Considerations for an MLIS Abroad

. .  by Matthew Tansek, Head Editor, INALJ Rhode Island

Considerations for an MLIS Abroad

Matthew TansekLooking for a more exotic local to complete your library and information science degree, but worried that you may not be able to get a job back here in the states?  Have no fear, I’m going to give you all of the information you’ll need.

The first thing that you need to understand is that while there may be many choices for where to earn a MLIS degree (or equivalent), if your goal is to get a job back in the USA than you need to make sure that you will graduate from a ALA-accredited program. The following are a list of countries given by the ALA as having a formal accreditation process and are deemed worthy of training those to work within the united states.

Once you have earned your degree from one of these institutions, I was surprised to learn that you need to have your transcript reviewed. Below are the more prominent organizations dedicated to this process:

Throughout your searching you may come across CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and wonder how that may fit into your plans. For the most part, you can think of CILIP as the UK’s version of ALA. There is an agreement between the two organizations, which allows for a degree earned in either to be considered equivalent in the other. The UK is one of the few countries other than the United States where a Master’s degree in library science is often a requirement for many jobs within libraries. For example, the ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) offers many tempting programs, but the degree does not hold as much weight as a Master’s degree, and will not be considered sufficient in the UK or the US.

Here are some additional ideas for MLIS programs outside of the USA :