History of the iSchools

Information Schools (“iSchools”) address the relationship between information, technology, and people. This is characterized by a commitment to learning and understanding the role of information in human endeavors. The iSchools take it as given that expertise in all forms of information is required for progress in science, business, education, and culture. This expertise must include understanding of the uses and users of information, as well as information technologies and their applications.

As of 2009, twenty-four iSchools in the U.S. and Canada have joined the “iCaucus,” a forum in which iSchools’ deans collaborate to further their collective interests through focused events such as the “iConference” and resources of broader interest such as this Web site.

Written by Ronald L. Larsen, Dean, School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh (2008).

Also published in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences.

The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Toni Carbo and Jonathan Grudin in reconstructing the historical timeline for the iSchools and of Maeve Reilly for improving the readability of this article.