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Summer 2016: Special Libraries & Visual Communication

Arts, Culture, Justice, Business … and Information

DLIS ParisNo other city communicates its cultural values and business efforts so openly and democratically as Paris does through its arts, public institutions and way of life.

Paris has long been the refuge of intellectual rebels of every stripe – Hemingway, Sartre, Henry Miller and Emma Goldman, Picasso, Man Ray and Khalil Gibran.  Its history from Celtic hamlet on a small island in the Seine through the glories of the Sun King in Versailles and later the rebuilding of the entire City of Light on theories of social integration leave visual monuments for students of design and of information. The cultural norms of the French Revolution are institutionalized in their public and private libraries, archives, and museums.

But France is not only a tourist site.  There’s a vibrant economic center, too, where national and international companies have corporate headquarters and information centers.  Although we call them “special libraries”, corporate librarianship demonstrates real-world users and services in venues most of us do not usually see.  Our instructors contacts offer unique entrée for participants.

The professors leading this exploration of the intersection of information, services, democracy, and the arts are experienced teaching in Paris, guiding participants in their studies and activities.  While in France, we visit libraries, museums, and cultural sites but have opportunities, too, to see the principles in action, such as the Plage de Paris, the Bastille Day celebrations, revel at the Firemen’s Ball, and get to know the information professionals of another culture.

Jim Matarazzo (teaching Special Libraries) and Gerald Benoît (Visual Communication) led this program to Paris in 2014 and Rome in 2013 – they’re experienced LIS professors teaching in these areas, and eager to share their knowledge of the topic and what it’s like to live in Paris.

The program starts in the United States where students complete prefatory readings and online discussions to get to know the topic and each other.  We arrive in Paris and settle in at the SJU campus, literally minutes from the Jardin du Luxembourg, Bon Marché, Musée d’Orsay and the Quartier Latin.  Through walking tours, group lunches, onsite activities and visits to Parisian librarians, archives, and museums, students see the principles of information expressed visually and in business services that educate and challenge them.  And we consider the people affected by information services and the visual topography of the Capital.  Students are invited to communicate with the professors to discuss their interests.

Travel Dates: July 10 to July 24, 2016

Program Fee: The summer 2016 program fee is $2700, plus airfare and tuition.

The $2700 is the program fee covers accommodations, excursions and 8 meals a week (4 breakfasts and 4 dinners).  Students will also pay summer tuition for the number of credits they are taking.  Students taking 6 credits also receive an automatic tuition reduction of $1000.

Applicants who confirm their participation prior to April 7th (with their deposit and confirmation forms) also receive $250 off of the program fee.

Application Deadline: April 8, 2016
*Deposit and confirm by April 8 to qualify for the $250 Early Bird Discount

Confirmation deadline: April 15, 2016.  For instructions on how to confirm, please visit our Accepted Students page and follow the steps in #2.

Status: Applications are open!  Students from other universities may apply here

Classes meet five mornings over two weeks. Field trips to museums, events, corporate and special libraries in the afternoon of class days give students the rest of the time with their own groups to explore Paris and beyond. For details about site visits and activities, visit the Program Site link below.

Enrollment is limited to 20 students – first come, first served.

Special Libraries, LIS232, with Prof. James Matarazzo
Visual Communication, LIS271, with Prof. Gerald Benoît


Program Site:


2016 Program Brochure

2014 Program Information here

2014 Program Photos

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