Specializations

UBC iSchool offers students the opportunity to participate in various specializations and concentrations within their degrees.


Specializations

Students may use program pathways as a guide to focus their studies in a particular area. Librarianship is still considered the general pathway, and we offer a wide range of courses that focus on public librarianship, academic librarianship, and children’s literature and services. The courses outlined within each pathway is not exhaustive, and students are encouraged to meet with their assigned faculty advisors with questions about course offerings.

There are four pathways developed for students in the MLIS degree program, including Librarianship, Data Services, Information Interaction and Design, and Community and Culture. The First Nations Curriculum Concentration is open to students in the MAS, MLIS or DUAL programs. Lastly, the Designing For People specialization is open to students in the MLIS program.

 

Librarianship

This outlines the generalist librarianship pathway as well as the specialized areas within it, for example academic librarianship. It serves a wide range of library-focused careers and is complementary to all other MLIS pathways.

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Data Services

This pathway will develop the competencies necessary to provide services related to data, which can enable the data to be used to draw conclusions or make decisions. An essential focus of this pathway is data stewardship, which involves the management and maintenance of data and metadata that ensures integrity and quality. A secondary focus is data analysis, especially the ability to summarize and visualize data to facilitate understanding and communication. Professions associated with this pathway are Data Librarian, Data Curator, Research Data Manager, Data Steward, Data Scientist, Social Media Manager.

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Information Interaction and Design

This pathway focuses on the development of knowledge and skills related to the ways in which humans search for and interact with information and media, and the design of social and technological systems to support those interactions. Professions associated with this specialization include work in fields such as information architecture, web design, information services, instructional design, usability testing and user-centered design. Academic research may include information behaviour, human-computer interaction, Internet research, media studies, knowledge organization and design.

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Community and Culture

The focus of this pathway is the development of knowledge and skills related to the collection and stewardship of cultural materials and the provision of information and cultural services to communities that support and are respectful of their needs, traditions and ways of knowing. This pathway may lead to professional work in community librarianship, community archives, community outreach, cultural heritage preservation and education, digitization and digital curation projects, as information policy.This pathway is complementary to the First Nations Curriculum Concentration.

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First Nations Curriculum Concentration (FNCC)

The First Nations Curriculum Concentration (FNCC) is designed to prepare information professionals to work effectively with Aboriginal communities in support of ongoing developments in Aboriginal culture and languages, self-government, treaty negotiation and litigation. During their program of study, iSchool students enrolled in the FNCC develop a strong foundation in their chosen program (MAS, MLIS, or Dual MAS/MLIS). In addition, they build a deep appreciation for the influence of the information professions on Indigenous histories and ongoing Indigenous initiatives. As an integral part of the concentration, students are supported in gaining experience working in Indigenous-oriented information organizations.

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Designing For People specialization

Human-Computer Interaction is an interdisciplinary field of study that explores human behaviour in technology-rich environments with the goal of informing the design and testing of new technologies. UBC offers a collaborative, cross-disciplinary program called Designing for People (DFP). The DFP is a research-oriented program, structured as 12 credits of specialization components that enrich another degree program. Students receive a degree in their home department but their program is enhanced with core knowledge from anchor courses and electives. Students are required to complete a research thesis with their DFP supervisor(s).

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