries and Librarianship: An Introductory Seminar
  • LIS 502/602: History of Books and Libraries
  • LIS 504/604: Reference
  • LIS 506/606: Collection Development and Acquisitions
  • LIS 508/608: Cataloging and Classification
  • LIS 510/610: Curriculum and the School Library
  • LIS 512/612: Reading Guidance for Young Adults
  • LIS 518/618: Service Learning in Libraries
  • LIS 530/630: Children’s Librarianship: Birth through Age 9
  • LIS 532/632: Library Resources and Services for Grades 4-8
  • LIS 540/640: Information Technologies
  • LIS 596/696: Independent Study
  • LIS 597/697: Special Topics
  • LIS 698: Action Research in the School Library
  • LIS 599/699: Practicum
  • LIS 728: School Library Administration