This area is designed for students interested in research-intensive environments such as academic libraries, research libraries, not-for profit organizations, government, civic society, and other information-demanding environments.

Broadly, this area of study also focuses on the legal, economic, and social forces that affect how we create, use, re-use, repurpose, and share information. 

More specifically, students develop skills in reference materials (such as statistical data, government information and geographic information), user services (such as face-to-face instruction) and information/communications technologies (such as those relevant to scholarly communication and academic research environments).

LARC engages students in critical information studies(i) through project-based work in the New York City context, and reflective practice. These courses approach questions of democratization of information and intellectual freedom as necessary tools to promote a just and equitable society, and encourage students to reflect on their own practices, as well as the state of the field writ large.

Research environments: The university library has become a partner organization for the scholarly community in support of teaching, learning, and as such require librarians that can fill the role of project managers, GIS experts, data specialists, digital archivists, scholarly communication experts who can assist scholars with their research by building tools, assembling databases, or helping them do a better job of teaching their students.(ii)

Learning outcomes:

By the completion of this area of study, students will be able to:

  1. Have a solid understanding of the scholarly communication process in academic libraries and research environments and current trends in the field.
  2. Recognize and discuss the ways in which information policies and laws control the flow of information
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and analytical skills to apply toward work in a changing context of information production, dissemination, and use.
  4. Use a wide variety of scholarly and reference sources issued by open-access and proprietary database publishers
  5. Develop expertise in a range of databases and collections, including statistical, legal and scientific sources.
  6. Have the ability to make professional and socially responsible decisions in selecting and using technologies to managing the process through which information agencies and organizations provide access to information to individual users and different groups of users

Coursework: Students pursuing this track should complete the following five courses:(iii)

INFO 611 Information Policy & Politics
INFO 631 Academic Libraries and Scholarly Communication
INFO 673 Literacy and Instruction
INFO 613 Government Information: Sources, Access & Democracy

In addition, following an advising meeting with the academic faculty advisor, students will select at least two courses from the following list. Selection will depend on students’ career goals, knowledge or technology gaps, and other academic considerations.

INFO 660 Collection Development
INFO 681 Community Building and Engagement
INFO 640 Data Analysis
INFO 628 Data Librarianship and Services
INFO 657 Digital Humanities I
INFO 607 Information Economics and Management
INFO 687 Geographic Information Systems
INFO 608 Human Information Interaction
INFO 658 Information Visualization
INFO 619 Information & Human Rights
INFO 665 Projects in Digital Archives
INFO 630 Research Design & Methods
INFO 663 Strategic Leadership & Management
INFO 644 Usability Theory & Practice
INFO 638 Web Development

Area coordinator: Debbie Rabina is a full time professor at the School of Information. Both her research and teaching activities are informed by her belief that societies that exercise a policy of open dissemination of and access to information are those that allow their citizenry to achieve personal and societal goals.

Debbie Rabina’s teaching cultivates a broad theoretical perspective with the delivery of applied professional skills. While skills are important for immediate implantation in the workplace, the focus of a graduate level education involves conceptual and critical thinking that goes beyond skill training, to prepare our graduates for leadership roles in a variety of information environments, some of which exist today and some of which we can anticipate but not imagine.

Dr. Rabina has mentored many student publications and in 2011 received Pratt's highest teaching award.

Concentration Coordinator
Debbie Rabina, Ph.D.

Questions? For admissions inquiries, please contact Graduate Admissions at 718.636.3514 or For all other inquiries, contact the School of Information at 212.647.7682 or For more information, you may also request a catalog and sign-up to attend an information session.    

(i) Vaidhyanathan, S. (2006). Critical Information Studies: A bibliographic manifesto. Cultural Studies 20 (2/3): 292- 315

(ii) Deanna Marcum (7 May, 2015). Educating the Research Librarian: Are We Falling Short?

(iii) Assignments and projects from these four courses meet all Pratt School of Information Student Learning Objectives