IS Mission

Our work enriches public awareness of the pervasiveness and role of information in our lives, and confronts issues of trust, validity and equity. It advances the essential and enduring roles played by information institutions such as libraries, archives and museums as social, cultural, educational, memory and intellectual centers in our society, as well as the complementary and critical roles played by other forms of community organizations. It is also situated at the forefront of scholarship on digital society and the Internet.

Through our research, academic, and professional education programs and public service, we build, shape and promote state-of-the art knowledge, skills and ethics relating to how information, data and knowledge in all forms and media support people as actors in their worlds; communities as spaces of belonging that foster agency and the construction of identity; and cultures as resources for cultivating and organizing people’s capacities and as manifestations of beliefs, values and lived experiences. We interrogate and manage information artifacts and networks as means through which culture is represented, transmitted, preserved, reproduced and re-imagined; and design and critique human- and humanitarian-centered information technologies, systems, and practices.

We integrate humanistic, scientific and social scientific, computational, critical, and arts and design approaches as well as wide-ranging professional, institutional and policy perspectives. We produce graduates with the knowledge, skills and values to assess, develop, apply and teach appropriate standards, techniques and ethics in the design, management, preservation and dissemination of information resources and systems.

 

IS Vision

At the UCLA Department of Information Studies, we believe that information, data and knowledge, and associated networks, technologies and practices are central to the transformation and betterment of society. Motivated by a vision of social justice, we strive to make these visible, accessible, accountable, and sustainable for today and for the future.

 

What We Value

SOCIAL JUSTICE: We value and actively support the central roles played by information, scholarship, and professional and community institutions and practices in advancing social equity, the public trust, and individual and community empowerment. We also recognize the roles of data, environmental, epistemic, and restorative justices in meeting these ends. We commit to the advancement of the knowledge and practices, the preparation of information scholars and professionals, and the direct engagement, advocacy and ethical leadership that will promote such advancement in society.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: We value the communities in which we live and work and honor their perspectives, experiences, information cultures and knowledges. We are committed to participatory community engagement that promotes community ideals and aspirations.

DIALOG: We value the role of debate and dialog in developing understanding of complex topics. We are committed to maintaining intellectually rigorous, informed, civil and open discourse within the Department of Information Studies, on the UCLA campus, and in the public sphere.

DIGITAL CULTURES: We value and recognize emerging digital cultures. We are committed to furthering critical understandings of global and cultural practices and needs, and addressing concerns associated with the spread and utilization of digital and Internet-related technologies across the world and its peoples.

DIVERSITY: We value and respect diversity and plurality in cultures, ideas, beliefs and heritages; in ways of knowing and ways of managing knowledge; and in understandings of rights and responsibilities. While firmly recognizing diversity as an unparalleled strength, we are committed to engaging with potential incommensurable positions and inequitable power relations that may arise from such diversity.

EVALUATION: We value the understanding and accountability that result from evaluation of our activities. We are committed to maintaining rigorous, ongoing and systematic assessment of Department of Information Studies’ programs, instruction, scholarship and service and their outcomes.

INFORMATION LABOR: We value and recognize the labor, often invisible, that supports information work and technological implementations. We are committed to identifying and promoting more just and equitable information labor practices wherever they occur.

PRESERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY: We value the plurality of information heritage. We are committed to ensuring the preservation and sustainability of artifacts and practices integral to transmitting knowledges, evidence and cultures to future generations.