The USC School of Library Science originated from an organized instructional program provided by the Los Angeles Public Library. This program, started in 1891 for the Library's employees, remained a training class until 1914 when the Library instituted a formal one-year library school program. Classes at LAPL terminated in 1932 due to fiscal problems. Summer sessions held at the University of Southern California from 1933-1936 met the need for library training in the region. After four years of pressure from the Alumni Association of the Public Library for a graduate library school, USC finally acquiesced and officially inaugurated a School of Library Service in September 1936. The school's name was changed in June of the following year to the School of Library Science. In 1980, the School altered its name once again, this time to reflect the changing occupational climate. Accompanied by an entirely redesigned program, the newly dubbed School of Library and Information Management veered away from providing solely traditional library school courses and offered students three areas of specialization: library science, information science, and information management.
The School, accredited by the Board of Education for Librarianship of the American Library Association in 1938, initially offered a two year program in which a Bachelor of Science in Library Science was granted at the end of the first year, the program culminating after the second year with the bestowal of a Master of Science in Library Science degree. The B.S. in Library Science was not offered after June, 1952. The curriculum was later expanded to include two degrees at the Doctor level: the Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Library Science (Ph.D.) added in 1961, and the Doctor of Library Science (D.L.S.) in 1975.
Deans of the School (titled Director until 1957):
Osborn, Andrew D. (temporary, 1936-1937)
Carter, Mary Duncan (1937-1946)
Dean, Hazel (acting, 1945-1946)
Pulling, Hazel (acting, 1946- 1947)
Stieg, Lewis F. (1947-1955)
Howe, Harriet (acting, 1943-1955)
Boaz, Martha (1955-1978)
Greer, Roger (1979-1986)