English for a Career in Library Science
English majors gain important abilities:
- Critical and analytical thinking, especially argumentation and persuasion;
- Excellent research skills;
- Clear communication;
- The ability to process and use constructive criticism.
English majors are also adaptable. They are able to use changing media, to navigate the world of global English, and to both appreciate and explain the diverse world around them. Most significantly, English asks you to think about what information is and how it can and should be used. English majors are usually open to learning things and new information, to thinking about questions and how they apply to the human condition.
Information and language go hand in hand. The library profession requires a strong commitment to continued learning and keeping up with the latest developments in technology. Basic digital literacy is essential to your success as a library professional, and the UND English department offers an array of classes in digital literacy as well as an Editing and Publishing certificate, which will complement preparation for further LIS studies.
Finally, English majors are especially adept at working in in the rare books, archives, and conservation portions of Library Sciences.
Preparation for a career in Library and Information Science (LIS) typically requires a Master’s degree in LIS. The BA in English is excellent preparation for such a future.
Librarians are often employed in one of a number of specialized settings, such as public libraries, school media centers, and academic institutions; however, librarians also work for government agencies, law firms, hospitals, corporate headquarters, museums, galleries, and publishing companies. LIS graduates also enjoy a number of different career opportunities beyond “librarian": curator, archivist, cataloguer, and more.
Many of UND’s English department graduates have pursued Library & Information Services degrees, with former students being employed in a number of institutions including the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Charleston Library Society, the South Carolina Historical Society, the James J. Hill Center, and Central Washington University. All in all, they agree: the English major serves as excellent preparation for a career in LIS.
Connect With an English Advisor
If you are considering a career in Library and Information Sciences, contact Michelle M. Sauer. As a medievalist, Dr. Sauer is particularly suited to helping you prepare for this subfield, focusing on history and interaction with material culture of the past.