School of Information Sciences

Dean: Jon Cawthorne

The Information Profession

The School of Information Sciences (SIS) prepares information professionals to assume leadership roles in libraries and information organizations. By emphasizing the practical application of knowledge and skills, students are trained in the core principles of information management - information access, organization, services, and management - as well as emerging competencies such as digitization, competitive intelligence, information architecture, and website development. SIS faculty research issues that improve library and information services as an essential component to cultural enrichment, knowledge dissemination, economic development, and the overall quality of life.

Qualified information professionals work in varied settings all over the globe. SIS graduates work in libraries as well as diverse information careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. As organizations continue to view their information as a critical resource and place greater importance on its cultivation, SIS graduates can be found enjoying engaging and exciting careers throughout business, law, health sciences, publishing, government, archives and museums, communications and media, engineering, academia, pre-K-12 education, information organizations and industries.

Graduate Degrees

The School of Information Sciences offers two master's level degree options. The Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree is recognized by the American Library Association (ALA) as the first professional degree in this field and serves as the credential for entry-level professional employment. The Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) expands the school’s current Graduate Certificate in Information Management (GCIM) into a degree that complements the school’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree. The MSIM will appeal to prospective graduate students with an interest in working as information professionals in organizations and industries outside the typical venues for MLIS degree holders (e.g., libraries, archives, or school media centers) where a foundational core of library science coursework is not required.

Accreditation

The School of Information Sciences' MLIS degree has been accredited continuously by the American Library Association since 1967. The School's most recent continuing accreditation was granted by the ALA Committee on Accreditation in 2017. The School's next comprehensive accreditation review occurs in the Fall of 2023.

Mission and Goals of the School

Mission Statement

We combine theories with practices to educate leaders who advance the importance of information in society. We deliver accessible, high quality education incorporating professional scholarship and best practices. We focus on three pillars:

Library Users and Services
Information Management
Archives and Digital Content Management

Goals and Objectives

TEACHING EXCELLENCE:  SIS will encourage and teach professional approaches and a service philosophy.

  • SIS will educate students in the history, philosophies, theories, principles, policies, and ethics of library and information science.
  • SIS will expose students to the historical, social, cultural, educational, political, and economic dimensions of information and information agencies.
  • SIS will provide the skills and dispositions for excellence in information service delivery.
  • SIS will continuously evaluate and apply evolving technologies to its teaching, learning, research, and service programs.

STUDENT SUCCESSSIS will cultivate a culture of student success. 

  • SIS will incorporate career enhancement skills development into all courses.
  • SIS will promote relationships between students and other members of the campus community who support student learning and success.
  • SIS will deliver a "Distinctively Wayne State" experience that leverages our Detroit location, diversity, and academic and research excellence to better prepare students for success.
  • SIS will stress the importance of lifelong learning and will promote opportunities to sustain professional growth and achievement, including career mentoring.

RESEARCH: SIS will foster, facilitate, and support research by faculty and students.  

  • SIS will support faculty research and scholarly communication. 
  • SIS will cultivate faculty engagement with student research experiences and skill development.
  • SIS will encourage and support students in presenting their research in courses, at conferences, and through publication. 

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION:  SIS will be engaged within the diverse communities and world of which we are a part.

  • SIS will seek diversity among the faculty.
  • SIS will seek diversity and facilitate inclusion among the student body.
  • SIS will address the roles of library and information services in a diverse global society, paying particular attention to the underserved. 
  • SIS will facilitate student experience in multicultural and multiethnic information environments.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:  SIS will practice and foster engagement in traditional as well as interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and practices that address important societal as well as information and library issues.  

  • SIS will engage the library community, alumni, and employers.  
  • SIS will promote commitment and involvement in professional associations and organizations.
  • SIS will encourage involvement in the community and community organizations.
  • SIS will support service activities and participation in leadership roles at the School, University, local, state, national, and international levels.

Technology Support

The School of Information Sciences provides SIS students, faculty, and staff with a variety of computing resources that support the School's on-campus and online programs. The School offers students a variety of software products at no cost, including major productivity suites, powerful database software, diagramming tools, and current operating systems. The School provides free technical support to all of its students through several mediums, including email and over the phone. The School maintains a web server for student use, as well as provides access to synchronous online meeting tools for classes and student groups. SIS students have full access to the resources provided by University Computing and the University Library System, including public access computing labs, email and calendaring services, learning management systems, library databases, and full-text e-journals and other resources.