History of the School

"The origins of the department and discipline within UCD go back to the 1920's when Fr Stephen Brown, SJ, and colleagues successfully persuaded the UCD President, Dr. Coffey, to authorise the establishment of a School of Library Training. The School operated as a unit associated with the Library under the direction of the then Librarian, James O'Neill. On his retirement Ellen Power became Librarian and Head of School, and served in that capacity from 1951 tuntil 1974 when Henry Heaney succeeded her.

During the 1970s when the discipline was experiencing many changes. Heaney persuaded UCD to seperate the School from the Library. In 1975 the School was transformed into a complete and autonomous academic department with the Faculty of the Arts. Two years later John Dean became its foundation professor. John Dean as the head of the school for twelve years.

In 1993 Mary Burke succeeded John Dean as Head of the Department, and four years later became the second holder of the Chair of Library and Information Studies in succession to him." (D'Arcy, 2002, pp.1-2).

In 2005 in the context of a general restructuring at UCD, the department became a School in the College of Human Sciences. In 2007 Mary Burke stepped down as Head of School, and Ian Cornelius served as Acting Head of School until September 2009 when Diane H. Sonnenwald joined the School as Head of School and Chair of Library of Information Studies.


D'Arcy,F. (2002). Introduction. In Burke, M., Challenges of Cyperspace, UCD.