Library and Information Science

What We Do

The Division of Library and Information Science at St. John’s University prepares graduate students for careers in libraries and other information centers. Accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), our programs draw a wide range of students — men and women representing many ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. They are united by an enthusiasm for librarianship and a desire to help others by achieving excellence in this dynamic profession.

    The Division of Library and Information Science at St. John’s University prepares graduate students for careers in libraries and other information centers. Accredited by the American Library Association (ALA), our programs draw a wide range of students — men and women representing many ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds. They are united by an enthusiasm for librarianship and a desire to help others by achieving excellence in this dynamic profession.

    Our students benefit from the outstanding resources of a major Catholic university in exciting New York City. Taught by faculty who are leading information specialists, our graduates secure positions in archives, law libraries, public and academic libraries, publishing companies, research centers, and technology companies, to list just a few.

    Our programs reflect the University’s Vincentian commitment to service and social justice. We equip our graduates with the technical and philosophical background required to serve the public with access to information that all citizens need to participate in our democracy.

    Courses taught in the Division of Library and Information Science feature hands-on experience in the latest technologies, and are available online.

    Mission Statement

    Consistent with St. John’s University’s Vincentian mission, the program is designed to prepare innovative critical thinkers to become ethical leaders in the information professions.

    Please email [email protected] for information on our programs, the admissions process, financial aid, and more.

    About the Department

    I am delighted to welcome you to the Division of Library and Information Science (DLIS), one of the most valuable graduate programs of its kind.

    We are looking for students who are seeking to make a difference in society through their professional engagement as librarians or other information professionals. The DLIS faculty is committed to working with you to do this.

    We are selective in admissions, our classes are small and highly interactive, our faculty members go the extra mile to help committed students prepare for this dynamic profession. We will teach you the timeless principles of the profession and their current and future application.

    As a DLIS student at St. John’s, you will enjoy the outstanding academic resources of New York’s leading Catholic university, along with the unparalleled advantages of studying in the world’s information capital.

    New York is home to major libraries, archives and information centers — rich sources of internships and other career opportunities. Our program reflects this quality, including involvement of the accomplished librarians, archivists and other leading information professionals you expect to find in a truly international city. 

    In addition, St. John’s Vincentian tradition of excellence and service infuse DLIS with a special sense of purpose. The hallmarks of our tradition include respect for the individual; service to the needy; human solidarity; and the belief that giving one’s self makes our world a better place. Not surprisingly, DLIS is committed to using the principles of Library and Information Science to help the underserved here and abroad. Our faculty is dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship and social justice.

    The Master of Science in Library and Information Science at St. John’s University offers the preparation you need for success. There are so many possibilities. You may want to be a non-profit, government or business information analyst or a law, special, academic, public, school or youth services librarian. You may pursue a career in information architect, or as an archivist in government or corporate entities. In a few years, you may even decide to change careers from one of these to another. Whichever path you choose, you will possess the knowledge, skills and experience to serve as an ethical leader in this rapidly growing field.


    James Vorbach, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor and Director, Library and Information Science

    The M.S. Library and Information Science program at St. John’s is guided by its vision of an evolving, quality program for information professionals that recognizes and adapts to change and is responsive to a dynamic market.

    Assessment Plan

    To assess student learning outcomes, the Division of Library and Information Science developed an ongoing review framework. Direct measures (e.g. e-portfolios, course artifact assessment) and indirect measures (e.g. alumni two-year-out survey, annual student survey, career outcomes survey, employer survey, exit survey, new student survey) are incorporated. All constituents (students, faculty, alumni and employers) are included in one or more measures.

    This comprehensive assessment plan (PDF) consists of: the annual cycle of measures and advisory meetings; a list of the program goals and learning outcomes; and descriptions of the assessment measures and the advisory board. The plan was approved in March 2015 and is reviewed every two years.

    Annual Assessment Reports

    Immediately following the assessment cycle, the Division of Library and Information Science produces a comprehensive assessment report with specific data points highlighting student achievement, analyzing the results, and summarizing the advisory board meeting. The reports are available below.

    2021-2022 Assessment Report (PDF)
    2020-2021 Assessment Report (PDF)
    2019-2020 Assessment Report (PDF)
    2018-2019 Assessment Report (PDF)
    2017-2018 Assessment Report (PDF)

    End-of-Program Assessment

    Since 2013, an e-Portfolio has served as the end-of-program assessment. The main section of the e-Portfolio is the Program Goals section, in which students provide evidence from their coursework that they have satisfied each of the eight program goals. Students write a reflection for each goal section describing how the artifact (assignment or project) satisfies the respective goal, the lessons they have learned, and any changes they would make in approaching the assignment if they were to repeat it. The most recent e-Portfolio assessment report is available in the 2020-2021 Assessment Report above.

    The Division of Library and Information Science has chosen to adopt goals and outcomes for the Master of Science in Library and Information Science that closely reflect the American Library Association’s (ALA) eight core competencies.

    Goal 1. Develop an Understanding of the Foundations of the Profession

    A) Demonstrate knowledge of the ethics, values, and foundational principles and the role of library and information professionals in the promotion of democratic and legal principles and intellectual freedom.
    B) Understand the history of human communication and its impact on libraries, and the importance of effective verbal and written advocacy for libraries, librarians, other library workers and library services.
    C) Demonstrate knowledge of historical and present-day libraries and librarianship as well as significant national and international policies and trends within the library and information profession.
    D) Demonstrate effective communication techniques (verbal and written) used to analyze complex problems and create appropriate solutions.
    E) Demonstrate an understanding of the need to meet and/or apply best practices, guidelines, standards, certification requirements, and licensing requirements in specialized areas of the profession."

