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The iSchool at Drexel Celebrates National Library Week April 13-19

April 15, 2009

Laura Bush. Benjamin Franklin. Melvil Dewey. Beverly Cleary. J. Edgar Hoover. What connects these public and historic figures? Librarianship. This April, The iSchool at Drexel recognizes these and thousands of librarians across the country during National Library Week (4/13-4/19). National Library Week was launched in 1958 by the American Library Association (ALA), and celebrates the contributions of our nation’s librarians in both traditional and non-traditional library settings.

In keeping with the 2009 National Library Week theme, Worlds Connect @ Your Library, the iSchool at Drexel will host events touching on a variety of interests and issues within librarianship, including panel discussions, resume workshops, a networking happy hour, and a trip to Washington, D.C. The iSchool at Drexel’s Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MS) was the second program of its kind in America, and is the nation’s oldest continually running library science program. iSchool graduates work around the world, at such establishments as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Cairo American College, Cairo, Egypt, The Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, Harvard University Law School Library, The American Philosophical Society, Baltimore City Public Schools, QVC Television Network’s Information Services Department, and The J. Paul Getty Trust Getty Research Institute. The iSchool’s MS is ranked 11th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, with specialties in Information Systems and Digital Librarianship ranking fifth and sixth respectively. It is one of 62 ALA Accredited library programs nationally.

“At the iSchool, we have developed our program to train students for fields beyond traditional librarianship,” said Dean David E. Fenske. “Students graduate prepared for careers as information specialists, working in public libraries, corporate libraries, academic libraries, museums and Web-based businesses. They manage information, printed and electronic, in a library or online.”

The demand for those holding a Master of Science in Library and Information Science continues to grow. According to the American Library Association, there are an estimated 123,129 libraries in the United States, a number which includes public libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, special libraries (such as law, medical and religions libraries) and armed forces libraries. Additionally, corporations, law firms and government entities employ librarians to manage information, documents, archival materials, and electronic resources. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that nearly 60 percent of librarians are projected to reach the retirement age of 65 by 2016, providing additional employment opportunities for future librarians.

“Librarianship has been an evolutionary field,” said Fenske. “Demand for information specialists continues because we as people continue to produce new information. While the format may change, with the Internet replacing physical documents in some cases, the need for someone to manage information remains the same.”

Founded in 1892, The iSchool at Drexel educates students in information science and technology at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels and features Drexel University’s Cooperative Education program. The College’s mission is empowering society by uniting people, technology, and knowledge through innovative education and research. The iSchool at Drexel is a founding member of the iSchools Caucus of 21 prominent colleges dedicated to immersing students in the iField — connecting people, information and technology. For more information visit www.ischool.drexel.edu

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News Media Contacts:

Susan Haine, The iSchool at Drexel, 215-895-6271 or susan.e.haine@drexel.edu

Niki Gianakaris, Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

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