History

In 1928, the first Library Science course was taught at San José State University. Three decades later, in 1954, the School of Information first started offering a graduate degree in Library Science.

The degree program has been continuously accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1969, and was accorded its most recent accreditation update in 2007. In 1994, the Master of Library Science degree name was changed to a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). You can learn more about our school’s ALA accreditation by browsing reports from our most recent re-accreditation process.

In 2008, the school introduced a second graduate degree, the Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA), and in 2012, the school started offering a Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science program.

The school is a recognized leader in online education. Off-site courses were first offered in 1957, and closed circuit television was used to link distance learning students to our faculty starting in 1958. In 1995, we started offering two-way interactive video courses, and in 2001, we transitioned to web-based courses to meet the needs of our growing number of distance learning students. In 2009, the SJSU information school transitioned to a fully online delivery model, and all courses are now delivered through web-based, online learning.

Read about our school’s mission, vision, and values by visiting this web page.

The SJSU School of Information offers a rich history of innovation and a steadfast commitment to preparing our students for success in a rapidly changing profession. Key milestones in our school’s history include:

  • 1928:  First Library Science courses taught at San José State University.
  • 1954:  SJSU started offering a graduate degree in Library Science.
  • 1969:  Library Science graduate degree accredited by the American Library Association.
  • 1985:  Degree name changed to Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS).
  • 2008:  First doctoral cohort admitted to the San José Gateway PhD program.
  • 2009:  All MLIS courses delivered through online learning.
  • 2011:  First cohort of students graduated from the Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) program.
  • 2012First individuals earned their doctorates through the San José Gateway PhD program.

For an expanded timeline detailing the history of the San José State University School of Information, visit our school’s Through the Decades timeline.

Read all about the history of the School of Information at San José State University in the book, "A Pioneering and Independent Spirit," written by iSchool faculty member Debra Hansen.

The SJSU School of Information has a rich history of innovation.