Foyer of the School of Library & Information Studies

The School of Library and Information Studies

A top-ranked program for library, information and book arts education, the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) aims to develop creative and critical thinkers and leaders for the information world through a supportive teaching and learning environment, collaborative research and community engagement.

Home to award-winning, engaged faculty and accomplished graduates in archives, book arts, information science, and library studies, SLIS prepares students to critically examine and mediate the production, utilization, dissemination, preservation and impacts of information to address real-world challenges such as health disparities, misinformation, social inequalities, and cybersecurity.

The School of Library and Information Studies

SLIS Vision

The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) is committed to educating socially responsible information and arts professionals prepared to empower diverse populations in a multitude of contexts, communities, and cultures. Our diverse faculty contribute unique strengths that enable our students to address real-world challenges using socially just, innovative, and ethical solutions.

SLIS Mission

Advancing the theory, art and practice of professions specializing in the creation and stewardship of information in traditional and emergent forms.

SLIS Values

Since its beginnings more than fifty years ago, SLIS has developed a unique interdisciplinary personality that blends the arts, humanities, and social sciences. We support a mutual belief in and respect for the diverse constituencies we serve.  Through our community-engaged scholarship and service, we demonstrate a strong commitment to intellectual freedom, access to all, and the tenets of social justice.

At SLIS, we’re developing creative and critical thinkers to lead the way in the fields of library and information. Our award-winning faculty, world-renowned online education program and MFA program in Book Arts have distinguished us as leaders in the field. Ranked in the top 27 programs of our kind in U.S. News, and praised for our initiatives in diversity and inclusion, the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies is setting the standard for library and information studies across the U.S. and around the world.

Whether you’re looking to study on campus or earn your degree online, we’re excited to welcome you to the SLIS network.

SLIS’s programs are accredited by the ALA.

#27 Best LIS programs, U.S. News

Top 10 Book Arts programs in the U.S.

Master’s Programs

MFA Book Arts

The Book Arts Program is dedicated to the art, craft, and history of the handmade book. We are located in the College of Communication and Information Sciences, School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; a verdant and beautiful campus located on the banks of the Black Warrior River.

Master of Library & Information Studies (MLIS)

The MLIS degree at the University of Alabama is the only ALA-accredited program in the state of Alabama. Choose your specialization or certificate program in a variety of areas including academic libraries, archival studies, digital stewardship, information literacy, public libraries, school libraries, special libraries, social justice, and youth services.

Have questions about our masters programs? Reach out.

Course Schedule

Official course registration information is found in myBama on the Student tab. The schedules posted here, for the convenience of SLIS students, contain LS (Library Science 500 and 600 level courses), CIS (600 level courses) and BA (Book Arts) courses in one grid for each term. As you prepare to register for your next term, please remember to consider myBama as a resource for all class availability.

SemesterCourse ScheduleUpdated
Spring 2024Grid Format1:15 P.M. CT on Jan 31
Fall 2024Grid Format3:40 P.M. CT on May 13
Summer 2024Grid Format8:50 A.M. CT on Feb 26

Thank you for providing a program that is timely and applicable to the current needs of library and information science professionals. I am forever grateful for your support.

Cheryl Hawkins, ’23 MLIS graduate

Doctoral Program

The C&IS doctoral program prepares students for top positions as researchers, scholars and thought leaders in academia, industry or government. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, PhD candidates work alongside world leaders in the field to develop research proficiency, breadth and a depth of knowledge. The doctoral program is available in both main campus and online distance modes. The main campus mode allows for specific concentrations. Online PhD students can pursue a focused area of study in library and information studies in either school library media or social justice. For the online degree, courses may be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous courses from CIS as well as the College of Education.

Have questions about our doctoral programs? Reach out.

SLIS PhD Concentrations

The following are two SLIS-specific doctoral concentrations available for main campus students. Additional information about the specific courses in each concentration can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Please contact the faculty below if you have additional questions about these specific concentrations. General questions about the doctoral program should be directed to Dr. Jameson Hayes.

BS in Informatics

SLIS is building an all-new undergraduate major and minor. Check back soon for more information.

Faculty & Staff

Innovators in their field. Partners in your success.

