The Information and Library Science department was named second in the world by the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities published by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy in China. Of the 1,200 universities considered, it was outranked by only Harvard University.
The Information and Library Science is a department of master's and graduate certificate programs inside of the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering.
Ronald Day, chair of the department, said the ranking is a great honor.
“It also reflects well on the school that we’re in and the wonderful library and documentation institutions that are our partners,” Day said, adding that he hopes the department will reach the No. 1 slot in the future.
Five factors were considered: Fields Medals and Nobel Prizes won by staff and alumni, cited researchers identified by Thomson Reuters, articles published in journals, articles in the Science or Social Science Citation Index and individual performance.
Day said the core study in the department is the preservation, organization and access of information.
This consists of things such as database design, organizing and labeling websites or software and archiving material such as a library would require. Day said many in the library science program go on to work as librarians or in museums.
He said because it is one of the four departments in the School of Informatics and Computing, an IU library sciences education will include learning about the use of digital technologies and computer programming. These areas are used to develop new systems to share information with the public.
“I think that one thing that makes it unique is that we’re a part of a much broader school,” Day said. He said many colleges have stand-alone information and library science schools.
The department has three different program tracks: a master of library science, a master of information science, and a Ph.D. in information science. Day said these programs are made up almost entirely of graduate students, about three-quarters of whom are women.
Day said the department has a group of students who are dedicated to the collection of records and making them of use to the public. He also said the culturally diverse demographic of IU produces a wide variety of needs for information and many students studying information and library sciences work in libraries, the Kinsey Institute or for another campus organization.
Meagan Eller, a master's student in information science, said the school’s ranked program did not play much of a role in coming to IU for the program because she is from Bloomington.
“As someone who lives in Bloomington, it’s always nice to see IU rank well academically,” Eller said.
Day said the Information and Library Science department preserves important history within the University and because of this, deals with mostly documents.
“Our tradition goes back thousands of years to organization and access of records,” Day said.
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