2013-14 General Catalog
Library and Information Science
Graduate degree: M.A. in library and information science
Associate professor emeritus
Web site: http://slis.grad.uiowa.edu/
Today's age is defined by the intersection of information, technology, and human creativity. In this context, library and information science is dedicated to understanding the nature of information, the interaction between information and communication technologies, the relationship between information and knowledge, the cognitive and affective aspects of knowledge acquisition, and the interface between people and information. It offers new knowledge, technological benefits, and professional expertise for every dimension of human affairs.
Library and information professionals take on many challenges in serving the needs of their constituencies--children and teachers, members of academic communities, employees of profit and nonprofit organizations, and the public at large--constituencies that range from information poor to information rich. They work in the contexts of issues such as information and communication technology, public and private information policy, managerial policy, and regional, national, and international economics.
The School of Library and Information Science prepares professionals to meet these diverse challenges. It offers a graduate-level program of preparation for careers in all types of libraries and information centers, providing students with a strong, well-rounded education in an environment that supports individuals from all segments of a multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual society. Its curriculum reflects the profession's immediate and long-range needs and prepares students to be leaders in a changing field.
By promoting excellence in research, the school contributes to the base of theoretical and practical knowledge in library and information science and helps develop an understanding of how to meet the varied and changing information needs of individuals and society. It also provides public service through continuing education programs, selective consulting services for library and information centers, and participation in professional organizations.
The school strongly encourages its students, faculty members, and alumni to shape the future of the profession by filling key roles in organizations involved in all aspects of the information cycle.Back To Top
Graduate Programs of Study
Graduate students working toward a degree in library and information science may elect to pursue one of the joint degree programs offered by the school in collaboration with the Tippie College of Business and the College of Law. The school also offers a joint master's degree/certificate program with the Center for the Book. See "Joint Degrees" and "Joint M.A./Certificate" below.
Students interested in school librarianship may earn a teaching license through a joint program with the College of Education; see "Specializations"/"School Teacher Librarian" below. Library and information science students also may earn the Certificate in Informatics, described below.
The Master of Arts in library and information science has held continuous accreditation from the American Library Association since 1971.
Library science graduates have many options for employment. Alumni hold positions in public, school, special, and academic libraries as well as other information settings. They serve in varied roles, such as information consultant, database manager, library administrator, webmaster, network coordinator, cataloger, children's librarian, school library media specialist, and archivist.Back To Top
Master of Arts
The Master of Arts in library and information science requires 36 s.h. of graduate credit. A thesis option is available for students who seek additional research experience.
Students pursuing the master's degree gain an understanding of the foundations of the library and information profession, including the history of the field, ethical and philosophical concerns, the information cycle, principles and procedures for dealing with a variety of information carriers, and the theory and practice of strategic management. They examine future trends, with emphasis on cutting-edge technological concerns. They study the discipline's research base, gaining heightened awareness of the synergism between library and information science and other disciplines, as well as the close relationship between research and practice. Finally, students become knowledgeable about the factors that underlie users' information needs and appropriate strategies to satisfy those needs.
The master's degree program is designed to be completed in two years. The maximum allowable load for graduate students is 12 s.h. during regular semesters and 8 s.h. during summer sessions. Students also may choose to complete the program through part-time study.
Students may apply a maximum of 12 s.h. of graduate transfer credit in library and information science or related areas toward the degree, subject to the approval of the transfer credit committee. Approval is given course-by-course and is determined by the course's content, currency, and applicability to the student's program.
The curriculum includes a proseminar and three tiers. Tier I consists of three required courses that provide a solid grounding for all successive course work. Tier II consists of four courses; students who intend to become school librarians should choose 021:262 (SLIS:6180) School Library Media Administration instead of 021:260 (SLIS:6170). In Tier III, students may earn up to 15 s.h. in electives chosen with guidance from their advisors. This three-tier arrangement allows each student to concentrate in an area that most closely matches his or her professional goals.
Students must enroll in the proseminar during their first semester, along with two tier I courses.
All of these:
One of these:
Two of these:
With their advisor's guidance, students choose 15 s.h. in electives from the following courses.
Students' programs often are designed around particular career goals. Following are examples of possible specializations.
