04. March 2015 · Comments Off on University of Maryland’s iSchool continues to innovate after 50 years · Categories: Uncategorized

As a graduate of the University of Maryland MLS (Master of Library Science) program I received and accepted an invitation to attend the 50th Anniversary of the University’s information school known as the iSchool, which took place last Friday.

While there were tributes to past achievements this event was far from taking a mental trip down memory lane. The vast majority of time was spent focusing on the future and what the iSchool is doing to innovate.

Here are the program updates that caught my attention.

  • The MLS program is going through a process of re-envisioning the role of the degree. Take a look at the events that have been ongoing. Congratulations to my MLS classmate Lindsay Sarin who co-authored an article about this with Dr. John Bertot. The article is featured in American Libraries. This is a three year process in which year one revolves around engagement, year two looks at redesign, and year three tackles implementation. I will be waiting to see what the redesign and implementation phases look at.



  • Dr. Brian Butler gave a sterling presentation on the Master of Information Management degree. This degree is very valuable. It enables students to take courses in such areas as data analytics, user interface/user experience, organizational and process analysis, strategic management of information, and technology development/ deployment. Take a look at the list of employers that the program has sent its graduates to. These include PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Consulting, IBM , Microsoft, Accenture, and many others.


Anything else that I should mention?


1 ) A talk by Professor Jimmy Lin in which he noted his two year sabbatical working at Twitter piqued my interest. I also learned about Hadoop and Spark from his talk.

2) The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Reading Group being led by Dr. Ping Wang would be something I would look into if I was a current student. .

3) Dr. Jennifer Golbeck spoke about privacy issues and showcased the website, “Take This Lollipop”. I’m not enclosing a link here as the video presentation freaked me out. You can search for it yourself.

4) Not part of the iSchool presentation, but advertised as being on campus at the business school is the Pitch Dingman event. You can pitch an idea for a business there.

In closing the mantra at the iSchool was that students learn to ask, “Why not?” instead of accepting the status quo. I am excited to learn of their innovation and to see how the iSchool grows from here.

I should note that if anyone from UMD’s iSchool wants to share any or all of the presentation slides I’d be delighted to get a copy. Given time constraints I was not able to sit in on the talks on the Master of Human Computer Interaction and the PhD program.

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