This volume is the twenty-first 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. 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 a manipulable format. Together, the Report and Database support the mission and goals of ALISE through the provision of empirical data on the state of LIS education in member schools and by documenting trends in curriculum change, funding, continuing education, and other aspects of LIS education.
A strategic plan for the ALISE Report and Database was approved by the ALISE Board last year. Some of the key points in the plan follow. The Report and Database is considered a service to the Association and one of the benefits for membership. The Report and Database is published in two formats - a printed version for ease of use at the desktop and a Web version for wider access and quick referral to particular tables. The Web version includes some additional tables and material and is the most accurate and up to date. A mechanism for error correction exists; corrections are flagged by color with footnotes showing the original data. ALISE owns the database and archives older editions of the electronic form of it. 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.
About This Report. The present edition numbers 292 pages and reports information about 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). As has been the practice in prior years, a person with stature in the field is invited to review the Report and comment on the state of LIS education from whatever perspective he or she chooses. This year Ken Haycock, director of the University of British Columbia LIS school, has agreed to review the Report and comment on it from the perspective of the recent Congress on Professional Education, which he chaired.
In a departure from previous years, Dr. Haycock's summary will appear first as an article in the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science in the expectation that it may attract wider use of the Report and Database. Subsequent to its publication the chapter will be included in the online version of the Report.
Database Development. Student data are now available in Access database format for the past four years (1996-97 to 1999-00). Faculty data as reported in Part II (non-confidential section) are available for the most recent three years (1996-97 to 1998-99 - note there is a time lag in reporting for this section) and Income and Expenditure data are soon to be available for the current reporting year (1998-99 - this data also lags one year). Much of the information in the Curriculum chapter is non-quantitative in nature and will be reported in text format; where there are comparative quantitative data in Curriculum and in Continuing Education, they will be 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ). The 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 a selected set of peer schools can be produced for a particular purpose. To discuss data needs, contact one of the editors.
The ALISE Board has agreed to provide partial support for the editors in the amount of $10,000 for the 1999-2000 year and $12,000 for the 2000-2001 year. This support will expedite the process and allow the development of a more sophisticated version. It is much appreciated.
Authors of the Report. ALISE has been fortunate in that many of the authors of the Report have provided their services for a number of years. The Association owes an enormous debt to these individuals who compile the raw data as it is received from member schools, analyze it, and produce the tables and commentary for each chapter. Fred Roper, dean of the University of South Carolina LIS school, has been the principal author for the Income and Expenditure chapter for the past 18 years. Dan Barron, also from the University of South Carolina, has been the principal author of the Curriculum chapter for the past 15 years. Tim Sineath has produced the Faculty chapter for 14 years and also served for many years as editor of the Report. Jerry 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 past four years. Our newest author, Jana Varlejs, began the Continuing Professional Education chapter in 1998 and has completed three years as an author. Chapter authors serve without pay. Their resource needs are provided by their home schools. The University of South Carolina should be recognized and commended for its long-standing commitment to supporting the ALISE statistical effort.
With regret, we have accepted Fred Roper's resignation as author of the Income and Expenditure chapter. On behalf of all our colleagues in the field, we express our gratitude for the excellence of his contribution over the years. During the last several years this chapter has been co-written by Dean Roper and John Olsgaard, also from the University of South Carolina. We are happy to announce that Dr. Olsgaard with his colleague and wife, Jane Olsgaard, will take on the challenge of producing this chapter in subsequent years.
Questionnaire Distribution Via the Internet. Consistent with our policy of moving more and more material to the Web, the various data collection instruments for next year's report plus the cover letter to the deans and directors of the LIS accredited schools are now available at http://ils.unc.edu/ALISE. They are accessible in Rich Text Files (.rtf) format for downloading. We and the Committee on Accreditation Office (COA), our partners in this data collection effort, hope you will find this method of questionnaire distribution useful to you. We and COA will still require the completed questionnaires to be mailed to us in hard copy with the appropriate letters of transmittal and submission checklist but it is a step forward.
Plans for the Following Year. The addition of a paid part time database administrator has been made possible by the ALISE Board action reported above and will allow more resources to be focused on the process of completing the database. The database administrator will also revise and correct the existing database, administer requests for data, and develop and implement additional procedures for error checking.
Changes in the Report have taken place incrementally over the 21 years of its existence as a printed report. We are beginning to consider more extensive changes based on recommendations received from our Steering Committee and other interested individuals plus our own study of the structure of the Report. We have begun the process of revising some of the data collection categories in the Faculty chapter and will be sending a draft of a revised data collection instrument to deans and directors sometime in the late fall this year.
We are always interested in recruiting interested faculty members as potential authors. Jerry Saye is eager to pass on the Student chapter so that he can spend more time on the editorial work. We are interested in commissioning occasional in-depth analyses of particular aspects of education in the LIS field and would welcome suggestions and/or volunteers for this effort.
Acknowledgements. The partnership with the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association in the data collection effort reduces the reporting burden on the schools and improves the response rate. This collaborative effort has proven to be of great value and mutual benefit.
The guidance of the Steering Committee for the Report (June Lester, chair; Mary Jo Lynch and Howard D. White) plus the advice of the principal authors of the Sections (Tim Sineath, Jerry D. Saye, Dan Barron, Fred Roper and Jana Varlejs) continues to provide valuable assistance to the editors. We are grateful to them. We welcome additional suggestions from deans and directors, researchers, the ALISE Board, and others who make use of the Report.
Kathy Wisser, doctoral student and graduate assistant for the project, provided patient, persistent and intelligent help throughout the preparation of this year's Report and Database.