School of Information and Library Studies Dean's records
Scope and Contents
Collected by Dean George Bobinski, the records reflect the administrative history of the School of Information and Library Studies. Records include committee and task force files, establishment of SILS and its degree programs, planning files, department and student newsletters, publicity clippings, reports, correspondence, faculty memoranda, SILS events and activities, subject files, sound recordings, video recordings, photographs, and alumni association records.
- Majority of material found within 1967-1995
Language of Materials
Collection material in English.
Terms of Access
School of Information and Library Studies Dean's records, 1965-2002, are open for research.
Access to portions of boxes 2 and 11 is restricted.
Copyright is held by the State University of New York at Buffalo, University Archives. Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.
Buffalo's first library studies program started in 1919, when university was still the private University of Buffalo. Under the leadership of Dr. Augustus Hunt Shearer the program, which offered a library science certificate and eventually a bachelor in library science, supported and aided the development of libraries in Western New York. In the early 1940's, Dr. Shearer's health began to fail and a closer examination of the program raised several concerns, including the lack of accreditation from the American Library Association (ALA). The program was phased out and eventually closed in 1945.
The University of Buffalo joined with the State University of New York (SUNY) to become the University at Buffalo (UB) in 1962. Shortly after, in 1965, SUNY began exploring the establishment of a library science program at Buffalo. UB President Clifford Furnas welcomed the idea and created an ad hoc committee to organize the new school.
The School of Information and Libraries Studies (SILS) began offering classes in the fall of 1966 as part of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Dr. Vincent Giuliano, a computer expert and mathematician, was hired as dean in 1967. SILS had a rocky beginning, with Dr. Giuliano's resignation as dean in 1969 and lack of resources for the school.
In 1970, the students revolted at SILS' status and undetermined future. By means of response, a search committee for a new dean was quickly established and an offer of deanship was extended to Dr. George Bobinski. With construction of the new north campus in Amherst in the 1970's, SILS moved from Hayes Hall on South Campus into Bell Hall. In collaboration with the Higher Education Department of the Faculty of Educational Studies, SILS began to offer a Ph.D. in Higher Education in 1977. In 1979, a dual master's in music librarianship was established.
The 1980's was a period of growth for SILS. In 1982, the MLS program at SUNY Geneseo was ended. This affected SILS in a number of ways: Geneseo had a Rochester extension program that SILS resumed management of, several thousand monographs and serials of the Geneseo library were transferred to Lockwood Memorial Library, and SILS had an influx of new students. SILS moved to the third floor of Baldy Hall because of the additional facility needs. SILS faculty began work on a proposal for a library and information studies Ph.D. program, which was approved by SUNY and sent to the State Education Department.
Growth surged and continued into the early-mid 1990's. SILS was on the leading edge of technology and Dr. Neil Yerkey was instrumental in the establishment of Buffalo Free Net, a community information portal. An exchange program with the Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland took place over three years and brought international attention to SILS. In 1995, SILS established the Center for Applied Research in Library and Information Science, a research institute that was to be staffed with Doctoral candidates and conduct empirical studies for libraries and library networks. In 1997, Dr. John Ellison began offering online classes and developed them further, becoming a national expert on LIS distance education.
The 1990's also brought the end of SILS. SILS faculty began dialogues with the Department of Communications in the late 1990's and merged in 1999 to become the School of Information Studies. This new school was to integrate library and information studies, communication, and computer science. With Dr. Bobinski's announcement that he would step down as dean to resume full-time teaching, the new school was without a dean. After an unsuccessful search, Dr. Thomas Jacobson, chair of the communications department agreed to serve as acting dean.
The School of Information Studies changes its name in 2001 to the School of Informatics and Dr. David Penniman was appointed dean. Unfortunately, the School of Informatics was unable to realize its goal and never persuaded the Computer Science department to join. Provost Satish Tripathi dissolved the School of Informatics in 2006 and formed the Department of Library and Information Studies (DLIS) within the Graduate School of Education.
