Dr. Jon P. Gant, Dean
Telephone: (919) 530-7585
Fax: (919) 530-6402
The School of Library and Information Sciences (SLIS) of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) provides graduate education in two major areas, library science and information studies. Founded in 1939, the vision of the School of Library and Information Sciences is to promote access to information for all humanity. SLIS fulfills this vision through its mission to prepare professionals to become leaders who can advance the library and information sciences in a diverse and global society.
SLIS is accredited by the American Library Association Committee (ALA) on Accreditation and was reaccredited in January 2017. With this accreditation, the SLIS program meets the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. Graduates from the SLIS program have highly successful careers in fields that center on the leveraging information and computer-based technologies to meet the needs of individuals, organizations, governments, and civil society. For students pursuing professional careers in libraries, the ALA affirms that “graduating from an ALA-accredited program provides flexibility in the types of libraries and jobs you can apply for and enhances career mobility. Many employers require an ALA-accredited master’s degree for professional level positions, and some states require an ALA-accredited degree to work as a professional librarian in public or school libraries.”
The SLIS curriculum offers students a comprehensive set of graduate courses covering the foundations and emerging trends in the LIS field. The ALA emphasizes that “the phrase ‘library and information studies’ is understood to be concerned with recordable information and knowledge, and the serivces and technologies to facilitate their management and use. Library and information studies encompasses information and knowledge creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination, and management. This definition incorporates a field of professional practice and associated areas of study and research, regardless of a degree’s name” (American Library Association, Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies, 2015, p. 2).
As well as the individual MLS and MIS degrees, SLIS has joint degree programs including the JD/MLS and JD/MIS with the NCCU School of Law, and the MBA/MIS with the School of Business. Additionally, SLIS offers with the School of Education a joint degree in Educational Technology and MIS, and MLS specialization in School Media. SLIS also has a joint degree with the Department of Public Administration, an MPA/MIS. In May 2016, the SLIS received approval to offer certificates in digital libraries, health informatics, and information policy and management. SLIS courses are offered as on-campus sections as well as online through the learning management systems and online education platforms offered by NCCU Office of Extended Studies.
Objectives for the LIS program at the SLIS are stated as Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) based on our goals, and faculty and staff support.
The objectives are as follows:
Objective 1: Given an improved environment, students will be able to meet professional and intellectual goals as reflected in course objectives for the student’s program. The SLIS faculty has earned doctoral degrees from highly ranked graduate programs with strong traditions in research allowing each faculty member to help graduates understand both the theory and the practice of library and information sciences effectively. The students study the foundations and principal ideas of the discipline, and they are introduced to the values and expectations of the profession.
Objective 2: After implementation of a new evaluation program and accomplishments by faculty in professional development programs, teaching at the SLIS will demonstrate continued innovation and sustained quality by means of student feedback forms and shared learning experiences. SLIS fosters and sustains innovative and quality teaching to enhance student learning. We encourage critical thinking about the literature of library science, information studies, computer science, social science and related fields, and we inculcate high standards of professionalism and service.
Objective 3: After receiving support for scholarly and creative endeavors, faculty will make documented contributions to their professions. SLIS provides an environment that enhances the professional and intellectual growth and development of faculty and students. Faculty development is strongly encouraged and supported within SLIS through the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Objective 4: Given encouragement to increase and strengthen participation in public service, faculty and students will provide communities with tools and resources to improve levels of literacy and channels of informed communication. Our graduates are prepared to develop and evaluate resources and programs, and to understand the needs of many different kinds of users. Students who have completed our program are equipped to anticipate social and technological changes, and to promote change that advances the profession, improves technology, and encourages transformation in our communities.
