USC Library Master’s Degree Program Earns ALA Accreditation

The American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Accreditation has granted full, 7-year accreditation to the Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) program at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. Effective retroactively, the accreditation covers all students who have graduated from the program to date.

Developed in partnership between the Marshall School and the USC Libraries, the MMLIS builds upon the entrepreneurial expertise among the Marshall faculty and is distinguished by its curricular focus on library leadership. USC announced the MMLIS program in January 2013, enrolled its first students in May of that year, and has graduated 43 students in 7 cohorts.

“ALA accreditation is a gratifying milestone for the MMLIS program, a testament to our outstanding faculty, and terrific news for our students and graduates,” said Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries. “I thank the Committee on Accreditation, our Marshall School partners, and particularly Ken Haycock, the inaugural MMLIS director whose vision, hard work, and transformative intellectual investment were essential to the development of this unique program.”

The Marshall School recently appointed Gary Shaffer, former CEO of the Tulsa City-County Library, as director of the MMLIS program. Shaffer, who holds a Ph.D. in managerial leadership from Simmons College, in addition to a master of library and information science from the Pratt Institute, had led the Tulsa public library since 2011.

“I am proud to join this groundbreaking USC program,” Shaffer said. “And I am honored to carry on the work began by Ken Haycock, Dean Quinlan, and vice dean Sandra Chrystal of the Marshall School. It is a great privilege and a wonderful responsibility to collaborate with our dedicated faculty and talented students to help shape the future of librarianship.”

Shaffer, who succeeded Haycock in the directorship as of January 1, views the library landscape as rich with potential for professional librarians working in digital cultural heritage, creating new kinds of library services across many types of academic, public, and corporate institutions, and developing services, collections, and library cultures that meet the needs of 21st-century communities.

“Dean Ellis and the Marshall School of Business welcome the ALA accreditation as recognition of the quality pervading this unique online MMLIS program,” said Chrystal, vice dean for online education and professor of clinical business communication. “The Master of Management in Library and Information Science provides innovative global learning and partnerships to students, libraries, business leaders, and other library programs. We congratulate Dean Catherine Quinlan and founding director Ken Haycock for their vision and welcome director Gary Shaffer as he continues their leadership.”

The Committee on Accreditation’s announcement follows the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. The committee has scheduled the next comprehensive review of the USC program to take place in the fall of 2023.

For more on the USC MMLIS program, see this interview in the Journal of Library Administration and visit