Library and Information Technician Diploma FAQs

How many courses are in the Library and Information Technician Diploma?

The diploma consists of 28 courses, including 2 field placement courses.

How are courses delivered?

Courses are taught online through OntarioLearn, providing you with the opportunity to learn from anywhere, at your convenience. Visit our Online Learning page to discover the benefits of studying online and if it’s right for you.

Is online learning for me?

If you prefer to study at your own pace in the comfort of your home or office, or if you live a distance from our campuses, these courses are for you. Although online learning is a convenient way to take courses, it is not necessarily suited to all students. Some students find it difficult to study independently and need the face to face interaction with the instructor and students that is found in a classroom setting. Online learning students must have self-discipline and excellent reading, writing, and analytic skills.

To find out if online learning is for you, take a short quiz, courtesy of OntarioLearn, at the OntarioLearn (opens in new window) website.

Do I have to apply to the program?

Yes, you must apply online at www.ontariocolleges.ca and be accepted into the program. There is still time to apply for Spring 2020! View the Admission & Registration tab on the program page for details.

How many courses do students register in each semester? Can I switch between part-time and full-time studies?

Students can choose how many courses they take each term as long as course prerequisites are met. The program can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis. Typically a part-time student would take 2-3 courses per semester, and a full-time student would take up to 7 courses per semester. Yes, you can switch between part-time and full-time studies throughout the program.

How long does it take to complete the diploma?

As an example, if you take two courses every semester, you would be able to complete the course requirements in approximately four years. You can choose how many courses you take each term, which will determine how long it takes for you to complete the program. It will take at least two years to complete the diploma.

What is the meaning of the number of hours given for each course? How many hours of work per week is each course?

The number of hours shown for each course are "equivalent classroom hours". Thus, the workload for a 42-hour online course would be about the same as if you took a course through traditional classroom delivery that is offered 3 hours per week for 14 weeks. Each course will require about 5-10 hours of work per week.

Are the courses self-paced online learning courses?

No, every course has a fixed start and end date and due dates for assignments. You can submit assignments early if you wish, but the instructor will not return the assignment mark until after the due date.

When are courses available? How do I know which courses are offered each semester?

Courses are offered on a semester basis, three times a year, Fall, Winter, Spring (September, January, May). All courses have a set start date, end date and due dates for assignments. Available courses are listed on the Program of Studies tab on the program page and in the Continuing Education Catalogue.

Do I need to have library experience prior to starting the program?

Current library experience is recommended, but not required. Students who work, or have worked, in a library sometimes find the courses easier than those with no experience. We often recommend that you do some volunteer work in a public or school library if you can.

When can I register for courses?

Please note you must receive acceptance into the program prior to registering in courses. Fall semester registration begins in early August, Winter semester registration begins in mid November, and Spring semester registration begins in late March. Once open, registration is on a first-come basis. Visit How to Register for registration information. 

If a course is full when I go to register, can I be put on a waiting list?

Yes, you can be put on a waiting list for a course if it is full. If a registered student withdraws during the first 6 days of a course, you will be contacted. Please note that waiting lists are not kept for subsequent terms; you will need to register again for your preferred course in the next term that it is offered.

How are fees paid? How much are course fees?

Fees are paid per course at the time of registration. Fees range from approximately $160 - $400 per coursePlease keep in mind that course fees are subject to change. Please see the registration page or the Continuing Education Catalogue for fees for this semester.

Are there scholarships, bursaries, or OSAP available?

Yes, our program is OSAP eligible and there are scholarships and bursaries available. Please visit the Financial Assistance webpage for more information.

Are there required textbooks?

A few courses in the program may require the purchase of a textbook. Books can be purchased from the Mohawk College Bookstore.

What type of library access do I need?

For some of our courses, you may need to use resources in print format that are likely only available in a medium to large size library. Course instructors will be able to make suggestions regarding libraries in your area that you can check to see if the required resources are available.

What are the computer requirements?

You will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection, high speed broadband access is highly recommended. A browser that supports graphics—one that uses software to display and interact with various images on a web page, such as Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome—is required.

Can I get exemptions for previous College or University courses?

If you have successfully completed library technician courses in the last few years at another college in Canada, you may be able to transfer your credits to Mohawk. If you have a diploma/degree, you may also be eligible for exemptions for the communications course and the two general education electives. Exemptions do not need to be processed before you start the program; this can be done any time before you graduate. Please contact us for assistance.

Can I get exemptions for work experience?

Exemptions based on work experience are called Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR). Some courses will require you to write a challenge exam while others will require you to prepare a portfolio. PLAR challenges can be done at any time while you are in the program. Visit the PLAR webpage for more information.

If I already work in a library, would it be possible to complete my field placement within that library?

Paid work cannot be used as a field placement. However, if a student has enough experience, they may be able to gain credit for WORKLT290 Field Work 1 using their knowledge gained at work. This process is called challenging a course through Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR). Students pay a registration fee and submit a portfolio to demonstrate they have already met the learning objectives of the field placement. For more information, please visit the PLAR webpage.

Can the two field placements be completed in different types of libraries?

Yes, students are encouraged to complete their field placements in different types of libraries as the intention of field placement is to broaden a student’s experience and exposure.

What is a passing grade?

A passing grade for a course is 50%, however in order to graduate, you must achieve a WGPA of 60%.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Library Technician program versus an MLIS program?

The education for an MLIS degree and Library and Information Technician Diploma is quite different. At the university level, to earn a Masters degree in Library and Information Science, the education focuses on theory and policy in libraries, whereas the education for a library technician is much more practical, focusing on the specific skills that are needed to run a library on a day to day basis.

In libraries, generally the department heads and senior management tend to be librarians, whereas the people who are the face of the library, working with clients directly and doing technical services work such as cataloguing, tend to be library technicians. Library technicians usually work under the supervision of a librarian in a large library, or they may work independently in a small library.

What is the future outlook of librarians and library technicians?

Libraries have changed; they are not answering the same kinds of simple reference questions they may have been asked 10-20 years ago when people didn’t have reference tools available online, right at their fingertips. Library staff today are serving as curators of information, helping users find the specific information they need, and continuing to support in-depth research needs. Libraries are reinventing themselves and taking on new roles. They are serving as community hubs, providing maker spaces, and doing lots of innovative programming. Job prospects in libraries are quite positive. While print books will not disappear, the majority of library resources are available electronically now in subscription databases, e-books and other electronic tools. It is important that people who want to get into the library field, in addition to knowledge of literature and books, enjoy working with people and enjoy working with technology.

If I finish the program and later decide library tech work isn't for me, are there any other jobs that I could use this diploma for?

The work of the library technician is about information – finding information, organizing information, and making information available. There are many transferable skills that come out of the Library and Information Technician Diploma in all of those areas. There are related information fields such as archives, records management, museums, and research.

Additional Information

Visit the Library and Information Technician Diploma program page.
 

Program Contact

Continuing Education Library

1-844-767-6871
celibrary [at] mohawkcollege.ca