The College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, Maryland’s iSchool, announced on August 26, 2014, the formation of an inaugural Advisory Board for the Master of Library Science (MLS) degree program. The board is composed of 17 leaders and students in the information professions who will guide the future development of the iSchool’s MLS program. Two ARL member libraries as well as ARL itself are represented on the advisory board by Tahirah Akbar-Williams, education and information studies librarian, and Pat Steele, dean of libraries, University of Maryland; Paul Wester, chief records officer for the US government, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); and Sue Baughman, deputy executive director, ARL.
As part of a yearlong initiative with the iSchool’s community, the advisory board’s first task will be to engage in a strategic “re-envisioning the MLS” discussion. The iSchool efforts dovetail with ARL’s new strategic framework, which the membership will review at the ARL Membership Meeting next month. Of particular relevance to the iSchool advisory board’s work is one component of the new framework called the ARL Academy. The ARL Academy will foster the development of an agile, diverse workforce and the inspiring leadership necessary to meet present and future challenges.
During their three-year terms, the iSchool advisory board members will:
- Provide insights on how the MLS program can enhance the impact of its services on various stakeholder groups.
- Provide advice and counsel on strategy, issues, and trends affecting the future of the MLS program.
- Strengthen relationships with libraries, archives, industry, and other key information community partners.
- Provide input for assessing the progress of the MLS program.
- Provide a vital link to the community of practice for faculty and students to facilitate research, inform teaching, and further develop public service skills.
- Support the fundraising efforts to support the MLS program.
- Identify the necessary entry-level skills, attitudes, and knowledge competencies as well as performance levels for target occupations.
For more details, including a complete list of the board members, see the Maryland iSchool’s announcement, “iSchool Announces First MLS Advisory Board.”