The Accreditation Process



At the conclusion of the first round of visitations under the 1972 Standards for Accreditation of the American Library Association, the Board of Directors of the Association of American Library Schools appointed a Task Force on Accreditation Issues “to consider all aspects of accreditation, including the possibility of extending accreditation to programs other than those for the first professional degree.” The recommendations in this position paper are based on these efforts reported by Edward Holley and Muriel Howick in “The Accreditation Process: What the Task Force Found,” Journal of Education for Librarianship, 18:83-92 (Fall, 1977) and the result of the ALA Committee on Accreditation study reported by Russell E. Bidlack in “Schools Do the Judging: Evaluating the Accreditation Committee,” American Libraries, 8:442-3 (September, 1977).



II.              Position


A.     The American Library Association should continue to be the accrediting agency for library and information science education programs.

B.     Although there has been some concern that the accreditation standards promulgated by the American Library Association do not emphasize quality enough, the general view is that they are an adequate basis for accrediting the master’s level programs.

C.     Accreditation should continue to focus on the master’s degree as the basic degree for the beginning professional.

D.    The process of evaluation should be a broad one, including individuals with expertise beyond traditional librarianship.

E.     The relationship between accreditation and certification needs further study as does the relationship between the library and information science education community and the world of practice.


F.     In developing non-traditional and off-campus programs the quality of such programs should be no less than that of regular library and information science education programs.


G.    Although confidentiality of some parts of the accreditation process is essential, the major documents (such as the Self Study and the COA final report) should be shared with institutional officers, students, and alumni.


Position Paper Submitted to the Board of Directors of the Association of American Library Schools by the Task Force on Accreditation Issues – October, 1978. Sister Lauretta McCusker (Rosary), Chairperson; Pauline Atherton (Syracuse); Edward G. Holley (North Carolina); Rose Mary Magrill (Michigan); Gerald Prodrick (Western Ontario); and Wesley Simonton (Minnesota).


(Adopted January 1979)


Revised and reaffirmed October 14, 1990




ALISE Ethics Guidelines Statement