Imagine knowing how to find the answer for just about any question. How about knowing
how to help others find solutions to their information problems? In an age of information
overflow, librarians know how to pick out the information that is relevant, authentic,
and accurate. They use technology, but have a deep understanding of book culture.
The M.L.S. program at MTSU consists of 36 credits, with all coursework 100% online and asynchronous except for two field experiences to help produce practice-ready librarians. Each course is tailored to individual student interest, and students are allowed
to propose alternative electives in other disciplines. The themes of building a learning
environment, leadership, technology, and user-based mindset are reflected in every
aspect of MTSU’s program.
The Master of Library Science (MLS) Program at Middle Tennessee State University’s
(MTSU’s) Womack Educational Leadership Department has been granted Precandidacy status
by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association (ALA). Precandidacy
status is an indication that MTSU’s MLS Program has voluntarily committed to participate
in the ALA accreditation process and is actively seeking accreditation. Precandidacy
does not indicate that the program is accredited nor does it guarantee eventual accreditation
of the program by ALA.
MLS student focusing on diversity, inclusion in classroom with scholarship
Thipphavanh Souksanh, who is set to graduate from the Masters of Library Science program
next spring, was awarded the Diversity in School Librarianship Scholarship sponsored by the Tennessee Association for School Libraries (TASL). The award recognizes the need for school librarians who reflect the diversity of
Tennessee's students, schools, and communities, and it rewards the scholarship to
students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups pursuing a graduate
degree in library/information science, according to TASL's website.
Souksanh, who goes by Tip, was born in a refugee camp in Thailand in the late 80s.
Her family escaped Laos years earlier along with almost one-tenth of Laos' three million
citizens who fled after the country fell to communist forces. Souksanh said her grandfather
went to Thailand first before he brought over his family which included Tip’s mother
and three uncles.
“As a child, when you see anyone who looks like you or you have the same background
it piques your interest,” she said. “When you can see someone who looks like you,
you can almost see yourself. So, in my school, I try to be that for my kids.”
Souksanh said one of the core values of librarianship is equity, diversity and inclusion.
She says that doesn’t just mean making programs and books available to all people,
but also having different things reflected in the materials that are actually on the
“I try to find books that represent what I look like, what my students look like,
and the disabilities I have in my classroom,” she said. “So, when people know and
learn more about it, they have more of an openness to have conversation with people."
MTSU alumna credits library science program with boosting skills, career
“I have been in the education field for 20 years,” Michel notes, tracing the route
of her career. “After my first year as the Library Assistant, I knew that being a
librarian was what I wanted to do for the rest of my career. Having the experience
of teaching for so long coupled with the amazing education I received from MTSU has
given me the confidence and knowledge I need to thrive as a school librarian.”
Read about Valerie's Story
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
Library science degrees allow graduates to work in any setting in which they have
interest. Medical, legal, academic, public, children, business are a few types of
Employers of MTSU alumni include
- Battle Ground Academy
- Bedford County Schools
- Bradley County Schools
- Campbell County Schools
- Cannon County Schools
- Coffee County Schools
- Five Star Technology Solutions, Sellersburg, Ind.
- Franklin County Schools
- Franklin Schools District
- Gibson County
- Hamilton County Schools
- Lake County Schools
- Lincoln County Schools
- Linebaugh Public Library
- Maury County Schools
- Metro-Nashville Public Schools
- Murfreesboro City Schools
- Nashville Public Library
- Rutherford County Schools
- Sumner County Schools
- Williamson County Schools
- Wilson County Schools
The Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) is offered at MTSU starting with the Fall 2016
MTSU’s MLS program is seeking precandidacy status by the Committee on Accreditation
of the American Library Association. Precandidacy status is an indication that MTSU’s
M.L.S. program has voluntarily committed to participate in the ALA accreditation process
and is actively seeking accreditation. Precandidacy does not indicate that the program
is accredited nor does it guarantee eventual accreditation of the program by ALA.
School licensure will continue to be available with the M.L.S. degree. Master’s candidates
may seek an initial license or add an endorsement to an existing license.
Applicants to the M.L.S. program must:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college with an acceptable
grade point average in all college work taken.
- Submit three professional reference letters.
- Write a 500-word statement of purpose in pursuing the degree.
- International students additionally must submit acceptable scores on the Test of English
as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
Application deadlines are July 1 for Fall admission and October 1 for Spring admission.
Students already enrolled in the previous Library Science M.Ed. program will be allowed
to switch to the M.L.S. if they remain enrolled for two semesters after the change
For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS button to the right.
Professional Licensure Disclosure
The Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is seeking precandidacy status by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association. Precandidacy status is an indication that MTSU’s M.L.S. program has voluntarily committed to participate in the ALA accreditation process and is actively seeking accreditation. Precandidacy does not indicate that the program is accredited nor does it guarantee eventual accreditation of the program by ALA.
Students in the Master of Library Science program may seek an initial teaching license and should consult with the program director and MTSU licensure office. The MTSU College of Education’s teacher licensure preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and are eligible for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether a specific program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. MTSU recommends that students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee contact the appropriate licensing agency and discuss their plans with their advisor. To obtain current information about each state’s and territory’s licensure requirements and any additional regulations, students should consult the US Department of Education’s website for state contacts at https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html.
Graduates of MTSU teacher education programs certified to teach in Tennessee are eligible for certification reciprocity in many states. Reciprocity is not an automatic or complete transfer of certification, thus individuals should consult the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) site at https://www.tn.gov/education/licensing.html and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) site at https://www.nasdtec.net/page/Interstate as well as the US Department of Education state contacts site for information about any additional state requirements.
Library Science, M.L.S.
Frank Lambert, Program Director
The Master of Library Science (M.L.S.) degree is an online program offered by the Womack Educational Leadership Department. The program is intended to prepare graduates to lead and educate in school, public, and corporate libraries.
MTSU's M.L.S. program is in precandidacy status by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association. Precandidacy status is an indication that MTSU's M.L.S. program has voluntarily committed to participate in the ALA accreditation process and is actively seeking accreditation. Precandidacy does not indicate that the program is accredited nor does it guarantee eventual accreditation of the program by ALA.
Vision of the Library Science Program
To meet the information society's current and future needs pertaining to the discovery, acquisition, organization, provision, and ethical and effective use of information regardless of media format.
Mission of the Library Science Program
To prepare the next generation of 21st century information professionals through impactful research, creative entrepreneurship, learner-centered teaching, and innovative professional practice.
Admission to the master's program in Library Science requires
- an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college;
- official transcripts from all previous college-and university-level work showing a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75;
- three letters of recommendations from professionals;
- 500-word essay (Statement of Purpose) regarding applicant's reasons for seeking the MLS at MTSU.
NOTE: A current teacher's license or passing score on Praxis I is required for those interested only in school library endorsement.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies, not the program director.
Applicant must submit
- an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- official transcripts of previous college work;
- three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's potential for completing the Master of Library Science degree;
- 500-word essay (Statement of Purpose) regarding applicant's reasons for seeking the MLS at MTSU.
The Master of Library Science requires completion of 36 semester hours.
Once admitted to the program, candidate must
- complete 36 semester hours which includes a 15-hour major field core, a 3-hour library administration course, 12 hours of electives, and 6 hours of field experience.
- complete an e-portfolio on a web-based site as he/she moves through the program to be assessed by at least two faculty members.
Curriculum: Library Science (36 hours)
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.
Major Field Core (15 hours)
LIBS 6000 - Librarianship
Presents the broad field of librarianship as a profession. Book and library history, the place of the library as an essential resource for communities, and the role of the librarian in provision of service to all users. The e-portfolio will be planned and designed.
LIBS 6020 - Organization of Information
Introduces students to the concepts and theoretical foundations of organizing information with an emphasis on organizing library resources.
LIBS 6060 - Understanding Research for Evaluation in Libraries
Core course in M.L.S. program. Studies of research methods, qualitative and quantitative research, and statistical analysis to achieve decision-making skills based on research results. Emphasis on practitioner skills to evaluate processes, products, and services of libraries. Final project based on a local library and presented to the library at end of the course.
Administration (3 hours)
LIBS 6105 - School Library Management
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of LIBS 6000-level courses. Encompasses the administration and supervision of the modern library and its program. Goals are based on ALA and/or AASL standards and initiates exploration of library improvement and instruction for learning.
