Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Library and information science
Library and information science (LIS) is the study of issues related to libraries. 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.
Difference between LIS and Librarianship
LIS is distinct from librarianship, which comprises the practical services rendered by librarians in their day-to-day attempts to meet the needs of library patrons. 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, where a publish or perish mentality may have permeated to the library systems) do perform original scholarly LIS research and contribute to the academic end of the field.
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. Some studies may show that academic librarians and practicing librarians have different rankings for the most valuable librarianship journals; if this is the case, it may indicate different priorities between the two groups.
Subdisciplines of LIS
Subdisciplines of library and information science include the study of:
Types of Librarianship
The study of librarianship for public libraries covers issues such as collection development for a diverse community; intellectual freedom and 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), then 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 Masters degree in Library Studies or Library Science, and, in some cases, another subject-related Masters degree.
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.
History of LIS
Current Issues in LIS
- Children's Internet Protection Act
- Information explosion
- Information literacy
- Open access
- Patriot Act
- Public lending right
- Slow fires
- List of Library Associations
- List of Library and Information Science Programs
- Library of Congress
- Library and Information Science News: http://www.LISNews.com
- 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.
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