- Collection development (definition) and acquisitions (definition)
- Cataloging (definition)
- Reference (definition) and library instruction (definition)
- Circulation (definition), maintenance (definition), preservation (definition), and so forth
- Systems (definition)
- Management (definition)
- Types of library
Michael Gorman, "What Ails Library Education?" Journal of Academic Librarianship 30(2) (March 2004): 99-101.
One reason why Gorman came up with this list is because he's concerned that there is no national core library science curriculum. Yes, master's degree programs are accredited by the American Library Association, but library students often have great leeway in choosing their entire course schedule. Thus, employers are unsure what their hires know and don't know. Gorman's tentative list is based on his library experience and what he believes defines the professional librarian and what he or she should know.
His list is focused exclusively on libraries and librarians, and their operations and activities. Note that this list does not include things like "Web page design." While technology is important, it is not something that stands on its own. The best library science programs integrate "technology" (how-tos, planning aspects, etc.) into core library coursework.
To translate this list into a course schedule, I have matched it with courses from an actual course catalog (in this case, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign):
- Collection development and acquisitions: LIS590CD Collection Development and LIS578 Technical Services Functions
- Cataloguing: LIS507 Cataloging and Classification I (and maybe even LIS577 Cataloging and Classification II)
- Reference and library instruction: LIS504 Reference and Information Services and LIS458 Instruction and Assistance Systems. Since readers' advisory is a reference service, I would suggest a course devoted to it, such as LIS590KK Adult Popular Literature.
- Circulation, maintenance, preservation, and so forth: LIS578 Technical Services Functions and LIS582 Preserving Information Resources
- Systems: LIS451 Introduction to Networked Information Systems (and maybe even LIS452 Foundations of Information Processing in LIS and LIS453 Systems Analysis and Management)
- Management: LIS505 Administration and Management of Libraries and Information Centers
- Types of library: Examples include LIS590SL Special Library Administration and LIS590RB Rare Books and Special Collections Librarianship.
Of course, if you do know what sort of library you would like to work in, you would take the relevant courses. For example, if you were interested in being a children's librarian, you would take courses in children's literature and storytelling.
If you're about to enter library school and are wondering what might be involved in some of these courses, I have provided links to the syllabi of some of these courses, all at the University of Illinois:
- LIS590CD Collection Development
- LIS504 Reference and Information Services
- LIS458 Instruction and Assistance Systems (formerly LIS316)
- LIS590KK Adult Popular Literature
- LIS451 Introduction to Networked Information Systems
- LIS452 Foundations of Information Processing in LIS
- LIS505 Administration and Management of Libraries and Information Centers (or this)
- LIS409 Storytelling (or this)