Hack Your Program: Beit Berl Department of Library and Information Science

01/07/2011 § 1 Comment

Ahava Cohen has completed her first year in the advanced graduate certification LIS program at Beit Berl.  Originally from NYC, she has been living in Israel for over 20 years. When not in school she serves as Information Officer in charge of portfolio companies for a private investment firm.  Over the school break she will be joining a fellow student in creating and cataloging a music collection in a small suburban township.
She can be found on Twitter (mostly in English) @AhavaCohen and WordPress (in Hebrew) at soferim.wordpress.com.

This is my perspective on my grad program, although I did consult with other students during our regular cafeteria hours for their input. This week I finished my first year (of three) in the LIS track. My program is unique among those I’ve read about on Hack Library School — not only is it not in the US, we don’t do our coursework in English. I also think we’re pretty unique in our student make-up.

Program Overview 

Beit Berl College is located just outside Kfar Saba, Israel. There are five tracks:

  • BA in information management
  • library science (graduate certification)
  • information science (graduate certification)
  • LIS (graduate certification)
  • archivist (non-BA, non-graduate)

Beit Berl Library

The graduate program does not (at this point) grant a masters’ degree, though that is the future direction of the program. LS graduates get government certification and IS students get certification from the college. In Israel, those are the general job requirements in LIS. Students who pursue the higher level of librarianship certification do earn points towards an MA in the college’s School of Government. Archivists take no courses with the LIS or BA students; required courses are common to the certificate and BA students. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hack Your Program: Valdosta State University MLIS

28/06/2011 § 43 Comments

Kim Mears is in her final year with the Master of Library and Information Science program at Valdosta State University. She currently lives in Augusta, Ga and works at the Greenblatt Library of Georgia Health Sciences University as a Medical Library Associate.  With interests in open access and information literacy, she plans to explore the world of academic librarianship further. You can find her on Twitter @kimberwimber.

Disclaimer: I have attended the Valdosta State University Master of Library and Information Science program since fall 2009 and plan to graduate spring 2012. These are my personal opinions and are not representative of the student body or the faculty. All criticism is meant to be constructive. This is the only MLIS program offered in the state of Georgia and I am afforded the opportunity to attend this program through the University System of Georgia Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

Program Overview 

The Valdosta State University Master of Library and Information Science program is primarily an online program with required face-to-face orientations. Fall and spring admissions allow students to enroll in the program twice a year and orientation takes place on the VSU campus over a designated weekend. (This process was slightly different when I started the program in fall 2009. We met one weekend a month for the first semester at Macon State College, which is located in middle Georgia).

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Hack Your Program: The University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science

16/06/2011 § 13 Comments

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

School of Library and Information Science

Davis College, the home of SLIS at the University of South Carolina

When I tell people I am from Seattle and go to school down here,the first thing they ask me is, “why?” My stock answer is that, “I really like Hootie and the Blow Fish,” which I follow up with a, “No really it’s not as crazy as it sounds.” In reality I came here for the opportunities. Even before Micah was talking about hacking library school it’s what I had planned on doing. Thankfully Micah started talking about it, so now I have the vocabulary to discuss my strategy for making it in library land. USC has an up and coming Library School. We have a good staff, decent course offerings, and lots of opportunities here in Columbia.

USC (as we call ourselves in the abbreviated form) or SoCar (as I refer to the school) offers a B.A., MLIS, several certificates of advanced study,  and Ph.D. in Information and Library Science. The MLIS program offers on classes on campus and online. The distinction between on campus and online cohorts is minimal with students in either able to take classes through either delivery method. However, many core classes are only taught online, so students in Columbia will have to take online classes, but not necessarily vice versa.

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Hack Your Program: The University of Texas at Austin School of Information

02/06/2011 § 24 Comments

iSchool philosophy

The above image is the philosophy of information science of the UT iSchool, one that manifests in its approach to curriculum and preparing students to enter the workforce.  I began the program in the fall of 2010 and expect to graduate May of 2012.  My decision to attend the UT iSchool was influenced by in-state tuition (my parents live in Texas), the reputation of the school, and the versatility of the program.  I am kind of in love with the program, though it isn’t without its flaws.  Needless to say, these opinions are strictly my own!


The UT School of Information (colloquially, the iSchool) was founded in 1948 and offered a Masters of Library Science.   The School of Library and Information Science was founded in 1980 as a response to the increased focus on information science as a discipline and profession.   To fully reflect the interdisciplinary focus of the program, in 2000 the school removed its Masters of Library Science and instead only offered a Masters of Information Science, which is what it still offers today.  In 2002, the name of the school officially changed its name to the School of Information. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hack Your Program: Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science

01/06/2011 § 23 Comments

*Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and are not representative of the student body. I started in Fall 2009 as a full-time student and graduated this past semester. I hope the below, and the previous posts in the series, will provide a means of discussion and collaboration.  I did not apply to any other LIS programs.  I was living in London and wanted to move back to Boston where I lived during and after my undergraduate program.  So my decision to come to Simmons was based on location, its prestige in the profession, and the numerous people I spoke to who all had nothing but fantastic things to say about the program.  While I have had some personal ups and downs throughout the past two years, with the program, and with my own path, I have not regretted my decision in the slightest.

Location of GSLIS program - most classes, tech lab, lounge, faculty offices


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