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EIU Department of English

Career Paths for English Majors:

Library and Information Science

Diedre LemonLibrarians work at public libraries but also at libraries in schools and colleges, museums and foundations, and in large businesses. Librarians are normally expected to hold a master’s degree in library science. An English major is excellent preparation for graduate school in library science.

In addition, the "information science" part of study in schools of Library and Information Science can lead to diverse careers in information analysis and management in many different fields.

A number of recent alumni of the English major at EIU are graduate students in library science at the University of Illinois and at Kent State University in Ohio. Others are librarians in local communities and at colleges and universities including Joliet Community College, the University of Illinois, and Bradley College.

Liz SurbeckThe employment outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were 143,100 people working as librarians. The field is projected to grow by 2% through 2020. * Although the BLS doesn't have one category for those who work with information science (also known as data analysis and by other names), the field is expected to grow rapidly, as they describe in their report Working With Big Data.

Does this sound like you? Librarians enjoy helping people and they are interested in a wide variety of information technologies. They have excellent research skills and need to be logical but creative thinkers to help patrons solve challenging research problems. They also need strong interpersonal skills as they interact with a broad spectrum of the public. Information scientists also have strong critical thinking skills and broad interests in information technologies.


*All data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics cited on this page come from the  Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is available and searchable online.

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Contact Information

Department of English

600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2428
Fax: (217) 581-7209

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