Public libraries provide informational, educational, and recreational materials and a wide range of services for a diverse clientele. Although public libraries receive the bulk of their funding from local taxes, they also may be organized on a regional or statewide cooperative basis. The variety of uses, services, materials, and organizational structures of public libraries makes this a challenging area of librarianship. Public librarians need to develop skills in analyzing the communities they serve, designing comprehensive marketing plans to meet their needs, implementing the plans in a cost-effective way, and evaluating the success of their efforts.
The academic library, whether in a community college, a four-year college, or a university, provides information services in support of the parent institution's teaching, research, and public service missions. These services include instruction in the use of the library and its resources. Management skills and subject or language competence often are required. Since librarians in this setting usually are considered academic faculty members, a second master's or other advanced degree is desirable.
SPECIAL LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION CENTERS
Special libraries serve corporations, private companies, government agencies, technical and academic institutions, museums, medical facilities, and information management consulting firms. They are organized to anticipate and quickly respond to the specific information needs of their users. Special librarians are information resource experts who collect, analyze, evaluate, package, and disseminate information to facilitate accurate decision making. Knowledge of information technology and the ability to design services suitable to the parent organization are professional necessities. In addition, substantial subject expertise may be required.
SCHOOL TEACHER LIBRARIAN
School teacher librarians provide instruction to students in accessing, evaluating, and using information; collaborate with teachers on the use of resources in instruction; provide leadership in the use of instructional and information technologies; offer reading guidance; provide reference service; and manage the library media center.
The University of Iowa offers a state-approved program leading to endorsement as school teacher librarian K-12. In order to fulfill state requirements for this endorsement, students must hold or be eligible for a teaching license and must complete a designated sequence of courses that leads both to certification and to the M.A. degree.
Licensed teachers employed in Iowa schools may enroll in a distance education program that leads to an M.A. in library and information science and endorsement for school librarianship. Contact the School of Library and Information Science for details.
Students who are interested in school libraries but lack a valid Iowa teaching license may earn licensure as a school teacher librarian by completing 30 s.h. in the College of Education. The Master of Arts in library and information science with teacher licensure requires 66 s.h. of credit. Students must apply and be admitted to both programs.
The multidisciplinary field of information science is influenced by the rapid growth in digital information collections and technologies. This specialization offers expertise in retrieval, dissemination, and use of information. In addition to libraries and information centers, many for-profit organizations are finding that information is a valuable commodity in today's competitive world and are employing information management personnel. The curriculum offers opportunities to study information science aspects, such as digital libraries, electronic publishing, and automated systems design.Back To Top
The School of Library and Information Science offers a joint Master of Arts/Master of Business Administration with the Tippie College of Business and a joint Juris Doctor/Master of Arts with the College of Law. The primary goal of the joint programs is integration of the two areas of study.
Students in the joint programs may apply a limited amount of credit toward both degrees. Up to 9 s.h. in business or law may be applied toward the M.A. in library and information science; up to 9 s.h. in library and information science may be applied toward the M.B.A., and 12 s.h. may be applied to the J.D.
Separate application to each degree program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the joint degree program. For more information, see College of Law or Master of Business Administration Program in the Catalog.
In addition to the joint M.A./M.B.A. and J.D./M.A., joint programs may be arranged between departments on an ad hoc basis. A minimum of 60 s.h. of graduate work is required for a joint master's degree program.Back To Top
Students interested in special collections, book arts, or museum librarianship may pursue an M.A. in library and information science in conjunction with a graduate Certificate in Book Studies/Book Arts and Technologies. The joint program also may be appropriate for students interested in book studies scholarship and those seeking careers in publishing, graphic arts, or book-related industries that require a similar blend of subject and technical knowledge.
The joint program requires a total of 51 s.h. At least 27 s.h. must be earned in the M.A. program, at least 15 s.h. must be earned in the certificate program, and the remaining 9 s.h. may be earned in either program.
Separate application to each program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the joint program. For more information, see Center for the Book in the Catalog.Back To Top
Related Certificate: Informatics
The Graduate College offers the Certificate in Informatics with a health informatics subtrack, which requires 18 s.h. of credit. The subtrack emphasizes the organization, management, and use of health care information; health care research, education, and practice; and information technology developments in the socioeconomic context of health care. Library and information science students working toward the certificate complete 021:275 (SLIS:5900) Health Informatics I, 021:280 (SLIS:5910) Health Informatics II, and approved electives. To learn more, see "Certificate" in the Informatics section of the Catalog.Back To Top
The Beta Beta Theta Chapter of Beta Phi Mu, the international honor society for library and information science, is located at The University of Iowa. Each year new members are chosen from the top 25 percent of the preceding year's graduating classes. To be eligible for membership, graduates must achieve a g.p.a. of at least 3.75, demonstrate professional promise, and be recommended by the faculty.Back To Top
Student Organizations and Activities
All M.A. students in the school are automatically members of LISSO, the Library and Information Science Student Organization, which also serves as the student chapter of the American Library Association. LISSO sponsors various activities, such as speaker series, workshops, brown bag lunches, and social events. Participation in LISSO events provides students with significant opportunities for professional and extracurricular growth. Students also are encouraged to join other state and national professional organizations.
