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New survey ranks U. of I. 'iSchool' No. 1 in U.S., Canada

8/4/2008

Sharita Forrest, News Editor
217-244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been ranked the number one library and information science program – also known as information schools or “iSchools” - in the U.S. and Canada, according to data from a recent survey of academic libraries.

In Research and Market’s 2008-2009 Survey of Academic Libraries, which polled 75 college libraries in the U.S. and Canada, participants were asked to identify the top five academic master of library science programs in North America, based upon scholarly output and effectiveness in preparing professional librarians for practice. Each first-place ranking garnered five points, each second-place ranking four points, and third-place rankings three points.

The U. of I.’s program far outranked others, garnering a total of 77 points. The University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tied for second place with 38 points apiece.

“GSLIS is pleased to be recognized by Research and Markets for excellence in a highly competitive field,” said GSLIS Dean John Unsworth. “There’s a great need for research and education that addresses a rapidly changing information environment, as well as for people who know something about the social and technical history of that environment. GSLIS meets those needs with creative and dedicated faculty, staff, and students – as we have done for more than a century now.”

Founded in 1893, the school helped establish and develop the methods used today in the field of library and information science.

As a leader among iSchools, GSLIS continues to explore and shape the evolving relationships among information, technology and people.

GSLIS offers the oldest extant doctoral program in the country, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and LEEP, a distance-education program that enables candidates worldwide to complete a master of science degree, a certificate of advanced study or a K-12 library and information science certificate online. U.S.News & World Report has ranked GSLIS as the top iSchool for many years, including in the magazine’s most recent rankings (in 2006).

Accredited by the American Library Association, GSLIS enrolls about 700 students each year and has more than 6,500 alumni.

Research and Market’s annual Survey of Academic Libraries collects data about library budgets, grants, collections, services and other issues of interest to librarians.  Research and Markets is an international marketing research firm based in Dublin, Ireland, that provides data on international and regional markets, key industries and trends.