INTRODUCTION

 

2003 ALISE Statistical Report and Database

 

Evelyn H. Daniel and Jerry D. Saye

 

 

This volume is the twenty-fourth annual statistical report on library and information (LIS) education published by the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). Its purpose is to compile, analyze, interpret, and report statistical (and other descriptive) information about library/information science programs offered by schools that are members of ALISE offering the ALA-accredited master's degree. The Statistical Report is published by ALISE as a service to the Association membership. A Statistical Database is produced as a means of collecting the data systematically and making it available to researchers and administrators in an easily manipulated format. Together, the Report and Database support the mission and goals of ALISE by providing empirical data on the state of LIS education in member schools and by documenting trends in faculty staffing, student populations, curriculum change, funding, continuing education, and other aspects of LIS education.

 

ALISE owns the database and archives older editions; these are available in electronic form. ALISE promotes the use and awareness of the Report and Database. The intended audience includes LIS administrators, researchers, faculty members, current and prospective graduate students, and journalists. The general public may find it valuable as well.

 

The Report and Database is published in two formats a printed version for ease of use in studying and comparing data from various schools and a Web version for wider access and quick referral to particular tables. The Web version includes some additional tables and material. The Web version is the more accurate and up to date of the two versions, as after the initial publication, corrected data sent to us by schools is inserted in the Web version with a flag and a footnote reporting the original (erroneous) data.

 

About This Report. The present edition numbers 310 pages and reports information about 55 of the 56 member schools offering degree programs in library and information science that have been accredited by the Committee on Accreditation (COA) of the American Library Association (ALA); Rhode Island did not report this year although the school did send data on income and expenditures. An agreement with COA for collaborative data collection reduces the reporting burden on the schools and improves the response rate. We wish to acknowledge the assistance and support of Karen O'Brien, Program Officer for the Office of Accreditation. Ann O'Neill, Accreditation Officer, has been unfailingly helpful and supportive of our work.

 

Database Development. Student data are now available in Access database format for the past seven years (1996-1997 to 2002-2003). Non-confidential faculty data reported in Part II of the Faculty chapter are available for the same period. Much of the information in the Curriculum chapter is non-quantitative in nature and some of it changes little from year to year. This information is published in tabular form only on the Web version (Tables III-1 through III-29) with a brief summary appearing in the printed version. Comparative quantitative data in Curriculum and in Continuing Education are incorporated into the database.

 

Any researcher or administrator wishing a copy of the data now available in database format may request it directly from the editors ( daniel@ils.unc.edu or saye@ils.unc.edu ). These data can be made available on disk in compressed format for cost. A database service is also available whereby key variables can be selected and specialized tables created. For example comparative data for a selected set of peer schools can be produced. To discuss data needs, contact one of the editors.

Authors of the Report . ALISE has been fortunate in the authors of the Report. Members of the Association owe a great debt to these individuals who, as a service to the profession, compile the raw data as it is received from member schools, analyze it, and produce the tables and commentary for each chapter. Dan Barron, from the University of South Carolina , is the principal author of the Curriculum chapter. This year marks his 18 th year of service. Tim Sineath, University of Kentucky , has produced the Faculty chapter for 17 years and also served for many years as editor of the Report . Jerry D. Saye from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , in addition to being one of the editors, has been the principal author of the Students chapter for the seven years now coinciding with the number of years we have been editing the report. Jana Varlejs of Rutgers University has been the author of the Continuing Professional Education chapter for the past six years John and Jane Olsgaard from the University of South Carolina have served as co-authors of the income and expenditures chapter for the past three years. John had previously served for a number of years as co-author for the chapter with Fred Roper. Chapter authors serve without pay. Their resource needs are contributed by their home schools.

 

Questionnaire Distribution Via the Internet. Consistent with our policy of moving more and more material to the Web, the various data collection instruments for this year's report, plus the cover letter to the deans and directors of the LIS accredited schools, were provided to schools for downloading via the Internet. The direct mailing of questionnaires to schools in hard copy was discontinued three years ago. Schools were required this year, as in previous years, to submit the completed questionnaires in hard copy to the editors. The development of an interactive electronic form for submission of data has been completed and in beta test mode. Volunteer schools have been solicited to test the instrument. If any other school would like to test the instrument using data already submitted in hard copy, we would be happy to have additional volunteers. Please contact either editor if you are interested.

 

Data collection for the 2004 Report will be solely via an interactive questionnaire on the Internet. Detailed instructions will be provided to deans and assistant/associate deans well in advance of data being requested.

 

Support for the Database and Statistical Report. For three years, up until this year, the ALISE Board has provided partial support of $12,000 per year for the Database and Report service; this year due to some financial difficulties of ALISE we have received no support from the Association to date. Until this year , in addition, the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has generously provided support in the form of a graduate assistant to aid in the compilation of data in the Students chapter and to assist in handling the work flow. This support, too, has been the victim of budget exigencies and the number of hours of assistant time has been drastically curtailed. The reduction in support has slowed program substantially and has contributed to the late arrival of this edition and the delayed introduction of electronic data submission. We are hopeful that the dip in support is temporary and that we can return to more timely publication and development of the database.

 

Invitation to Faculty Interested in Working with the Report and Database. The editors continue to be interested in recruiting interested faculty members as potential authors. This year marks the end of Evelyn Daniel's editorial contribution. Anyone interested in becoming a regular author or in contributing an occasional in-depth analysis of a particular aspect of education in the LIS field should contact the editors. We welcome volunteers for this effort. We welcome additional suggestions from deans and directors, researchers, the ALISE Board, and others who make use of the Report.

 

Acknowledgements. We acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the principal authors of the Sections (Tim Sineath, Jerry D. Saye and Katherine W. Wisser, Dan Barron and Camillia L. Harris, John and Jane Olsgaard, and Jana Varlejs). We are grateful to them.

 

Nan Wang has provided intelligent and careful assistance in the preparation of this year's Report and Database. Ying Zhang assisted as well and worked with Nan in the early part of the task. Yanfang Jiang provided valuable assistance in the development of the electronic data-gathering instruments.

 

November 10, 2003                                                            Evelyn H. Daniel and Jerry D. Saye

                                                                                        Co-editors