College of Social Sciences
School of Communication and Information
Hamilton Library, Room 002
2550 McCarthy Mall
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7321


*Graduate Faculty

*R. Gazan, PhD (Program Director)— social aspects of information technology
*N. Asato, PhD—Asian studies librarianship and history
*M. Garud, MLIS—school librarianship, information literacy
*A. Wertheimer, PhD—history of information and archival administration

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

V. Harada, EdD (Emeritus)—information literacy instruction, models for professional development
T. Sutherland, PhD—digital cultures, critical race and digital media

Adjunct Faculty

T. Aragaki, MLISc—Assistant Archivist, ‘Ulu ‘Ulu, Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai‘i
S. Chen, MS/LIS—Librarian, Hamilton Library
C. Chernisky, MLISc—Librarian, University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu
N. Fujii-Babb, MLS—Librarian, Salt Lake/Moanalua Public Library, retired
L. Hajibayova, PhD—Associate Professor, Kent State University
V. Irvin, EdD—Associate Professor, East Carolina University
A. Jansen, PhD—State Archivist, Hawai‘i State Archives
M. Joyce, MLIS—Librarian, Hamilton Library
K. Long, MLISc—Librarian, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
A. Ota, MLISc, MEd—Librarian, Kapi‘olani Community College Library
J. Quirante, MLISc—Head Archivist, ‘Ulu ‘Ulu, Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai‘i
S. Robertson, MLISc—Assistant Professor/Outreach Librarian, Brigham Young University-Hawaii
K. Shim, MLISc—Librarian, Hamilton Library
G. Sinclair, MLIS—Librarian, Government Documents, Hamilton Library
T. Sutherland, PhD—Assistant Professor, University California, Los Angeles
D. Todd, MLIS—Staff Development Coordinator, Hawaii State Public Library System
J. West, MLIS—Librarian, Vermont Mutual Aid Society

The Academic Program

Founded in 1965, the Library and Information Science (LIS) Program prepares professionals for work in libraries, archives, and other types of information-handling agencies. It currently offers a master’s in library and information science (MLISc) and participates in an interdisciplinary doctoral program in Communication and Information Sciences. The LIS program is aware of the opportunities and the responsibilities inherent in its Pacific setting and the unique cultural amalgam of Hawai‘i. Its major goals are:

  1. To furnish students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are basic to professional competence and career-long professional growth in the field of library and information services;
  2. To expand the knowledge base of the profession through research; and
  3. To share its resources by extending services to the UH and its academic units and to the people of Hawai‘i and beyond.

Graduate Study

Master’s Degree

The MLISc degree program was first accredited by the American Library Association in 1967 and was reaccredited in 1974, 1980, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2009, and 2016. The curriculum is subject to continuous review and modification, and every effort is made in academic advising to ensure that students plan programs of study suited to their individual goals. Entering students are expected to be computer literate. Graduate standing is the normal prerequisite for all courses.

Degree Requirements

Of the 39 credits needed for the MLISc degree, 21 are core requirements. Students are required to take one course from a list of course options corresponding to each of the six LIS Program student learning outcomes (SLOs), totaling 18 credits:

SLO1 Services

  • LIS 601 Introduction to Reference and Information Services

SLO2 Professions

  • LIS 610 Foundations of the Information Professions
  • LIS 654 Records, Archives and Memory

SLO3 Resources

  • LIS 602 Resource Discovery
  • LIS 605 Metadata Creation for Information Organization
  • LIS 615 Collection Management
  • LIS 645 Asian Research Materials and Methods
  • LIS 659 Archival Access, Representation and Use

SLO4 Technologies

  • LIS 655 Digital Archives
  • LIS 656 Moving Image Archives
  • LIS 661 Informatics
  • LIS 665 Digital Instruction
  • LIS 672 Technology for Libraries and Information Centers

SLO5 Cultures

  • LIS 630 Community Engagement
  • LIS 631 Introduction to Hawai‘i and Pacific Librarianship
  • LIS 634 Multicultural Resources for Diverse User Groups
  • LIS 662 Asian Informatics

