Library science (often termed library studies, library and information science, bibliothecography, library economy) is an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary field that applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, education, and other areas to libraries; the collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information resources; and the political economy of information. Martin Schrettinger, a Bavarian librarian, coined the discipline within his work (1808-1828) Versuch eines vollständigen Lehrbuchs der Bibliothek-Wissenschaft oder Anleitung zur vollkommenen Geschäftsführung eines Bibliothekars. Rather than classifying information based on nature-oriented elements, as was previously done in his Bavarian library, Schrettinger organized books in alphabetical order. The first American school for library science was founded by Melvil Dewey at Columbia University in 1887. It is an aspect of the broader field of librarianship.
Historically, library science has also included archival science. This includes how information resources are organized to serve the needs of select user groups, how people interact with classification systems and technology, how information is acquired, evaluated and applied by people in and outside of libraries as well as cross-culturally, how people are trained and educated for careers in libraries, the ethics that guide library service and organization, the legal status of libraries and information resources, and the applied science of computer technology used in documentation and records management.
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. Library and information science can also be seen as an integration of the two fields of 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.
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The earliest text on library operations, Advice on Establishing a Library was published in 1627 by French librarian and scholar Gabriel Naudé. Naudé wrote prolifically, producing works on many subjects including politics, religion, history, and the supernatural. He put into practice all the ideas put forth in Advice when given the opportunity to build and maintain the library of Cardinal Jules Mazarin.
Martin Schrettinger wrote the second textbook (the first in Germany) on the subject from 1808 to 1829.
Thomas Jefferson, whose library at Monticello consisted of thousands of books, devised a classification system inspired by the Baconian method, which grouped books more or less by subject rather than alphabetically, as it was previously done.
The first American school of librarianship opened at Columbia University under the leadership of Melvil Dewey, noted for his 1876 decimal classification, on 5 January 1887 as the School of Library Economy. The term library economy was common in the U.S. until 1942, with the library science predominant through much of the 20th century.
Later, the term was used in the title of S. R. Ranganathan's The Five Laws of Library Science, published in 1931, and in the title of Lee Pierce Butler's 1933 book, An introduction to library science (University of Chicago Press).
S. R. Ranganathan conceived the five laws of library science and the development of the first major analytico-synthetic classification system, the colon classification. In India, he is considered to be the father of library science, documentation, and information science and is widely known throughout the rest of the world for his fundamental thinking in the field.
In the United States, Lee Pierce Butler's new approach advocated research using quantitative methods and ideas in the social sciences with the aim of using librarianship to address society's information needs. He was one of the first faculty at the University of Chicago Graduate Library School, which changed the structure and focus of education for librarianship in the twentieth century. This research agenda went against the more procedure-based approach of "library economy," which was mostly confined to practical problems in the administration of libraries.
William Stetson Merrill's A Code for Classifiers, released in several editions from 1914 to 1939, is an example of a more pragmatic approach, where arguments stemming from in-depth knowledge about each field of study are employed to recommend a system of classification. While Ranganathan's approach was philosophical it was also tied more to the day-to-day business of running a library. A reworking of Ranganathan's laws was published in 1995 which removes the constant references to books. Michael Gorman's Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century features his eight principles necessary by library professionals and incorporate knowledge and information in all their forms, allowing for digital information to be considered.
In more recent years, with the growth of digital technology, the field has been greatly influenced by information science concepts. In the English speaking world the term "library science" seems to have been used for the first time in India in the 1916 book Punjab Library Primer, written by Asa Don Dickinson and published by the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. This university was the first in Asia to begin teaching "library science". The Punjab Library Primer was the first textbook on library science published in English anywhere in the world. The first textbook in the United States was the Manual of Library Economy, published in 1929. In 1923, C. C. Williamson, who was appointed by the Carnegie Corporation, published an assessment of library science education entitled "The Williamson Report," which designated that universities should provide library science training. This report had a significant impact on library science training and education. Library research and practical work, the area of information science, has remained largely distinct both in training and in research interests.
The digital age has transformed how information is accessed and retrieved. "The library is now a part of a complex and dynamic educational, recreational, and informational infrastructure." Mobile devices and applications with wireless networking, high-speed computers and networks, and the computing cloud have deeply impacted and developed information science and information services. The evolution of the library sciences maintains its mission of access equity and community space, as well as the new means for information retrieval called information literacy skills. All catalogues, databases, and a growing number of books are all available on the Internet. In addition, the expanding free access to open source journals and sources such as Wikipedia have fundamentally impacted how information is accessed. Information literacy is the ability to "determine the extent of information needed, access the needed information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information and its sources critically, incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base, use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally."
