Library science

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Library science (often termed library studies or library and information science[1]) is an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary 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. The first American school for library science was founded by Melvil Dewey at Columbia University in 1887.[2][3]

Historically, library science has also included archival science.[4] This includes how information resources are organized to serve the needs of select user group, how people interact with classification systems and technology, how information is acquired, evaluated and applied by people in and outside of 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.

There is no generally agreed-upon distinction between the terms library science, librarianship, and library and information science, and to a certain extent they are interchangeable, perhaps differing most significantly in connotation. The term library and information science (LIS) is most often used;[citation needed] most librarians consider it as only a terminological variation, intended to emphasize the scientific and technical foundations of the subject and its relationship with information science. LIS should not be confused with information theory, the mathematical study of the concept of information. Library and information science can also be seen as an integration of the two fields library science and information science, which were separate at one point. Library philosophy has been contrasted with library science as the study of the aims and justifications of librarianship as opposed to the development and refinement of techniques.[5]

History[edit]

17th century[edit]

Gabriel Naudé (2 February 1600 – 10 July 1653) wrote the first textbook on library science: Advice on Establishing a Library (1627). A French librarian and scholar, Naudé wrote prolifically, producing works on many subjects including politics, religion, history and the supernatural. He put into practice all the ideas he put forth in Advice when given the opportunity to build and maintain the library of Cardinal Jules Mazarin.

19th century[edit]

Martin Schrettinger wrote the second textbook (the first in German) on the subject from 1808 to 1829.

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 January 1, 1887 as the School of Library Economy. The term library economy was used for library science in USA until 1942. The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) used the term "Library economy" from 1876 and to 1942;[6] thereafter using the term Library Science until 1965.

20th century[edit]

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).

Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan conceived five laws of library science and the development of the first major analytico-synthetic classification system, the colon classification.[citation needed] In India, he is considered to be the father of library science, documentation, and information science and is widely known throughout the rest of the world for his fundamental thinking in the field.

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,[7] 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 Raganathan'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 8 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[citation needed] in a book in 1916 in the Panjab Library Primer[8] 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 Panjab 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 which was published in 1929. 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.[9] 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[edit]

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."[10] 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. 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."[11]

Education and training[edit]

Academic courses in library science include collection management, information systems and technology, research methods, cataloging and classification, preservation, reference, statistics and management. Library science is constantly evolving, incorporating new topics like database management, information architecture and information management, among others.

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. In Australia, a number of institutions offer degrees accepted by the ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association).

In academic regalia in the United States, the color for library science is lemon.

Employment outlook and opportunities[edit]

According to U.S. News & World Report, library and information science ranked as one of the "Best Careers of 2008."[12] The median annual salary for 2007 was reported as $51,400 USD in the United States,[13] with additional salary breakdowns available by metropolitan area, with San Francisco coming in the highest with an average salary of $64,400 and Portland, Oregon the lowest at $47,700.[13] This is up from the median salaries in 2006 as $49,060 reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increase can basically be attributed to keeping pace with inflation. A $49,060 salary in 2006 was adjusted to $50,457.33,[14] and while data is not yet posted for 2008, adding the same rate of inflationary increase for 2008 (1.028%) one could project an inflationary salary adjustment as $51,894.46 for the 2008 fiscal year.[15] In December 2009, the BLS projected growth for the field at "8 percent between 2008 and 2018", which is "as fast as the average for all occupations". Furthermore, the BLS states, "Workers in this occupation tend to be older than workers in the rest of the economy. As a result, there may be more workers retiring from this occupation than other occupations. However, relatively large numbers of graduates from MLS programs may cause competition in some areas and for some jobs."[15]

Gender and Library Science in the United States[edit]

Librarianship manifests a dual career structure for men and women in the United States. While the ratio of female to male librarians remains roughly 4:1,[16] top positions are more often held by men; for example, the position of Librarian of Congress has been held by men since the establishment of the Library of Congress. Women, however, have made continuous progress toward equality.[17] Women have also been largely left out of standard histories of U.S. librarianship, but Suzanne Hildenbrand's scholarly assessment of the work done by women has expanded the historical record.[18]

In 1911 Theresa Elmendorf became the first woman elected president of the American Library Association (which was founded in 1876); she was also the first woman ever to be nominated for this position.[19] She was ALA president from May 24, 1911, until July 2, 1912.[20]

The American Library Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table Feminist Task Force (FTF) was founded in 1970 by women who wished to address sexism in libraries and librarianship.[21] FTF was the first ALA group to focus on women's issues.[21]

The Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL) of the American Library Association,[22] founded in 1976, represents the diversity of women's interest within ALA and ensures that the Association considers the rights of the majority (women) in the library field, and promotes and initiates the collection, analysis, dissemination, and coordination of information on the status of women in librarianship. The bibliographic history of women in U.S. librarianship and women librarians developing services for women has been well-documented in the series of publications initially issued by the Social Responsibilities Round Table Task Force on Women and later continued by COSWL.[23]

