A Brand New School for Information Management

by Robert Sanders

The Board of Regents May 19 approved replacing UC Berkeley's School of Library and Information Studies with a new School of Information Management and Systems.

The pioneering new school reflects the growing importance of information--especially electronic information--in today's society and the new tools and technologies available to manage it. Even the U.S. Library of Congress is going online with its collections, while the federal government is funding research to create digital libraries for the 21st century.

In creating the new school, Berke

ley moves to the forefront of an emerging field, a field dealing with how best to use these new information technologies while understanding their social impacts. The planning group for the new professional school emphasized the need "to filter what is useful out of the quantity of information available and to select, evaluate, describe, store, retrieve, manipulate and present information in all its forms: text, still and moving images, sound and numeric data."

"We in the School of Library and Information Studies are very pleased with this development," said Acting Dean Nancy Van House. "This culminates five years of thinking about how Berkeley can best address the needs of this emerging field."

The search for a new dean is now underway.


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