Syracuse University

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iSchool Board of Advisors recognizes former Dean Robert S. Taylor's contributions

December 12, 2008

Margaret Costello Spillett
(315) 443-1069

Margaret Costello Spillett

The Syracuse University School of Information Studies Board of Advisors formally recognized the accomplishments and significant role played by former Dean Robert S. Taylor during its fall meeting in New York City. The board unanimously passed a resolution that outlined a series of Taylor's historic contributions to the development of the school as well as the information field.

"As an increasing number of iSchools-information schools-are emerging across the globe, we as a school felt it was important to pay tribute to the man who made the decision to make us the original information school in 1974," says Dean Elizabeth D. Liddy. "Bob took a bold and well-calculated risk in broadening the school's focus from library science to the more inclusive information studies. He did this at a time when none of our peers dared to stretch into this brand new area of study. His vision laid the foundation that was later carried out by the late Dean Raymond F. von Dran, who spearheaded the iSchool movement."

Taylor served as dean of the School of Information Studies from 1972-81. One of his most memorable accomplishments at the school was changing its name from School of Library Science to the more comprehensive School of Information Studies.

Among Taylor's other significant accomplishments was creating the first master's degree program in information resource management in 1980. This term was later adopted by the U.S. government when it crafted the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, which established a system for acquiring and managing information technology and resources.

His scholarly works, most notably his 1986 "Value Added Processes in Information Systems" (Ablex Publishing, 1986), continue to be required reading in many information management courses; his 1968 "Question-Negotiation and Information-Seeking in Libraries" (Lehigh University, Center for the Information Sciences, 1967) outlined a simple yet powerful structure for examining how people interact with information systems.

To read the full resolution, click here.

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