Comparative Analysis of Professional Journals

Reading professional journals is a great way for professional librarians to educate themselves on topics they may not yet have knowledge.  This would be especially true for a reference librarian who is required to have a general knowledge of many topics in order to better service his or her patrons.   I chose two professional journals that discussed topics in the library and information science realm, Library Journal and Notes.

Library Journal

This journal’s intended audience tends to be more in the public library sector.  The articles tend to discuss topics that would appeal to those still in Library School or to those who have recently graduated.  Each issue has several short articles, a few larger ones, a feedback section, updates on subscribers; reviews of audio books, videos, video games, music and books (sorted by genre).  Library Journal is also accessible for free online at and in print form.  This journal is a great resource for reading up-to-date news around the world in libraries.  They discuss a variety of topics from politics to copyright issues to intellectual freedom.


The Music Library Association publishes this journal and its intended audience would be in the field of music librarianship.  The topics one would find in this journal are music bibliography, music librarianship, the music trade, discography, music history, book and music reviews and they also provide lists of books recently published and music received.  These articles are very scholarly in nature and are great for research.  If I decide to go into academic music librarianship, I would most likely refer to this journal often. This journal is only available with a membership to the association, although the current issue’s table of contents is viewable on the MLA’s website:  The journal comes in print form but is also viewable online through several online databases.


Both of these journals are usable by professional librarians.  Public librarians would most likely use Library Journal and academic music librarians would most likely use NotesLibrary Journal is more of a publication of shorter articles and lots of reviews of materials, while Notes is full of scholarly articles that can be used for reference services.  The major differences between these two journals reflect how large in scope the LIS professions are.  Public Librarians tend to be interested in many more topics than specialized Music Librarians.   However, despite these differences in makeup of these journals, librarianship itself faces many similar issues, like copyright issues, intellectual freedom, growing technology and accessibility.




Library Journal. (1975-2012). Retrieved from


Library Journal. (2012). Retrieved from


Notes. (1995-2012). Retrieved from


Notes Subscription Information. (2009). Retrieved from


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