Quick Links: Talumpati | Licensed Librarians | Filipiniana Online | Stereotypes | Leadership | The Philippines

UP's School of Library and Information Studies

The Institute of Library and Information Science is now officially the "School of Library and Information Studies" (SLIS).

For those who are wondering about the significance of this change, and whether non-UP alumni should care, this is what my alma mater's name change means to me: our profession is changing—for the better.

It used to be that someone who wanted to become a librarian, got a degree in library science. If s/he happened to be from the University of the Philippines, then that meant s/he was a student at the Institute of Library Science, which was established in 1961. Students pursuing degrees in library science at other universities were—and still are, I believe—usually part of larger colleges, schools, faculties, etc., not a separate entity whose name was the same as the degree its students received.

In 2002, the Institute of Library Science was renamed the Institute of Library and Information Science because it was "the accepted nomenclature for the field in other parts of the world" and coincided with "the 1995 University Council's approved titles for the Institute’s new course offerings." The institute was also supposed to become a "college" at the same time, but "due to the limited number of students entering the Institute and ILS’ insufficient academic programs," the proposal was not approved. Since then, the proposal has been revised, and the word "school" substituted for "college." It was explained to me that a "school" is bigger than an "institute," but smaller than a "college." And that's exactly what SLIS has become.

I know that the brief history above does not quite fully explain the significance of the word "institute," the addition of the words "and information," or the shift from "institute" to "school," but I hope it gives you some idea of the reasoning behind the changes. That leaves the shift from "science" to "studies," which I think is part of the whole science-or-art debate. But I have to say that I don't know for sure why the change was made. What I do know is that more and more institutions are using the word "studies" in their school names. In fact, many are now known as just "information schools."

Our profession is changing. Information isn't just found in books anymore, and more and more books are turning up online. Librarians are now expected to do more than just acquire, catalog and circulate materials. In some cases, librarians don't even work in libraries anymore. This name change doesn't quite mean that the school is "already" what its name implies. But it is an acknowledgment of what is already... but not yet.

Note: The news has been spreading via email. I will link to the official announcement once the SLIS website is updated.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...