Linkage of Library and Information Science with Other Disciplines

Linkage of LIS with Other Disciplines: Library and Information Science is an interdisciplinary body of knowledge, taking shape in the form of new paradigmatic science recognizable from its theoretical foundations and broad agreement as to its purpose and methods and the approach it employs. This interdisciplinary subject has derived and drawn the benefits from most of the traditional subjects which include Chemistry, Computer Science, Education, Linguistics, Logic, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology and so on. In the following paragraphs an attempt has been made to discuss the contribution of some other subjects towards library and information science. The discussion has been arranged according to the alphabetical order of the name of the discipline.

a) Chemistry: Chemistry is the science of matter. It deals with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions upon one another. The Alchemists did much of the ground work leading up to modern chemistry of which Antoine Lavoisier (1743-94) is considered the founder. Chemistry helps the Library and Information Science in the preservation and conservation of different types of documents. It is extensively used to save the print and / or digital counterparts from different biological agents.

b) Computer Science: Computer science is the study of computation. It is the discipline that is concerned with the methods and techniques related to data processing performed by automatic means. It deals with theories of understanding computing systems and methods; designing methodology, algorithms and tools; dealing with the methods for the testing of concepts, methods of analysis and verification; and knowledge representation and implementation.

Library and Information Science often needs to handle very large quantity of data which always demands the use of computer. In recent times, the work of every branch of Library and Information Science relies directly or indirectly on the use of computer i.e. it is used for library administration, acquisition, retrospective searching, current awareness, SDI services, online database searching, machine translation, etc. It helps to reduce the burden of handling the ever-increasing amount of information. It helps to automate the whole house keeping operation and so on. The computer science with operation research or cybernetics helps in the study and development of information processing, psychology and the behavioral sciences, through putting light on the human processes involved in knowledge-transfer such as communication process, analysis of user needs and man – machine interaction.

c) Economics: Economics is the branch of social science that deals with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services and their management. It includes interest rates, gross national product, inflation, unemployment, inventories, as tools to predict the direction of the economy, etc.

Library is a non profit making institution. So, its service must be justified in terms of demand and uses. Economic theories are used for the evaluation of different types of reference sources. It is extensively used to study the document procuring and processing cost of the staff, cost of storage, cost of maintenance, cost of retrieval of information, overhead cost etc. It is also used for the cost benefit and cost effectiveness studies in the context of different services.

d) Education: Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, good judgment and wisdom. It also imparts culture from generation to generation.

Every seeker of information is a student in one sense and they need initiation into the library and information system, tools and technique. The libraries and information centre also serves as institutions of informal education. It teaches the library patron about how to use the library material through user education programme, gives assistance through reference services, and provides information service when the users need it. In addition, the subject education, works out programmes of education and training for the profession itself regarding the design and execution of courses, method of evaluation, certification, etc.

e) Law: Law is the combination of those rules and principles of conduct promulgated by legislative authority. It is derived from court decisions and established by local custom. In library environment there are also laws governing registration of newspaper and periodical, ISBN / ISSN number, censorship, copyright, delivery of books act, transmission & communication of information, etc. Within the premises of library itself, library rules are in existence for the proper use of library material. Various states also have library legislation which enables the establishment, maintenance, financing and governing the public library system within the states. In the computer environment also there are laws related to data flow, networking, and uses of information which are governed by special regulation. Library and Information Science demands the detail study and evaluation of all these laws.

f) Linguistics: Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. In the library environment linguistics is of great significance in information processing, indexing and abstracting of document, automatic indexing, artificial intelligence, machine translation etc. In the process of indexing, the indexer has to choose the terms from natural language by taking into consideration different syntactic and semantic problems as the phrase or word chosen should match the vocabulary of the text and the search terms of the user.

