Message from the Department Chair
Thank you for visiting our website today.
You might be here because you’re thinking of applying to one of our excellent academic programs. You might be a current student looking for up-to-date information about courses. You might be one of our distinguished alumni seeking to publicize an open position in your organization.
No matter what your interests are, I’d like to welcome you to Information Studies at UCLA.
As you’ll already know, we’re located in one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic communities—the megacity of Los Angeles.
You might also have a pretty good idea of what we do here.
(Amongst other things, we design, develop, and deliver outstanding educational programs. These programs are the most rigorous, comprehensive, and current in the field. They provide our graduates—and employers know this, of course—with the best possible preparation for professional practice as information specialists.)
But there are a couple of things you might not know already.
Firstly: Our graduates have expertise in the management, curation, preservation, and use of information in all forms, genres, and media, both analog and digital. And they are no less expert in identifying and addressing the cultural, social, and policy issues raised by their actions.
Education for librarianship has always been—and always will be—at the very core of what we do. So has education for information science (i.e., for what some people now call informatics). For decades, the same has been true for archival studies.
Whichever field you look at, at its heart is a distinctive set of questions to do with collecting and selecting, representing and organizing, preserving and making available … information!
More recently, employers have begun to appreciate that there are yet other fields of practice with the same activities among those at their core.
People who work in museums, in science policy, in digital humanities; people who work with numerical data, with audiovisual records, with medieval manuscripts—all face the same kinds of problems.
And that’s where we come in.
To be precise: That’s where you come in.
Secondly: The school—GSE&IS—to which the IS department belongs has a simple (but tremendously important) mission statement. In this statement, the members of GSE&IS pledge to observe “the principles of individual responsibility and social justice, an ethic of caring, and commitment to the communities we serve.”
In IS, we take this mission very seriously indeed.
We believe that ours is the only iSchool to specify a commitment to social justice in its top-level statement of purpose. We evaluate every component of every one of our programs and projects from a social justice perspective.
As a direct result, our graduates are uniquely equipped for challenging careers in which they are empowered to change the world for the better.
And, thank you for reading!
Professor and Chair, Information Studies