LIS Forward

Schools of Library and Information Science (LIS) were foundational in launching the iSchool movement. Over the past 20 years, the movement and many individual schools have grown to become increasingly multidisciplinary, as concepts, problems, and opportunities related to information, people, and technology prevailed across disciplines. LIS is now one of many fields represented by iSchool faculty and programs, and LIS itself has become more interdisciplinary in its orientation to research and education. Against this backdrop of evolution and change, the LIS Forward initiative aims to chart future positioning and priorities for LIS research and education within the broader mission of iSchools. Launched by the University of Washington in collaboration with four other leading information schools, LIS Forward has initiated a national conversation among information schools, with the aim of extending engagement to key library stakeholders and the broader library profession.
The central question of LIS Forward is:
How can LIS thrive and grow in Information Schools and continue to lead the field and the future of libraries?
Within this question, LIS Forward asks:
How can iSchools leverage their broad spectrum of expertise to address critical information challenges of our time while also advancing the profession of librarianship?
How can iSchools attract and incentivize faculty to engage in library-related research?
What types of careers are iSchools best positioned to prepare students for within libraries and beyond?

LIS Forward was launched in September of 2021 by the iSchool at the University of Washington, working together with a planning committee of senior and junior faculty from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Maryland, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Austin. Carole Palmer and Chris Coward are serving as the co-chairs during the incubation phase of the initiative. Activities to date include: conducting an interactive session at iConference 2022, gathering input on scope and priorities from faculty in our schools, and planning a summit in November 2022 to convene LIS faculty from an expanded group of information schools.
The initial output of LIS Forward will be a white paper that serves as a foundation for broadening and enriching the conversation within iSchools and the library field.

LIS Forward founding group members:
Chris Coward and Carole Palmer, co-chairs
University of Washington
Amelia Acker, University of Texas at Austin
Cindy Aden, University of Washington
Maria Bonn, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Emily Knox, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
R. David Lankes, University of Texas at Austin
Michelle Martin, University of Washington
Marijel Melo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ana Ndumu, University of Maryland
Brian Sturm, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Mega Subramaniam, University of Maryland

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People & Organizations

  • Project Team
  • Participants
  • Maria Bonn, University of Illinois, School of Information Sciences
  • Emily Knox, University of Illinois, School of Information Sciences
  • Mega Subramaniam, University of Maryland, College of Information Studies
  • Ana Ndumu, University of Maryland, College of Information Studies
  • David Lankes, University of Texas, School of Information
  • Amelia Acker, University of Texas, School of Information
  • Maggie Melo, University of North Carolina, School of Information and Library Science
  • Brian Sturm, University of North Carolina, School of Information and Library Science
  • Cindy Aden, University of Washington, Information School
  • Chris Coward, University of Washington, Information School
  • Michelle Martin, University of Washington, Information School
  • Carole Palmer, University of Washington, Information School