Hack Your Program: University of Washington – Information School

30/05/2011 § 12 Comments

Mary Gates Hall - Seattle, WA

You may remember my post asking for help to Save the UW iSchool. Well, the all clear has sounded and the iSchool is safe for another year. Here’s my hack into the program itself rather than the politics that put it into jeopardy. As always, these are my views and opinions and I’d love to hear other UW students and alum’s experiences as UW iSchoolers.


The University of Washington iSchool is located on a beautiful campus in Seattle. It is housed on the third and fourth floors of Mary Gates Hall which is conveniently located near Suzzallo Library. The iSchool currently offers several degrees:

  1. Undergrad program – Informatics
  2. MLIS – Master of Library & Information Science (residential and online)
  3. MSIM – Master of Science in Information Management
  4. PhD in Information Science

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Hack Your Program: UCLA Department of Information Studies

27/05/2011 § 11 Comments

Like the other Hackers, this post reflects my perspective, and mine alone, on the UCLA Department of Information Studies, as experienced in my two years as an MLIS student.  I am enrolled in the Library Studies track, with a focus on public libraries and a specialization in youth services; I will be graduating in 16 days (but who’s counting?) and my time in this program, and the experiences I have gained because of the connections I have made, have definitely prepared me to be a librarian.

The Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.  Photo Credit: Graduate School of Education and Information Studies Website.

Program Overview 

The Department of Information Studies is one of two departments in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSEIS).  The program offers an MLIS degree, Master of Arts in Moving Image Archive Studies (MIAS), a PhD, and a Post Master’s Certificate.  The MLIS is divided into three tracks: Library Studies, Archival Studies, and Informatics.  These three specializations don’t have any specific course requirements, other than Archives, which requires the American Archives and Manuscripts “as a foundation course for the specialization,” but rather reflect your course choices.  Dual Master’s degrees are also available with the Anderson School of Management, Latin American Studies, and Asian American Studies.  A fourth specialization in Preservation will most likely be added in Fall 2011.

Info Bit: The California Rare Book School is a continuing education project of the IS Department, and offers fascinating courses (open to all) such as History of the Children’s Book from the Old Babylonian to 1989  (new this year!) and Descriptive Bibliography.

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Hack Your Program: Indiana University-Indianapolis SLIS

25/05/2011 § 15 Comments

*Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and are not representative of the student body. I started in Fall 2010 as a full-time, out-of-state student. All criticism is meant to be constructive.

SLIS classrooms are on the first floor and the basement.

I go to the  School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University-Indianapolis (a.k.a. IUPUI). It’s a nice campus that located just west of the downtown area. Overall, I would say that my program has a very traditional approach to the LIS education. For example, we graduate with an MLS, not an MLIS. Students can either take classes online, on-campus, or long-distance, via satellite classes, although long distance learners are required to take at least one class in person. I moved here from CA because I wanted to attend a school in person, so I mostly am taking on-campus courses, which works best for me personally. I really have connected with the student body and the professors here, which has made my experience really awesome.

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Hack Your Program: University of Alabama SLIS

24/05/2011 § 25 Comments

UA School of Library and Information Studies – Tuscaloosa, AL

(Pictured above: Gorgas Library – UA SLIS is located on the 5th floor)

Disclaimer: I attended the on-campus UA SLIS program from January 2009-May 2011 as a full time student. These opinions are mine, with the exception of anonymous sentiments from fellow students that I have gleaned over time. Any criticism I offer is meant to be constructive – I have LOVED my time at UA SLIS, and truly adore my professors and fellow students. As every student views the program differently, I encourage any UA SLISers out there who agree or disagree with my viewpoints to add to the discussion in the comments.

UA SLIS offers the MLIS degree, MFA in Book Arts, and a PhD in Communication and Information Sciences. The MLIS has 3 forms: on-campus, online cohort, and regional cohort (satellite campus + online and Tuscaloosa classes). The online cohort requires a separate application and completely different timeline, and accepts a set number of people each year (typically people working full time, who take 2 classes a semester for 6 semesters).

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The Transparent Library School

23/05/2011 § 3 Comments

Summertime! After a few weeks of sparse updates, the HackLibSchool team is kicking it back into gear. We first wanted to take the time to thank our readers for all the great conversations we have had over the past several months. It is encouraging that our writings have inspired discussions here and elsewhere, and we hope to continue to provoke thought and engagement around the topic of training for librarianship. 

transparent grape

by-nc-nd -- luzhouzjy on FLickr

In the spirit of our original proposition to hack (breakdown, disrupt, challenge) library school, and in response to Michael Stephens’ recent article in Library Journal titled “The Transparent Library School,” we have decided to spend the next few weeks writing specifically about the educational programs in which we are students. We see this as a necessary progression of this blog as a resource for students considering this educational track, offering them the chance to have an insiders point of view on a variety of different programs, and also as a means to open up the dialog on the value of the Master’s degree in Library and Information Science and the programs that grant the degree.

Expect to read some basic overviews of the schools we represent, some recommended courses, perhaps a insight into the bureaucracy and/or politics of the program, and of course expect constructive criticism. Part of our goal for this blog is not only to encourage fellow students, but also to challenge our administrators and professors (who have been largely and surprisingly absent from our dialog since the beginning) for the purpose of keeping LIS education at the cutting edge of the information economy. Especially as a majority of the HackLibSchool Editors are very recent graduates, we have opinions, ideas and suggestions that should be heard. Hack Your Program, Open MLIS, Inside Library School, The Transparent Library School, whatever you want to call it – we are here to offer our point of view. Please feel free to offer yours as well, and here’s to another great semester of thought-provoking discussions.

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