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Portal:Library and information science

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The Library and Information Science Portal

Introduction

Library and information science (LIS) (sometimes given as the plural library and information sciences) or as "library and information studies" is a merging of library science and information science. The joint term is associated with schools of library and information science (abbreviated to "SLIS"). In the last part of the 1960s, schools of librarianship, which generally developed from professional training programs (not academic disciplines) to university institutions during the second half of the 20th century, began to add the term "information science" to their names. The first school to do this was at the University of Pittsburgh in 1964. More schools followed during the 1970s and 1980s, and by the 1990s almost all library schools in the USA had added information science to their names. Weaver Press: Although there are exceptions, similar developments have taken place in other parts of the world. In Denmark, for example, the 'Royal School of Librarianship' changed its English name to The Royal School of Library and Information Science in 1997. Exceptions include Tromsø, Norway, where the term documentation science is the preferred name of the field, France, where information science and communication studies form one interdiscipline, and Sweden, where the fields of Archival science, Library science and Museology have been integrated as Archival, Library and Museum studies.

In spite of various trends to merge the two fields, some consider the two original disciplines, library science and information science, to be separate. However, the tendency today is to use the terms as synonyms or to drop the term "library" and to speak about information departments or I-schools. There have also been attempts to revive the concept of documentation and to speak of Library, information and documentation studies (or science).

Selected article

Inscription regarding Tiberius Claudius Balbilus of Rome (d. 56 CE) which confirms that the Library of Alexandria must have existed in some form in the first century AD.
The Royal Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was once the largest library in the world. It is generally thought to have been founded at the beginning of the 3rd century BC, during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt. It was likely created after his father had built what would become the first part of the Library complex, the temple of the Muses — the Museion, Greek Μουσείον (from which the modern English word museum is derived).

It has been reasonably established that the Library, or parts of the collection, were destroyed by fire on a number of occasions (library fires were common and replacement of handwritten manuscripts was very difficult, expensive and time-consuming). To this day, the details of the destruction (or destructions) remain a lively source of controversy. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2003 near the site of the old Library.

Selected quote

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

T. S. Eliot, Choruses from 'The Rock'

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Embassy Gulf Service Station

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The Ottawa Public Library bookmobile
Image credit: SimonP
A bookmobile or mobile library, such as this one belonging to Ottawa Public Library, is a large vehicle designed for use as a library. It is designed to hold books on shelves, so that when the vehicle is parked the books can be accessed by readers.

Selected biography

Paul Otlet (b. August 23, 1868, Belgium - December 10, 1944) was the founding father of documentation, the field of study now more commonly referred to as information science. He created the Universal Decimal Classification, one of the most prominent examples of faceted classification. Otlet was responsible for the widespread adoption in Europe of the standard American 3x5 inch index card used until recently in most library catalogs around the world, though largely displaced by the advent of online public access catalogs (OPAC). Otlet wrote numerous essays on how to collect and organize the world’s knowledge, culminating in two books, the Traité de documentation (1934) and Monde: Essai d'universalisme (1935). Otlet, along with his friend and colleague Henri La Fontaine, who won the Nobel Prize in 1913, founded the now-bankrupt Institut International de Bibliographie in 1895 which later became in English the International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID). In 1910, following a huge international conference, they created the Union of International Associations, which is still located in Brussels. They also created a great international center called at first Palais Mondial (World Palace), later, the Mundaneum to house the collections and activities of their various organizations and institutes.

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