Library and Information Science

Library and Information Science: Library and Information Science is concerned with the body of knowledge relating to the origin, storage, retrieval, transmission and utilization of information. The term “library science” first appeared in the early 1930’s, in the title of Dr. S. R. Ranganathan’s “The Five Laws of Library Science” and in the title of Lee Pierce Butler’s 1933 book “An Introduction to Library Science”. In 1959, Information Science began to be used in USA as a general brand for documentation which is summarized as a discipline that investigates properties as well as behavior of information, forces governing the flow of information and the means for processing information for optimal accessibility and usability. In recent years, the trend is to term the subject as “Library and Information Science (LIS)” by merging both the concepts, and it is the study of issues related to libraries and the information science. This includes academic studies regarding how library resources are used and how people interact with library systems. These studies also 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.

According to Borko, Information Science is an interdisciplinary science that investigates the properties and behavior of information, the forces that govern the flow and use of information and the technique, both manual and mechanical, of processing information for optimal storage, retrieval and dissemination. He further stated that information science has both pure science components which enquire into the subject without regard to its application and applied science components which develop services and products. Librarianship and documentation are also the applied aspect of information science.

According to J. H. Shera, Librarianship is the generic term and information science is an area of research which draws its substance, method and techniques from a variety of disciplines to achieve and understand the properties, behaviour and flow of information. Information science contributes to the theoretical and intellectual base for the librarians operation.

According to C. G. Viswanathan, Information science is concerned with the principles and techniques governing the transfer and communication of organized thought (knowledge) from one human to another and ultimately to society.

According to P. B. Mangla, Information science is a discipline which is concerned with the study of the properties and behaviour of information as well as the forces influencing the flow of information.

According to P. H. William both library science and information science are swiftly developing subjects and so the relation between them is in a constant stage of change.

However, there are many thinkers who see the library science and information science as overlapping discipline.

The Library and Information Science is at the cross road of science seeking a basic principle which would bring together the knowledge in a general framework in which each discipline would have its own place and in which its relationship with other discipline would be clearly perceived. The activities and programmes in LIS often overlap with the activities of computer science, various social sciences, statistics, and system analysis.

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. Some other scholars are of the view that the two terms do not make any distinction and can be treated as synonyms.