Welcome new and returning students to the 2012-2013 academic year, and welcome to both study and future professional practice associated with today’s information world. As you start your year, you join a group of highly qualified and motivated students with similar interests, pursuing degrees in library and information studies, archival studies, and children’s literature. I encourage you to explore the synergies between these areas, and to discover the similarities that bring these together under the SLAIS roof as well as the differences that distinguish these strands within an overall concern with how knowledge is created, shared, and preserved.
Welcome also to the new look of our website as we make the transition to referring to SLAIS as The iSchool at UBC. While still officially the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, the iSchool name signals that our teaching, learning and research address information issues in general, and particularly those associated with the principles of organization, description and access that find application in all types of organizations and institutions, encompass both physical and digital resources, and attend to their creation and use by people.
We are now a member of the iSchools organization, an association of schools that formed in recognition of the need for learning and study of the relationship between information, technology and people. Many iSchools members were and are known as schools of library and information studies, and they are among the leaders in exploring and teaching in our fields. While rooted in traditional institutional settings, we are increasingly aware that what we know and learn about information is applicable in and across multiple settings, from the local library to the national archive, from community practice to government policy, and in services and design for children and adults, for learning, work and leisure. As an iSchool, we are able to give a better view to future employers of the breadth of the importance of what you will be learning.
Study of our information world is an interdisciplinary effort. And so I encourage you to explore beyond our walls to gain an understanding of the role and significance of library, archival and information studies in a world of rapidly changing knowledge and technology. Equally important is coming to understand different community perspectives, for example by pursuing the First Nations Curriculum Concentration, and through practica, the co-op program and other outreach activity.
As you begin the year, and as you make progress towards your goals, the iSchool faculty and staff wish you every success. We look forward to working with each of you as you develop and follow your program of study and further your understanding of our field.
All the best for the year,
Director and Professor
SLAIS, The iSchool at UBC
School of Library, Archival and Information Studies
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
470 – 1961 East Mall
Vancouver BC Canada V6T 1Z1