It has been a fantastic and fast-moving semester for the college’s School of Library
and Information Science, and the dean has been kind enough to yield this space to
bring you up to date.
SLIS Hosts National Convening
The school hosted a successful national convening for the Institute of Museum and
Library Services. IMLS is the primary federal funder of library research and education
in the country. Forty-five of the 52 ALA accredited LIS programs in the country came
to Columbia to discuss future directions of the Laura Bush 21st Century Library program.
During the meeting, we were able to highlight the work of SLIS faculty and doctoral
students. It is worth noting that this is the same IMLS program that helped launch
our Ph.D. program.
SLIS Around the World
Our faculty and students are in the field and transforming libraries and information
organizations around the country and internationally. This semester saw faculty in
Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the American Association of School Librarians
Conference in Phoenix, The Charleston Conference and the ASIS&T Conference in Washington,
D.C., all while still staying true to the state of South Carolina with a strong presence
at the SCLA Conference, Literacy Nights in West Columbia, and Cocky’s Reading Express
in Edgefield, Richland, Fairfield, Lexington and Dorchester counties.
In November, we were accepted into the iSchool Caucus, an international association
of information schools. Being an official part of the iSchool will open up opportunities
for our undergraduates and our doctoral students. It is a recognition that we are
a program with a growing research and scholarly reputation.
Kicking off the Library Scholars Program
This fall, we entered into an agreement with the Charleston Country School District
to prepare a group of their teachers to be school librarians. This cohort of Charleston
Library Scholars kicks off a new program for us. We want to work with school districts
and libraries of all types to put together local cohorts with local orientations,
internships and national networking that goes beyond our existing, excellent LIS program.
All of this good work is paying off in enrollments. Applications to our information
science degree are double last year, and our LIS applications for a spring start are
also nearly double last year.
I’m also happy to share that Dr. Sarah Keeling, our head of graduate student services,
won the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Staff Award. The Social
Justice Awards recognize individuals who have exemplified the philosophies of Dr.
King through random or ongoing acts of community service, social justice or racial
reconciliation. I can think of no one more deserving.
The faculty, staff, students and alums of SLIS are busily saving the world ... one
community at a time!