LIBS 6100 - Management of Libraries
Prerequisites: 6 credit hours of LIBS 6000-level courses. Administration and management of the library. Trends, governance, information literacy issues, and all other elements of managing the modern library addressed.
Field Experience (6 hours) OR Student Teaching (9 hours)
LIBS 6550 - Supervised Field Experience in Library Science
3 to 6credit hours
Prerequisite: 12 credit hours of LIBS courses. Provides direct field experience in a library with practicing materials specialists/librarians at work. Students participate in actual library operations. Planning and implementing programs based on ALA standards mandatory. Seminar opportunities provided for discussion and reflection. May be repeated up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.
YOED 5110 - Directed Teaching, Grades 7-12
9 to 12credit hours
Prerequisites: All required professional education courses; appropriate special methods course(s); admission to teacher education. A full-day, full-semester supervised teaching experience in a public school classroom. Pass/Fail.
NOTE: Those seeking an initial teaching license should consult with the program director and licensure office.
Electives (12 hours)
MLS students must complete 12 elective credit hours from any LIBS 6000-level courses. Non-LIBS courses may be substituted with permission of advisor.
LIBS 6115 - Collection Development and User Services
Study of library collections and their relationship to user services. Includes study of the evolution of library collections, the development of information needs, analysis of stakeholder needs, library mission, collection analysis, selection aids, and collection maintenance. Field visits required.
LIBS 6201 - Public Libraries
Prerequisite: LIBS 6000. Covers the public library's role in society including current practices, trends, and issues. Topics include history of public libraries, governance, funding, equity and access, youth and adult services, facilities, technology, outreach, and global perspectives.
LIBS 6310 - Materials for Literacy of Children
Materials suitable for babies, toddlers, and elementary school children. Includes study of reading skills, recreational reading, non-fiction, criteria for evaluating, selecting, and integrating national standards into programming for these patrons. The partnership between library and school curriculum will be included.
LIBS 6311 - Materials for Literacy of Young People and Adults
Materials suitable for young adults and adults, including recreational reading; non-fiction; criteria for evaluating, selecting, integrating current standards of library service into programming for these patrons.
LIBS 6320 - Information Searching Strategies
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of LIBS 6000-level courses. Study of user behaviors will provide the foundation for identifying productive search strategies. Includes information security, study of search engine features and design, and application of information studies to design instruction that fosters efficient and effective searches.
LIBS 6330 - Digital Library Collections
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of LIBS 6000-level courses. Provides a theoretical framework for the digitization of materials. Explores user needs, issues, and trends related to digital collections.
LIBS 6340 - Integration of Learning Theory, Programs, and Technology
Discusses and examines technology-based materials and adaptation to library literacies instruction and individual learning styles/needs. Design, creation, and production of technology-based materials that reflect professional standards, good online design principles, understanding of instructional design, and audience needs.
LIBS 6345 - Instructional Strategies for Information Professional
Prerequisite: LIBS 6015. Theory, strategy, design, and practice in providing instructional services and technology for end users of information and information systems. Includes application of information literacy standards and assessment methods.
- Must complete exitPortfolio with passing grade
Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.
VISION of the Master of Library Science (MLS) Program
To meet the information society’s current and future needs pertaining to the discovery,
acquisition, organization, provision, and ethical and effective use of information
regardless of media format.
To prepare the next generation of 21st century information professionals through impactful research, creative entrepreneurship,
learner-centered teaching, and innovative professional practice.
Upon completion, MLS Program graduates and endorsement completers should be able to:
- Represent the profession according to professional codes and standards and according
to community expectations
- Appreciate and address the information needs of diverse (access, ability, location,
- Embrace opportunities for practice in all facets of librarianship and other information
- Engage in advocacy and outreach for the profession of librarianship and other information
- Create and sustain robust information organizations of all types and sizes
- Advance the Library and Information Science discipline and advance information professions
through innovative: research; entrepreneurship; teaching; and, practice
The MLS Program at MTSU will provide candidates:
The MLS Program develops and encourages collaborative relationships with libraries
that are willing to provide professional initiation field experiences so that candidates
receive a diverse and effective practitioner’s experience through pedagogical support
exemplified by the Program’s coursework.
- Job placement for graduates/completers (endorsement seeking) of the MLS Program
- 80% of all MLS Program students will have secured a position in librarianship or a
similar information-based profession (e.g., librarian, archivist, museum staff, knowledge
manager, indexer) or information-based organization within one year following their
graduation/completion of their degree or non-degree plan of study.
