SILS at #2 in latest U.S. News & World Report rankings

March 30, 2021

The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) has again been recognized as one of the top schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. SILS tied for the #2 spot in the 2022 Best Graduate Schools rankings of library and information studies programs.

SILS ranked #1 for health librarianship and in the top 10 for all specialties, including archives and preservation, digital librarianship, information systems, school library media, and services for children and youth.

“Our high rankings overall and in the specialty areas really demonstrate that SILS is a great choice for graduate education, no matter what type of information professional you want to become,” said SILS Dean Gary Marchionini. “We consistently attract the best students in the country. Our faculty are shaping the future of information creation, use, access, and management with their research and outreach. And our alumni are invaluable ambassadors for the School, leading innovation and progress at libraries, archives, government organizations, and businesses around the world.”  

While SILS has long been ranked at or near the top by U.S. News and World Report, the School has enjoyed several high-profile successes since the last review of library and information science programs in 2017.

SILS has seen record growth in grants submitted and received, with faculty winning significant research support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS), among others. In 2019, SILS led a campus team that secured a $5 million gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and additional support from Luminate and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, to establish the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP). Earlier this year, SILS won another five-year contract from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue operating the scientific research library at the EPA Research Triangle Park campus.

SILS has welcomed five new tenure-track and two teaching assistant professors since 2016, including National Book Award finalist and 2020 MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Tressie McMillan Cottom. The recently recruited SILS faculty represent a wide range of expertise with research addressing topics such as data literacy for young people, machine learning applications for health care, inclusive library makerspace development, and search algorithm manipulation for political gains.

SILS faculty have served as editors of top journals, including the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) and The American Archivist, and as president of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Gary Marchionini, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor and Dean of SILS since 2010, was elected to the iSchools Board of Directors in 2018. 

One of the first library science schools in the nation, SILS welcomed its inaugural class of students 90 years ago, in 1931. The School currently offers two American Library Association (ALA) accredited degrees, the Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) and Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS), as well as a Professional Science Master’s in Digital Curation, undergraduate degree in information science, and PhD.

Photo of Manning Hall flanked by the UNC SILS logo and highlights of the U.S. News rankings.