For immediate release | July 13, 2010

ALA Council opposes elimination of LSU SLIS

CHICAGO - The Council of the American Library Association (ALA), on a recommendation of its Committee on Education (COE), has adopted a resolution strongly opposing the elimination of the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University.

The ALA urges the Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors and the Louisiana Board of Regents to continue to support the School of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University.

In the Committee’s role of providing a networking platform for dialogues between Library and Information Science educators and practitioners, Beth Paskoff, dean of the LSU SLIS, and Linda Smith, associate dean of the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, participated in an open forum at the Education Assembly during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. This gave Dr. Paskoff and Dr. Smith a national platform to discuss the issues concerning their programs and to garner the support of practitioners and others in the library community. This also helped COE define its role in looking into this matter on behalf of Council and in supporting the programs during these challenges.

COE also is working with the Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) liaison to the Committee and the current president of ALISE to coordinate our efforts in supporting the LSU SLIS.

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Louisiana State University (LSU) offers the only accredited Master of Library and Information Science degree in the entire state of Louisiana and has graduated more than 3,500 students since 1926. The ALA recognizes the role of the LSU SLIS, as an accredited program that educates professional librarians who provide equitable access to a wide variety of scholarly and public information resources and services that meet the lifelong learning and educational needs of their constituencies. The LSU SLIS has served as a model to the entire LSU campus on the innovative use of technology to deliver educational content and offers robust distance education options to students across the state, enabling them to continue to work, live, and serve in their home communities. In addition, the LSU SLIS keeps tuition dollars in Louisiana by offering the Library and Information Science program and not forcing Louisiana citizens to spend their money on online programs offered by other states or moving to another state to receive the education desired.

In adopting the resolution, the ALA recognizes that free access to information, both in libraries and via the internet, is essential for state citizens’ welfare, literacy, education and communication, which is provided by professionally educated librarians. LSU SLIS graduates make significant contributions to the preservation of the history of the state in government and local archives; without their work, future generations will not have access to the records of the past and the present.

LSU SLIS graduates have also provided the information and human services that Louisiana citizens needed in the wake of the catastrophic experiences of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well as the Gulf oil spill.


JoAnne M Kempf