- Professional skills of MLS Program graduates or completers (endorsement seeking)
- 80% of employers of the MLS Program’s graduates and/or our graduates themselves will
respond in some form of agreement that our graduates/they have the skills and attributes
to become and remain successful information professionals.
- Satisfaction determination of MLS Program graduates/completers (endorsement seeking)
- 80% of all MLS Program student graduates will respond in some form of agreement that
they are satisfied with their graduate education.
The MLS Program subscribes to the Core Values of Librarianship put forth by the American Library Association (2004) and to specific values that
the program holds.
In relation to the ALA Core Values, the MLS Program regards these as essential values:
- Quality of life
- Informed decision-making
- Critical thinking
- Education and lifelong learning
- Intellectual freedom
- Social responsibility
The program supports the mission of the College of Education with student-centered
learning environments through:
- Excellence in teaching
- Basic and applied research
- Creative endeavors
- Quality advisement
- Mentorship from practicing librarians
- Diverse field experiences
- Diverse partnership programs
MTSU: The Ms. Leniel Edwards Endowed Scholarship in Library Science
To be eligible for consideration for this scholarship, candidates must meet the following
- Have an overall minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale at the time of the application.
- Scholarship recipients must have been admitted to the Master of Library Science Program
in the College of Education.
- Financial need, as determined by the university, will be considered.
- If a recipient fails to maintain the required level of academic performance or changes
to a program outside of those specified, they shall forfeit any unpaid balance of
Students must submit an online Scholarship Application to be considered. To apply
for scholarships, please complete the Online Scholarship Application by the posted deadline. Students will need to login using their PipelineMT username
and password. Once logged in, students will need to complete the “Profile Information”
section to be considered for scholarships.
TLA: Dr. Edwin S. Gleaves Scholarship
$1,500 annually to assist library and/or information science students with educational
expenses such as tuition, books, or technology.
- Be a current member of the Tennessee Library Association
- Be a Tennessee resident
- Hold an undergraduate degree
- Be accepted or currently enrolled in a library or information science graduate program
(Master’s Level) which has ALA or NCATE accreditation
Read more about the Dr. Edwin S. Gleaves Scholarship
TASL: School Library Media Scholarship
A one-time grant of $1,000 awarded to two students who are enrolled in a school media
program at a Tennessee college or university that is approved to certify Library Information
Specialists. A one-time grant of $1,000 each will be given to two students who have
demonstrated leadership potential in working with students, teachers, and administrators.
Award criteria: demonstration of financial need, scholastic ability, response to essay
question regarding career goals and educational objectives, strength of references,
and commitment to work in a Tennessee school library for at least one year upon completion
of graduate program.
Read more about the School Library Media Scholarship
Paul Evan Peters Fellowship
The fellowship will assist students pursuing graduate studies in the information sciences,
librarianship, or closely related field, that advance the frontiers of digital information
and technology. Awarded every even year, the next scholarships will be awarded in
Fellowship applicants will be judged on how well they meet the academic and personal
standards for the award, not on financial need. In addition, applications must meet
- Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
- Each applicant must be entering or enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program in information
science or librarianship at an accredited U.S. university, or a program that has received
American Library Association (ALA) accreditation (including reciprocal), or one that
is a member of the iSchools iCaucus. Students in other, closely related disciplines
may also be considered, provided that the course of study relates directly to information
- Staff, officers, and families of the Coalition for Networked Information, the Association
of Research Libraries, and EDUCAUSE are not eligible to apply.
Read more about the Paul Evan Peters Fellowship
Scholarships that require the candidate to attend an ALA accredited program
American Library Association
ALSC: Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship
The Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship provides financial assistance for the professional
education of men and women who intend to pursue an MLS degree and who plan to work
in children's librarianship. This work may be serving children up to and including
the age of 14 in any type of library.
- Applicants must be citizens of the U.S. or Canada.
- Each scholarship will be granted to four/two candidates whose educational and personal
qualifications indicate fitness for professional preparation at the graduate level
in the field of library work with children.
- Factors considered are academic excellence, leadership qualities and a desire to work
with children in any type of library.
