The LIS LibGuide at The University of Iowa Libraries
Message from the Director
After a number of years focusing on team science and research infrastructure, I find myself having come full circle. This last February I assumed the directorship of SLIS from Dan Berkowitz, whose year and a half service as interim director is greatly appreciated. I have also found myself once more this fall in the classroom, after a long hiatus. Teaching our Computing Foundations course to the incoming group of SLIS graduate students has reaffirmed my belief in the strength and intellectual diversity of our students.
Our Core Strengths and Traditions
Library and Information Science has a long tradition of service to the community and as curators of the cultural record. In an increasingly dynamic academic and professional world, the School of Library and Information Science seeks to build upon our existing strengths in the ALA-accredited MA and through it, our training of tomorrow’s library professionals. This includes fostering our joint interests with the University of Iowa Center for the Book – including Tim Barrett (director of the Center) and Julie Leonard joining SLIS as faculty. It also includes forging new with the faculty cluster in Public Humanities in a Digital World – led in SLIS by Jim Elmborg. Faculty clusters at the University of Iowa are university-wide hiring initiatives, each formed around a defining theme. The Public Humanities cluster is a natural fit for SLIS. Many of our second year students become involved in projects relating to this cluster and the associated Digital Studio for the Public Arts and Humanities. A number of our students (for example, Nicole Dudley, profiled in the Fall 2012 newsletter) have used these experiences to successfully initiate careers in digital librarianship.
Connecting to the Digital
With SLIS well-situated in the humanities, we are now turning our attention to the more technical aspects of the field. Provost Barry Butler and Vice President for Research and Economic Development Daniel Reed announced in early October a new campus-wide initiative in informatics. Quoting from the announcement, “[i]nformatics is deeply interwoven with the fabric of 21st century society, touching our social interactions and communications, work and business processes, creative expression and recreation, and research and discovery.” SLIS has been a strong supporter of informatics at the University of Iowa, and was one of the three founding departments for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Informatics. We are currently recruiting new faculty with interests that further interconnect SLIS’s teaching and research portfolio with this exciting new initiative.