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Newly Named KU Library and Learning Technologies Reflects new Technological Advances in Library Science

May 25, 2016

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Kutztown University has announced changes to its former Library Science Department in an effort to enhance long-term growth of the program.

The department's new name, Library and Learning Technologies, reflects exciting, new technological advances in the library field. The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) currently accredit the department's programs. In addition, the department is pursuing accreditation by the American Library Association (ALA), which falls in line with overall university initiatives.

The Library and Learning Technologies program is currently accepting student applications at the undergraduate and graduate levels.   In addition, the university is moving toward an increased online presence for delivery of the curriculum.

"We are committed to pursuing this opportunity," said Dr. Anne Zayaitz, KU's provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.  "We look forward to growing the program under a new name with curricular changes, and moving toward ALA accreditation. Committing to this direction supports workforce initiatives, as there are currently more opportunities in the field than applicants."

Currently, Kutztown University is the only school in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) that offers Pennsylvania Department of Education certification as a school library media specialist on the undergraduate level, and one of two schools in the system that offers a public library program. Additionally, Kutztown University offers a master's program in library science and one in instructional technology, with cross-listed course options. The Library and Learning Technologies program also offers a master's level school library certification.

KU's Library Science program has prepared skilled professional library information specialists since 1921, when the then Keystone State Normal School introduced an undergraduate degree (B.S.Ed.) in the field.  The master's program began at Kutztown State College in 1965 as an M.Ed.  Since 1972, the basic professional curriculum has led to the Master of Library Science degree (MLS). Students completing these programs were prepared as professional librarians to evaluate, select, collect, organize, store, retrieve and disseminate information. 

The current program options have been redesigned to include the traditional roles of librarianship, as well as emerging learning technologies. Additionally, the program balances theoretical foundation with practical implementation. Kutztown University anticipates the programs' redesign will attract students interested in pursuing school librarianship, public librarianship, and instructional technology coaching opportunities.