The American Library Association has accredited East Carolina University’s master of library science degree program, the largest producer of school library media coordinators in the state.
As a result of the accreditation, future ECU graduates and recent alumni can apply for positions in any library setting, providing greater flexibility and mobility in career choices, said Dr. John B. Harer, ECU associate professor of library science and master of library science (MLS) program coordinator.
The new designation is seen as essential to MLS graduates seeking employment in academic and public libraries. It is a required standard by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Most employers, except school libraries, require an ALA-accredited master’s for professional level positions, Harer said.
“ALA accreditation will also give students more choices to design a course of study for a specialization in a professional library career,” Harer said. “The program can now build a more dynamic curriculum so that students will be able to choose a specific skill set within the career concentrations of academic and public librarianship.”
ALA accreditation ensures that ECU has undergone a self-evaluation process, been reviewed by peers and meets standards established by the ALA and Committee on Accreditation. Students currently enrolled in the program will receive an accredited degree upon graduation as well as ECU alumni who graduated in 2015, 2014 and 2013.
ECU has been preparing library professionals since 1939. Library science is the largest program in the College of Education. Last fall, 194 students were enrolled.
The online program features high-tech and hands-on learning, providing a web-based course of study using new and emerging technologies. It is designed for students seeking employment as librarians and information professionals in pre-K through 12th grade schools, universities, community colleges and public libraries.