School of Library and Information Science

Dean: Jon Cawthorne

The Information Profession

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) prepares information professionals to assume leadership roles in libraries and other 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. SLIS 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. The majority of SLIS graduates currently work in libraries but a variety of diverse career opportunities exist across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. As organizations continue to view their information as a critical resource and place greater importance on its cultivation, SLIS graduates can be found enjoying engaging and exciting careers throughout business, law, health sciences, publishing, government, archives and museums, communications and media, engineering, academia, and pre-K-12 education. The Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) 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 School of Library and Information Science has been accredited continuously for its master's degree by the American Library Association since 1967. The School's most recent continuing accreditation was granted by the ALA Committee on Accreditation in 2010. The School's next comprehensive accreditation review occurs in the Fall of 2016.

Mission and Goals of the School

Mission Statement

The School of Library and Information Science fosters learning and research about information policies, information fluency, and information accessibility within the global library and information environment. To this end the School combines theories with practices to educate leaders who advance the importance of information in society. The School delivers accessible, high quality education incorporating professional scholarship and best practices with intentional focus on three concerns:

Library Users and Services
Information Management
Archives and Digital Content Management

Goals and Objectives

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

The SLIS will assist students in appreciating the importance of research within practice, and for developing theoretical approaches to library and information science.

The SLIS will foster student engagement in research, through courses and directed studies, and other independent learning opportunities.

The SLIS will support students in presenting their research in courses, at conferences, and through publication.

The SLIS will support faculty research and scholarly communication.

The SLIS will cultivate faculty engagement with student research experiences and skill development.

TEACHING: The SLIS will encourage and teach professional approaches and a service philosophy.

The SLIS will provide the skills and dispositions for excellence in information service delivery.

The SLIS will offer opportunities to sustain professional growth and achievement, including career mentoring.

The SLIS will expose students to the historical, social, cultural, educational, political, and economic dimensions of information and information agencies.

The SLIS will educate students in the history, philosophies, theories, principles, policies, and ethics of library and information science.

The SLIS will inculcate the importance of career-long professional learning.

SERVICE: The SLIS will be engaged within the diverse communities and world.

The SLIS will seek and facilitate diversity among the faculty and the student body.

The SLIS will address the roles of library and information services in a diverse global society, paying particular attention to the underserved.

The SLIS will facilitate student experience in multicultural and multiethnic information environments.

The SLIS will integrate urban issues across its curriculum, activities, and provide opportunities for community engagement and professional growth.

LEADERSHIP: The SLIS will foster leadership in traditional as well as interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and practices that address important information and library issues.

The SLIS will engage with the library community, alumni, and employers.

The SLIS will promote commitment and involvement in professional associations and organizations.

The SLIS will encourage involvement in the community and community organizations.

The SLIS will support service activities and participation in leadership roles at the School, University, local, state, national, and international levels.

TECHNOLOGY: The SLIS will educate within and for an evolving technological world.

The SLIS will continuously evaluate and apply technologies to its teaching, learning, research, and service programs.

The SLIS will enable all students to assess critically the effective uses of technologies in information practice.

The SLIS will assist students in understanding the roles of information technologies.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the Master of Library and Information Science degree at the Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate, synthesize, and disseminate information.
  2. Understand how complex interactions between diverse users, societal factors, and information environments affect professional situations.
  3. Facilitate access to, and use of, information resources between users and communities.
  4. Apply multiple and emerging approaches to the organization of knowledge for varied literatures, records, and historical documents.
  5. Articulate and advocate for the foundations of the profession and its basic values and ethics such as intellectual freedom, information access and dissemination, and apply these principles to the advancement of the profession.
  6. Determine the significance of intellectual property, security, and privacy issues.
  7. Assess, adopt, and utilize the most relevant information technologies.
  8. Utilize current management and leadership theories and practices in the workplace.
  9. Evaluate and apply library and information science research to problems of professional practice by employing theories, best practices, and assessment strategies to the range of information functions.
  10. Practice professional engagement through leadership, service work, lifelong learning and community involvement.