g) Logic: Logic is the branch of philosophy that deals with the formal properties of arguments and the philosophical problems associated with them. It means gathering and reasoning; investigating the principles governing correct or reliable inference and deals with the canons and criteria of validity in thought and demonstration. The system of reasoning is applicable to any branch of knowledge or study. In Library and Information Science, it is used in the classification and indexing of document, and widely used in decision making by the librarian.

h) Management: According to ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science “management may be defined as the process of coordinating the total resources of an organization towards the accomplishment of the desired goals of that organization through the execution of a group of interrelated function  such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing and controlling. Management science helps in system analysis, system design, and system management and by this way helps in managing a LIS centre most efficiently. It is responsible for deciding the line of authority and the objectives of the institution, analysing and describing a job and fixing policies for recruitment and so on.

i) Mathematics: Mathematics is the science dealing with quantity, form, measurement and  arrangement, and in particular, with the methods for discovering by concepts and by models the properties and interrelationship of quantities and magnitudes. The mathematics helps in programming as well as in the study of economics of information, estimate cost, performance evaluation, etc. Various information models are needed in preparing different types of library software packages. Again, bibliometrics is a branch of Library and Information Science where mathematical principles are used to a great extent.

j) Philosophy: The term philosophy is drawn from a combination of the Greek words “philos” meaning love and “Sophia” meaning wisdom (love of wisdom). So, it is the study of the most general and abstract features of the world and categories with which we think mind, matter, reason, proof, truth and so on. It is the tool for the generation and development of information.

k) Physics: Physics (from the Greek ‘phusikos’ means natural and ‘phusis’ means nature) is the science of Nature in the broadest sense. It is concerned with the study of the behaviour and properties of matter in a wide variety of contexts, ranging from the sub-nuclear particles from which all ordinary matter is made (particle physics) to the behaviour of the material universe as a whole (cosmology). Different types of machines that are widely used in the library are product of the physics. It includes reprographic, automatic binding machine, etc.

l) Psychology: Psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour (derived from the Greek word 'psyche' meaning breath, spirit, or soul and ‘logos’ means ‘study’), mental processes, and how they are affected and/or affect individuals or groups physical state, mental state, and external environment. Its goal is to describe, understand, predict, and modify behaviour.  Though it is largely concerned with humans, the behaviour and thought of animals is also studied. Library and Information Centers have to provide information service based on user needs. But the users have different psychological temperaments, which makes knowledge of human psychology important in LIS. The human psychology helps the Library and Information Science professional to understand the user correctly, analyze his/her problem or need precisely to provide the specific information in a form most suitable to him/her, and to treat the user appropriately. The knowledge of psychology is also important in designing and developing an information retrieval system as it helps to select a term which majority of the users is likely to use.

m) Sociology: Sociology, the study of the social lives of humans, groups, and societies, is sometimes defined as the study of social interactions. It concerns itself with the social rules and processes that bind and separate people not only as individuals, but as members of associations, groups, and institutions. Library is a social institution. In Library and Information Science sociology examines the legal and social aspects of information processing, transfer and use.

n) Statistics: Statistics is concerned with the collections, classification, analysis and interpretation of numerical facts or data. Statistics obtains data from a study of a large quantity of numerical data which need not be exact but should approximate the true value. Statistical methods in Library and Information Science help in improving the existing services of the library. The statistical analysis is used to assess the users' needs and ascertain views on library services, to measure productivity of library staff, to justify the need of reference service, cost benefit analysis, library performance evaluation and so on.

Library and Information Science and other traditional subjects are inter-linked. It is sure that information science is benefited by other traditional subject. But in return it also gives its best to other subject. It takes the sole responsibility of the literary heritage of other subjects, its document collection, conservation and preservation, dissemination and uses and by this way also helps in their subsequent generation of new information. Again, it is only the library that manages the literary heritages on which our modern civilization exists. Without the help of Library and Information Science, the society will again move to the traditional days of human civilization. When we come to the electronic environment, much of the information available over the internet as a whole, is the product of the Library and Information Science or devised in consultation with the help of the Library and Information Science professional.