Task Forces on LIS Accreditation Announced

Process, communication, and future accreditation to be examined

October 30, 2015

LIS Accreditation

ALA President Sari Feldman appointed two task forces on LIS accreditation. These were authorized by the ALA Executive Board in San Francisco in June, and stemmed from a collaboration of the ALA Executive Board and ALISE leadership during 2014–15.

The two task force charges and memberships are:

Task Force on Accreditation Process and Communication

CHARGE: To make recommendations to the ALA Executive Board on the following areas:

  • External Communications, including the importance of LIS education to the profession, the academy, and the public; the celebration of the strength of LIS programs; and advocacy and outreach about how the field is transforming to meet the needs of a changing society.
  • Internal Communications, including specifically a joint ALA/ALISE statement on the value of accreditation to LIS; an articulation of the value realized by an institution when librarians or faculty members serve on the Committee on Accreditation or on an External Review Panel; a protocol for improved accreditation-related communication between ALA/COA and ALISE (including particularly the Council of Deans/Directors/Chairs; a clear description of the accreditation process that will be accessible to both individuals in practice and in the academy; and, a clear description of the COA/ERP relationship and communication.

Consultant Recommendations: The task force is also charged with reviewing recommendations related to process from an external consultant and making any additional or related recommendations to the ALA Executive Board.

TIMELINE: The task force will make an interim report to the ALISE Board of Directors and the ALA Executive Board in January 2016, with a final report to the ALA Executive Board at the 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando.

MEMBERS:  Barbara K. Stripling, chair; Joan Howland (Committee on Accreditation), Kathleen Kern (Committee on Education), Audrey Church (AASL/CAEP), Seamus Ross (ALISE Council of Deans/Directors/Chairs), Samantha Hastings (ALISE Board of Directors), Gerald Beasley (Canadian Library Association), Sara Kelly Johns (ALA Executive Board).

Task Force on the Context of Future Accreditation

CHARGE:  To develop a white paper that describes the fields and context for which we will be accrediting in the future and to make recommendations as may arise in the process of that development to the ALA Executive Board. The discussion should address:

  • Accreditation of information programs—who is doing what, how they or might they relate to LIS programs; disconnect (or perceived disconnect) between skills increasingly needed (e.g., information architecture), the current curricula of LIS programs, and standards/statements of core competencies currently in place.
  • Values—e.g., public access, privacy, intellectual freedom—as common threads binding together LIS and related fields and a core element in curricula.
  • The changing institutional context for accreditation, including factors such as pedagogical innovation, assessment, and resources.
  • The discussion/white paper should result in a conceptual statement as a framework for the development (by the ALA Committee on Accreditation) of future standards.

TIMELINE: The task force will make an interim report to the ALISE Board of Directors and the ALA Executive Board in January 2016, with a final report to the ALA Executive Board at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando.

MEMBERS:  Peter Hepburn, chair;  Mary Stansbury (COA); Michael Gutierrez (COE); Ngoc-Yen Tran (Committee on Diversity); John Budd (ACRL); Gary Wasdin (PLA); Mirah Dow (AASL); Tula Giannini (ALISE Council of Deans/Directors/Chairs); Clara Chu (ALISE Board of Directors); Andrew Dillon (iSchool Consortium); Rosemary Bonanno (Canadian Library Association); Julie Todaro (ALA Executive Board); Nicole A Cooke (SPECTRUM Doctoral Fellowship Program).


Sarah Vowell. Photo: Bennett Miller

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