Library and Information Science
Examine the discipline of library and information science (LIS), also known as library and information studies, library studies, library science, and information science. The definitions for this field are as varied as the terms used to describe it, with some separating “library science” and “information science” into separate disciplines. One thing the various definitions have in common is the organization of information and information resources with the goal of making it readily available to others.
Information science used to be the domain of scientists who focused on information retrieval in databases, scholarly communication, and subject knowledge; this role was distinct from traditional librarians, who focused on the library's internal processes and best practices. As information scientists integrated into the library to aid researchers, schools of librarianship began adding the term “information science” in the 1960s, expanding the role and skill set of librarians.
Although information professionals lack a common understanding of their role, their duties can include the curation of collections for groups, the education of others on the availability and applicability of information resources, the acquisition and organization of information to facilitate effective access and discovery, the preservation of cultural heritage, and the creation and management of information retrieval systems.
There are a number of library associations, such as the American Library Association, that were created to support librarians and information specialists in the development and improvement of the profession and field.