Library science  

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Library science is an interdisciplinary field that applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, education, and other areas 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. This includes how information resources are organized to serve the needs of selected user groups, how people interact with classification systems and technology, how information is acquired, evaluated and applied by people in and outside libraries as well as cross-culturally, how people are trained and educated for careers in libraries, the ethics that guide library service and organization, the legal status of libraries and information resources, and the applied science of computer technology used in documentation and records management.

The earliest text on "library operations", Advice on Establishing a Library was published in 1627 by French librarian and scholar Gabriel Naudé.

Contents

Etymology

Martin Schrettinger, a Bavarian librarian, coined the discipline within his work (1808–1828) Versuch eines vollständigen Lehrbuchs der Bibliothek-Wissenschaft oder Anleitung zur vollkommenen Geschäftsführung eines Bibliothekars.


History

17th century

The earliest text on "library operations", Advice on Establishing a Library was published in 1627 by French librarian and scholar Gabriel Naudé. Naudé wrote prolifically, producing works on many subjects including politics, religion, history, and the supernatural. He put into practice all the ideas put forth in Advice when given the opportunity to build and maintain the library of Cardinal Jules Mazarin.

19th century

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.

The Jefferson collection provided the start of what became the Library of Congress.

The first American school of librarianship opened at Columbia University under the leadership of Melvil Dewey, noted for his 1876 decimal classification, on January 5, 1887, as the School of Library Economy. The term library economy was common in the U.S. until 1942, with the term, library science, predominant through much of the 20th century. Key events are described in "History of American Library Science: Its Origins and Early Development."

20th century

Later, the term was used 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).

S. R. Ranganathan conceived the five laws of library science and the development of the first major analytico-synthetic classification system, the colon classification.

In the United States, Lee Pierce 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. He was one of the first faculty at the University of Chicago Graduate Library School, which changed the structure and focus of education for librarianship in the twentieth century. 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.

William Stetson Merrill's A Code for Classifiers, released in several editions from 1914 to 1939, is an example of a more pragmatic approach, where arguments stemming from in-depth knowledge about each field of study are employed to recommend a system of classification. While Ranganathan's approach was philosophical, it was also tied more to the day-to-day business of running a library. A reworking of Ranganathan's laws was published in 1995 which removes the constant references to books. Michael Gorman's Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century features his eight principles necessary by library professionals and incorporate knowledge and information in all their forms, allowing for digital information to be considered.

In more recent years, with the growth of digital technology, the field has been greatly influenced by information science concepts. In the English speaking world the term "library science" seems to have been used for the first time in India in the 1916 book Punjab Library Primer, written by Asa Don Dickinson and published by the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. This university was the first in Asia to begin teaching "library science". The Punjab Library Primer was the first textbook on library science published in English anywhere in the world. The first textbook in the United States was the Manual of Library Economy by James Duff Brown, published in 1903. In 1923, C. C. Williamson, who was appointed by the Carnegie Corporation, published an assessment of library science education entitled "The Williamson Report," which designated that universities should provide library science training. This report had a significant impact on library science training and education. Library research and practical work, the area of information science, has remained largely distinct both in training and in research interests.

21st century

The digital age has transformed how information is accessed and retrieved. "The library is now a part of a complex and dynamic educational, recreational, and informational infrastructure." Mobile devices and applications with wireless networking, high-speed computers and networks, and the computing cloud have deeply impacted and developed information science and information services. The evolution of the library sciences maintains its mission of access equity and community space, as well as the new means for information retrieval called information literacy skills. All catalogues, databases, and a growing number of books are all available on the Internet. In addition, the expanding free access to open source journals and sources such as Wikipedia have fundamentally impacted how information is accessed. Information literacy is the ability to "determine the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its sources critically, incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base, use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally."

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Library science" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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