The Graduate School of Library and Information Studies traces its origin to the opening of the Queens College Library Education Program in 1955. Conducted under the general direction of the College Library, in cooperation with the Education Department, that program offered a one-year curriculum for the preparation of school librarians. Graduates received an M.S. in Education, as well as a certificate in school librarianship. In 1964 a program in public librarianship was introduced, the Master of Library Science degree was authorized, and both the school and the public library programs were assigned to the new Department of Library Science, which had been organized as an independent academic department.
The Department continued to expand, and by 1968 graduates were employed in a variety of information environments. The program also began to incorporate aspects of information science and media studies. The American Library Association first accredited the Queens College M.L.S. program in 1970. In 1976 a program leading to a Certificate of Post-Master’s Studies in Librarianship was introduced. Designed for graduate librarians, this program is registered by the New York State Department of Education.
The expanding professional interests and objectives of the Department led in 1979 to a change of name and status, and the Department became the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (GSLIS).
As the profession continued to move into the electronic age, the School has steadily expanded its curricular offerings to reflect the changing academic, professional, and technological environments. In 2002 and 2003 respectively, two New York State Department of Education-registered certificates were introduced; Children's and Young Adult Services in the Public Library and Archives Records Management and Preservation.
The School is well equipped with modern technological facilities. Computer laboratories, faculty and administrative offices are part of the campus and the City University of New York (CUNY) infrastructure that provides the latest software and access to the Internet. Thus instructional, learning and administrative needs of faculty, students and staff are well met. Additional technological facilities are available on campus.
CUNY, Queens College, and the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies have vigorously pursued the recruitment of a culturally and ethnically diverse student body and faculty. Presently, there are approximately 67 languages spoken on campus, which reflects the multicultural nature of New York City.