Core Courses

Core Courses (12 credits)

All students must complete the department 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.

IRLS 504: Foundations of Library and Information Services

All students begin the program with IRLS 504, usuall taught as a 7-day intensive course in Tucson. These is an experimental 15 week blended online/face-to-face class where some students do not come to campus. 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 SIRLS MA Program" above. IRLS 504 satisfies the residency requirement for the MA degree. (Core courses are never waived.)

IRLS 506: Research Methods for Library and Information Professionals

A 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. (Core courses are never waived.)

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 501 is an introduction to the theories, practices, and standards used in the organization of information. (Core courses are never waived.)

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. (Core courses are never waived.)


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