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  • UNC School of Information and Library Science

    The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) is a professional school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offering a bachelor's degree in information science, master's degrees in library science and information science, a professional science master's degree in digital curation, and a doctoral degree in information and library science as well as an undergraduate minor, graduate certificate programs, and a post-master's certificate.

    Library science classes were initially offered at UNC-Chapel Hill starting in 1904; however, the university would not offer library science as a major until 1931, when the School of Library Science opened its doors to welcome 37 students and five faculty members in Wilson Library, now named after Louis Round Wilson, the university's first librarian, the SILS' first dean, and advocate for library science at the university. The school opened in part because of a $100,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation given to the University to establish a school of library science. In 1932, the school was provisionally accredited by the ALA Board of Education for Librarianship, the same year that the first class of students would graduate from the school. Two years later, the school became fully accredited for undergraduate library training by the ALA Board of Education for Librarianship.

    Now, SILS offers an undergraduate major and minor, two master's of science degrees, professional science master's degrees, dual master's degrees with both their own undergraduate degree and other programs at the University, several graduate certificates, and a doctor of philosophy in information and library science. One of SILS' newest degrees, a professional science master's (PSM) in digital curation, is the first master's degree in the nation focused on digital curation and is offered entirely online.

    In 1995, Manning would undergo renovations, including updating its large lecture hall and the information and technology resource center. Today, SILS classrooms are equipped with computer projection and instructor workstations. SILS also maintains a wireless network with access points throughout the building. Since 2016, SILS has offered students the opportunity to experience virtual reality, expanding to offer an entire virtual reality room in 2017. SILS also has a 3D printing station, where students can submit designs of 3D models to be printed. Additionally, SILS offers a Digital Media Lab with access to professional video and audio recording equipment, a teleprompter, green screen, audio mixer, and video and audio editing software. As part of the university library system, the SILS Library features advanced electronic capabilities and an extensive collection of materials. The Information and Technology Resource Center integrates a computer lab and electronic classroom area with extensive library collections and services.

    The SILS Library consists of over 100,000 volumes and approximately 1,300 serials titles are checked in every year. One of the collections SILS houses is the professional collection (Library of Congress classification), which consists of materials in information and library science, and related fields. The juvenile collection (Dewey Decimal classification), designed to support courses in children's literature, school librarianship, and children's librarianship in public libraries, consists of the Easy collection, juvenile fiction, juvenile non-fiction, juvenile historical (non-circulating), pop-up books, and audio-visual materials. It is the only full-service children's collection on campus.

    ibiblio, a collaboration between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Center for the Public Domain, has been a vehicle for knowledge sharing since 1992, first as an original Sun Microsystems SunSITE, then as Metalab, finally resting on the ibiblio name in 2000. ibiblio is a free and vibrant exchange of ideas among a large community of contributors who share their knowledge across disciplines. It is one of the major distribution hubs for Linux software and has been a significant supporter of Linux development efforts since its inception. In addition, it started the first internet radio stream by rebroadcasting WXYC, the UNC student-run radio station. It also takes credit for the first non-commercial IPv6 / Internet2 radio stream. The site, which enters its 19th year of existence in October, is run by the School of Information and Library Science and the School of Media and Journalism, by director and UNC professor Paul Jones.

    This three-year, collaborative project seeks to develop an openly accessible, graduate-level curricular framework, course modules, and experiential and enrichment components and exemplars necessary to prepare students to work in the 21st-century environment of trusted digital and data repositories. To accomplish these tasks, this project brings together key international figures in digital preservation from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, and New Zealand, to serve on an Advisory Board. Repositories at UNC-CH will provide IMLS-funded Carolina Digital Curation Fellows hands-on application of the principles taught as they manage a wide range of digital objects, including public records, cultural heritage assets, teaching materials, and research data. These Fellowships will serve to integrate the curriculum and the experiential components, advertise the existence of the programs at SILS, and draw attention to the need for digital curation. Sustainability and updating of the educational products will be ensured through programmatic adoption at UNC-CH and widespread dissemination and use at other educational institutions.

    SILS first offered a minor in information systems in 1997 and started a major in information science in 2003. UNC-Chapel Hill is the only university in the state of North Carolina offering a bachelor's degree in information science and is one of only a handful of schools nationwide offering such a program. The Bachelor of Science in Information Science is designed to prepare its graduates for a variety of careers in the information industry, including information architecture, database design and implementation, Web design and implementation, and information consulting, as well as for graduate study. The major requires 30 credits hours worth of courses, as well as 4 approved electives and the completion of certain prerequisites before applying to the major. The Minor in Information Systems provides students with an understanding of computing, multiŽmedia, electronic information resources, and the Internet that complements the student's major field of study. Students concentrate their studies in the junior and senior years.

    The Concentration of Study in Archives and Record Management (ARM) at SILS provides students with the knowledge and skills required to work in archives, special collections, historical societies, records management units within organizations and various other curatorial environments. The principles and practices of ARM are based on provenance, collection-level arrangement, and attention to context, all of which are becoming increasingly relevant with the massive explosion of information across all sectors of society.