Katharine Sharp, director of the first library science program, was recommended for the role by Melvil Dewey. Sharp founded the program at the Armour Institute in Chicago in 1893. Her dream of a university-anchored library program was realized in the fall of 1897, when the Illinois State Library School opened in Urbana at the University of Illinois.
Our distinguished history
The year 2023 will mark the 130th anniversary of the iSchool at Illinois. From our start as a library school in 1893, the iSchool has expanded our teaching, research, and engagement as information and technology grow in importance and the world advances. Our alumni total more than 11,500 and serve as our greatest advocates, and our continuous number-one ranked MS in library and information science degree program is a testament to our excellence.