Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Library science is an interdisciplinary science incorporating the humanities, law and applied science to study topics related to libraries, the collection, organization, preservation and dissemination of information resources, and the political economy of information. Historically, library science has also included archival science. "The distinction between a library and an archive is relatively modern" by some textbooks, is that librarianship means the professional aspects of work as a librarian, such as certification, in-service training, and issues of gender equality.

Early history
One of the curators of the imperial library in the Han Dynasty is believed to have been the first to establish a library classification system and the first book notation system. At this time the library catalog was written on scrolls of fine silk and stored in silk bags.

Ancient information retrieval
Thomas Jefferson, whose library at Monticello consisted of thousands of books, devised a classification system inspired by the Baconian method which grouped books more or less by subject rather than alphabetically, as it was previously done. Jefferson's collection became the nucleus of the first national collection of the United States when it was transferred to Congress after a fire destroyed the Congressional Library during the War of 1812. The Jefferson collection was the start of what we now know as the Library of Congress.

Jefferson's method
The term "library science" first appeared in the early 1930's, in the title of S. R. Ranganathan's The Five Laws of Library Science, published in 1931, and in the title of Lee Pierce Butler's 1933 book, An introduction to library science (University of Chicago Press). Butler's new approach advocated research using quantitative methods and ideas in the social sciences with the aim of using librarianship to address society's information needs. This research agenda went against the more procedure-based approach of "library economy," which was mostly confined to practical problems in the administration of libraries. While Ranganathan's approach was philosophical it was tied more to the day-to-day business of running a library.
In more recent years, with the growth of digital technology, the field has been greatly influenced by information science concepts. Although a basic understanding is critical to both library research and practical work, the area of information science has remained largely distinct both in training and in research interests.

20th century
Most professional library jobs require a professional post-baccalaureate degree in library science, or one of its equivalent terms, library and information science as a basic credential. In the United States and Canada the certification usually comes from a master's degree granted by an ALA -accredited institution, so even non-scholarly librarians have an originally academic background. In the United Kingdom, however, there have been moves to broaden the entry requirements to professional library posts, such that qualifications in, or experience of, a number of other disciplines have become more acceptable. For the main discussion of this topic, see Education for librarianship

Training in librarianship
Subdisciplines of library science include the study of:

Human Information Behaviors (information-seeking, search strategies, and use)
Knowledge Organization (which includes bibliographies, cataloging, classification, indexing & abstracting, metadata, semantic & syntactic analysis (controlled vocabularies, etc.))
Digital libraries
Collection development
Public reference and other services
Scholarly communication (includes bibliometrics, informetrics, scientometrics, webmetrics) Subdisciplines

Computer, Data, and Information Systems professionals
Information architect
Information broker
Metadata Architects
Metadata Managers
Preservation Administrators and Conservators Types of library science professionals

Librarians in different types of libraries
The study of librarianship for public libraries covers issues such as cataloging, collection development for a diverse community, information literacy, community standards, public services-focused librarianship, serving a diverse community of adults, children, and teens, Intellectual freedom, Censorship and legal and budgeting issues.

The study of school librarianship covers library services for children in schools up until (but not including) university. In some regions, the local government may have stricter standards for the education and certification of school librarians (who are often considered a special case of teacher), than for other librarians, and the educational program will include those local standards. School librarianship may also include issues of intellectual freedom; pedagogy; and how to build a cooperative curriculum with the teaching staff.

The study of academic librarianship covers library services for colleges and universities. Issues of special importance to the field may include copyright; technology, digital libraries, and digital repositories; academic freedom; open access to scholarly works; as well as specialized knowledge of subject areas important to the institution and the relevant reference works.
Some academic librarians are considered faculty, and hold similar academic ranks as professors, while others are not. In either case, the minimal qualification is a Master's degree in Library Studies or Library Science, and, in some cases, a Master's degree in another field.

Library science Academic
The study of archives covers the training of archivists, librarians specially trained to maintain and build archives of records intended for historical preservation. Special issues include physical preservation of materials and mass deacidification; specialist catalogs; solo work; access; and appraisal. Many archivists are also trained historians specializing in the period covered by the archive.

Special librarians include almost any other form of librarianship, including those who serve in medical libraries (and hospitals or medical schools), corporations, news agency libraries, or other special collections. The issues at these libraries will be specific to the industries they inhabit, but may include solo work; corporate financing; specialized collection development; and extensive self-promotion to potential patrons.


Main article: Preservation: Library and Archival Science Preservation
Many practicing librarians do not contribute to LIS scholarship but focus on daily operations of their own library systems. Other practicing librarians, particularly in academic libraries, do perform original scholarly LIS research and contribute to the academic end of the field.
On this basis, it has sometimes been proposed that LIS is distinct from librarianship, in a way analogous to the difference between medicine and doctoring. In this view, librarianship, the application of library science, would comprise the practical services rendered by librarians in their day-to-day attempts to meet the needs of library patrons.
Powell's widely used introductory textbook does not make a formal distinction, but its bibliography uses the word librarianship as the heading for articles about the library profession.

Theory and practice

Education for librarianship
Information policy
Information communication technologies (ICT's)
Information Society
Equity of Access
Sustainability and ICT's
Children's Internet Protection Act
Information explosion
Information literacy
Government Information
Decreased funding for established libraries
Intellectual property rights
Intellectual freedom
Digital divide
Open access
Patriot Act
Public lending right
Slow fires
Serials crisis
Current digital/scanning technologies
Remote access Current issues in LIS

See also

dLIST dLIST: Digital Library of Information Science and Technology, an open access archive of Information Sciences materials
DL-Harvest DL-Harvest, an open access aggregator for Information Sciences
LISNews.org Librarian and Information Science News
Open Directory Project category Library and Information Science listings
Education Schools and Library Schools: A Comparison of Their Perceptions by Academia
ASC Online: Mentoring weblog for LIS students
LibLinks.org - Directory of library links organized by US states
ERIC Digests on Libraries. Annotated list with links to public domain ERIC Digests dealing with library science and libraries
Information Science Today - Voluntary information development organization
Open Journals Gateway to 3000+ Journals
The Nitecki Trilogy

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