At the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), we take pride in the accomplishments of our faculty and value the dissemination of knowledge through teaching relationships, service engagements, mentorships and research partnerships. Our faculty are recognized, nationally and internationally for contributions made to archives, book arts, information science, and library studies. Current SLIS faculty include national research award winners, past presidents of major professional associations in archives and library studies, global scholars, internationally recognized artists, award-winning authors and poets, and members of prestigious advisory boards.

To find contact information for SLIS staff and faculty, click here.

Advising

Advising is core to your experience in the MFA or MLIS programs. We encourage you to meet with your advisor at least once per semester to review your academic plan and prepare for course registration. Faculty advisors are assigned to students upon admission into the program. To find your faculty advisor, go to MyBama and consult DegreeWorks.

Funding

SLIS is committed to helping students finance their graduate education. We offer a number of graduate assistantships and scholarships and provide you with the resources necessary to pursue funding from outside sources. Be sure to take a look at the scholarships offered by the College of Continuing Studies if you plan to pursue your graduate education online.

Scholarship Application Deadlines

SLIS offer scholarships throughout the academic year.  The schedule is listed below. To apply click on the “SLIS Scholarship Application” link, which only be live during the application cycle.

  • March 20 – Fall and Summer
  • October 1 – Spring

My experience as an intern through SLIS was very rewarding. I interned remotely for an environmental organization as a solo librarian. It provided a great experience in the field and helped me land a job before I graduated with my MLIS. I would definitely recommend it.

Nathan Pulliam, ’17 MLIS graduate

Get Involved

Crimson Review of Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Students enrolled in youth courses often have the opportunity to evaluate new children’s and young adult books and publish their reviews.

Visit site

Book Bonanza for the Black Belt

Dr. Naidoo donates brand new books to school libraries in the Black Belt region of the state via the program he created in 2009.

Get involved

Student Organizations

The Association of Moving Image Archivists

The AMIA Student Chapter at the University of Alabama was founded in 2020 to provide students in the Audiovisual Preservation & Archiving track, and students with an interest in audiovisual archiving, a forum for socialization, networking, and professional development. Check out AMIA’s Twitter and Website for more information about AMIA, UA SLIS, and members projects and achievements.

Faculty advisor: Dr. Dimitrios Latsis

American Society for Information Science & Technology

ASIS&T is the University of Alabama Student Chapter of the national organization. ASIS&T is committed to educating its members about diverse streams of knowledge that fall both within and outside the spectrum of libraries. ASIS&T encourages the professional growth of its members.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Laurie Bonnici

American Library Association

The University of Alabama Student Chapter of the American Library Association gives students at SLIS the opportunity to participate in varied projects from organization of the winter book drive to participation at local elementary schools. Regular social events are planned for members to socialize and develop networking skills. All SLIS students are welcome to join!

Faculty advisor: Dr. John T. F. Burgess

Society of American Archivists (SAA)

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America’s oldest and largest national archival professional association. The student chapter serves as a means of introducing new archivists into the profession, as well as enhancing education by providing an additional focus for students to discuss archival issues, identify with the profession, and engage in professional activities.

Faculty advisor: Dr. Robert B. Riter

Student Advisory Council (SAC)

The SLIS Student Advisory Council (SAC) is a student governing body that serves as liaison between the SLIS student body and the SLIS Director. Members include representatives from each of the degree programs and modalities offered by SLIS.

Faculty advisor: Dr. Jamie Naidoo

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Alumni

Near or far, you’re always part of the family.

Cultivating relationships with our alumni is critical to the success of the School of Library and Information Studies. We value your experiences and perspectives in furthering the mission of our school, and we offer a variety of ways for you to stay involved after graduation or give back later in your career.

History

Image of previous SLIS faculty in black and white.

The history of the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) began in 1929 when the university instituted an academic program in school librarianship within the College of Education. In the 1960s, leaders of the Alabama Library Association sought to establish in Tuscaloosa a general purpose graduate school of library service. An Alabama Senate joint resolution in 1969 authorized the Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama to establish the Graduate School of Library Service. Students were first accepted in 1970. SLIS’s founding dean, Dr. James D. Ramer, was appointed in 1971 to develop the curriculum, recruit faculty and students, and plan for the school’s quarters. In 1972, the Graduate School of Library Service received full accreditation of its Master of Library Service (MLS) degree program from the American Library Association.

In the intervening years, the school pursued a mission to provide students with skills and knowledge required to meet the information needs of a diverse population. It also grew substantially. In 1985, the school began to offer a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree through its Book Arts program, including specializations in printing and binding. Since then the MFA program in The Book Arts has established itself as an international leader in the field.

