Leading School in Library & Information Science Announces New Name – LSU School of Information Studies
June 01, 2023
BATON ROUGE - The LSU School of Library & Information Science announced today they will be changing their name to the LSU School of Information Studies. The change reflects the school’s expansion into additional areas of education, including the Archival Studies and Records & Information Management Graduate Certificates. The school also offers an undergraduate minor in Digital Studies and two general education courses.
“The school is moving forward to address the needs of students in an increasingly digital world, while continuing the very important work of educating professional librarians who connect communities to reliable information sources,” said School of Information Studies Director Carol Barry, PhD. “We are striving to connect the past, the present, and the future.”
Louisiana State University’s School of Information Studies has a prolific history that spans decades. In 1932, LSU established the Graduate School of Library Science to address the growing need for a formal librarian training program. Continuously accredited since 1933 by the American Library Association, the school is known for its leadership, innovation, and dedication to the land grant mission of LSU to teach, conduct research, and provide service to communities. In the 1970s and 1980s, the school adapted to the growth of new technologies. In recognition of the growing breadth of the program, the name was changed to the School of Library & Information Science in 1981.
The school has a long legacy of providing education to students throughout Louisiana. In 1947, the school began its School Librarianship Distance Education program to reach school librarians across the state. In 1973, the school opened its Residential Centers at what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and LSU Shreveport. By 1980, the Residential Centers included Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans, Pineville, Shreveport, and Thibodaux, making it easy for students across Louisiana to earn the Master of Library Science. The school began LSU’s first telelearning courses in 1987. It was the first program at LSU to offer compressed video courses in 1996 and online courses in 2000. In 2011, SLIS became the first program at LSU to offer an entirely online degree option.
In the 2010s and 2020s, SLIS entered a new era of leadership and growth. The school joined with five other units to create the College of Human Sciences & Education in 2012. By 2015, it moved toward offering entirely asynchronous online programs only. During the following years, the school began an expansion of its programmatic offerings. In 2017, the school became the first program in the country to partner with the Institute of Certified Records Managers to offer a Graduate Certificate in Records & Information Management. The same year, it began offering its first general education course, Information and Society, to undergraduates. In the following year, program offerings were expanded to include the Archival Studies Graduate Certificate and a unique partnership with the College of Art & Design’s Doctor of Design in Cultural Preservation (DDes) program. In 2019 and 2020, the school offered a second general education course, Information Literacy and Critical Analysis, and launched the undergraduate minor - Digital Studies.
In 2020, the school joined the iSchools Consortium as an associate member. The iSchools represent an international organization of over 120 universities with a common interest in all aspects of research and teaching about information. Most recently, the school joined the Climate Heritage Network (CHN) in 2022. The CHN is a voluntary, mutual support network of government agencies, NGOs, universities, businesses, and other organizations committed to tackling climate change and achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. Mobilized in 2018 during the Global Climate Action Summit and launched in 2019, the Climate Heritage Network works to re-orient climate policy, planning, and action at all levels to account for dimensions of culture - from arts to heritage.
“Students in the LSU School of Information Studies graduate with the skills to meet the changing needs of the digital world. They serve Louisiana through leveraging innovative technologies to improve healthcare and to manage records and big data across all industries; addressing the impacts of climate change on institutions that safeguard our history and culture, such as museums, galleries and archives; and increasing access to information for all populations,” said LSU College of Human Sciences & Education Dean Roland Mitchell. “As we look to the next era, our exceptional faculty will continue leading, researching, and serving our community.”
The school hosted a Jazz Brunch in April celebrating 90 years at LSU and unveiled a video which chronicles significant milestones. The school’s degree will remain the Master of Library & Information Science and they will continue to offer courses that prepare students for professional positions in academic, public, school, and special libraries. The school is uniquely positioned to support the LSU Scholarship First Agenda, particularly in the areas of defense with a focus on combining military, technology, and cyber defense, as well as the coast with collaborative research projects that explore the effects of climate and extreme weather events like hurricanes on cultural institutions.
The event also celebrated the recent accomplishments of students, alumni, and faculty including the following.
Over the past five years:
- The faculty secured over $2.4 million in research grants.
- Students received over $1 million in scholarships and awards.
- Faculty published 2 books, 5 book chapters, 80 journal articles, and 81 conference proceedings.
- Five students published with faculty and 54 presented with faculty at conferences.
- Faculty supervised 119 directed independent studies and 49 internships.
- The school awarded 587 graduate degrees.
- Faculty served on 17 journal editorial boards.
SLIS alumni were recognized for their achievements:
- Cheylon Woods (MLIS 2015) received the Top 20 Under 40 Acadiana Leadership Award
- Nicollete Davis (MLIS, 2018) was named an American Library Association Emerging Leader
- Allie Stevens (MLIS 2015) was named Mover & Shaker by the Library Journal
- Cara Chance (MLIS, 1998) received the 2023 I Love My Librarian award from the American Library Association
- Mackenzie Roberts Beasley (MLIS, 2018) discovered the oldest New Orleans Mardi Gras film footage from an 1898 Rex Parade
- Wendy McLain (MLIS 1990) was elected president of ARMA International
Faculty have also been recognized for their contributions to the field:
- Boryung Ju, PhD, and Yejun Wu, PhD, were named Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) Distinguished Members
- Emilie Leumas, PhD, was included as a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists
- Alma Dawson, PhD, honored with the Essae Martha Culver Distinguished Service Award from the Louisiana Library Association
The LSU School of Information Studies (SIS) is the home of the Master of Library and Information Science, which is the only program accredited by the American Library Association in the state of Louisiana. In addition to the online MLIS program, SIS offers entirely online graduate certificates in Archival Studies, Records & Information Management, and School Librarianship. SIS also offers an undergraduate minor in digital studies and several ILC courses. SIS is a member of the iSchools, a group of Information Schools dedicated to advancing the information field, and is part of the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education.
The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Information Studies, the School of Kinesiology the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.