For a more detailed history of SILS, please see George Bobinski's A History of the School of Information and Library Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo (1966-1999) in >IV. Subject files.
- Library studies begins at the University of Buffalo
- Library studies program ends
- School of Information and Library Studies is established within the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences
- Dr. Vincent Giuliano appointed as Dean
- Dr. Vincent Giuliano resigns as Dean
- Students revolt at lack of dean and program development
- Professor Dr. Edward O'Neill is appointed Acting Dean
- Dr. George Bobinski is appointed Dean
- American Library Association accredits SILS
- SILS moves to Bell Hall on the new north campus
- SILS separates from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences to become its own autonomous school
- American Library Association reaccredits SILS, under new standards
- Ph.D. in Higher Education is started with cooperation with the Higher Education Department
- Double master's program in music librarianship starts
- SILS awards its one-thousandth MLS degree
- SUNY Geneseo announces closing of its MLS program; SILS takes over its Rochester extension program
- SILS moves to third floor of Baldy Hall
- American Library Association reaccredits SILS
- American Library Association reaccredits SILS
- 25th Anniversary Capital Campaign
- Exchange program with Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland begins
- SILS awards its two-thousandth MLS degree
- Center for Applied Research in Library and Information Science is established with Dr. George D'Elia as its director
- SILS moves to fifth floor of Baldy Hall and gains instructional technology lab in basement of Baldy Hall
- US News and World Report ranks SILS as 18th in LIS programs
- Dr. John Ellison begins to offer online classes
- Ph.D. program is approved by New York State Education Department, but its establishment is delayed
- American Library Association reaccredits SILS
- Dean Bobinski announces his intentions take a sabbatical and return as teaching faculty
- SILS merges with the Department of Communications and forms the School of Information Studies with Dr. Thomas Jacobson serving as acting dean
- The School of Information Studies changes its name to the School of Informatics and appoints Dr. David Penniman as dean
- The School of Informatics is dissolved and the libraries studies program becomes the Department of Information and Library Studies within the Graduate School of Education
5.83 Linear Feet (14 manuscript boxes)
Collected by Dean George Bobinski, the records reflect the administrative history of the School of Information and Library Studies at the University at Buffalo.
This collection is arranged in 6 series: I. Administration, II. Correspondence, III. Events and activities, IV. Subject files, V. Audio/Visual, VI. Alumni Association.
The School of Information and Library Studies Dean's records, 1965-2002, were donated to the University Archives by George Bobinski in 2007. Additional materials were deposited by Mr. Bobinski in April 2009.
Accruals and Additions
Future accruals for Record Group 45, School of Information and Library Studies, will be found in Record Group 17, Graduate School of Education, due to the Schools re-allocation as a department within the Graduate School of Education.
Processed by Nathan Tallman, March 2009.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle White, January 2015.
- Administrative reports
- Annual reports
- Black-and-white negatives
- Black-and-white photographs
- Clippings files
- Deans (Education) -- Buffalo (N.Y.)
- Library education -- Buffalo (N.Y.)
- Library schools -- Buffalo (N.Y.)
- Library science
- Library science teachers -- Buffalo (N.Y.)
- Office files
- Sound recordings
- State University of New York at Buffalo -- Archives
- State University of New York at Buffalo. Alumni Association
- State University of New York at Buffalo. Department of Library and Information Studies
- State University of New York at Buffalo. School of Information and Library Studies
- State University of New York at Buffalo. School of Information and Library Studies -- Faculty
- Video recordings
- Bobinski, George S. (George Sylvan) (Contributor, Person)
- Giuliano, Vincent (Contributor, Person)
- State University of New York at Buffalo. Department of Library and Information Studies (Contributor, Organization)
- University Archives (Repository, Organization)
- Finding Aid for the School of Information and Library Studies Dean's records
- Finding aid prepared by Nathan Tallman.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note