History of the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies

MU library

The reading room of Academic Hall was a popular place of study. Image courtesy University Archives C0:46-34-ff15

The School of Information Science and Learning Technologies (SISLT) is the academic home of master’s degree programs in Library Science and Educational Technology and a doctoral program in Information Science and Learning Technologies. Chartered in 1997 after the School of Library and Informational Science merged with the College of Education, SISLT doubled in size within six years to become one of the largest graduate departments at MU. The merger created an abundance of opportunities for strategic partnerships and innovative programs, enabling the Library Science Program to establish a strong presence across the Midwest and the Educational Technology Program to lead the way in online education.

In addition to building educational programs, SISLT is also known for building research and service enterprises. Established in 2006, the Allen Institute is an interdisciplinary R&D facility hosting the Center for Technology Innovations in Education (created in 1994), the Information Experience Lab (created in 2003) and several other organizations. The Reflector, a multimedia resource center, first opened its doors in 1997, setting new standards for technology-rich, people-friendly learning environments. These enterprises would have certainly been smiled upon by Ralph Parker, founder of the Library Science Program, director of MU Libraries and the recognized leader in library automation in the 1960s.