The electronic journal BSides was created and is edited entirely by library and information science students. The journal publishes work by current students and recent alumni in a wide variety of formats, such as research papers, PowerPoint presentations, and web sites.Back To Top
Applicants for admission to the M.A. program are required to have a g.p.a. of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale. They must have a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 1000 on the old Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test or a combined score of 300 on the revised GRE. The admissions committee also considers each applicant's letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and other appropriate criteria. Admission is competitive.
Applicants whose first language is not English must score at least 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In place of TOEFL, the school also accepts International English Testing System (IELTS) scores of 7.0 or higher, with no subscore below 6.0. Applicants who submit IELTS scores are required to take an on-campus English proficiency evaluation.
Applicants begin the admission process by contacting the School of Library and Information Science. The process requires a completed application form, transcripts of all academic work, a written statement of purpose and goals, and three letters of recommendation.
Completed applications should be received by the school by February 1 for consideration for fall admission. Decisions of the admissions committee are announced approximately six weeks after the application deadline. Late applications are considered if places are still available. Financial aid often is not available for late applicants. Admitted students are assigned a faculty advisor for program planning at the end of their first semester.
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College or the Graduate College section of the Catalog.Back To Top
The School of Library and Information Science offers partial-tuition scholarships and one-quarter-time graduate assistantships. To be considered for scholarships or assistantships, applicants must meet the M.A. program's grade-point-average and Graduate Record Exam score requirements for admission (see "Admission" above). Prospective students must submit letters of application for scholarships before February 1. Graduate assistantships are advertised as they become available; students should apply for specific assistantships.
For information on departmental scholarships, contact the School of Library and Information Science or visit its web site. Part-time employment usually is available in the University Libraries and other campus units.
Applications for student loans, work-study eligibility, or other financial assistance should be submitted directly to the University's Office of Student Financial Aid.Back To Top
The school shares announcements of national and international job opportunities through an electronic mailing list. In addition, LISSO sponsors talks by speakers versed in areas of librarianship as well as workshops on résumé writing and interviewing. Internships and the school's practicum courses provide students with hands-on experience that may enhance their job prospects.Back To Top
The School of Library and Information Science is housed in the south wing of the University's Main Library, in a setting that promotes community among students, faculty, and staff and provides easy access to resources of the University of Iowa Libraries. Facilities are provided for the varied instructional and research activities of the school.
Gunther Commons, a state-of-the-art collaboratory, is the school's combined student center and technology lab. Individuals and teams of students gather in the collaboratory to work on course assignments and to gain experience with specialized software that supports the latest teaching technologies. Students have access to both Windows and Macintosh computers in the collaboratory, with gigabit access to the campus network and wireless service throughout the Main Library.
University of Iowa Libraries
All of the resources of the University of Iowa Libraries are available to the school's students and faculty. The system contains more than 4 million volumes in the Main Library and six departmental libraries.
The web-based catalog provides access to books and periodicals, electronic indexes, and full-text databases held by University Libraries. In addition, the InfoHawk Catalog to online resources provides access to selected Internet and CD-ROM resources arranged by subject and academic discipline. Wireless Internet access is available in many areas of the Main Library.
Students have access to a variety of libraries through field trips, practicum experience, and personal use: the State Historical Society of Iowa library in Iowa City; the Iowa City, Coralville, and Cedar Rapids public and school libraries; the Augustana, Coe, Cornell, Mount Mercy, and Grinnell College libraries; and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch.
Lindquist Center houses the instructional services and campus services departments of the University's Information Technology Services. It provides instructional and research computing facilities and services for the University community. All University students, staff, and faculty may use the center's computers for University-related research, thesis preparation, and class work. Instructional Technology Centers provide campuswide access to the University's academic computing resources and the Internet.Back To Top
Copyright 2013 The University of Iowa. All rights reserved.
Updated June 2013