Information Studies has a Long Tradition of Innovation and Leadership
The Department traces its origins to 1889, when Melvil Dewey became director of the New York State Library in Albany and brought with him the library school he had opened years before at Columbia University in New York City.
The institution was renamed the New York State Library School. Although that school returned to Columbia in 1926, New York State created a library facility for training secondary school librarians as part of the New York State College for Teachers in Albany - the forerunner to the University at Albany.
In the intervening 80 years, the Department has been preparing students to live in an information-rich environment. Whether taking an introductory course or studying for a professional position as a librarian, archivist, or information specialist, students benefit from a renowned faculty that is augmented by interdisciplinary expertise from allied fields such as cognitive psychology, linguistics, and computer science.
The Department’s Goals
- Provide quality educational programs to foster engaged learning and discovery, and prepare students for careers in the information professions
- Engage in interdisciplinary research and scholarship that enhances teaching, improves professional practice, expands the boundaries of the information sciences, and benefits society
- Collaborate with organizations and communities to design, implement, and assess information systems and services
- Promote the development of public information policies that supports a broadly diverse, informed, and responsible citizenship
- Assist in the development of high standards of ethics and practice within the information professions.
Albany graduates occupy top jobs in academic, public, school, corporate and government libraries and archives, as well as in other information-handling organizations throughout the world. Students in the Department of Information Studies learn how information is created, organized and utilized, and how to ensure that tomorrow's information structures and networks respond to society's need for new knowledge, whenever and wherever it comes to life.
The Department offers a master’s degree program, as well as a graduate Certificate of Advanced Study. The M.S. in Information Science program, accredited by the American Library Association, has a long established reputation for excellence.
A combined B.A./M.S.I.S. or B.S./M.S.I.S. degrees provides unique opportunities for capable, highly motivated students to pursue any undergraduate major while also preparing for a career in the rapidly expanding information management fields.
Two programs combine the M.S.I.S. and the M.A. in either English or History. By applying six credits in information studies and seven from English or history, a student can reduce the number of credits needed to 59 credits for the history program and 61 credits for the English program. However, faculty may require additional course work. For more information please check the M.A./M.S.I.S. Information Sheet.
A dedicated faculty of 10 members is engaged in groundbreaking research in the areas of human-computer interactions, natural language processing and medical language processing, multimedia organization and retrieval, the impact of information and communication technologies, technology and learning, information policy, and many other areas.
Students and faculty members are engaged in a wide range of topics from information literacy to human-computer interactions to multimedia organization and retrieval.
Both the undergraduateand graduate programs in Information Studies prepares students for a wide viariety of career choices. The undergraduate degree provides students with essential skills and a sound knowledge base with which to enter the information industry or to pursue graduate studies. A graduate degree in information studies is excellent preparation for individuals seeking careers as information professionals, archivists, librarians or media specialists.
Dr. Philip B. Eppard is the Chair of the Information Studies Department. Eppard, a specialist in archives and manuscripts administration, succeeds Professor Terrance Maxwell who retired as department chair and full-time Information Studies professor at the end of 2010. Eppard holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University and an M.S.in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. He joined the University at Albany faculty in 1988 and served as dean of the School of Information Science and Policy from 1997 to 2003. He has worked to develop a specialization in archives management and he teaches in the areas of preservation management, rare books and contemporary publishing.