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Encyclopedia > Library and information science

Library and information science (LIS) is the study of issues related to libraries and the information fields. This includes academic studies (most often surveys) about how library resources are used and how people interact with library systems. These studies tend to be specific to certain libraries at certain times. The organization of knowledge for efficient retrieval of relevant information is also a major research goal of LIS. Basic topics in LIS include the acquisition, cataloging, classification, and preservation of library materials. In a more present-day view, a fervent outgrowth of LIS is information architecture. LIS should not be confused with information theory, the mathematical study of the concept of information. Modern-style library In its traditional sense, a library is a collection of books and periodicals. ... A library catalog (or library catalogue) is a register of all bibliographic items found in a library. ... A library classification is a system of coding and organizing library materials (books, serials, audiovisual materials, computer files, maps, manuscripts, realia) according to their subject. ... Information theory is the mathematical theory of data communication and storage founded in 1948 by Claude E. Shannon. ...

Programs in LIS are interdisciplinary, overlapping with the fields of computer science, various social sciences, statistics, and systems analysis. Interdisciplinary work is that which integrates concepts across different disciplines. ... Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Computer Science Open Directory Project: Computer Science Downloadable Science and Computer Science books Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies Belief that title science in computer science is inappropriate Categories: Computer science ... The social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... Statistics is a type of data analysis which includes the planning, summarizing, and interpreting of observations of a system possibly followed by predicting or forecasting of future events based on a mathematical model of the system being observed. ...


Difference between LIS and librarianship

LIS is distinct from librarianship, in a way analogous to the difference between medicine and doctoring. Librarianship, the application of library science, comprises the practical services rendered by librarians in their day-to-day attempts to meet the needs of library patrons. The Librarian, a 1556 painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo A librarian is a person who develops procedures for organizing information and provides services that assist and instruct people in the most efficient ways to identify and access any needed information or information resource (article, book, magazine, etc. ... Medicine is a branch of health science concerned with maintaining human health and restoring it by treating disease and injury; it is both an area of knowledge, a science of body organ system|systems and diseases and their treatment, and the applied practice of that knowledge. ...

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. A scholarship is an award of access to an institution and/or a financial aid award for an individual (a scholar) for the purposes of furthering their education. ...

Most professional library jobs require an academic LIS degree as certification. In the United States, 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. A masters degree is an academic degree usually awarded for completion of a postgraduate or graduate course of one to three years in duration. ... The American Library Association promotes libraries and library education in the United States and internationally. ...


Subdisciplines of library and information science include the study of:

  • Library classification
  • Library cataloging
  • Digital libraries
  • Collection development
  • Public references and other services

DIGITAL LIBRARY A library in which a significant proportion of the resources are available in machine-readable format (as opposed to print or microform), accessible by means of computers. ...

Types of librarianship


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 and children, 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. A school is most commonly a place designated for learning. ... A university is an institution of higher education and of research, which grants academic degrees. ... In education, teachers are those who teach students or pupils, often a course of study, lesson plan, or a practical skill, including learning and thinking skills. ... The Movement The movement to get governments to recognize the Inalienable rights to Intellectual Freedom. ... Pedagogy is the art or science of teaching. ... In education, a curriculum (plural curricula) is the set of courses and their contents offered by an institution such as a school or university. ...


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. The term college (Latin collegium) is most often used today to denote an educational institution. ... A university is an institution of higher education and of research, which grants academic degrees. ... For copyright issues in relation to Wikipedia itself, see Wikipedia:Copyrights. ... A digital library is, like a traditional library, a collection of books and reference materials. ... Academic freedom is a widely used and championed phrase, but an often poorly defined concept with different meanings in different cultures and different contexts. ... Open access (OA) is the free online availability of digital content. ... A reference work is a compendium of information, usually of a specific type, compiled for ease of reference. ...

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. Look up Faculty on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Faculty has several different meanings and can refer to: University faculty are the instructors and/or researchers of high standing at universities, as opposed to the students or support staff. ...


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. For alternate uses see: Archive (disambiguation). ... Record is also a music album by Montreal-based band Sofa. ... One of the most famous quotations about history and the value of studying history by Spanish philosopher, George Santayana, reads: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ... Preservation is a broad term, applying in several areas where items are preserved or conserved in some manner. ... Mass deacidification is a term used in Library and Information Science for one possible measure against the degradation of paper in old books (the so-called slow fires). One technique proposed was to place books in an evacuated chamber, then introduce diethyl zinc (DEZ). ... There are various forms of catalog or catalogue, each organized registers of some set of objects. ...


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. A hospital today is an institution for professional health care provided by physicians and nurses. ... Medical school generally refers to a tertiary educational institution (or part of such an institution) which is involved in the education of future medical practitioners (medical doctors). ... A corporation (usually known in the United Kingdom and Ireland as a company) is a legal entity (distinct from a natural person) that often has similar rights in law to those of a Civil law systems may refer to corporations as moral persons; they may also go by the name... A news agency is an organization journalists established to supply news reports to organizations in the news trade: newspapers, magazines, and radio and television broadcasters. ...

Current issues in LIS

The Childrens Internet Protection Act, also known as CIPA, is one of a number of bills that the United States Congress has proposed in an attempt to limit childrens exposure to pornography and other controversial material online. ... Censorship is the control of speech and other forms of human expression, often in the context of government control. ... In Library and Information Science, information explosion is a term used for the ever increasing rate of publication. ... Information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information (1989, p. ... Open access (OA) is the free online availability of digital content. ... This article needs cleanup. ... For copyright issues in relation to Wikipedia itself, see Wikipedia:Copyrights. ... Intellectual property or IP refers to a legal entitlement which sometimes attaches to the expressed form of an idea, or to some other intangible subject matter. ... A Public Lending Right program is one which pays authors for having works in public libraries. ... Slow fires is a term from library and information science used to describe the self-destruction of acid paper. ...

See also

// International Association of Christian Librarians Website International Association of Law Libraries Website International Association of Music Libraries Website International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres Website International Association of School Librarianship Website International Association of Technological University Libraries Website International Council on Archives Website International Federation of Library... Canada University of Alberta School of Library and Information Studies McGill University Graduate School of Library and Information Studies University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Information & Media Studies University of Toronto, Faculty of Information Studies (Toronto) Dalhousie University, School of Library and Information Studies University of British Columbia , School of... Founded in 1967, and originally named Ohio Computer Library Center, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the worlds information and reducing information costs. ... Library of Congress, Jefferson building The Library of Congress is the unofficial national library of the United States. ...

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