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The Future of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis School of Library and Information Science Master’s Program
University Library at IUPUI

Everyday professionals in the library field, graduate work or work experience are questioned about the future of libraries in general. While we (librarians) invite questions and concerns, let it be known that the field of librarianship is just getting started!!!

IUPUI is highly regarded for their active SLIS program. If one is seeking a library science degree, Indiana University (Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses) is the only university in the state of Indiana that offers an accredited program approved by the American Library Association. Joint degrees can be earned with a MLS such as a Master’s in History or J.D. in Law. This opportunity makes the SLIS program unique because it is not just about producing librarians these days but also information specialist, research managers, database managers, etc. After graduation many students are not headed to work in a library but for other information-producing agencies.

The SLIS program at IUPUI is unique in that many of their technology advancements and courses are not only implemented but developed by their faculty and staff. I had the opportunity to interview a few educators in the SLIS department to gain a better perspective on their thoughts of the future of the program. Many commented that the top priority of their MLS program is to produce graduates that can serve information to users in an ever-changing environment. The demand of technology by today’s society will lead to the implementation of more technology based courses in the SLIS department. The future of the SLIS program will adapt to changes in society. The role of the educator in the SLIS program has changed over the last couple of years. That said, the SLIS program today demands educators to:

  • organize network resources when teaching students how to develop skills
  • be dedicated to assisting distance education students
  • teach electronic resources individually
  • be mindful of their need for specialized department and market SLIS program
  • govern classes that enroll students of difference levels of experience (work, technology, etc)
  • expand teaching models (leaning away from the traditional models)
  • unite diverse backgrounds of undergraduate degrees
  • stimulate and foster student interaction with classmates and instructors
  • stay current with academic, public, k-12, and special library development
  • partner with the practicing library community
  • conduct research using new technology tools and software

As a whole, SLIS educators do not feel the needs of students are changing. “I think the foundations of our field remain the same; however tools, techniques, and technologies are constantly changing, stated Annette Lamb, Indianapolis Senior Lecturer. The percentage of SLIS students enrolled in Indianapolis campus decreased a small margin this year 3.6% but the number of credit hours increased. This percentage provides a clear cut reason why distance education programs are needed.

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