Naomi Peuse got excited about a master’s degree in library studies after noticing job openings in a school media center and a public library. But she faced significant barriers to returning to school. She had relocated to a rural area for her husband’s career and couldn’t move somewhere else to take classes. She was also occupied with raising a family, and she’d been out of college for over a decade.
“I was a little nervous about getting back into the swing of classroom work,” Peuse says.
She found a solution to her problems in the Online Master’s in Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through online courses, the program prepares students for information work in library, nonprofit, and business settings.
“The online master’s has allowed me to continue my education without spending half my life on the road or compromising too much time with my family,” Peuse says. “I am able to fit in school around my part-time job and after my kids go to bed, with one extra childcare day for studying. As a mom and wife trying to manage my family, school would have been impossible without this distance opportunity.”
On-campus boot camp
The Online Master’s in Library & Information Studies includes a one-week residency at the beginning of the first year, allowing students to meet with faculty, staff, and members of their cohort. It also includes a practicum—which can be completed close to home—that gives students experience in a real-world setting.
“I loved that the UW-Madison program had an on-campus boot camp,” Peuse says. “Meeting classmates and professors in person was so important to me. I would much prefer to be completing my graduate program in person, but the flexibility of online combined with the boot camp seemed like a decent compromise.”
Even with her preference for face-to-face classes, Peuse came to love the online sessions.
“I think professors who teach distantly are so creative,” she says. “The most effective instructors have found excellent solutions to the distance barrier and make the online classroom a very active and exciting place to learn.”
Peuse got her undergraduate degree at a small private university, and she likes the change of pace at a Big 10 school. Even in an online program, she’s making use of UW-Madison networking opportunities.
“I have developed great relationships with my peers and instructors and look forward to seeing how they play out after graduation,” she says.
For more information about the Online Master’s in Library & Information Studies, see here.