Choosing your Concentration

As the fall semester draws to a close, many first year students have figured out which path toward librarianship is right for them. Don’t fret if you are still undecided!  Nevertheless choosing a concentration of study is a key determinant in your education here at St. John’s.  To get a step in the right direction, talk to one of these coordinators of specialized interest areas and consult these concentration descriptions to determine what sounds right for you:

Archival/Digital Asset Management

Dr. Szylvian,

Dr. Angel,

Archivists select records and intended uses and relationships to other sources.  Other duties include:  ensuring the long-term preservation of physical and digital collections; planning and directing exhibitions and other outreach programs to broaden the use of physical and digital collections.  Knowledge of digitization and digital collection management are an emerging field in archival studies.


Academic Librarianship

Dr. Rioux,

Those that choose the path of academic librarianship are generally interested in working in higher education or specialized research institutes.  Academic librarians deal mainly with the information needs of students.  Duties include:  reference, specialized collections, instruction, rare manuscripts and archives, technical services, administration, and collection development.


Information Analyst

Dr. Shelfer,

Dr. Vorbach,

The Information Analyst specialization is designed to prepare students to acquire, synthesize, analyze and report information to support decision-makers when embedded into information-rich problem-solving work environments of all types. This specialization offers library generalists, topical/subject specialists and functional specialists the appropriate coursework to help them prepare for upwardly mobile careers as research managers, operations/project coordinators and library managers.

Law Librarianship

Professor Monaco,

Law librarians work in and contribute to the fast paced-legal information society by meeting the challenges of managing and accessing information.  If you are interested in legal research using information resources in a variety of formats best suited to the users’ needs consider pursuing a career as a law librarian.  Duties include:  providing skilled and customized reference services on legal and non-legal topics; evaluating the quality, authenticity, accuracy and cost of information resources; aggregating content; and synthesizing information to create customized products for users.

Public Librarianship

Dr. Rioux,

A public librarian’s job provides opportunities to communities, large, small, and in between.  These librarians may provide highly specialized assistance to patrons of all ages and can run activities in conjunction with community organizations and schools.  Responsibilities can include:  reference, programming, collection development, administration, technical and user services, and community outreach and advocacy.

School Librarianship

Linda Lennon,

School librarians work with K-12 students, teachers, administrators as well as library technicians, assistants and student or parent volunteers in both public and private school systems.  School librarians begin to teach students how to become lifelong learners.  They work directly with students to champion reading, provide information-rich learning environments and advocacy for literacy.

Special Librarianship

Dr. Shelfer,

Special libraries offer unique opportunities to work in a specialized environment. Special librarians are information resource experts dedicated to putting knowledge to work to attain the goals of their organizations. Their position titles are as varied as the environments in which these information professionals are employed.  They may provide highly specialized assistance to users in large settings with larger staffs, or in smaller libraries where they work alone.  Duties include:  evaluating, analyzing, organizing, packaging and presenting information to maximize usefulness.

Youth Librarianship

Dr. Lee,

The Youth Librarianship specialization is designed to prepare students for positions as children’s or young adult librarians or library coordinators and specialists in public libraries and collection development librarians specializing in materials for youth. St. John’s offers library generalists appropriate coursework to help them prepare for serving a public that includes youth. This area of study focuses on physical and social development of youth, assets and needs of youth, and materials and services for ages 0-18.

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