The U.P. School of Library and Information Studies (UPSLIS) is the oldest library school in the Philippines. In 1914, the first courses in Library Science were offered at the College of Liberal Arts of the University of the Philippines. This course was elevated to university level in 1916 when the four-year curriculum was instituted to prepare students for professional work in libraries and for teaching Library Science courses. The Institute of Library Science was founded in 1961 and later became the Institute of Library and Information Science on August 29, 2002, upon the approval of the Board of Regents. The change in name reflected the change in curriculum when the Institute shifted from the purely traditional forms of librarianship to information technology assisted librarianship. On March 29, 2007, the Board of Regents approved its second change of name to School of Library and Information Studies in recognition of its dynamic growth both in the number of enrollees and in the development of its curricular offerings.
The U.P. School of Library and Information Studies is the oldest library school in the country. It is the premier institution for higher education in library and information science not only in the country, but also in the region. Thus in accordance with this vision, the SLIS consistently produces top quality librarians and information professionals who are able to meet the pressing manpower needs brought about by new information systems and technology. Establishing its graduate program in 1962, the SLIS continues to improve its academic programs by covering all areas of research and information science, in addition to traditional library science courses which are also now taught using new techniques. Courses in information theory, information storage and retrieval, information management and analysis, information dissemination, electronic publishing, and intellectual property rights are among the subjects LIS students are made familiar with in the various subjects that they are required to take.
Among the highlights of its achievements are the following:
1. SLIS is the only library school in the country with a full-time faculty complement, supported by part-time lecturers who are acknowledged experts in their fields.
2. From 1992 up to the present, SLIS graduates consistently garner majority of the top ten places in the licensure examination for librarians given by the PRC as mandated first, by R.A. 6966 and later, by R.A. 9246 also known as the “Philippine Librarianship Act of 2003″. SLIS graduates get 85-100% passing rate in the licensure examinations. Except for about 3 or 4 “lean” years, the passing rate has been 100%.
3. SLIS served as host institution to the Post-Graduate Training Course for Science Information Specialists in Southeast Asia from 1978 to 1984, a UNESCO project.
4. SLIS is the only library school that publishes a journal in library and information science in the Philippines, the Journal of Philippine Librarianship. Beginning with its 2007 issue, the Journal is published online under the auspices of the UP Diliman Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development (http:/journal.upd.edu.ph). It also periodically publishes an information sheet, the SLIS Newletter. The SLIS Library regularly publishes tools and guides to the SLIS Library collection. Among these are CARLIS (Current Awareness Service for Librarians and Information Scientists and Library Update).
5. The UP SLIS has its own website at http://upslis.info.
REINVENTING LIS EDUCATION
The SLIS has reinvented itself to be more attuned to the demands of the times by upgrading its programs and curriculum to be information technology-oriented starting school-year (SY) 1995-96. As a result, there was a marked increase in enrollment both in the BLIS and MLIS degree programs.
In a continued quest to stay premier in its field, the School constantly reviews its programs. The last major revisions to its Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLIS) curriculum was approved in the 77th meeting of the UP Diliman University Council on April 16, 2002. This took effect in the first semester of SY 2002-23. This further increased enrollment to a new high of 550 students in the first semester of SY 2004-05, a number that has remained, more or less, constant. [In 2006 up to the present, the student population is between 350-400 students. The reduction may be attributed to the adoption of more stringent policies in admission and retention.]
The BLIS and MLIS curricula are continuously updated and improvement in content of courses are being made to sustain quality and premiership in library and information science education in the country.
The SLIS holds the distinction of being the only library and information science school in the country equipped with computer laboratories. The computer laboratory and an IT Applications classroom have about 25 and 15 computers, respectively, for use in classes in information systems applications for libraries, collection development, cataloging and classification, indexing and abstracting, reference and information services, media technologies, and literature for children and young adults. Classrooms are also equipped with multi-media projectors for class presentations, a must for the discipline.
The SLIS has its own library that provides students, faculty, and practicing librarians with materials for research and training. It has a collection of over 6000 books and 376 serial titles. It also possesses a good collection of audiovisual materials such as films, filmstrips on cassettes, slides, filmstrips, maps, cassette tapes, compact disks, sound recordings, VHS tapes, diskettes, and microforms.
The SLIS occupies the south wing of the 3rd floor of Gonzales Hall (Main Library building). Sad to say, its present quarters have become really inadequate for its present and still growing needs (as President Roman herself has commented, the SLIS is bursting at the seams): Each semester, we find it difficult to assign classrooms to the present population of students. The SLIS library also needs to expand and is overcrowded as it is. The courses on Archives and Records Management need a laboratory where students can really learn the techniques of conservation and preservation of records and archival materials. The SLIS also needs a bigger conference room for the holding of various student and faculty activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops, that it regularly holds for professional development. The UP SLIS faculty, students and alumni are working together towards this end: that we may soon have a building of our own.