The theme of the Fall 2012 issue of SLIS Network (the SLIS alumni magazine) was titled "Exploring Opportunities." The issue was recently mailed to all SLIS alumni. If you did not receive your issue, be sure to update your address with the IU Alumni Association.
The full magazine is also available on the Alumni section of our website.
• Dr. Debora Shaw's "Dean's Letter" is included here:
July 2013 will bring a major change in the education of librarians and other information professionals at Indiana University. The School of Library and Information Science will merge with the School of Informatics to form the School of Informatics and Computing. Some alumni and friends have been distressed by the prospect of “losing” our school. Although we will become a department in a larger school, we will continue to offer our two accredited master’s degrees and doctoral program exactly as we do now. In many senses this move is an excellent way to preserve and strengthen our commitment to education and research in our rapidly changing field.
Libraries and librarianship continue to witness dramatic changes in expectations and possibilities. At SLIS we have seen a decline in the demand for MLS graduates while at the same time there are increased expectations of what each librarian needs to understand and contribute on the job. Technological developments continue to empower individuals and professionals. Incoming students who seek to enter this dynamic profession require a comprehensive and demanding educational program that moves quickly into the challenges and opportunities they will face. A well-resourced school with expert faculty who understand these social and technical challenges is essential. The new School of Informatics and Computing will be that school.
SLIS functions as part of a university ecosystem. In the forty-some years since it emerged from the School of Education, it has remained one of the smallest schools on campus. The logical area to extend SLIS’s strength would be in information science/informatics. Indeed, the Master of Information Science program and the research interests of many faculty demonstrate that SLIS has grown in that direction. Combining efforts to form the new school is an obvious move to cement IU’s strengths and achieve the depth of support to move forward our educational and research missions.
The merger is particularly propitious at this time. The faculty and administration of the two schools have been especially open to collaboration in research and teaching. Informatics master’s students are joining SLIS students in classes this fall. In the spring, SLIS faculty will be teaching some Informatics courses.
Indiana University will honor the School of Informatics and Computing with a celebration of its inauguration in fall 2013. We will look for opportunities to introduce the dean of the new school, Bobby Schnabel, to SLIS alumni and friends as the merger moves forward. Please stay in touch for details on how you can be involved.
Posted November 12, 2012