The School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois has long been recognized as one of the best library and information science (LIS) programs in the world. Our School earned this reputation through a tradition of innovation and excellence, including:
- the oldest extant LIS doctoral program in the country (1948);
- an award-winning online education program, known as Leep (1996);
- licensure as a K-12 Library Information Specialist (2001);
- an advanced degree in digital libraries (2005);
- a master of science in biological informatics (2007);
- leading publications (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Library Trends); and
- cutting-edge research centers (the Center for Digital Inclusion, The Center for Children's Books, and the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship).
Students may pursue comprehensive educational offerings, including MS/LIS, MS/IM, and PhD degrees and a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS), with the opportunity to specialize through such programs as the MS in Bioinformatics and the CAS in Digital Libraries. Our award-winning Leep online learning option has paved the way in online education and graduated more than six hundred students.
Based on figures collected during academic year 2015-2016, the School enrolled 982 students for which demographics are available by program selected, gender, home location, and assistantship appointment.
Faculty and Research
The School employs nationally recognized, award-winning faculty who establish and develop the methods used in the field of LIS. They work closely with their students in a learning environment rich with opportunity. They also are prolific and inspired researchers who address a wide variety of topics from digital preservation to the history of youth literature, working with numerous funding partners such as the Library of Congress, National Science Foundation, and Andrew Mellon Foundation.
Each year, the School presents a number of prestigious awards and cutting-edge lectures that address critical and timely topics in LIS. To keep alumni and friends up to date, the Communications Office produces a biannual magazine, Intersections, as well as a monthly electronic newsletter, News & Notes.
The School also includes a number of permanent units and services that integrate research, teaching, and public engagement. Many provide students with real-world professional opportunities through graduate assistantships, practica, independent study, and volunteer projects.
The School has a long history of publishing high-quality publications in the field of LIS. Our historical collection is freely available in IDEALS, the digital repository for scholarly works produced at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- The Occasional Papers Series, issued irregularly, consists of papers addressing varied aspects of librarianship, as well as those of specialized or contemporary interest, that generally are too lengthy or detailed for publication in a periodical. Inquiries regarding manuscript submissions should be addressed to cashwill [at] illinois.edu (Cindy Ashwill), managing editor.
- For more than thirty years, the Allerton Park Institute conferences (1954-1997) explored areas of emerging or continuing interest to practicing librarians. The conferences were organized around general themes, and speakers were recognized experts in the subject areas.
- The Data Processing Clinics, published from 1963-1998, were organized around a specific theme and introduced those interested in the technology that surrounds information—librarians, information scientists, and others—to new trends and approaches.
- The Katharine Sharp Review, a peer-reviewed e-journal devoted to student scholarship and research within LIS, was published from 1995-1999.