School of Library and Information Studies

History of the School

Sarah Rebecca Reed

Director from 1967 - 1971

Mary E.P. (Betty) Henderson

Director from 1971 - 1976

Charles H. Davis

Director from 1976 - 1979

William J. Kurmey

Director from 1981 - 1984

John G. Wright

Director from 1984 - 1987

Sheila K. Bertram

Director from 1987 - 1996

Alvin M. Schrader

Director from 1996 - 2003

Anna E. Altmann

Director from 2003-2007 & 2013 Chair from 2014-2015

Ann Curry

Director from 2007 - 2010

Ernie Ingles

Director from 2010 - 2013

Toni Samek

Current Chair

A Summary of Events 1964-2013

In 1968, the School of Library Science opened at the University of Alberta with Sarah Rebecca Reed as the Director. The first Bachelor of Library Science (BLS) degrees were awarded in 1969. In 1970, the BLS program was accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association and thus recognized by the American and Canadian Library Associations as meeting North American library education standards.

In 1971, the School initiated a Master of Library Science (MLS) program which required the BLS and some library experience for admission. The School of Library Science became the Faculty of Library Science in 1975. In 1976, in keeping with the Canadian pattern of education for librarianship, the BLS and the old MLS were discontinued and the two-year Master of Library Science (MLS) program was established with the first two year MLS graduates receiving their degrees in 1978.  The program was re-accredited in 1979, 1986, 1992, 1999, 2006, and 2013.

In 1988, the School became the Faculty of Library and Information Studies. In 1991, the Faculty became the School of Library and Information Studies within the Faculty of Education. Since 1988, the School has offered the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree. In 2013, the School launched its online MLIS program.

Chronology

1964

The Coburn Report explores the location of a library school at the University of Manitoba, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Alberta.

1965

The Board of Governors of the University of Alberta decides to establish a Library School; the Edmonton campus is designated.

1967

Sarah Rebecca Reed is appointed as the first Director of the new School.

1968

The School of Library Science offers a B.LS. as the first professional degree. The School's first quarters are in the Education Library.

1970

The School receives its first accreditation.

1971

  • The School moves to permanent quarters in the Rutherford Library.
  • Sarah Rebecca Reed resigns, and Mary E. P. (Betty) Henderson succeeds her as Director.
  • The School offers an M.L.S. as a second professional degree.
1975

The School becomes the Faculty of Library Science with Mary E.P. (Betty) Henderson as its first Dean.

1976

The B.L.S. is replaced by a two-year M.L.S. as the first professional degree.

1988

The School becomes the Faculty of Library and Information Studies.

1989

The Faculty undergoes a status review from the President's Advisory Committee on Campus Reviews (PACCR).

1990

The Faculty Mission Statement is approved.

1991

  • The Faculty becomes the School of Library and Information Studies within the Faculty of Education. Dean Sheila Bertram continues as Director.
  • The School's Library-Laboratory is named Henderson Hall in honour of the School's first Dean.
  • The MLIS Goals and Objectives are approved.
  • The first Ph.D. in Library and Information Studies is granted.
  • The program is reviewed by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

2003

  • The School receives approval to begin offering a combined Master's degree: an MLIS and an MA in Humanities Computing. Students are able to be admitted to this program as early as 2004.

2013

  • The School begins offering its online MLIS program.

2014

  • In partnership with the Alberta School of Business, SLIS begins offering a second combined Master's degree: an MLIS and an MBA.