History of SIM

The early days: the School of Library Service

The School of Information Management (SIM) was created as the School of Library Service (SLS) in 1969. The first MLS (Master of Library Service) degree was awarded at Dalhousie University's May 1971 Convocation.

The School was located in the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), but in July 1975 it became affiliated with the newly formed Faculty of Administrative Studies, along with the Schools of Social Work, Business Administration and Public Administration. The School of Social Work withdrew from the Faculty in 1984, at which time it became the Faculty of Management Studies, later the Faculty of Management. The School for Resource and Environmental Studies joined the Faculty in 1989. No other university in North America offers a similar interdisciplinary environment for education and research in Library and Information Science.

Renamed: the School of Library and Information Studies

From 1979 to 1985 the School undertook a complete revision of its curriculum, which was then implemented over two academic years from fall 1985 to winter 1987. At the end of the revision process the name of the school and the degree offered were changed to reflect the new curriculum with its integration of librarianship and information studies. The school became the School of Library and Information Studies, and the first Master of Library and Information Studies degrees were awarded in May 1987.

Reinvented: the School of Information Management

In 2001, the school entered the planning process for a new Faculty of Management Building and an increased integration and collaboration amongst the four schools. In 2004, School Council began its deliberation of a name change for the school to better reflect its broad mandate and its Faculty setting. In 2005, School Council voted unanimously to request a name change to the School of Information Management. Dalhousie University Senate approved the name change, effective May 9, 2005.

New program: Master of Information Management

In 2008, the School launched the Master of Information Management (MIM) Program, a cost-recovery, limited-enrolment program for mid-career professionals with at least five years’ experience in the private or public sectors. This part-time program is taught by distance, with onsite intensives, and offers interim credentials en route to graduation: Certificate in IM and Graduate Diploma in IM (after three and six courses, respectively). The first MIM degrees were awarded at the 2011 Fall Convocation.

Continuing to Evolve: MLIS becomes MI - Master of Information

In 2019, after comprehensive deliberation, SIM changed the name of our Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) to Master of Information (MI). This change was motivated to reflect more accurately the content of the program, our program goals, and to be more inclusive of all the career options possible through our degree. This new name reflects the transitions within the profession, the new emerging workplace opportunities centered around digital transformation, data, community engagement and human centred design, and mirrors changes in similar programs across North American. The MI will provide a broad umbrella under which the program can grow in multiple directions, continuing to support diverse professional communities including librarians, archivists, information managers, information architects, data managers and user design experts. Our degree, initially as an MLS, then MLIS and now MI has been continuously accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since 1971.