    Goal 2. Develop an Understanding of Information Resources

    A) Understand the concepts and issues related to the lifecycle of recorded knowledge and information, from creation through various stages of use to disposition.
    B) Understand the concepts, issues, and methods related to the acquisition and disposition of resources, and the management, preservation and maintenance of collections.

    Goal 3. Demonstrate Ability to Organize Recorded Knowledge and Information

    A) Understand the principles involved and the developmental, descriptive, and evaluative skills needed in the organization, representation and retrieval of recorded knowledge and information resources.
    B) Demonstrate ability to organize recorded knowledge and information using the systems of cataloging, metadata, indexing, and classification standards and methods.

    Goal 4. Apply Technological Knowledge and Skills to Practice

    A) Acquire, apply, analyze and assess information, communication, assistive, and other technological skills related to resources, service delivery, professionalism, efficacy, and cost-efficiency of current technologies and relevant technological improvements.

    Goal 5. Apply Reference and User Services

    A) Demonstrate knowledge and usage of the concepts, principles, and techniques of reference and user services, as well as retrieval techniques and evaluation methods, that provide access to relevant and accurate recorded knowledge and information from diverse sources to all patrons.
    B) Understand and demonstrate ability to interact successfully with individuals of all ages and groups to provide consultation, mediation, and guidance in their use of recorded knowledge and information, including information literacy techniques and methods.
    C) Understand and apply the principles of assessment towards communities, user preferences, and services and resources, as well as promoting methods of advocacy through development and services.

    Goal 6. Master Research Methods

    A) Understand the fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research methods, including central research findings and research literature of the field, and the principles and methods used to assess the actual and potential value of new research.

    Goal 7. Experience Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning

    A) Continue professional development by maintaining and practicing the purpose and role of providing quality service for the lifelong learning of patrons and the promotion of library services.
    B) Apply the learning theories, instructional methods, and achievement measures to the teaching and learning of concepts, processes and skills used in seeking, evaluating, and using recorded knowledge and information.

    Goal 8. Apply Key Concepts of Administration and Management

    A) Understanding the principles of planning and budgeting in libraries and other information agencies, as well as developing effective personnel practices and human resources.
    B) Understanding the concepts behind, issues relating to, and methods for the following: assessment and evaluation of library services and their outcomes, developing partnerships, collaborations, networks, and other structures, and principled, transformational leadership.

    You can gain valuable real-world experience by interning in a variety of settings, including libraries, museums, archives, galleries, corporations, and non-profit organizations.

    Internships are for credit only and must be completed under the supervision of a professional and credentialed librarian. The number of credits awarded for the internship can vary from one to three, depending on your program of study and the host site’s requirements.

    Internship Handbook

    Host sites, host-site supervisors and interns will find valuable information here:

    • Internship Handbook (PDF)

    Host Sites

    For a list of current opportunities, please visit the Division of Library and Information Science blog

    Applying To Be a Host Site

    St. John’s University is always seeking internship host sites that can provide meaningful internship opportunities. Each organization must complete and submit an Application to Host Intern Form (PDF).

    To learn more about internships, e-mail us at [email protected].

    In order to receive your Master of Science degree in Library and Information Science, you are required to submit an e-Portfolio that serves as an end of program assessment. The e-Portfolio will also help you showcase your work to future potential employers. It includes a professional philosophy, resume, and artifacts from coursework with reflections that document proficiency in the program’s eight goals:

        1. Develop an understanding of the foundations of the profession;

        2. Develop an understanding of information resources;

        3. Demonstrate ability to organize recorded knowledge and information;

        4. Apply technological knowledge and skills to practice;

        5. Apply reference and user services;

        6. Master research methods;

        7. Experience continuing education and lifelong learning; and

        8. Apply key concepts of administration and management.

    Refer to the Program Goals and Outcomes for a complete overview.

    You must submit your e-Portfolio for evaluation in either your last semester of coursework or the semester immediately following. We encourage you to build your e-Portfolio throughout your program of study. Digication is the platform used to create e-Portfolios. 


    We encourage our alumni to maintain their relationship with the program by mentoring current students, sharing their professional achievements, and making contributions to endowed scholarship funds that help the next generation of librarians and information specialists succeed.


    The Division of Library and Information Science offers a mentoring program that partners Library and Information Science alumni with current students to share professional experiences related to the student’s area of specialization.

    Professional Achievements

    We also look forward to news of our alumni’s professional achievements, awards, and appointments and circulate this information through our Division e-mail newsletter. Please let us know of your career milestones so that we can acknowledge your success and inspire future alumni.

    Contributions to Endowed Scholarships

    Many of our alumni have benefited from the generous scholarship funds that have helped them finance their graduate education at St. John’s. These funds depend upon the continued support of our alumni and include the Rev. Brian J. O’Connell, C.M. Scholarship and the Mildred Lowe Memorial Scholarship Fund. Please contact us to support one or more of these vital funds, or to contribute funds toward events, receptions, awards, and program development.

    If you wish to participate in the mentoring program, share professional achievements, or make a donation, please contact the Director, Dr. James Vorbach, at 718-990-6200 or [email protected]