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American Library Association gives new accreditation to iSchool library science program

February 04, 2009

Margaret Spillett
(315) 443-1069

Margaret Spillett

The American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Accreditation has continued accreditation of the M.S. in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) program at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) through 2015. The committee found no deficiencies in the program and granted seven years of accreditation, the longest allowable term offered by ALA.

"In addition to being pleased about the seven-year accreditation the iSchool received, I am thrilled that there were absolutely no areas in which improvement was recommended," says Elizabeth D. Liddy, dean of the iSchool. "This is really quite unusual and a great testimony to the high quality of our MSLIS degree, of which we are all so proud."

ALA accreditation indicates that the LIS program has conducted a self-evaluation, has undergone a thorough review by peers and meets the standards established by ALA, including clear description of a program's goals, objectives and learning outcomes; a strong and well-planned curriculum; appropriate numbers, diversity, qualifications and support of faculty, students and staff; a healthy financial status; and suitable physical resources and facilities.

"We've been working in the LIS program to focus on preparing our future librarians to be able to succeed as professionals through revised required courses such as 'Reference and Information Literacy Services' and 'Library Planning, Marketing, and Assessment," says iSchool associate professor Scott Nicholson, director of the MSLIS program, who spearheaded the effort. "Our courses balance the theory with the practice of librarianship and help students become reflective practitioners. While we have an eye on the future of the field, we respect the need to stay grounded by providing students the core competencies needed to be librarians."

The library science program at SU has been accredited by ALA since 1928. Of the 62 programs accredited by the ALA, SU's LIS program is consistently ranked among the top programs, attesting to the quality of the faculty, curriculum, resources and students. Currently, the School of Information Studies is ranked third overall, first in information systems, second in digital librarianship, and fourth in school library media by U.S. News & World Report.

For more information about the American Library Association and its accreditation process, visit

For information on the iSchool's MSLIS program, visit

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