SLIS Mission, Values, Educational Goals

ALA seal of accreditation

Mission Statement:  The mission of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) is to prepare qualified individuals for professional roles in libraries, archives, and other information environments with appropriate knowledge and skills to serve the information needs of their communities. 

SLIS has been ALA-accredited since 1980. At the last review by the ALA Committee on Accreditation (COA) in 2012, ALA Accreditation status was Continued and the next accreditation review by ALA COA is scheduled for spring 2019.


Values: The School of Library and Information Science is committed to:

  • Student-centered learning: We are committed to cultivating an active, student-centered learning community
  • Diversity: We recognize and value the diversity of modern society and support inclusiveness in learning.
  • Intellectual freedom: We embrace the ideals of intellectual and academic freedom and strive to nurture an open, respectful learning environment for the free exchange of ideas.
  • Service: Because we believe that it is a core of the profession, we support service at all levels and encourage ongoing professional development as a means of enhancing skills and knowledge.
  • Community: We believe in creating, fostering, and participating in learning and research communities that span borders on state, national, and international levels.
  • Research: We believe that research is an essential part of scholarship, not just for the creation of new knowledge but also for the support of teaching and learning and the sharing of new knowledge with multiple communities of interest.


Educational Goals: SLIS educational goals for MLIS students include:

Goal 1. Knowledge of and commitment to ethical practices

To foster and promote among master's degree candidates a knowledge of and commitment to ethical practices on the part of library and information professionals.

Goal 2. Professional practice and training experiences

To demonstrate knowledge of the basic tenets of reference through the location and evaluation of appropriate reference sources to meet the informational needs of their patrons and the basic tenets of cataloging through cataloging and classification exercises.

Goal 3. Knowledge of the LIS literature

To demonstrate knowledge of the body of literature related to the discipline of library and information science.

Goal 4. Engagement in research

To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scholarly LIS research and demonstrate the ability to identify and apply appropriate research methodology to specific problems in library and information science.

Goal 5. Technical competency

To develop an awareness of the use of technology in libraries and participate in technology applications to advance their skills and experiences.


We are an American Library Association accredited Master of Library and Information Science program; we are one of only about 60 such programs in North America and we are one of a few entirely online ALA programs in the country. Our 40 graduate credit hour program does not require physical residence in Mississippi, but each course does have required real-time sessions in virtual classrooms. Currently, students enrolled in Southern Mississippi online programs pay in-state tuition regardless of location. We offer courses in archives, cataloging, reference, collection development, management, research, digital libraries, as well as courses in Internet resources, computer applications, information ethics, multicultural resources, history of the book and more!  Read more on Accreditation.

The ALA-accredited master's degree is the professional degree in the field of library and information science; the coursework prepares students for diverse opportunities in this information age. If you are interested in either program email, or call 601-266-4228 for additional information.