Museum Information Professionals: Essential Skills

Communication / Metadata & Cataloging / Copyright / Digital Preservation / Professional Development

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800 - 1877) A Scene in a Library, 1844, Salted paper print 13.1 × 17.8 cm (5 3/16 × 7 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
William Henry Fox Talbot, A Scene in a Library, via The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Over the course of the summer term in Information Professions, we’ve been provided with a survey of career possibilities as well as the common topics that MLIS students are likely to encounter after graduating. As someone who is not focused on traditional library jobs, it was affirming to see how flexible and applicable the degree can be to other areas of information management. I look forward to taking a deeper dive into a handful of these areas as I personalize my curriculum to match my interests in information management in museums.

The well rounded museum information professional has much to learn. Both museums and libraries share common values of providing access to information and inspiring personal enrichment and growth. Information science can help museum professionals in the organization, description, and access of information pertaining to museum collections. Communication, metadata & cataloging, issues in copyright, digital preservation, and ongoing professional development, are some of the essential skills in the museum information field. Collected here is a brief overview of resources for enhancing and growing these skills.


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Digital Preservation Handbook. (2015). Retrieved from

Dilenschneider, C. ( 2016, July 2). The real reason some nonprofits stink at digital (and why it is getting worse) [Web Log Post]. Retrieved from

Elings, M. W., & Waibel, G. (2007). Metadata for all: descriptive standards and metadata sharing across libraries, archives and museums. First Monday, 12(3). doi:10.5210/fm.v12i3.1628

Kim, J. j. (2012). Building rapport between LIS and museum studies. Journal Of Education For Library & Information Science, 53(2), 149-161.

Marty, P. (2005). So you want to work in a museum … guiding the careers of future museum information professionals, Journal of Education for Library & Information Science. 46(2), p115-133, 19p. doi: 10.2307/40323865

Marty, P. & Alemanne, N. (2013). Engaging the experts in museum computing: seven years of queries on MCN-L. Curator, 56(4), 421-433.

Minow, M. & Hamilton, L. (2015). Copyright and creative commons. In S. Hirsh (Ed.), Information services today (pp. 300-314). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.

NMC Horizon Report 2015 Museum Edition. (2015) Retrieved from