In 1988, faculty member Dr. Philip M. Turner was selected to serve as the school’s second dean. The PhD program was first offered by the school in 1988, and, one year later, the school was renamed the School of Library and Information Studies, reflecting the increasing academic and professional emphasis on emerging technologies. Early in 1997, SLIS programs were merged into the renamed College of Communication and Information Sciences. At this point, Dr. Joan Atkinson became director of the school.

In 2003, Dr. Elizabeth Aversa was named director of the school, and by 2005, under her leadership, SLIS launched a fully online, synchronous distance education MLIS program, one of the forerunners in the nation. The first class had forty-three students, representing Alabama and 14 other states. Over the next three years, SLIS moved up eight places in the US News national rankings for Library and Information Studies programs from 30th position to 22nd.

From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Heidi Julien served as director, and under her leadership, the SLIS research mission was re-charged and several international initiatives were developed. By 2013, the program made another jump in the US News rankings, up to 18th position. Under the leadership of Dr. Ann Prentice (2014-2017), SLIS continued its academic tradition of preparing the next generation of library and information professionals and formalized its archival program with a specialization and certificate. Later in August 2017, Dr. Jim Elmborg became SLIS’s director and lead the school in starting the SLIS EBSCO Scholars Program in audio-visual preservation and archiving. In Fall 2021, Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo took over leadership of SLIS where the program continues to prepare professionals specializing in the creation and stewardship of traditional and emergent forms of information, while also demonstrating a strong commitment to intellectual freedom, access to all, and the tenets of social justice. Presently, we are planning new minors in Informatics and Book Arts, as well as a full major in Informatics and a Graduate Certificate in Youth Services.

SLIS 50th Anniversary

SLIS Renewals

SLIS newsletter is back in a quarterly format. We will be sharing news and achievements of alumni, faculty, and current students in each in-house written issue.

We’d love to hear from you!

SLIS Listservs

SLIS has a variety of listservs to keep our students, alumni, and the profession connected.

SLIS-A

The Friends of UA SLIS Network is a community of alumni, current students, faculty, and supporters of UA SLIS. The Friends of UA SLIS network is for all alumni, and here at UA SLIS we aim to create ways for alumni to stay connected with each other and stay up to date on all the things SLIS. Connect with alumni and SLIS by subscribing to The Friends of UA SLIS Network list-serv (SLIS-A) to stay informed and involved. To join SLIS-A, click here, simply send us an email, leaving the subject blank, and edit your first and last name. Confirm your subscription by clicking the link in the following “command confirmation request” email. Unsubscribe here.

And remember, whether near or far, you’re always a part of the SLIS family. Roll Tide! 

SLIS-J

The SLIS-J listserv is a space for job postings. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of SLIS use SLIS-J to post job announcements and share information about open professional positions and internships.  SLIS-J is not a list for general conversation.  Use SLIS-L to communicate with the entire SLIS community. To join SLIS-J, click here, simply send us an email, leaving the subject blank, and edit your first and last name. Confirm your subscription by clicking the link in the following “command confirmation request” email. Unsubscribe here.

SLIS-L

The SLIS-L listserv is a vital part of the SLIS experience. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of SLIS use SLIS-L to communicate with one another. Class cancellations, building closures, social and educational events, and other information of community interest is shared via SLIS-L. Join or unsubscribe from SLIS-L. To join SLIS-L, click here, simply send us an email, leaving the subject blank, and edit your first and last name. Confirm your subscription by clicking the link in the following “command confirmation request” email. Unsubscribe here.

SLIS-S

SLIS-S is a read only listserv reserved for current SLIS students, and is used by SLIS faculty and staff to send important announcements. For general discussion, please subscribe to SLIS-L. Students are automatically added to the list, so if you are a current student and not receiving messages on SLIS-S, please contact the SLIS Administrative Office to be added.

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Connect

Whether you’re considering one of our programs, looking to partner with our world-renowned faculty, or simply want to know more about what we do at the School of Library and Information Studies, we’re happy to schedule a time to meet with you virtually or in person. Fill out our online contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.

MLIS

Joi Mahand

Email: wwmahand@ua.edu
Phone: 205.348.4610
Box: 870252
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Doctoral Program

Jameson Hayes

Email: hayes@apr.ua.edu
Phone: 205.348.8393