Vision

The School envisions a society in which library and information professionals design and manage systems and services that benefit individuals, groups, communities,and organizations. Access to and the use of knowledge and information provided by these systems and services empower individuals in all their diversity and throughout their lives. The progressive and innovative faculty, through their teaching, scholarship and publication, leadership, and service, are fully committed to the provision of an educational environment which prepares individuals to become leaders in this endeavor.

Mission

Supporting the Simmons College mission to educate, empower, and transform the lives of its students, SLIS provides its students with an educational foundation that addresses the theories, history, ethics, values and technologies associated with the information professions and that prepares students to manage and lead information organizations at all levels, from the local to the global, and to meet the challenges of the future. Voted in at the November 2008 Faculty Meeting.

Program Goals

The goal of the master's program in library and information science is to provide students with the foundation for developing careers as information professionals. Graduates will possess a broad understanding of library and information science in a rapidly changing society, while beginning to develop some specialization related to management; information and knowledge organization; information production, distribution, dissemination, retrieval, and use; information systems, services, and ethics; networks; and publishing. Within the context of the Program Goals, the School educates students for careers in:

  • Libraries and information centers in academic, public, school media, and corporate/special settings;
  • Archives management in academic, public, corporate, and independent historical society settings;
  • The information services industries (which include bibliographic utilities, companies providing fee based access to information sources, firms offering contracted research or technical assistance to individual or information centers, and companies involved in the design, development, and marketing of tools for information handling);
  • Information systems support (for the student with pre-existing computing experience or academic preparation, this includes working with software/hardware applications such as basic network operations, providing technical support and training, Web management, developing documentation or training tools, and programming); and
  • Knowledge and information resources management (which includes identifying, organizing, and managing the internal and external sources necessary to help an institution or organization conduct its business).

Objectives

The major objectives of the Master of Science program are to help students meet their long-range needs as maturing professionals as well as their immediate needs upon entering the profession. The specific objectives of the program are that graduates will be able to:

  • Engage in critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Understand the information profession, both historical and present day, with respect to professional, social, and ethical issues; professional values; information policies and resources; and potential challenges for the future;
  • Understand the interrelationships between information and knowledge;
  • Analyze the characteristics and information needs of user communities and individual users;
  • Locate, retrieve, evaluate, and disseminate information - in all formats - from the full range of sources;
  • Gather, organize, manage, and preserve knowledge and information resources;
  • Understand, analyze, and apply the principles of management in information-related organizations, and;
  • Recognize the value of and be able to practice effective communication and interpersonal skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

The curriculum is shaped in part by the Student Learning Outcomes developed by the SLIS faculty, and we judge our success in fostering learning by assessing whether, upon graduating with a master's degree granted by SLIS, graduates:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking in their practice of library, archival, and information science
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in a range of formats to a variety of audiences
  • Demonstrate leadership capability in practice and service and in diverse communities

The above three outcomes were voted into place in December 2009 to take effect during the 2010-2011 academic year.