Magazine article American Libraries

UCLA Library School Drops the "L" Word

Magazine article American Libraries

UCLA Library School Drops the "L" Word

Article excerpt

The University of California/Los Angeles Department of Library and Information Science has become the 10th ALA-accredited master's program in library and information science to drop the word "library" from its title.

Rechristened the Department of Information Studies on May 1, it will serve "as an interdisciplinary intersection for research and professional training on subjects related to information and its uses in society," according to the school's announcement.

"The new name reflects the broadening of our mission," Department Chair Michele Cloonan told American Libraries.

Acknowledging that for some librarians the name change signaled a loss of professional identity, Cloonan lauded ALA for dealing with the issue by sponsoring a Congress on Professional Education (see p. 12-15), noting that UCLA sent participants. Cloonan has received some passionate letters from alumni against the change; significantly, she said, most of them came from those employed in libraries.

She traced the apprehension to the closing of many programs in the 1980s and to perceptions that schools are not teaching the traditional core curriculum of cataloging, reference services, or children's services. But she believed that library schools have to change because "we've been asked to do so much more than traditional core services."

The need for a new name became apparent when the department examined its course offerings while doing its self-study three years ago for the accreditation process, Cloonan said. …

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