When the information college deans from Drexel University, Syracuse University, Rutgers University and the University of Pittsburgh first met in 1988 about forming what would become the iSchools Caucus, the sudden increase in data that accompanied the computer age was still on the horizon. The PC revolution and a user-friendly Internet were not yet a reality, but information systems and computers were becoming an increasingly independent and important part of information science.
Seventeen years later, the original four colleges and 13 additional information schools formally voted to approve the iSchools Charter, all joining the cooperative effort to advance and understand the rapidly changing field. The flood of digital data in the 1990's validated the mission of iSchools Caucus (today comprised of 29 members) and reintroduced the importance of information management to the public eye.
The iSchools—made up of 120 institutions worldwide—have joined together to build awareness of, support for and involvement with the field among key constituencies, principally the media, business community, those who fund research, student prospects and users of information. The mission of the iSchools Caucus is to maximize the visibility and influence of its member schools,
and their interdisciplinary approaches to harnessing the power of information and technology, and maximizing the potential of humans, and envisions a future in which the iSchool Movement has spread around the world, and the information field is widely recognized for creating innovative systems and designing information solutions that benefit individuals, organizations, and society. The iSchools organization also hosts the annual iConference, the premier, international conference for information scholars and professionals.
In March 2016, Drexel University hosted more than 460 attendees at the 11th iConference in Philadelphia. The conference's theme of “Partnership in Society” examined the integral roles that information science and the contemporary iSchool movement play in addressing information challenges that permeate the fabric of society.
For more information on the iSchools organization, please visit ischools.org.