Greetings my SLIS friends.
The end of the academic year here at SLIS is upon us, and it has been quite the year. Here are just some of our accomplishments:
- In the Fall we hosted a meeting for the Institute for Museum and Library Services that gathered nearly all of the accredited library and information science programs in the country.
- This lead to a fantastic effort by the faculty and our doctoral students to submit proposals to IMLS. We put in 9, and 5 have been invited into the second round of proposals. Some big congratulations to Jennifer Arns, Liz Hartnett, Clayton Copeland, Vanessa Kitzie, Lucy Green and Edward Blessing!
- Karen Gavigan is on her third round of Library of Congress grants for teaching with primary sources.
- We hired on 3 new members of the faculty in the areas of international librarians, youth services, and school librarianship.
- We brought on 4 new staff members.
- We made major progress on renewing our library science curriculum, an effort you will be hearing more about in the coming months.
- We experienced double digit growth in our undergraduate program.
- We put in place a new curriculum of the undergraduate information science major and an undergraduate minor in informatics.
- We submitted a manuscript written by numerous SLIS faculty, students, and staff on the Knowledge School concepts.
- We started a cohort program to fill the urgent need for school librarians in South Carolina. We have partnered with the Charleston County Schools in the Spring for the first cohort, and will be beginning the second cohort with the Florence 1 School District this week.
- We have seen a major uptick in applicants to our doctoral program.
In addition to these, we are working closely with our colleagues in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications to develop new academic and research programs along the theme of Data, Media, and Society. These programs will marry excellence in data with knowledge of the communications industries. The knowledge school of thought will also be strongly present with an emphasis on ethics and positive community impacts in the use of data and algorithms.
Overall, we are seeing growth in students, research, and ultimately in reputation. The word is out that SLIS is creating the next evolution of library and information science education. Faculty are working in South Carolina schools, libraries across Europe, governments in Africa, and with associations in Asia. We are supporting literacy at home, and redefining librarianship globally.
This is nothing new for SLIS of course. You have been a part of inventing distance education and marrying impact and service with scholarship. We want you to be part of the next evolution of SLIS innovation. We are looking for your ideas, your stories, your feedback as we expand. Let us know your success stories. Let us know your ideas. Connect and be part of the new school of thought that seeks smarter communities and more meaningful lives.