Department of Library and Information Science
We are an international centre of excellence, committed to the development of library & information science (LIS) as an academic discipline and vocational practice.
Library & Information Science is concerned with the processes and activities of keeping the record of humankind.
Our activities build on a longstanding tradition of excellence in teaching and research within the field of library & information science. This has its origins in the work of Jason Farradane who established the first Centre for Information Science at City in 1961.
Our research examines the historical and contemporary processes of documentation, so that we can understand the factors shaping our evolving information society. We embrace and encourage a symbiotic exchange of knowledge between research and practice. Our work explores and extends the boundaries of library and information science, demonstrating its relevance to new audiences, and to those outside the academy.
The Library School welcomes students from all backgrounds, who have an interest in entering, or progressing within, the information professions. Our teaching emphasises both traditional and digital media, engagement with digital scholarship, and outreach.
We benefit enormously from our London location, with ready access to a wealth of collections, exhibitions and colleagues, which inspires innovation and creative thinking.
Our graduates have a great record of successful careers. The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014/15 found that 91.7% of our MSc Information Science and 88.3% of our MSc Library Science students were in employment or further study six months after completing their course. Take a closer look at the destinations of graduates from the Department of Library and Information Science.
Vision and Strategy 2018-2026
We aim to be an internationally leading centre for imaginative research, scholarship and teaching in library and information science, providing professionally orientated education and impactful research based on academic excellence, and taking full advantage of our Central London location
This aligns with the University's 2026 vision (Vision and Strategy 2026): to be a leading global university committed to academic excellence, focused on business and professions and located in the heart of London
CityLIS functions through its two formal components, the Library School and the Research Centre for Information Science (CIS). We emphasise the synergy of research, scholarship, teaching, and public engagement, so that activities will often overlap.
CityLIS necessarily operates as a small and niche department, aligning our strategy with the four strategic priorities of the University's Vision and Strategy 2026 document:
maintain quality trajectory ('better')
CityLIS will continue to improve research quality, student experience, and vocational relevance:
- by maintaining a synergy between research, scholarship and teaching
- in teaching, focusing on our established PG courses and on develop CPD options
- in research and scholarship, continually develop and refocus the LIS disciplines, particularly through cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary work
achieve growth ('bigger')
Although we remain a relatively small department, CityLIS aims for careful, sustainable growth by:
- sustainably increasing the numbers of a small core academic team
- supplementing the core team with an increasing number of visiting and guest lecturers, research fellows, and PhD students who teach
- seeking funding for research and student support, but encouraging self-funding PhD and MSc students, and supporting excellence in the individual research of staff and fellows
- expanding recruitment to our Masters courses by encouraging applications from those with educational and occupational backgrounds not commonly associated with entry into the library/information professions
leverage partnership working
Because of our small size and inter- and multi-disciplinary nature, CityLIS relies on partnership working for both research and teaching: within London, within the UK and internationally. We will:
- seek collaboration inside the university, particularly by cross-School working
- seek collaboration outside the university: by partnerships with other London academic institutions, especially within the University of London, particularly for module sharing; with other UK LIS departments; and internationally
- work closely with professional bodies, especially our accrediting body CILIP, with City Livery Companies, especially the Stationers’ Company, and with recruitment agencies specialising in the LIS sector
living the values
Alongside our focus on academic excellence, professional relevance and societal impact, CityLIS emphasises personal and departmental values. We aim to be:
- ethical in all our activities
- open and transparent in our dealings within and beyond the department
- inclusive in recruitment of staff, students and collaborators; we will not seek to act as 'professional gatekeepers' in student recruitment, but will welcome all with an interest in studying our discipline.
- CityLIS will emphasise open practice and communication to as wide an audience as possible. This will be achieved by means including: inviting anyone interested to our 'after hours' seminars, and to 'taster' lectures; extensive use of social media, particularly Twitter and blogs; use of open repositories, particularly City Research Online and the Humanities Commons, to make the outputs of staff and students, including taught Masters students, widely available; use of news media, as well as professional media and academic outlets. We aim to operate 'onlife', with a seamless mix of analogue and digital, physical and virtual.
- Teaching will be focused on our two complementary Masters courses, in Information Science and in Library Science, though we will seek opportunities to contribute to other courses, and to make our teaching activities and materials available for CPD purposes.
- Research will be focused in our three broad project areas: Philosophy and Ethics of Information; Documents and Documentation; and Information Literacies, Behaviour and Understanding.
- Scholarship will be reflected by CityLIS staff authoring the leading textbooks of the discipline, editing major journals and book series, and taking the lead in new forms of open scholarship for the subject.
- CityLIS activities will align where possible with related national, European and international initiatives and priorities.
We will measure the success of our strategy by six principle metrics:
- position in the QS worldwide university rankings, with a current aim of being the top 40 universities worldwide in the 'Library and Information Management' category
- AQRM and REF scores [with a current aim of a mean AQRM of over 3.5 (scale 1-4) for CityLIS staff]
- recruitment to Masters courses [with a current, School derived target (19/20) of 35 students entering each year]
- teaching quality metrics [with a current aim of a mean satisfaction score of over 4 (scale 1-5) for all CityLIS teaching activity]
- continued accreditation of our courses by CILIP, and validation by the University's PPR
- esteem factors for CityLIS staff, including panel and committee membership, authorship and editorship, publication metrics, participation in joint initiatives, and keynote presentations.
This document will be reviewed annually.
Latest Edition: February 2019
Our Library School offers postgraduate courses in Library Science and Information Science. The courses are ideal for anyone wishing to progress their career in library or information work, and for those interested in updating their knowledge and experience of modern information communication.
Both courses are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) as a qualification for entry into the profession.
The criteria for accreditation of all UK LIS programmes can be found in CILIP’s Professional Knowledge Skills Base scheme (PKSB).
We also offer an MPhil/PhD programme.
For all administrative enquiries please contact:
t: +44 (0)20 7040 3630
For academic enquiries please contact Dr Lyn Robinson:
The Centre for Information Science provides a focus for research and scholarship within the field of library and information science.
Research in library and information science at City, University of London has been given the highest rating in the Higher Education Funding Council's research assessment exercises since 1996, with 77% of our work rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the most recent REF2104.
All of our staff members are research active, and engaged with open practice and digital scholarship. We have a vibrant cohort of research students, spanning our broad range of interests including history and philosophy of LIS, document theory, digital and information ethics, information management, knowledge organisation, the information society, information behaviour, impact and evaluation.
This page shows key dates for the 18/19 academic year, in the Department of Library & Information Science, CityLIS.
It also lists the CityLIS ‘AfterHours’ Research Seminar series. These events are open to all, and free to attend. AfterHours events normally run from around 17.00 – 18.30, on Mondays, during term time.
Academic Term Dates can be confirmed via the main City University site