Re-Envisioning the MLS: Spring 2015 Events

Re-Envisioning the MLS: Spring 2015 Events

The needs of our communities – to ensure access to information, to ensure equity, to ensure that we preserve our cultural record, to ensure an open and transparent government, to ensure that all students are ready to read and ready to learn – are great, if not greater, than they have ever been. At the same time, changes in technology, the nature of information and data, communities, learning, demographics, economy, and the policy environments create both challenges and opportunities to rethink MLS education in general and our MLS program in particular.

As the iSchool celebrates its 50th Anniversary, we have launched our “Re-envisioning the MLS” initiative. Our focus on information in an information economy is our competitive advantage. But what is the value of an MLS degree? What does the future MLS degree look like? What should it look like? More importantly, how do we ensure that our program prepares students to:

  • Inform, by serving as vital conduits to the information resources that people need when they need them.
  • Enable, by actively providing our communities with opportunities to succeed through the information, resources, and services we provide.
  • Equalize, by insuring that – regardless of background, ability, means, or any other factor – our communities have access to the information resources, services, and skills necessary for today and tomorrow.
  • Lead, by taking leadership roles in our communities around access to and the availability, dissemination, preservation of information.
  • Innovate, by continuously thinking and acting creatively and entrepreneurially.

These values have served the College and our MLS program well for 50 years. The journey we are on is about the next 50 years, and I hope that you will join us as we “Re-Envision the MLS.”

Throughout the year, we have a number of events planned to solicit feedback, promote discussion, and engage our stakeholder communities.  Building on our Fall 2014 events, our Spring 2015 schedule is below – please do join us!

More information on our “Re-Envisioning the MLS” initiative, as well as archives of past events, is available on our blog:, tag: #HackMLS. An update on what we’ve learned so far is available at: -- tell us what you think!

Engagement Sessions:

Why Libraries are Critical for Revolutionizing Learning: Insights from the Learning Sciences

While almost everyone has an opinion about what “learning” is and how it’s done (after all, we all went to school right?), a new vision of learning is emerging from the learning sciences. Research in this area is showing how learning is not just about transferring information and content, but is instead embedded in everything we do, experience, and engage with. Learning is connected to our ecosystems of places, spaces, and social networks. Learning is also a “process” of exchange, dialogue, friendship, mentorship, failures, successes, and personal growth. We don’t just learn what things are (e.g. facts and information), but how to do, think, and “be” who we are. These are all complex processes that suggest a radical new way to structure our institutions of learning. Libraries are critical to this vision, but how?

When: March 25, 2015, 4:30-5:30pm EDT
Where: Hornbake Library South Wing, Room 2119 or online via Adobe Connect:
RSVP: Please RSVP at

Digital Curation: The Future of Archives?
Networked and digital technologies are challenging information professionals to reimagine and reassess traditional ways of providing persistent access to information. Among these changes are the expanding notions of records and archives as well as the necessary skills and responsibilities in managing cultural heritage collections. Part of the recent efforts to re-envision the LIS curriculum, the iSchool’s newly combined specialization in archives and digital curation is an intervention to bring the field of information preservation and access towards a more responsive and relevant future. In this presentation, Ricky Punzalan and Richard Marciano will trace the evolution of archival education and will analyze this trajectory to question the relationships between archives and digital curation. They will also provide an overview of some of the significant, related changes in the iSchool’s curriculum and other recent efforts that contributes to the newly formed archival and digital curation pathways.

When: April 28, 2015, 4:30-5:30pm EDT
This is rescheduled from the original February 26 date.
Where: Hornbake Library South Wing, Room 2119 or online via Adobe Connect:
RSVP: Please RSVP at

Speaker Series:

A Unifying Vision: Reclaiming Our Purpose for the 21st Century with Valerie Gross

Participate in this lively, interactive seminar to experience a vision that is ushering in a new era for libraries everywhere. The strategy will make you, your library, and our profession indispensable for centuries to come.

As libraries implement this approach, they are finding that their inherent value is no longer questioned. They no longer need to constantly explain why they are important. No one looks at them anymore with a puzzled expression, asking, “Tell me again what you do?” Instead, the library systems enjoy heightened respect in their communities and optimal funding. This is because they are now accorded the same enduring worth assigned to other educational institutions.

What are these libraries doing differently? Adopting the “Libraries = Education” vision, they are repositioning their libraries as a key component of the education enterprise, alongside schools, colleges, and universities.

When: March 11, 2015, 4:30-5:30pm EDT, reception to follow
Where: McKeldin Library Special Events Room 6137 or online via Adobe Connect:
RSVP: Please RSVP at

Repositioning the MLS: The Next 50 Years

Financial stress, community challenges, the changing nature of information, rapidly evolving and emerging technologies, our changing demography, and a host of other factors have sparked numerous conversations about the Future of Libraries. But the Future of Libraries necessitates a deeper discussion regarding the Future of Librarians — and how we prepare future librarians to transform the communities that they serve. The iSchool and the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland launched its Re-Envisioning the MLS ( initiative in August 2014 to focus on answering three key questions: What is the value of an MLS degree? What does the future MLS degree look like? What should the future MLS degree look like?

Join us on May 4, 2015 as the iSchool and iPAC host an evening with Sari Feldman (ALA President-Elect) and panelists Stacey Aldrich (State Librarian, Hawaii), Priscille Dando (Coordinator, Library Information Services, Fairfax County Public Schools), Lucy Holman (Director, Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore), and Richard Reyes-Galivan (Executive Director, DC Public Library) as we discuss the future of our profession and Re-Envision the MLS.

When: May 4, 2015, 4:00-6:00pm EDT, reception to follow
Where: District of Columbia Public Library, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library--Central Library, 901 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
More information: