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Library Science

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Definition of Library and Information Science (LIS) - Library science is basically the study of how to operate a library. The field is made up of several branches, including public services, technical services and administration. It is referred to as "library and information science" at many colleges and universities because librarians work with physical books as well as virtual information. Or

In Simple terms – LIS is principles and practices of library operation and administration, and their study

Libraries contain books, periodicals, micro-films, videos, cassettes and slides - for education, research, reference and pleasure. Those who systematically catalogue, store and display these items are librarians. The traditional concept of a library is being redefined, from a place to access paper records or books, to one which also houses the most advanced media, including CD-ROM, the Internet, virtual libraries, and remote access to a wide range of resources.

Types of Libraries

  • Public Library -serve communities of all sizes and types
  • School Library -Is usually part of a school system, and serve students between Kindergarten and grade 12.
  • Academic Library- serve colleges and universities, their students, staff and faculty
  • Special Library – offer unique opportunities to work in a specialized environment of interest, such as corporations, hospitals, the military, museums, private businesses, Law, art, science, engineering, Music and Government Libraries. Special libraries can serve particular populations, such as the blind and physically handicapped, while others are dedicated to special collections, such as the Library of Congress or a presidential library.  

What LIS person will do? - Library science typically 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 knowledge management, among others.

Difference between LIS, Library Science and Librarianship

  • 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; 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. LIS can also be seen as an integration of the two field’s 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.

Role of Librarian - Traditional Roles of Librarians

  1. Custodian – selects, organizes, and services print and other media
  2. Guide assists users in searching and critically evaluating relevant information sources.
  3. Public relations officer – maintains good relationships with management, clients, other libraries, and outside organizations

Modern Role

  1. Information Broker for both print and electronic media – Identifies, retrieves, organizes, repackages and provides electronic access to digital information sources
  2. Facilitator – makes access easier, e.g. provides network access, purchases software’s & e-journal licenses  
  3. Educator – trains clients on Internet use: tools, search engines, online databases and catalogs, electronic journals; use of web-based instruction and online tutorials
  4. Innovator/Web Site Designer/Builder/Manager - designs the library’s web page and searches and evaluates information resources to be linked to the site; creates an awareness of library services on the web; in some instances manages the organizational web site
  5. Database Manager – Print bibliographies are no longer in use as searching via online databases is faster and more efficient.
  6. Collaborator Expanded area of collaboration, not just with fellow librarians but with IT people, the community, etc.
  7. Policy makerDevelops or participates in the development of an information policy for an organization, ensuring total or selective access to all information resources
  8. Business Manager – negotiates with publishers and aggregators for the most advantageous license agreements for e-journals and databases
  9. Image Maker – Adds value to the library to gain management support and project a positive image to the outside world     

Personal competencies

  • Commitment to share knowledge and to service excellence
  •  Ability to face challenges and to see new opportunities both inside and outside the library
  •  Foresight; sees the big picture
  •  Strong interest and belief in partnerships and alliances
  •  Ability to create an environment of mutual respect and trust
  •  Effective communication skills
  •  Good team work
  •  Dynamic leadership
  •  Systematic planning and prioritizing skills, with focus on what is critical
  •  Unwavering interest in lifelong learning and personal career planning
  •  Active personal business skills
  •  Recognition of the value of professional networking and solidarity
  •  Flexibility and positive attitude in a time of continuing change

Scope/opportunity/ career in Library

Public/Government libraries, Universities and other academic institutions, News agencies and organizations, Private organisations and special libraries, Foreign embassies, Photo/film libraries, Information centers/documentation centers, Companies and organisations with large information handling requirements, Museums and galleries, which have reading rooms and research facilities,     Library Attendant, Library Assistant, Junior Librarian/Semi-Professional Assistant, Junior Librarian/Professional Assistant, Junior Librarian/Assistant Librarian, Deputy Librarian, Librarian, Researcher, Consultant, Cataloguer, Director/Head Of Information Centre, Senior Information Analyst and Junior Information Analyst.

 Job Scope and Career Options in India- Library Science Courses in India is a stream of information science and is studied for its career prospects. In a country like India where the number of educational institutions and public libraries are numerous the need for qualified library science professionals is immense. This subject has emerged as one of the most sought after, and there are many colleges and universities offering library science programs.


Under Graduate

  • Bachelor of Library and Information Science (BLISc)
  • Bachelor of Library Science (BLSc)
  • B. Sc in Library Science
  • BA Library and Information Science


  • Master of Library and Information Science (MLISc)
  • Master of Library Science (MLSc)
  • M.Phil. Library  and Information Science
  • Ph.D. Library  and Information  Science
  • Ph. D  Library Science
  • Master of Philosophy in Library  and Information Science
  • MA in Library and Information Science
  • M. S in Library and Information Science
  • Executive MBA – Library Management


  • Diploma in Archives and Documentation
  • Diploma in Library Science (DLSc)

Certificate Course

  • Certificate Course in Library  and Information Science
  • Certificate Course in Library Science
  • Certificate Course in Library Management
  • Certificate course in Library Net working
  • Certificate course in Information Technology and Infrastructure Library
  • Apprenticeship Training as Library Restorer
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Library Information Technology


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