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January 2018

FROM THE DIRECTOR . . .

What's new at SLIS

Greetings CIC friends and alums,

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.

We’re an iSchool

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.

Enrollments Up

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.

Awards

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!

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David Lankes


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