Learn about our school’s milestones through time.

School of Information timeline

1961: School of Librarianship formed

In response to a growing need for professional librarians in Western Canada, a School of Librarianship was established at the University of British Columbia in 1961 as a professional school within the Faculty of Arts and Science. The school graduated its first class of Bachelor of Library Science in May 1962.

1962: American Library Association Accreditation

The one-year bachelor’s program was accredited in February 1963 by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association (ALA).

1971: Development of a two-year Master of Library Science program

To incorporate new technologies into the program of studies and prepare students better for careers as information specialists, the school replaced the one-year bachelor’s degree program with a two-year Master of Library Science degree. This program was re-accredited in 1976, 1985 and 1992 under the 1972 standards of the ALA. In 1998 and again in 2007, the program was re-accredited for the full seven-year period under the 1992 standards of the ALA.

1981: Archival studies program develops

In conjunction with the Department of History, the school inaugurated a two-year program leading to a Master of Archival Studies (MAS), the first graduate program in archival studies in North America.

1984: The School of Library, Archival and Information Studies

The school’s name was changed to the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies to better recognize the programs offered by the school.

1990: ALA Accreditation

UBC’s Faculty of Graduate Studies re-named and revised the degree programs. In 1995, the school graduated the first students to receive the newly re-named Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree.

1998: Development of additional specializations and degrees

The school initiated a joint MAS/MLIS program, a First Nations concentration in the MLIS and MAS programs, and part-time studies in the MLIS program.

1999: Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program

The newly formed program enrolled its first students in 1999.

2001: 40th-anniversary book

As part of the celebrations, the school, created a special book on its history, written by Maurizio Dattilo and then faculty member Judith Saltman. Forty Years of Library Education: The School of Library, Archival & Information Studies, The University of British Columbia — 1961-2001

2013: PhD program

The school developed a PhD in library, archival and information studies. Graduates of the school’s doctoral program are now teaching and conducting research in universities and other institutions in Canada and the US, Korea, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

2014: Development of Bachelor of Media Studies program

The school became a partner in the newly developed Bachelor of Media Studies program.

2020: The School of Information

The school’s name was changed to the School of Information in response to the evolution of the information professions and changes within the disciplinary areas of library, archival and information studies.

2021: Minor in informatics

The school launched a new interdisciplinary minor in informatics to provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to study the field of information and understand how data and technology are reshaping our world.

Alumni survey

Graduates of the professional programs at UBC iSchool (Master of Archival Studies, Master of Library and Information Studies, and the Dual Master of Archival Studies and Library and Information Studies) find work in various locations and institutions. Our alumni hold positions with various titles, including knowledge manager, digital asset coordinator, faculty liaison librarian and senior archivist, among many more. They work at all levels of government, academic institutions, both the private and the public sector, in non-profit organizations and corporations.

To better understand the trends and challenges for our graduates in obtaining employment as professionals, UBC iSchool conducts an annual survey of graduates from its three professional programs (MAS, MLIS, and MAS/LIS). This allows us to identify trends in employment, as well as benefit from the views of our graduates a year later.

Key findings from 2022 results

of graduates are currently employed


of these graduates are employed in a position related to their iSchool degree


were employed within six months of graduation*


completed co-op work placements as part of their studies

* This number goes to 73.5% when looking at the combined data from 2016-2020.

About the report

Graduates are surveyed approximately one year after graduation, and each cohort is surveyed only once. The survey is confidential, and some data and responses may be edited to ensure confidentiality.

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