The SLIS faculty is actively engaged in the delivery of the LIS program. The diverse and qualified SLIS faculty, including strong complementary adjunct faculty, continues to transfer skills and knowledge from many specialty areas to the SLIS graduate students. With the nine core faculty currently, the instructional faculty also includes adjunct instructors with doctoral degrees. This faculty team delivers instruction based on their research specialties and intellectual competencies in LIS education. Collaborating on teaching skills, sharing research through SLIS colloquia presentations, and collaborating on committees in areas of the curriculum, research, and technology, the faculty is prepared to develop professional leaders who know the importance of providing access to information for all humanity in global and diverse societies. The faculty incorporates their research and service into their classroom teaching enthusiastically to fulfill student learning outcomes. The faculty invites students to collaborate on research projects in advanced courses and in extramural campus research initiatives successfully. This yields research publications and poster presentations at conference by students who have been recognized with awards. The SLIS faculty also mentors and advises students as a part of their service. The advising gives each faculty member many opportunities to interact with students in discussions about specializations, course selection, career planning and other professional development needs. In addition, the SLIS faculty advises student organizations actively.
The School of Library and Information Sciences (SLIS) was authorized by the North Carolina State Legislature in 1939 and is the only graduate program of its kind among historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The School of Library Science was organized as a professional school in 1941. An undergraduate major was discontinued in 1943. The Master’s program in Library Science was initiated in 1950, with the first MLS being awarded in 1951. The school name was changed to the School of Library and Information Sciences in 1984. Beginning with the 1990-91 academic years, the school offered an interdisciplinary program in information sciences leading to the Master’s in Information Science (MIS). In 2016, SLIS received approval to offer three certificate programs in Health Informatics, Information Policy and Management, and Digital Libraries (a post-graduate degree certificate). These certificates all lead to advanced graduate degrees. SLIS also offers five joint degree programs including law and library science, law and information science, business administration and information science, public administration and information science, and educational technology and instructional design and information science. Students can also complete NC Public Librarian and NC Department of Public Instruction School Media Coordinator certification and licensure. Courses are offered evenings, Saturdays, summers and online (through the NCCU Extended Studies division). Except for the Archives MLS concentration, students can complete the MLS and MIS degrees online completely.
The faculty recognizes the growing importance of web-based and multi-media resources and computer-related technologies. The consensus is that instruction in these areas must be integrated into all courses to which they are related, regardless of the availability of courses that are entirely devoted to them. Finally, freedom has a very special meaning for this school. The concept of intellectual freedom, therefore, is given a prominent place in all instruction. Avoiding censorship of racially and sexually biased materials is a particularly difficult area, but it is faced honestly by the faculty.
With our location in central North Carolina in the highly innovative and dynamic Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill Research Triangle, we are able to prepare students to serve the region, state and the world. The SLIS facilities and physical resources are located within a university community and with campus resources that support the graduate program and enable it to accomplish its objectives. SLIS is housed on the third floor of the James E. Shepard Memorial Library centrally located in the heart of the North Carolina Central University campus. The campus is recognized as one of the most wired HBCUs allowing the SLIS facilities to be well connected to the Internet and able to support digital resources facilities to be well connected to the Internet and able to support digital resources for research, teaching and service. SLIS works closely with campus level offices to ensure students have access to all facilities and resources in compliance with federal guidelines. These resources support a wide array of learning and student career opportunities as well as a positive, engaging, and constructive climate.
SLIS has offices, classrooms, labs, and a library. The SLIS Library consists of approximately 50,000 volumes. The Library maintains a collection of comprehensive resources required in the instruction of library and information sciences that includes monographs and reference works, DVDs, specialized journals and serials (print and electronic), newspapers, and defined access to electronic bibliographic databases that are identifiable to the fields of library and information science. The School maintains two special collections. The William Tucker Collection is a collection of children’s materials that contains both primary and published materials by African American authors and illustrators. The Black Librarians Collection comprises personal papers donated to the School by African American Librarians. These collections support research and documentary studies relating to the leadership, development and professional contributions of African Americans to librarianship. The computer laboratories support the curriculum objective of fully integrating the instruction of automated library systems, digitization, computer information systems, database management systems, and Internet applications into all courses. SLIS has a homepage at www.nccuslis.org.
SLIS offers a curriculum that leads to two separate degrees -the Master of Library Science and the Master of Information Science. General preparation in librarianship and information science, and opportunities for specialization are also provided. The School also offers joint or dual degree programs with the School of Law, the School of Business, the School of Education, and the Department of Public Administration in which students can receive joint degrees. SLIS offers the MLS and MIS degree online via the Internet (except for the Archives and Records Management track in Library Science).
The School of Library and Information Sciences also offers five dual degrees: