SIRLS offers one master's degree, the Master of Arts with a major in Information Resources and Library Science. Students, whether living in Tucson or elsewhere, are all part of the same program and may take all or some of their courses online. In the past, it was a requirement to take IRLS 504 face to face in Tucson. Beginning Fall 2013, SIRLS will offer an option to enroll in IRLS 504 as an online-only section. This would allow the possibility to complete all coursework for the Masters Program virtually. Some other courses are taught with varying schedules (e.g. three weekends) or using a combination of online and face to face modes:
Virtual courses, taught in an online course environment
Hybrid courses, including a combination of intensive face-to-face meetings and pre- or post- work, often in a virtual environment.
Core Courses :All students must complete the departmental core. The core is a set of four courses, prescribed by the faculty, which provides a common base of knowledge essential to the work of library and information professionals. Core courses are never waived.IRLS 504: Foundations of Library and Information ServicesAll students begin the program with IRLS 504, taught as a 7-day intensive course in Tucson. The course includes orientation topics essential to success in the program, such as introductions to graduate study, group work, and distance learning. Course content also covers basic concepts needed for the core courses and subsequent electives, such as introductions to bibliography concepts, online searching, types of libraries and library positions, organization of library services, roles of information professionals, information science, and information policy. The course also includes an introduction to the required ePortfolio, as well as a module entitled Information Technology Readiness, which ensures that students have the technical skills to succeed in the program. IRLS 504 is taught three times a year; for dates see Starting the Program. IRLS 504 satisfies the residency requirement for the MA degree.IRLS 506: Research Methods for Library and Information ProfessionalsA primary task for almost all information professionals is to evaluate information and research as well as to assist others in carrying out research. They can only perform these tasks effectively if they understand how good research is generated. In addition, students who plan to carry out research in the field of information and library science need to be familiar with the research methods of this discipline. IRLS 506 covers the basic research methods used in information and library science, including research methodology, research design, and elementary statistics.IRLS 515: Organization of Information (formerly 501)Information professionals perform a wide variety of tasks. They may be involved in the storage, transmission, retrieval, evaluation, or archiving of information. The common thread that allows all of these tasks to be effectively carried out is the coherent organization of the information in question. IRLS 515 is an introduction to the theories, practices, and standards used in the organization of information.IRLS 520: Ethics for Library and Information Professionals Information professionals tend to be faced with ethical questions involving freedom of speech, privacy, copyright, and access to information, intellectual property, etc. IRLS 520 covers the basics of ethical theory and its application to problems in information management and provides students with the intellectual tools for addressing ethical questions. Students must take 12 credits of SIRLS electives, distributed over 4 categories. The curriculum committee approves the courses that fulfill the distribution requirement in each category. The most current list of approved courses is available at Distributed Electives. Management of Information ServicesLibrary and information professionals are invariably called upon to act as managers of information services and frequently become managers of information-based institutions. As a result, they need to be familiar with the basic principles of management and how these principles apply in the context of an information service such as a library. It is strongly recommended that students fulfill the management requirement in the second half of their studies. One course is required from approved courses in this area to satisfy this requirement.Evaluation of Information ResourcesA primary task for library and information professionals is to evaluate the quality of information resources. For example, whether they are working at the reference desk or making collection development decisions, librarians need to be able to select appropriate materials that will effectively meet the information needs of the patron. One course is required from approved courses in this area to satisfy this requirement.Information Technology and Networked Digital InformationInformation technologies and digital networked information are an increasingly important part of the knowledge and information environment of the 21st Century. Library and information professionals need to understand these technologies and be able to use them to manage both print knowledge and information records and the increasingly ubiquitous digital information resources. One course is required from approved courses in this area to satisfy this requirement.Cultural Perspectives on Libraries and Information.We live in a multicultural, multi-ethnic, and increasing global world. SIRLS offers a range of courses that look at library and information issues from cultural perspectives. Learning to view knowledge and information issues through various cultural lenses makes it easier to understand that there are always multicultural perspectives to library and information issues, services, and technologies. One course is required from approved courses in this area to satisfy this requirement.Free Choice SIRLS Electives In the free-choice category, students may choose any SIRLS electives, including additional choices from the categories above. Other Curricular Options Students select 6 credits from the following list of other curricular options:Out-of-department coursesInternship or practicum (limit 1)Independent studyThesis Other SIRLS electivesThe following are additional requirements in the new structure:An electronic portfolio, "ePortfolio," is required as part of IRLS 504 and must be submitted as part of the SIRLS exit requirement. Visit the ePortfolio portion of the SIRLS website for additional information.A maximum of six SIRLS credits taken as a continuing education (non-degree-seeking) student count toward the thirty-six units for the degree.A proposed Plan of Study (POS), with advisory approval, must be filed onlinewith SIRLS in the semester the student completes eighteen credits (Graduate School requirement).Students may count only one class with a "C" grade towards their graduation, but not in a core course or a course used to fulfill a distributed elective area. See "C" Grades and Minimum GPA for more information. English Language Requirements TOEFL paper-based test score : 550 Technological Requirements SIRLS expects students to have the use of a computer with online access (other than those located in the University computer labs). Typically students will own a computer, with broadband or modem access, at their home or residence. It is possible to have satisfactory access through computers in public libraries or halls of residence, etc. Students must have access to a computer that will run a web browser like Firefox, Netscape, or Internet Explorer. Elluminate provides video conferencing, audio conferencing, and typed chat. To take best advantage of these, the User needs a web cam, sound output (speakers), and sound input (a microphone). Many computers have these video and sound facilities built in, but not all do. Communication does not rely on the web cam, so that is not really absolutely necessary. But a microphone and speakers are essential. There is an issue that can arise. Sometimes, the sound output from the speakers can be picked up by the microphone causing feedback.
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