Library and Information Studies

LSC 593: Independent Study

An Independent Study is characterized as the supervised reading or investigation in areas of special interest. Students must obtain written approval for such study prior to registration for the semester for which it is proposed. (Independent Study) Pre: 18 hours of library science with a B average, and LSC 593 and LSC 595 may be repeated for a combined total of 6 credits.


Independent Work is intended to provide students with an opportunity to extend their regular course work in areas which are of special interest to them, Projects accepted for Independent Work should support the Educational Outcomes of the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. Independent Work is not intended as an alternative to existing courses. Under no circumstances will students be permitted to take Independent Work as a substitute for courses which they have not been able to include in their programs.


Prerequisite for Independent Work is the completion of at least 18 hours of GSLIS course work with a B average. Students considering Independent Work may carry out preliminary investigations in other courses, especially LSC 557 (Research and Evaluation in LIS).


Before the end of the previous semester, a student who wishes to undertake Independent Work should discuss the proposed project with his or her advisor, who will determine relevant preparatory coursework and identify the full-time member(s) of the GSLIS faculty best qualified to supervise a project in the student’s area of interest. The student will discuss the specific nature of the proposed project with the chosen faculty supervisor, and then submit a written proposal for the faculty supervisor’s consideration. This proposal will include the LSC 593 Independent Work Form, which will serve as a contract for the course; the student’s outline of the project should be attached. If the faculty supervisor approves the proposal in either the original or revised form, the student will be permitted to register for Independent Work. The proposal will be signed by both the student and the faculty supervisor, each of whom will retain a copy; a third copy will be kept in the student’s file.

To register for LSC 593 during the academic year, a student will normally require a permission number from the instructor. To register during the summer, the student will instead submit the GSLIS Summer Directed Study Form.

During the Independent Work, the student will submit products for evaluation as agreed in the contract. The student will contact the faculty supervisor with questions and concerns as needed.

Products of Independent Work

Students have used Independent Work to review the research literature on topics of special interest, such as services to home-schoolers or the criteria for children’s book awards; to create reference tools, such as a guide to local history sources in New Hampshire or a compilation of information for 4th grade students doing a yearly assignment on Rhode Island municipalities; or to carry out original research, such as surveys on the use of library reference in medical decision making or the security measures taken by public libraries. Depending on the student’s purposes, assignments to be graded in Independent Work may include (but are not limited to) annotated bibliographies, websites, essays, literature reviews, and reports.


The grade will be determined by the faculty supervisor and will be based on the thoroughness and quality with which the student fulfilled the requirements of the approved proposal. A copy of the completed project will be kept on file at the school for five years.