Same Mission, New Opportunities

November 18, 2021

Anthony S. Chow

As a library and information science professor for 22 years, I’ve had a front-row seat to the LIS field’s rapid evolution. The words agile, adaptive, diverse, and iterative come to mind when I think of our constant pursuit to stay relevant. To do this, we must have an ongoing dialogue with the people we serve.

One of my areas of expertise is user-centered design. A main tenet of this systematic way of thinking is accepting that every user has different preferences, information needs, and ways of doing things. Although this can present challenges, the great news is that the digital and information age has created new opportunities to respond to these challenges.

Libraries continue to live the same mission: providing quality and vetted information to our communities and stakeholders. But now we have so many robust ways to customize the patron experience and provide information in an efficient and effective manner that works for each individual.

I recently accepted the director position at San José State University’s School of Information in California. As the LIS field has evolved, so has our school, and I proudly continue our institution’s mission of ensuring current and future LIS professionals are prepared for the yet-undefined future. San José State University is based in Silicon Valley, and we believe in being high-touch, high-tech, high-quality, and highly relevant.

Our school is uniquely positioned in that we educate more LIS professionals than any other master of library and information science program in the nation. We have students in all 50 states, and our instructors, who are recognized in their respective areas of practice and expertise, are from all over the country. Our alumni can be found everywhere, and their impact on our global community is boundless.

We at the iSchool are experienced leaders who are committed to ensuring a comprehensive and unparalleled education for our students. This means an expansive set of resources to support them, training for instructors, professors with years of eLearning experience, and, most importantly, a world-class and diverse faculty that teaches one of the widest-ranging suites of LIS courses available in our field.

The first library science course at San José State University was taught in 1928. Things have certainly changed a lot since then, and we continue to keep pace. We are very excited about the future of the LIS profession.


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Day 3 of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries