IDP-MLS Program Information

MLS Program Information

MLS Program Mission Statement

The Master of Library Science Program at East Carolina University prepares library professionals with the knowledge, skills, and values to succeed in a global society. The Program empowers students to lead and partner with their local, regional, state, national, and global communities in academic, public, and school library settings.

MLS Program Vision Statement

Our program, scholarship, and service endeavors embody the American Library Association’s Core Values of Librarianship and Library Bill of Rights. The MLS Program embraces a culture of community and care through collaboratively shared governance.

We are committed to the communities of Eastern North Carolina and beyond – past, present, and future. We engage citizens and diverse communities to access and utilize library resources and services. We advocate for the role of all LIS professionals as educators who foster lifelong professional growth and development. We actualize our values in accordance with ECU’s motto of “Servire – To Serve.”

MLS Program Values

The MLS Program embraces the values of community, culture, creativity, and care.


  • Relationship building: Foster local, regional, and global networks where students become colleagues and advisors.
  • Engaging stakeholders: Maintain productive relationships with employers, alums, and the professional community served by the MLS Program.


  • Engagement: Promote access to library resources and services for all citizens in diverse communities.
  • Knowledge and growth: Promote a culture of inquiry that supports personal and professional learning and development.


  • Versatile skill set: Build skills to engage libraries as community anchors in various formats and settings.
  • Practical experience: Embed course content with field site opportunities for students to gain real-life learning and experience as library and information professionals.


  • Program flexibility: Support the academic needs of all students with professional learning and practice.
  • Student-centered pedagogy: Empower students to actively engage in an inquiry-based learning process as they become leaders in the LIS fields.

MLS Program Goals

  1. Student Success: Offer transformative experiences preparing professionals to meet the information needs of global citizens and communities with an ethos of excellence.
  2. Teaching Excellence: Teach research-based library science principles, practices, and technologies to develop a professional identity, grounded in community-based information services.
  3. Research: Engage in impactful research that supports the information professions and builds new knowledge to support the advancement of library and information science.
  4. Community Engagement: Impart the values of service, leadership, and collaboration within diverse communities and the LIS professions.

MLS Program Student Learning Outcomes

The MLS Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are guideposts for our faculty to convey the values and mission of the Program consistently throughout our courses. The SLOs map to our program values and the ALA’s Core Competences of Librarianship, ensuring students possess the values and skills necessary to succeed in the LIS fields.

  1. Devise, plan, create, implement, and assess resources, services, and programs for diverse populations.
  2. Actualize relevant and meaningful scholarship to communicate effectively across multimodal platforms and venues.
  3. Utilize equity, diversity, and inclusionary frameworks and practices to inform professional philosophy and identity.
  4. Apply LIS values and ethics to meet information needs with empathy and compassion.

MLS Curriculum

The Master of Library Science program is designed for students seeking employment as librarians and information professionals in Pre-K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, public libraries, and related settings. All students are eligible for NC Public Library Certification upon completion of the MLS degree requirements.

The MLS requires a minimum of 39 s.h. of credit. Seven core courses (21 s.h.) are required.

Core Courses (21 s.h.) required for all MLS students
  • LIBS 6010 – Foundations of Library and Information Science[\
  • LIBS 6014 – Introduction to Reference
  • LIBS 6016 – Technology for Library Services
  • LIBS 6019 – Research Literacy in Library Science
  • LIBS 6026 Organization of Information in Libraries
  • LIBS 6031 – Library Administration and Management
  • LIBS 6048 – Collection Development

The ECU MLS program recommends that students with family, work, or community responsibilities enroll in no more than two courses per semester; however, students who wish to carry a full-time load may register for up to three courses in a semester. Students who wish to enroll in more than three courses must contact the Program Advisor to review the individualized plan of study on a case-by-case basis.

The average time for degree completion:

  • Full-time 5 terms (9 credit hours fall/spring; 6 credit hours summer)
  • Part-time 7 terms (6 credit hours fall/spring; 3 credit hours summer)


Professional Concentrations

Students in the MLS program may choose from one of three program concentrations: Academic Librarianship, Public Librarianship, and School Librarianship. Each concentration includes an additional 18 s.h. of specialized coursework.

Academic Librarianship

This academic concentration is for students who want to pursue a career in a college or university library. Concentration courses include:

  • LIBS 6810 – Academic Libraries
  • LIBS 6856 – Information Literacy and Library Instruction
  • LIBS 6872 – Research Methods in Library and Info. Studies
  • LIBS 6992 – Academic and Public Library Internship
  • 6 s.h. of approved electives

Students interested in pursuing careers in community college learning resource centers may be interested in the Graduate Certificate in Community College Instruction offered by the Adult Education Program. Students must apply separately to this program. Students in the academic librarianship concentration who are pursuing this certificate may substitute LIBS 6856 for ADED 6240. The two other required certificate courses, ADED 6450 and ADED 6453 can serve as the two electives in the academic librarianship concentration.

Public Librarianship

The public librarianship concentration is for students who want to pursue a career in public libraries. All students completing the program are qualified for NC Public Librarian Certification through the State Library of North Carolina. Concentration courses include:

  • LIBS 6855 – Library Advocacy
  • LIBS 7030 – Financial Management of Public Library Organizations
  • LIBS 7050 – Seminar on Public Libraries
  • LIBS 6992 – Academic and Public Library Internship
  • 6 s.h. of approved electives

School Librarianship

The school library concentration is for students who want to pursue a career as a media coordinator in K-12 schools.

  • LIBS 6135 – Materials for Children
  • LIBS 6137 – Materials for Young Adults
  • LIBS 6142 – Instructional Foundations of the School Library Media Program
  • LIBS 6144 – Instructional Strategies and Leadership for School Media Specialists
  • LIBS 6991 – School Library Internship
  • 3 s.h. of approved electives

*LIBS 6989 – Early Internship is required for students in the school librarianship concentration who do not have a teaching license or a previous degree in education.

Students seeking the 076 Media Coordinator license  as a school media specialist in the state of North Carolina are also required to:

  1. Pass the Praxis II Exam 5312 – School Librarian.
  2. Apply for North Carolina Licensure through the NC DPI. (In some other states, this is called “certification”; in NC, it’s called “licensure.”)

Students must pass the Praxis and be licensed by the NC DPI to be fully qualified to serve in NC public schools.

078 Licensure for School Media Supervisors

The ECU Library Science program also offers coursework to prepare students for the 078 License as a Media Supervisor, which meets the specific requirements for employment in North Carolina. Media Supervisor positions also require the individual to hold a valid state professional educator’s license. This license is in addition to a master’s degree in school media. Completion of three graduate courses (9 s.h.) is required in administration, curriculum development, and supervision (LEED 7408, 7410, 7429), all offered online. Successful completion of the NTE/Praxis Educational Leadership: Administrative and Supervision is also required for licensure. For more information visit the NC DPI website.

MLS Portfolio

All MLS and licensure students complete a portfolio as the culminating capstone product for their degree. The portfolio includes an artifact from each required LIBS course and a reflection for each artifact. The portfolio is reviewed as a requirement for graduation.

Each student posts their course artifacts to a Taskstream portfolio as they complete the core and required concentration courses. The artifacts are designated assignments in each course that demonstrate a mastery of professional skills, abilities, and dispositions required for practice in the profession. A reflection essay associated with each artifact acts as a record of the student’s self-assessment, explaining how each artifact demonstrates mastery of the learning objectives and related professional standards for each course. Students must pass the final portfolio to obtain the MLS degree.