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School of Library and Information Science 2003-2005 Academic Online Bulletin Table of Contents



School of Library and
Information Science
Academic Bulletin

Wells Library 011
1320 E. Tenth Street  
Bloomington, IN 47405-3907
812) 855-2018     Fax (812) 855-6166
Toll Free (888) 355-7547
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University Library (UL) 1110
755 W. Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 278-2375
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The School of Library and Information Science

About the School
The History of SLIS at Indiana University
The Mission of SLIS
Goals and Objectives for the Master of Library Science Program
Goals and Objectives for the Master of Information Science Program
Goals of the Ph.D. Program
Objectives for Students in the Ph.D. Program
Location and Facilities

About the School

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Indiana University ranks consistently in the top five or ten programs in North America, and its master's and doctoral enrollments are among the largest in the nation. In a recent six-year survey of scholarly productivity and impact, the school was ranked number one (Library Quarterly, April 2000). The M.L.S. (Master of Library Science) degree has been accredited continuously since 1952. The pioneering M.I.S. (Master of Information Science) degree adds another avenue of entry to the information professions. In addition to these two accredited programs, the school offers a Ph.D. in Information Science, a Specialist (post-master's) degree in Library and Information Science, specializations in African Studies Librarianship, Chemical Information, Music Librarianship, Special Collections, and a dual M.L.S./Doctor of Jurisprudence program with the School of Law. There are also dual master's degree programs with the Schools of Fine Arts, Journalism, Music, and Public and Environmental Affairs, and the Departments of African American and African Diaspora Studies, English, Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Comparative Literature, History, History and Philosophy of Science, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Russian and East European Studies. Course work leading to certification in public libraries and in school media is also available.

At SLIS we bring fresh insights to bear on information design, access, and policy issues by looking at information and information technologies in diverse human contexts. We seek to understand the behaviors, cognitive factors, social practices, media, and tools that foster and hinder effective information use. We place a strong emphasis on the social and behavioral dimensions of information technology.

SLIS has a full-time faculty of 18, supplemented by a distinguished emeritus, visiting, and adjunct faculty.

The School of Library and Information Science is located on the Bloomington campus. All students have access to the extraordinary physical and human resources of Indiana University, including one of the largest university computing networks in the world and a university library system that ranks thirteenth in the nation in terms of its holdings. Included in this system is the prestigious Lilly Library, which is internationally known for its rare books, manuscripts, and special collections.

The IU School of Library and Information Science is a member of the Association for Library and Information Science Education, the American Library Association, the American Society for Information Science and Technology, and the Special Libraries Association. It maintains affiliation with a number of other national and international bodies in library and information science.

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The History of SLIS at Indiana University

The first organized library science curriculum at Indiana University, a program for the preparation of school librarians, was offered by the School of Education in the summer of 1930. In 1938 this curriculum was expanded and made available in the regular school year as well as during the summer session.

In 1947 the Division of Library Science was established within the School of Education. A basic undergraduate curriculum in library science concerned with the fundamental processes common to all types of libraries was offered as a minor within the four-year program leading to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Arts and Sciences or to the Bachelor of Science in Education degree in the School of Education.

Fifty Years of Graduate Education in Library and Information Science: 1949-99
A five-year program leading to the Master of Arts with a major in library science, granted by the Graduate School, was created in 1949, and a Ph.D. program in library and information science was established in 1964.

In 1966 the Trustees of Indiana University established the Graduate Library School and the professional degree Master of Library Science (M.L.S.), replacing the Master of Arts degree granted by the Graduate School. The Specialist degree program was added to the curriculum in 1978. In 1980 the name of the school was officially changed to School of Library and Information Science (SLIS). The addition of the Master of Information Science (M.I.S.) degree in 1995 reflects the school's continuing commitment to change.

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The Mission of SLIS

The school provides students with an understanding of the conceptual foundations of librarianship and information science and of the multifaceted nature of the wider information environment. It prepares students with a rich mix of knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to function as critical thinkers and effective communicators. Graduates should have a strong grounding in theory and the ability to translate theory into effective practice.

To provide a proper setting for the implementation of this mission, the school promotes the advancement of knowledge, both theoretical and applied, through active programs of research and scholarly publication. The school also provides service within the university and to the local, national, and international communities through contributions to, and leadership in, associations and organizations and by assuming consulting, advising, publishing, and other professional roles. This leadership by example is considered essential in providing a framework in which the goals of the program can be pursued effectively.

The school also provides opportunities for students to seek educational experiences involving the development of the specialized skills currently emphasized in information-providing agencies and other organizations. The development of these skills often highlights current trends in information systems and information management that serve to assist the student in career planning. Such educational experiences are gained through selection of elective courses from the School of Library and Information Science, through cooperation with other graduate programs of the university, and through seminars, workshops, conferences, group projects, internships, and practicum experiences.

