The University of Maine at Augusta’s (UMA) completely online program in Information & Library Science engages students from around the world to learn, discuss, and share experiences, and ideas about libraries and working in library and information agencies. The programs (Certificate, AS and BS) are designed to provide students with paraprofessional skills essential to supporting the effective functioning of libraries and other information intensive organizations and to prepare them for a career as a Library and Information Assistant/Library Support Staff. UMA’s ILS Program is externally certified by the American Library Associations Library Support Staff Certification Program.

UMA’s library program is available fully online for those with high-speed Internet access. Donna Bancroft, one of the instructors for the program finds that, “our online students, with their broad and varied experiences enrich the classroom discussions, particularly our international students”. Current and former students in the ILS program have held diverse positions such as film librarian, circulation assistant, technical services support, school media specialist, law librarian, library director, circulation staff, working in historical societies, academic and public libraries, some of our students have been self-employed working for Google and About.com.

“I just found out I was accepted into a graduate program!  I am so excited and wanted to thank you for your guidance in choosing a school.  I have to admit it is somewhat bitter-sweet because I must now come to terms with leaving UMA.  I have nothing but fond memories of my online learning. “
~ Tami A. Class of 2011

My classes at UMA have given me a significant leg up and not only will I be attending Catholic University of America with tuition fully paid for, but I will be working in the field of my choice. I couldn’t be more shocked and surprised at seeing how things have come together. I am ecstatic to be able to dive head first into graduate school and continue what I started at UMA!
~ Kirsten M., Class of ‘13

Students at UMA in the Library program realize that “at-a-distance” is only a geographic descriptor. While our students are dispersed around the world, there is a connection they feel toward their instructors, their classmates and toward the content of their courses. A student in California noted, “It is nice to have instructors who not only know their subjects well, but also know how to mentor/coach students in the right direction.”

UMA’s unique program allows students to enroll for classes and work toward a Certificate, Associate or Bachelor degree. Each of these program offerings build into each other so that students may start with the Certificate, and upon completion then work toward the Associates, and then the Bachelor’s applying their classes toward the next level.  Students may begin taking ILS courses before applying to the university. In fact, if a student has never taken an online course, we recommend they take a couple of courses before applying to make sure that the student can be successful in an online environment.

Students completing the BS in ILS will be prepared to enter the field of library and information services as specialized paraprofessionals, able to work independently in many settings or be prepared for graduate study as many graduates from the UMA ILS program attend ALA-accredited graduate programs around the United States.

Aside from being admitted to various graduate schools around the country, UMA ILS students have undertaken internships at placed like the Maine State Library, Owls Head Transportation Museum, and other places around the US including The James Melville Gilliss Library at the US Naval Observatory, the New York Times, the Shaker Community, and around the world,  Pohnpei in the Micronesian Islands and St Kitts, West Indies. Additionally, two UMA graduates received ALA Spectrum Scholarships for graduate school, and two of our recent graduates are currently engaged in library-related work at the Boston Athenaeum.

“When I transferred to UMA I was completely disheartened with college. I was about to give up all together. I felt alone in this processes like no one cared whether I passed or even if I existed. You have rekindled my faith in the higher education system.”
~Jennifer, Class of ’07

ILS Student Danny Norton was an invited speaker to ALA Mid-Winter 2012

“As you know I have been to lots of ‘bricks and mortar’ schools and not one of them can compare to the support I felt I got at UMA. I felt more connected here than any school I actually was physically present at.”
~Pam M. Class of ‘06

UMA ILS Students have been accepted into ALA accredited graduate programs around the United States. For example we have students currently taking classes at University of North Texas, Syracuse, San Jose State University, Drexel University, Clarion, Texas Women’s Kent State, Catholic, and the list goes on.

ILS Alum and current director of the Bailey Library in Winthrop Maine is working on exciting things: C.M. Bailey Library Renovation Almost Done Kennebec Journal, March 20, 2015

UMA’s ILS program is a certified provider of courses to meet the ALA Library Support Staff Certification requirements.

For more detailed information, contact Jodi Williams, L&IS Program Coordinator,lnitcoord@maine.edu