The Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship’s redesigned Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program will launch in Fall 2019 term. The redesigned program offers a new foundational core that features three new courses, numerous electives that allow students to tailor the degree to their career interests, and a newly created Design Methods Sequence that highlights immersive experiential learning.

“The redesigned MLIS is rooted in the pioneering program to educate librarians to work with children founded at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh with Andrew Carnegie as its first benefactor,” explains Dr. Mary K. Biagini, associate professor and director of the School Library Certification program. “One hundred years later, the MLIS degree became the first degree at the University of Pittsburgh to be offered online. From its earliest days, the MLIS degree has valued community-based, experiential learning and entrepreneurial thinking, and its quality has been recognized since the first accreditation of library programs by the American Association of Library Schools in 1926.”

The new foundational core, based on the culture and values of librarianship and information science, will prepare students to understand the roles both information and data play in society. These courses focus on the lifecycles of data and information, data and information in systems, and the roles of information professionals in communities. The foundational core and Design Methods Sequence, along with electives that meet specific career interests, prepare graduates of the MLIS program to advocate for and create positive change in their communities.

Our newly developed Design Methods Sequence distinguishes this program by creating opportunities for students to participate in real-world experiences with organizations and communities to create information solutions. Students will practice skills that are essential for information professions including empathy, listening, brainstorming, and problem-solving.

“Our Design Methods Sequence provides every student with hands-on, experiential learning bolstered by theory learned in the classroom, combined with practice learned by working with organizational partners to develop community-centered solutions to information problems. This is an innovative, three term sequence of courses that teaches students design methods, project management, and teamwork during the entire program,” says Dr. Matt Burton, lecturer in the Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship, who is organizing the Design Methods Sequence.

The Department is actively recruiting students with diverse academic backgrounds and life experiences to be a part of the pioneering cohort. Applications are being accepted now for Fall Term 2019.