Academic courses in library science include collection management, information systems and technology, research methods, information literacy, cataloging and classification, preservation, reference, statistics and management. Library science is constantly evolving, incorporating new topics like database management, information architecture and information management, among others. With the mounting acceptance of Wikipedia as a valued and reliable reference source, many libraries, museums and archives have introduced the role of Wikipedian in residence. As a result, some universities are including coursework relating to Wikipedia and Knowledge Management in their MLIS programs.
Most schools in US only offer a master's degree in library and information science or an MLIS and do not offer an undergraduate degree in the subject. About fifty schools have this graduate program, and seven are still being ranked. Many have online programs, which makes attending more convenient if the college is not in a student's immediate vicinity. According to US News online journal, University of Illinois is at the top of the list of best MLIS programs provided by universities. Second is University of North Carolina and third is University of Washington. All the listings can be found here.
Most professional library jobs require a professional post-baccalaureate degree in library science, or one of its equivalent terms, library and information science as a basic credential. In the United States and Canada the certification usually comes from a master's degree granted by an ALA-accredited institution, so even non-scholarly librarians have an originally academic background. In the United Kingdom, however, there have been moves to broaden the entry requirements to professional library posts, such that qualifications in, or experience of, a number of other disciplines have become more acceptable. In Australia, a number of institutions offer degrees accepted by the ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association). Global standards of accreditation or certification in librarianship have yet to be developed.
According to 'U.S. News & World Report', library and information science ranked as one of the "Best Careers of 2008." The median annual salary for 2007 was reported as $51,400 USD in the United States, with additional salary breakdowns available by metropolitan area, with San Francisco coming in the highest with an average salary of $64,400 and Portland, Oregon the lowest at $47,700. This is up from the median salaries in 2006 as $49,060 reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increase can basically be attributed to keeping pace with inflation. A $49,060 salary in 2006 was adjusted to $50,457.33, and while data is not yet posted for 2008, adding the same rate of inflationary increase for 2008 (1.028%) one could project an inflationary salary adjustment as $51,894.46 for the 2008 fiscal year. In December 2009, the BLS projected growth for the field at "8 percent between 2008 and 2018", which is "as fast as the average for all occupations". Furthermore, the BLS states, "Workers in this occupation tend to be older than workers in the rest of the economy. As a result, there may be more workers retiring from this occupation than other occupations. However, relatively large numbers of graduates from MLS programs may cause competition in some areas and for some jobs."
Librarianship manifests a dual career structure for men and women in the United States. While the ratio of female to male librarians remains roughly 4:1, top positions are more often held by men. In large academic libraries, there is less of a discrepancy; however, overall throughout the profession men tend to hold higher or leadership positions. Women, however, have made continuous progress toward equality. Women have also been largely left out of standard histories of U.S. librarianship, but Suzanne Hildenbrand's scholarly assessment of the work done by women has expanded the historical record. See also The Role of women in librarianship, 1876-1976: the entry, advancement, and struggle for equalization in one profession, by Kathleen Weibel, Kathleen de la Peña McCook, and Dianne J. Ellsworth (1979), Phoenix, Ariz: Oryx Press.
There was a "Women's Meeting" at the 1882 14th American Libraries Conference, where issues concerning the salaries of women librarians and what female patrons do in reading rooms were discussed.
During the first 35 years of the American Library Association its presidency was held by men. In 1911 Theresa Elmendorf became the first woman elected president of the ALA. She was ALA president from May 24, 1911, until July 2, 1912.
In 1919, an ALA resolution promoting equal pay and opportunities for women in librarianship was defeated by a large margin.
In 1970, Betty Wilson brought forth a resolution that would have had the ALA refrain from using facilities that discriminate against women. That resolution was also defeated by the membership.
In 1977, the ALA took a stand for the Equal Rights Amendment. The organization stated that they would no longer hold conferences in states that did not ratify the amendment, with the boycott measure set to take place in 1981. An ERA Task Force was formed in 1979 towards this goal and a sum of $25,000 was allocated towards task force operations in unratified states. At the time, a number of state library associations passed pro-ERA resolutions and formed committees on women in libraries.
In 2013-14, 82% of graduates in Master of Library Science (MLS) programs were female.
There are multiple groups within the American Library Association, dedicated to discussing, critiquing, and furthering gender-related and feminist issues within the profession.
In 1969 the first women's rights task force was founded: the National Women's Liberation Front for Librarians (NWFFL or New-Waffle). It was also in 1969 that children's librarians, after being unable to find children's books that included working mothers, worked to remedy the situation and succeeded in their efforts.
The American Library Association's Social Responsibilities Round Table Feminist Task Force (FTF) was founded in 1970 by women who wished to address sexism in libraries and librarianship. FTF was the first ALA group to focus on women's issues. In recent years during Women's History Month (March), the FTF has dedicated their efforts to expanding women's library history online, using the website Women of Library History. The FTF also publishes the annual Amelia Bloomer Project list, which includes some of the best feminist young adult literature of the year.
The Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL) of the American Library Association, founded in 1976, represents the diversity of women's interest within ALA and ensures that the Association considers the rights of the majority (women) in the library field, and promotes and initiates the collection, analysis, dissemination, and coordination of information on the status of women in librarianship. The bibliographic history of women in U.S. librarianship and women librarians developing services for women has been well-documented in the series of publications initially issued by the Social Responsibilities Round Table Task Force on Women and later continued by COSWL.
The ALA also has the Women & Gender Studies Section (WGSS) of its Division "Association of College & Research Libraries"; this section was formed to discuss, promote, and support women's studies collections and services in academic and research libraries.
Finally, the ALA has the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Roundtable (GLBTRT). While the GLBTRT deals with sexuality, different than gender identity, much of the roundtable's work is arguably feminist in nature, and concerned with issues of gender. The GLBTRT is committed to serving the information needs of the GLBT professional library community, and the GLBT information and access needs of individuals at large.
Many scholars within the profession have taken up gender and its relationship to the discipline of library and information science. Scholars like Hope A. Olson and Sanford Berman have directed efforts at the problematic nature of cataloging and classification standards and schemes that are obscuring or exclusionary to marginalized groups. Others have written about the implications of gendered stereotypes in librarianship, particularly as they relate to library instruction.Library instruction also intersects with feminist pedagogy, and scholars such as Maria Accardi have written about feminist pedagogical practices in libraries. Library scholars have also dealt with issues of gender and leadership, having equitable gender representation in library collection development, and issues of gender and young adult and children's librarianship.
The ALA Policy Manual states under B.2.1.15 Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of Sex, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sexual Orientation (Old Number 53.1.15): "The American Library Association stringently and unequivocally maintains that libraries and librarians have an obligation to resist efforts that systematically exclude materials dealing with any subject matter, including sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. The Association also encourages librarians to proactively support the First Amendment rights of all library users, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Adopted 1993, amended 2000, 2004, 2008, 2010."  It also states under B.2.12 Threats to Library Materials Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation (Old Number 53.12), "The American Library Association supports the inclusion in library collections of materials that reflect the diversity of our society, including those related to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. ALA encourages all American Library Association chapters to take active stands against all legislative or other government attempts to proscribe materials related to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression; and encourages all libraries to acquire and make available materials representative of all the people in our society. Adopted 2005, Amended 2009, 2010." 
The field of library and information science seeks to provide a diverse working environment in libraries across the United States. Ways to change the status quo include diversifying the job field with regards to age, class, disabilities, ethnicity, gender identity, race, sex, and sexual orientation. The demographics of America are changing; those who were once minorities will become the majority. Library facilities can best represent their communities by hiring diverse staffs. The American Library Association and many libraries around the country realize the issue of diversity in the workplace and are addressing this problem.
The majority of librarians working in the U.S. are female, between the ages of 55-64, and Caucasian. A 2014 study by the American Library Association of research done from 2009 to 2010 shows that 98,273 of credentialed librarians were female while 20,393 were male. 15,335 of the total 111,666 were 35 and younger and only 6,222 were 65 or older. 104,393 were white; 6,160 African American, 3,260 American Pacific Islander; 185 Native American including Alaskan; 1,008 of two or more races, and 3,661 Latino. (ALA).
To help change the lack of diversity in library jobs in the U.S., more scholarships and grants are emerging. Most library and information science students do not belong to an underrepresented group and as a reaction to these research statistics, the field is creating ways to encourage more diversity in the classroom.
The ALA Annual Research Diversity Grant Program is a way to encourage innovation in scholars and professionals to provide insight into how to diversify the field. The ALA Grant is directed toward those who have valuable and original research ideas that can add to the knowledge of diversity in the field of Librarianship. The program awards up to three individuals once a year with a grant of $2,500 each. The applicants have submission guidelines, are given a timeline, and are shown the evaluation process online.
One way to nurture cultural diversity in the library field is with cultural competencies. Scholars recommend defining skills needed to serve and work with others who belong to different cultures. It is suggested that these definitions be posted in job listings and be referred to when promoting and giving raises. In library and information science graduate programs, it is also suggested by scholars that there is a lack of classes teaching students cultural competences. It is important for more classes to teach about diversity and measure the outcomes.
Another strategy is to create interest in the field of library and information science from a young age. If minorities do not desire to become librarians, they will not seek to obtain an MLS or MLIS and therefore will not fill high job roles in libraries. A recommended solutions are to create a great experience for all racial group's early on in life. This may inspire more young children to become interested in this field.