- A Personal Statement describing career interests and goals, and a commitment to library
service to children must be included with the application.
- The applicant may not have earned more than 12 semester hours toward an MLS/MLIS prior
to June 1 of the year awarded.
- The recipients will be expected to accept positions after graduation in the field
of library service to children for at least one year. These positions shall be in
the United States or Canada, or in a library provided for dependents of military personnel
of the United States or Canada. Within a year of graduation, each recipient is expected
to submit to the Association for Library Service to Children a letter from an institution’s
director or personnel department verifying appointment as a children’s librarian.
If the recipient does not complete this requirement, for any reason within the recipient’s
control, the scholarship money must be refunded. Failure to fulfill requirements
will result in forfeiture, or repayment of scholarship monies.
- The recipients are expected to become members of the American Library Association
and the Association for Library Service to Children.
- For the Melcher scholarship, money will be paid in two equal amounts at the beginning
of the first two semesters or quarters in which the recipient is enrolled.
Read more about the ALSC: Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship
Southeastern Library Association: Ginny Frankenthaler Memorial Scholarship
The $1,000 scholarship is awarded every two years. The recipient of the scholarship
will be notified in July, with funding to begin with the fall school term.
- Be completing the senior year of an accredited college or university or be a graduate
of such an institution
- Be accepted as a student in a degree program accredited by the American Library Association
- Be ready to begin the program of study no later than the fall term of the year in
which the scholarship is awarded
- Indicate the intention to complete degree requirements within three years. If the
degree is not completed in this length of time, the money awarded must be returned
- Maintain a B grade point average throughout the program and submit grade reports at
the end of each term
- Agree to work for one year following graduation from library school in a school, public
or academic library in the southeastern United States. If, after graduation, the recipient
does not work for one year in a school, public or academic library in the Southeastern
United States, the recipient must pay back the amount of the scholarship, including
interest. Repayment must be made within a two year period.
Read more about the Southeastern Library Association: Ginny Frankenthaler Memorial
How MTSU Maintains Its Standards in the MLS
MLS Program Statistics
||Fall to Fall student retention
||Average time to completion of the MLS degree
||Percentage of graduates holding positions relevant to the MLS within 12 months of
Assessment Collection and Use
At the end of each course:
- Input on the success of the assessments is solicited from the students in the class.
(Item 1-2 in Table 3)
- The instructor notes comments and questions made during the class as indications that
some clarification may be needed in the assignments. (Item 1-3 in Table 3)
At the end of each semester:
- The instructor presents the assessment results to the program faculty. The following
are considered: revision of any assessment artifact, reassignment of goals to another
course, modification of objectives. (Item 1-1 in Table 3)
- Send curriculum for the MLS to the MLS Advisory Council for suggestions and commentary.
- Make formal evaluation each semester at the university level. The instructors examine
the results when they become available (2 months after class ends).
May of each year:
- The program coordinator collects data. Convey results to the instructors who meet
to discuss which courses need complete revision or partial.
August of each year:
- Survey alumni by the Library Science Alumni Council for comments on the program effectiveness
in preparing them to be librarians. Solicit suggestions.
Not yet in place, is a system to solicit input from employers of graduates. The LSAC
is charged with creating the system for an annual data collection from employers.
The program wishes to seek ideas from all stakeholders in order to keep the program
as a responsive, forward-looking leader for librarianship.
Table 3: Procedure to collect evidentiary data
||Comments from class
||Program Faculty minutes of meeting
||End of year evaluation of results
What does the program do with the data?
At the end of each semester:
The instructor considers revision of any assessment artifact, reassignment of goals
to another course, modification of objectives.
Instructors review evaluations and choose an area of weakness for improvement.
May of each year:
Program revision occurs at the end of each year. Student achievement is reviewed.
August of each year:
Alumni surveys point the way for revisions in curriculum. Suggestions are implemented
December of each year:
Employer surveys are reviewed. Curriculum is reviewed in light of these surveys.
The program seeks ideas from all stakeholders in order to keep the program as a responsive,
forward-looking leader for librarianship.
Library Media Specialist Test 0311 -- Minimum score is 146
Praxis registration Information
Praxis Study Guides
These items are essential resources:
Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance
This program is available fully online.
For More Information or Explore Your Options
Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program. OR Work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.
The Online Advantage
With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person.
Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.