Friday, February 13, 2009

meeting 3

Harty Mokros, associate dean, professor of comm:
history, context
establishment of the school, position of library schools through the 20th-21st century, changes taken place
50 peer institutions - one of 62 AAU universities (2 Canada, 60 US) - a commitment to research
SCILS founded in 1982 - library program goes back to 1920s, first at Douglass, 1950s established as a school, Ph.D program 1959 - originally called Graduate School of Library Service - then Library and Information Studies
beginning 1978, library schools began to fall under serious pressure, disbanded - among them the major library schools in US (UChicago, Columbia, Case Western, Minnesota, Oregon, Denver - 17 total closed 1978-1994)
closures related to a sense that the programs had become focused on service, not research
introduction of information science was significant
at Rutgers, sense of a library school that was now library and information studies (dropped service in the 70s)
concern of viability of freestanding school and its future - key faculty hadn't changed in 10 years
merger in 1982 brought together dept of comm, journalism with large undergraduate programs
journalism from the outset wasn't part of the name - not having elevated the value of that
merger was a solution to some practical issues, also an idea of bringing together interests in the ideas of comm, information, media that translated to professions
a professional school within a research university - very significant
library schools that weren't closed upped their connection to information
18 iSchools - RU is a member - new, but stimuled by SCILS merger - North Carolina, Texas
19 schools, 18 are members of research universities - only one that isn't is Drexel
of the 18, 15 grew out of library programs, only 2 that had a merger: ours, UCLA merged with education
majority no longer have library in the name - out of 19, only 4 have library in the name
UNC, SCILS, Indiana, UIUC (Illinois)
others - information (too many to catch) - all have library programs, for the sake of their broader research understand that they have a mission to establish a framing of who they are in terms of conceptual ideas rather than professional identity
we're unique that this is an issue
for excellent faculty, for the stature that we have within disciplines, within the university, it's vital that we address the sorts of demands - professional identity is the route to closure
you cannot attract research faculty unless you have a research focus
we frame it in a vocabulary that seems somewhat strange to you - it's not a matter of disrespecting you
the school has a lot of different identities - it has to have a concern with its broader intellectual identity
very fascinating history - the history of ideas, very practical decisions that major universities have made and continue to make, as places where new ideas are what is encouraged


  1. OK, this addressed my "what is the driving force" question, I'll drop that one.

  2. Just a note: when I go online to get the schedule of upcoming classes for a semester on the RU website, department #610 is still described as "Library Service." So "library service" still lingers on.