The iSchools organization is a worldwide collective of Information Schools who are dedicated to advancing the information field and interested in the connections between information, people and technology. The organization was founded in 2005 and is comprised of 36 institutions in 11 different countries. All of the participating institutions have programs focused on topics such as library science, information science, information literacy, and informatics.
iSchools is governed by the iCaucus which is made up of elected and invited members. The vision of the group says that the organization “Seeks to maximize the visibility and influence of its member schools, and their interdisciplinary approaches to harnessing the power of information and technology, and maximizing the potential of humans. We envision a future in which the iSchool Movement has spread around the world, and the information field is widely recognized for creating innovative systems and designing information solutions that benefit individuals, organizations, and society.”
On the impact of admittance into the iSchools, SOIS Interim Dean Dietmar Wolfram says, “We are very pleased and honored to have been admitted to the iSchools organization. As one of a small but growing number of iSchools internationally, our membership recognizes SOIS as a leader in the education of information professionals and contributor to information research."
The iSchools’ website states the purpose of the organization: “The iSchools take it as given that expertise in all forms of information is required for progress in science, business, education, and culture. This expertise must include understanding of the uses and users of information, the nature of information itself, as well as information technologies and their applications.”
Iris Xie, Professor and Doctoral Program Director, discusses the impact of the iSchools on the SOIS doctoral program: “Being a member of the iSchool organization demonstrates the research productivity and quality of our faculty and students, and it will increase the visibility and profile of the School. It will greatly help us recruit high quality doctoral students, broaden and enhance the careers of our doctoral students, and build a stronger doctoral program.”
Associate Professor and MLIS Program Director Wooseob Jeong echoes Professor Xie by saying, “Being a member of the iSchools will boost the already globally-renowned status of SOIS to the next level, at which our strong research on information will be reinforced and more top quality students will be recruited for their promising information-focus education at all program levels - BSIST, MLIS and Ph.D.”
For more information about the iSchools organization, or to hear about the iConference slated for 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas, visit http://www.ischools.org/