The Reference and Adult Services Division of the ALA has a discussion group titled "Women's Materials and Women Library Users," formed in the mid-1980s.[24]

The Library Leadership and Management Association Division of the ALA has a discussion group titled "LLAMA Women Administrators Discussion Group," which exists to provide a forum for discussion of problems of particular concern to women in administrative positions.[25]

The ALA also has the Women & Gender Studies Section (WGSS) of its Division "Association of College & Research Libraries"; this section was formed to discuss, promote, and support women's studies collections and services in academic and research libraries.[26]

The ALA Policy Manual states under B.2.1.15 Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of Sex, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sexual Orientation (Old Number 53.1.15): "The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. The Association also encourages librarians to proactively support the First Amendment rights of all library users, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Adopted 1993, amended 2000, 2004, 2008, 2010." [27] It also states under B.2.12 Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation (Old Number 53.12), "The American Library Association supports the inclusion in library collections of materials that reflect the diversity of our society, including those related to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. ALA encourages all American Library Association chapters to take active stands against all legislative or other government attempts to proscribe materials related to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression; and encourages all libraries to acquire and make available materials representative of all the people in our society. Adopted 2005, Amended 2009, 2010." [28]

See also: Role of Women in Librarianship, 1876–1976: The Advancement and Struggle for Equalization, by Kathleen Weibel (Author, Editor), Kathleen de la Pena McCook (Editor), and Dianne J. Ellsworth (Editor), published 1978.

The Deaf community and library science in the United States[edit]

Deaf people at the library have the same needs as every other person visiting the library and often have more difficulty accessing materials and services. Over the last few decades, libraries in the United States have begun to implement services and collections for Deaf patrons and are working harder every year to make more of their collections, services, their communities, and even the world more accessible to this group of under served people.

The history of the role of libraries in the Deaf community in the United States is a sordid one at best. The American Library Association readily admits that disabled people belong to a minority that is often overlooked and underrepresented by people in the library, and the Deaf community belongs in this minority group.[29] However, in the last few decades, libraries across the United States have made great strides in the mission of making libraries more accessible to disabilities in general and to the Deaf community specifically.

One of the first activists in the library community working toward accessibility for the Deaf was Alice Hagemeyer. When disabled communities began demanding equality in the 1970s, Hagemeyer decided to go back to school for her master’s degree in library science. While she was studying there, she realized that there was not very much information about the Deaf community at her library or at the libraries of any of her classmates. She soon became an activist for Deaf awareness at her library, and she became the first “Librarian for the Deaf Community” from any public library in the nation. Hagemeyer also constructed a manual of resources for Deaf people and those associated with them called The Red Notebook, which is now online at the website of the Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action. Hagemeyer was one of the first library activists to make strides for the Deaf community.[30]

Australian librarian Karen McQuigg states that “even ten years ago, when I was involved in a project looking at what public libraries could offer the deaf, it seemed as if the gap between the requirements of this group and what public libraries could offer was too great for public libraries to be able to serve them effectively.”[31] Clearly, not even so long ago, there was quite a dearth of information for or about the Deaf community available in libraries across the nation and around the globe.

New guidelines from library organizations such as International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the ALA were written in order to help libraries make their information more accessible to people with disabilities, and in some cases, specifically the Deaf community. IFLA’s Guidelines for Library Services to Deaf People is one such set of guidelines, and it was published to inform libraries of the services that should be provided for Deaf patrons. Most of the guidelines pertain to ensuring that Deaf patrons have equal access to all available library services. Other guidelines include training library staff to provide services for the Deaf community, availability of text telephones or TTYs not only to assist patrons with reference questions but also for making outside calls, using the most recent technology in order to communicate more effectively with Deaf patrons, including closed captioning services for any television services, and developing a collection that would interest the members of the Deaf community.[32]

Over the years, library services have begun to evolve in order to accommodate the needs and desires of local Deaf communities. At the Queen Borough Public Library (QBPL) in New York, the staff implemented new and innovative ideas in order to involve the community and library staff with the Deaf people in their community. The QBPL hired a deaf librarian, Lori Stambler, to train the library staff about Deaf culture, to teach sign language classes for family members and people who are involved with deaf people, and to teach literacy classes for Deaf patrons. In working with the library, Stambler was able to help the community reach out to its deaf neighbors, and helped other deaf people become more active in their outside community.[33]

Deaf libraries[edit]

The library at Gallaudet University, the only Deaf liberal arts university in the United States, was founded in 1876. The library’s collection has grown from a small number of reference books to the world’s largest collection of deaf-related materials with over 234,000 books and thousands of other materials in different formats. The collection is so large that the library had to create a hybrid classification system based on the Dewey Decimal Classification System in order to make cataloging and location within the library much easier for both library staff and users. The library also houses the university’s archives, which holds some of the oldest deaf-related books and documents in the world.[34]