SLO6 Management

  • LIS 650 Management of Libraries and Information Centers
  • LIS 658 Archival and Special Collections Management

Students are also required to complete a 3-credit seminar sequence during their entering and exiting semesters:

  • FSS First Semester Seminar (0 credits; entering semester)
  • LIS 691 Masters Seminar I (3 credits; entering semester)

Plan A (Thesis)

The normal requirement for the MLISc degree under the thesis option is a minimum of 39 credit hours of approved graduate study. At least 27 credits must be taken in LIS courses or a combination of LIS and other approved courses. The student must also take 6 credit hours in LIS 700 Thesis Research and 3 credit hours in an approved research methods course, and 12 credits of approved electives.

To advance to candidacy and become eligible to enroll in LIS 700 Thesis Research, students must complete at least 15 credits of course work, and defend a thesis proposal in a private meeting with their thesis committee. While it is strongly suggested that all committee members physically attend the thesis proposal defense meeting, remote participation is permitted. Upon approval of the committee, students advance to candidacy, conduct their research, and present their results at a public defense.

Plan B (Non-thesis)

The normal requirement for the MLISc degree under the non-thesis option is a minimum of 39 credit hours of approved graduate study. At least 30 credits must be taken in LIS courses. Up to 9 credits may be taken in other schools or colleges when the courses are relevant to the individual student’s specialization and approved by the LIS program director and Graduate Division.

The maximum course load is 15 credit hours per term. Therefore, 39 credit hours would require at least two terms and a summer. A full load is a minimum of 8 credit hours per term. The program may be undertaken on a part-time basis but must be completed within five years (a two-year extension is allowed by Graduate Division for a total of seven years).

Students who were in MLISc-degree programs from other ALA-accredited library programs may, in special circumstances, transfer up to 19 credit hours toward their MLISc degree at UH Mānoa, provided the work to be credited has been completed within the time limit previously cited. Such requests must be included in the application.

Culminating Experience

All Plan B students are required to create and present a reflective portfolio consisting of artifacts and evidence from approved course assignments and other professional experiences, demonstrating mastery of the six program SLOs. The portfolio is introduced in the first semester as part of FSS First Semester Seminar, supported in coursework and regular advising sessions throughout the program, and compiled, presented and assessed in LIS 691 Masters Seminar, taken in the semester the student expects to graduate. All artifacts must be completed prior to enrolling in LIS 691 Masters Seminar.

Distance Education

The MLISc program uses different formats for course delivery. It offers a few courses each year online. Students on neighbor islands may also use Zoom to participate synchronously in select courses taught at UH Mānoa. In addition, several courses are offered asynchronously throughout the year.

Dual Master’s Degree Programs

Students may pursue the MLISc degree and a second master’s concurrently, cooperating with the following departments and fields of study: information and computer sciences (MS), history (MA), Pacific Islands studies (MA), American studies (MA), Asian studies (MA), learning design and technology (MEd), Hawaiian language (MA), Hawaiian studies (MA), and law (JD). For more information on these programs, contact the LIS program director or the other respective departments.

Doctoral Degree

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Degree Program

LIS participates in an interdisciplinary PhD program in Communication and Information Sciences (CIS) integrating computer science, communications, library and information science, and management information systems. Because of the broad knowledge base required to support the interdisciplinary approach, the program also draws on political science, economics, engineering, operations research, and behavioral sciences. This unique program is sponsored by four academic faculties: communications, information technology management, information and computer sciences, and library and information science.

For information on admission and requirements, refer to the “Communication and Information Sciences” in the Interdisciplinary Programs section.

School Library Media Specialist Licensure

The LIS program recommends graduates to the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board (HTSB) for school librarian licensure. To be eligible, graduates must meet the MLISc degree program requirements, complete specialized courses, and hold an active Hawai‘i teaching license.

A student who enters the LIS program to earn this certification must also complete a state-approved teacher education program. For more specific and current information on prerequisites and required as well as recommended LIS courses, contact the LIS program director.