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Goals and Objectives for the Master of Library Science Program

The school has identified the following goals and related objectives for students who complete the Master of Library Science program:

  1. Assist and Educate Users of Libraries and Information
    • Analyze and identify information needs that represent a variety of age, academic, economic, and social groups and apply appropriate search strategies for effective and efficient information retrieval in each situation.
    • Educate users and potential users of information systems to locate and evaluate information resources.
    • Analyze and evaluate the provision of information systems and services in a variety of library and information settings.
  2. Develop and Manage Library Collections
    • Prepare and apply policies and procedures that support the selection and acquisition of information resources which will meet the information needs of an organization, institution, or community.
    • Manage, evaluate, and preserve collections of information resources.
  3. Organize and Represent Information Resources
    • Understand and effectively apply principles of representation and systems of organization to provide access to resources in a variety of library and information environments.
  4. Apply Management and Leadership Skills
    • Understand a wide range of organizational structures and management and leadership styles; demonstrate positive attitudes and constructive actions that characterize innovative leadership.
    • Recognize the value of collaborative planning and project management.
    • Apply the interpersonal and organizational skills necessary to manage and evaluate projects and personnel successfully.
    • Work effectively within and across a variety of organizational structures.
    • Communicate an organization's values and contributions, and identify sources that will support the organization's activities.
  5. Conduct and Analyze Research
    • Understand and apply research and evaluation methods to investigate questions related to the acquisition, representation, organization, use, and/or dissemination of information.
    • Analyze and interpret findings of such research and evaluation.
  6. Demonstrate Basic Technical Expertise
    • Understand the basic applications of modern technology in today's libraries and other information environments.
  7. Approach Professional Issues with Understanding
    • Comprehend the social, political, and legal aspects of information creation, access, and ownership.
    • Engage in continuing learning in professional organizations in library and information science.
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Goals and Objectives for the Master of Information Science Program

The Master of Information Science program is an interdisciplinary professional program designed to prepare students for lifelong careers in designing, managing, or consulting about information technologies and services in public, corporate, and nonprofit organizations. The M.I.S. program couples best-practices training in the design and use of information technologies with the essential career development skills of communication, team building, analysis, and critical thinking that are necessary for assuming management positions in business, industry, nonprofit, academic, and government organizations.

Upon completion of the M.I.S. program, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Analyze, evaluate, design, and manage information technologies to support effective organizational activities, work practices, and human usability.
  • Employ a sound conceptual foundation and understanding of research to enable them to develop strong, leadership-oriented careers as information professionals.
  • Develop appropriate information management strategies and policies for organizations.
  • Understand the theoretical and practical bases of information organization, storage, delivery, and retrieval systems.
  • Understand the economic, social, political, and strategic value, and the ethical use of, information.
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Goals of the Ph.D. Program

The school has identified the following goals for the Doctor of Philosophy in Information Science:

  1. To promote a common understanding of the research process and what constitutes scholarly research.
  2. To prepare scholars who are able to identify and conceptualize significant research problems.
  3. To train scholars who are able to produce relevant research and who have the overall potential for contributing new knowledge to the field.
  4. To prepare students for professional roles as researchers, teachers, and consultants in both academic and nonacademic settings.
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Objectives for Students in the Ph.D. Program

By completion of their Ph.D. program, doctoral students should be able to

  1. Demonstrate their ability to generate original research that meets the scholarly standards of the field.
  2. Communicate the findings of their work, orally and in writing, in a clear, convincing fashion to other scholars in this and related disciplines.
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Location and Facilities

The School of Library and Information Science is housed in the Main Library on the Bloomington campus. The school's facilities include dedicated computer laboratories, lecture and seminar rooms, and a library and information science library.

Both the School of Library and Information Science and Indiana University as a whole are technology-intensive environments, so the opportunities for learning and working with state-of-the-art technology are numerous.

The School of Library and Information Science maintains two computer labs for use by any student enrolled in SLIS courses. In addition, the school supports a lab dedicated to use by SLIS Ph.D. students. Technology plays a central role in library and information science research and practice; therefore SLIS devotes significant resources to ensure that students have access to up-to-date hardware and software. The technology staff provides students with opportunities to learn and use current and emerging technologies that will be essential to their professional development. SLIS computing labs are open approximately 80 hours per week, with consultants generally on duty to assist students. Additionally, the technology staff offers workshops focusing on new developments of interest to the SLIS community.

SLIS maintains its own server room, which houses several NT, Mac, and UNIX servers. These provide services ranging from hosting the SLIS Web site to ensuring the school is in compliance with software licensing agreements. One UNIX server is dedicated to student use and provides advanced capabilities. Individual classes have access to other servers as needed, and an independent study project recently set up a permanent, student-administered Linux server.

SLIS, the University Information and Technology Services, and the University Libraries jointly support the usability lab housed at SLIS. This state of the art facility supports the systematic observation of human-computer interaction (HCI). With cameras recording users' facial expressions and physical movements, and system responses directly captured by digital recording, the complete process of interaction can be reviewed and analyzed. Students and researchers use the lab to learn about usability evaluation methods, to identify user problems with software interfaces, and to test ideas for new designs.

As a part of Indiana University, consistently rated one of the most "wired" university systems in the nation, every member of the SLIS community has access to a vast array of computing and information technology resources. SLIS partners with other IU schools and departments to ensure that the SLIS community continues to enjoy access to university-wide resources.

The School of Library and Information Science offers the Master of Library Science degree program in Indianapolis, as well as in Bloomington. The SLIS IUPUI campus manages distance education opportunities available at several locations in the state of Indiana. For details about the Indianapolis program or distance education options in Indiana, consult the SLIS IUPUI Web site (www.slis.iupui.edu).

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