Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "Are you LS or IS?": A Study of SILS Students' Perceptions of Programs

Increasing numbers of American library science schools have incorporated information science into their curricula during the past 40 years. This shift has sparked debate among scholars who call this marriage of the two programs an "identity crisis" in LIS education, while little research has studied perceptions of the two fields and how they relate to each other. This study used an online survey to explore the perceptions of master's students at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to determine (1) how LIS students perceive the fields of information science and library science, and (2) their perceptions of how information science differs from library science. Survey results indicate that students perceive differences in the job activities and social status of librarians and information scientists, understand the theoretical connection between the fields, and consider the distinction important. This research will help the school in developing curricula and making program decisions, and it will also help us understand how information science is understood by the next generation of information professionals.