Skip Navigation

Produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Subscribe Now
Campus & Community

Major Gains

iSchool Undergrad Growth Spurs Expansion in Hornbake

By Dan Novak M.Jour. ’20

Two students entering the iSchool

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

With the growth of its undergraduate program, the iSchool is moving into a space previously occupied by Library Media Services in Hornbake Library.

Though it’s just 3 years old, the College of Information Studies’ undergraduate program already feels grown up. Enrollment has ballooned ninefold, to 850 students, the number of course sections has doubled, and it’s added 13 more tenure-track faculty. No surprise, then, that it’s feeling some growing pains. 

This summer, the iSchool expanded its footprint in Hornbake Library, moving into space previously occupied by Library Media Services (LMS) on the ground floor. LMS is merging with McKeldin Library and has shifted its collections, staff and services there. 

The iSchool has grown at an astounding rate since the debut of its bachelor of science degree in information science, now among 10 most popular majors on campus. In the past three semesters alone, the iSchool graduated some 270 students. Senior Associate Dean Brian Butler attributed the new degree’s popularity to its approach that combines working hands-on with technology with a humanities and social sciences education. 

“We have students coming from public policy and social sciences that are saying, ‘I can make stuff,’ said Butler, “whereas you have people coming from engineering and computer science already making things but want to learn about policy or organizations. We have a blend of that, and that wasn’t really something that was available in that combination on campus,” Butler said. 

He hopes the new workspace in Hornbake will “stay as much of an open, collaborative space as possible.” Faculty began teaching classes there this semester, and student and team work areas are available now. Student IT support staff have moved into the area, and faculty and staff will occupy planned offices following a renovation.

LMS, which boasts one of the country’s largest digital and physical media collections of film, TV and audio, plus books and journals on film studies, is now housed within the Student Learning Commons on McKeldin’s second floor. The library’s podcast studio and digital video conversion studio will also live there, but its video production studio will remain in Hornbake.

“We’re keeping all of the services and collections and everything that we offer,” said Gary White, assistant dean of University Libraries.

Schools & Departments:

College of Information Studies

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.