In Nashville, Tennessee, Sandy Cohen manages the Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (LSDHH). The program was created in 1979 in response to information accessibility issues for the Deaf in the Nashville area. Originally, the only service provided was the news via a teletypewriter or TTY, but today, the program has expanded to serving the entire state of Tennessee by providing all different types of information and material on deafness, Deaf culture, and information for family members of Deaf people, as well as a historical and reference collection.[35]

Theory and practice of library science[edit]

Many practicing librarians do not contribute to LIS scholarship, but focus on daily operations within their own libraries or 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.[citation needed]

Whether or not individual professional librarians contribute to scholarly research and publication, many are involved with and contribute to the advancement of the profession and of library science and information science through local, state, regional, national and international library or information organizations.

Other uses of these terms do not make the distinction and treat them as synonyms.[citation needed]

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.

Library science is very closely related to issues of knowledge organization; however, the latter is a broader term which covers how knowledge is represented and stored (computer science/linguistics), how it might be automatically processed (artificial intelligence), and how it is organized outside the library in global systems such as the internet. In addition, library science typically refers to a specific community engaged in managing holdings as they are found in university and government libraries, while knowledge organization in general refers to this and also to other communities (such as publishers) and other systems (such as the Internet). The Library system is thus one socio-technical structure for knowledge organization.[36]

Types of libraries[edit]

Public Library[edit]

The study of librarianship for public libraries covers issues such as cataloging; collection development for a diverse community; information literacy; readers' advisory; community standards; public services-focused librarianship; serving a diverse community of adults, children, and teens; intellectual freedom; censorship; and legal and budgeting issues. The public library as a commons or public sphere based on the work of Jürgen Habermas has become a central metaphor in the 21st century.[37]

School/Media Specialist[edit]

The study of school librarianship covers library services for children in schools through secondary school. 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 criteria. School librarianship may also include issues of intellectual freedom, pedagogy, information literacy, 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. Librarians often divide focus individually as liaisons on particular schools within a college or university.

Some academic librarians are considered faculty, and hold similar academic ranks to those of professors, while others are not. In either case, the minimal qualification is a Master of Arts in Library Studies or Masters of Arts in Library and Information Science. Some academic libraries may only require a master's degree in a specific academic field or a related field, such as educational technology.

Archives[edit]

The study of archives includes 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 Library[edit]

Special librarians include almost any other form of librarianship, including those who serve in medical libraries (and hospitals or medical schools), corporations, news agencies, government organizations, 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.

Preservation[edit]

Preservation librarians most often work in academic libraries. Their focus is on the management of preservation activities that seek to maintain access to content within books, manuscripts, archival materials, and other library resources. Examples of activities managed by preservation librarians include binding, conservation, digital and analog reformatting, digital preservation, and environmental monitoring.

Further reading[edit]

  • International Journal of Library Science (ISSN 0975 – 7546)
  • Lafontaine, Gerard S. (1958). Dictionary of Terms Used in the Paper, Printing, and Allied Industries. Toronto: H. Smith Paper Mills. 110 p.
  • The Oxford Guide to Library Research (2005) - ISBN 0-19-518998-1
  • Thompson, Elizabeth H. (1943). A.L.A. Glossary of Library Terms, with a Selection of Terms in Related Fields, prepared under the direction of the Committee on Library Terminology of the American Library Association. Chicago, Ill.: American Library Association. viii, 189 p. SBN 8389-0000-3
  • V-LIB 1.2 (2008 Vartavan Library Classification, over 700 fields of sciences & arts classified according to a relational philosophy, currently sold under license in the UK by Rosecastle Ltd. (see http://rosecastle.atspace.com/index_files/Page382.htm).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) used the term "Library economy" for class 19 in its first edition from 1876. In the second edition (and all subsequent editions) it was moved to class 20. The term "Library economy" was used until (and including) 14. edition (1942). From the 15. edition (1951) class 20 was termed Library Science, which was used until (and including) 17th edition (1965) when it was replaced by "Library and Information Sciences" (LIS) from 18th ed. (1971) and forward.
  2. ^ OCLC/org
  3. ^ Versuch eines vollständigen Lehrbuchs der Bibliothek-Wissenschaft. Oder, Anleitung zur vollkommenen Geschäftsführung eines Bibliothekars. In wissenschaftlicher Form abgefasst. München. (2 bind).Google books: Bd 1: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nnc1.cu08321752 ; Bd 2: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=nnc1.cu08321760
  4. ^ Harris, Michael H. History of Libraries in the Western World. 4th ed. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow, 1995. 3 - "The distinction between a library and an archive is relatively modern"
  5. ^ Cossette, Andre Humanism and Libraries: An Essay on the Philosophy of Librarianship. Duluth, MN: Library Juice Press, 2009. Print.
  6. ^ "Gabriel Naude". Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  7. ^ http://books.google.no/books/about/Code_for_classifiers.html?id=9sCdQ9JBxQQC&redir_esc=y
  8. ^ Panjab Library Primer full text http://www.archive.org/details/punjablibrarypri00dickuoft
  9. ^ Rubin, Richard E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. pp. 84–85. 
  10. ^ Rubin, Richard E (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers. p. 1. ISBN 978-1555706906. 
  11. ^ http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency#ildef
  12. ^ Best Careers. U.S. News & World Report USnews.com
  13. ^ a b Librarian: Executive Summary - US News and World Report
  14. ^ BLS Inflation Calculator, BLS.gov
  15. ^ a b Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
  16. ^ Gordon, R. S. (2004). The men among us. Library Journal, 129(11), 49. Wiebe, T. J. (2004). Issues faced by male librarians: Stereotypes, perceptions, and career ramifications. Colorado Libraries, 31(1), 11–13.
  17. ^ Weibel, Kathleen, Kathleen de la Peña McCook, and Dianne J. Ellsworth. 1979. The Role of women in librarianship, 1876–1976: the entry, advancement, and struggle for equalization in one profession. Phoenix, Ariz: Oryx Press.
  18. ^ Hildenbrand, Suzanne. 1996. Reclaiming the American library past: writing the women in. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Pub.
  19. ^ Thomison, p. 280 The death of her husband had forced Theresa Elmendorf to end her unpaid status, and for the next 20 years she held the position of vice-librarian at the Buffalo Public Library. Her new role also meant an increased participation in the American Library Association; in 1911–12 she served as its President, the first woman to hold that position.
  20. ^ Bulletin of the American Library Association, vol. 6, no. 4.
  21. ^ a b http://libr.org/ftf/
  22. ^ American Library Association, Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship: http://www.ala.org/offices/hrdr/abouthrdr/hrdrliaisoncomm/statusofwomen/committeestatus
  23. ^ Kathleen de la Peña McCook and Katharine Phenix, On Account of Sex: An Annotated Bibliography on the History of Women in Librarianship, 1977–1981 (Chicago: ALA, 1984) Katharine Phenix and Kathleen de la Peña McCook (1982–1986) (Chicago: ALA, 1989); later years by Lori A Goetsch; Sarah Watstein (1987–1992) (Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1993) Betsy Kruger; Catherine A Larson; Allison A Cowgill (1993–1997) Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 2000).
  24. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=Lb5m-OO20EsC&pg=PA325&lpg=PA325&dq=RASD+Discussion+Group+on+Women's+Materials&source=bl&ots=CsPTx1L9El&sig=MLvfRD_aRxPqs0s9G9m3e_EzHrY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B3EPU-GqDeXp0AGLxoHoBg&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=RASD%20Discussion%20Group%20on%20Women's%20Materials&f=false
  25. ^ http://www.ala.org/llama/llama-women-administrators-discussion-group
  26. ^ http://www.libr.org/wgss/
  27. ^ http://www.ala.org/aboutala/governance/policymanual/updatedpolicymanual/section2/53intellfreedom#B.2.1.15
  28. ^ http://www.ala.org/aboutala/governance/policymanual/updatedpolicymanual/section2/53intellfreedom#B.2.12
  29. ^ American Library Association. (2012). Library services for people with disabilities policy. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ascla/asclaissues/libraryservices
  30. ^ Hagemeyer, A. L. (2001). Achievement: From a lack of knowledge to an appreciation of Deaf history. IFLA Conference Proceedings, 1–3.
  31. ^ McQuigg, K. (2003). Are the deaf a disabled group, or a linguistic minority? Issues for librarians in Victoria’s public libraries. Australian Library Journal, 52(4). Retrieved from http://alia.org.au/publishing/alj/52.4/full.text/mcquigg.html
  32. ^ Day, J. M. (2000). Guidelines for library services to deaf people (Report no. 62). The Hague: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
  33. ^ Hollander, P. (1995). Deaf-advocacy at Queens Borough PL. American Libraries, 26(6), 560–562.
  34. ^ Harrington, T.R. (1998). The Deaf collection at the Gallaudet University Library. Education Libraries, 22(3), 5-12.
  35. ^ Cohen, S. (2006). Have you heard about the Library Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing? Tennessee Libraries, 56(1), 51–56.
  36. ^ R. Hoetzlein. The Organization of Human Knowledge: Systems for Interdisciplinary Research. 2007. Available at Rchoetzlein.com
  37. ^ McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. Introduction to Public Librarianship,p. 65. Neal-Schuman, 2011

External links[edit]

History[edit]