ALA Office for Diversity
The Office for Diversity is a sector of the American Library Association whose purpose is to aid libraries in providing a diverse workforce, gathering data, and teaching others about the issue of diversity related to the field of library and information science.
American Indian Library Association
The American Indian Library Association (AILA) was created in 1979. It publishes a newsletter twice a year and educates individuals and groups about Indian culture.
Black Caucus of the American Library Association
BCALA promotes not only library services that can be enjoyed by the African American community but also the emergence of African American librarians and library professionals. By joining the association, patrons have access to newsletters, the entirety of their website, and networking boards.
The Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) began March on 31, 1973. It was formally known as the Mid-West Chinese American Librarians Association. It has members not only in America but in China, Hong Kong, Canada, and more. The organization promotes the Chinese culture through the outlet of libraries and communicates with others in the profession of librarianship.
Reforma is the national library association to promote library and information services to Latino and the Spanish speaking, created in 1971. The association has pushed for Spanish collections in libraries, gives out yearly scholarships, and sends out quarterly newsletters. One of Reforma's main goals is to recruit Latinos into professional positions of the library.
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Deaf people have the same needs as any other library visitors, and often have more difficulty accessing materials and services. Over the last few decades, libraries in the United States have begun to implement services and collections for D/deaf and HoH patrons and are working to make more of their collections, services, their communities, and even the world more accessible to this group of underserved people.
The history of the role of libraries in the Deaf community in the United States is a sordid one. The American Library Association readily admits that disabled people belong to a minority that is often overlooked and underrepresented by people in the library, and the Deaf community belongs in this minority group. However, in the last few decades, libraries across the United States have made great strides in the mission of making libraries more accessible to disabled people in general and to the Deaf community specifically. The Library Bill of Rights preamble states that "all libraries are forums for information and ideas" and as such libraries need to remove the physical and technological barriers which in turn would allow persons with disabilities full access to the resources available.
Australian librarian Karen McQuigg stated in 2003 that "even ten years ago, when I was involved in a project looking at what public libraries could offer the deaf, it seemed as if the gap between the requirements of this group and what public libraries could offer was too great for public libraries to be able to serve them effectively." Clearly, not even so long ago, there was quite a dearth of information for or about the deaf community available in libraries across the nation and around the globe.
New guidelines from library organizations such as International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the ALA were written in order to help libraries make their information more accessible to people with disabilities, and in some cases, specifically the deaf community. IFLA's Guidelines for Library Services to Deaf People is one such set of guidelines, was published to inform libraries of the services that should be provided for deaf patrons. Most of the guidelines pertain to ensuring that deaf patrons have equal access to all available library services. Other guidelines include training library staff to provide services for the deaf community, availability of text telephones or TTYs not only to assist patrons with reference questions but also for making outside calls, using the most recent technology in order to communicate more effectively with deaf patrons, including closed captioning services for any television services, and developing a collection that would interest the members of the deaf community.
Over the years, library services have begun to evolve in order to accommodate the needs and desires of local deaf communities. There is now a Library Service to People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Forum for libraries to look at to find out what they can do to better serve their Deaf/HoH users. At the Queen Borough Public Library (QBPL) in New York, the staff implemented new and innovative ideas in order to involve the community and library staff with the deaf people in their community. The QBPL hired a deaf librarian, Lori Stambler, to train the library staff about deaf culture, to teach sign language classes for family members and people who are involved with deaf people, and to teach literacy classes for deaf patrons. In working with the library, Stambler was able to help the community reach out to its deaf neighbors, and helped other deaf people become more active in their outside community.
The library at Gallaudet University, the only deaf liberal arts university in the United States, was founded in 1876. The library's collection has grown from a small number of reference books to the world's largest collection of deaf-related materials, with over 234,000 books and thousands of other materials in different formats. The collection is so large that the library had to create a hybrid classification system based on the Dewey Decimal Classification System in order to make cataloging and location within the library easier for both library staff and users. The library also houses the university's archives, which holds some of the oldest deaf-related books and documents in the world.
In Nashville, Tennessee, Sandy Cohen manages the Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (LSDHH). The program was created in 1979 in response to information accessibility issues for the deaf in the Nashville area. Originally, the only service provided was the news via a teletypewriter or TTY, but today, the program has expanded to serving the entire state of Tennessee by providing all different types of information and material on deafness, deaf culture, and information for family members of deaf people, as well as a historical and reference collection.
Many practicing librarians do not contribute to LIS scholarship, but focus on daily operations within their own libraries or library systems. Other practicing librarians, particularly in academic libraries, do perform original scholarly LIS research and contribute to the academic end of the field.
Whether or not individual professional librarians contribute to scholarly research and publication, many are involved with and contribute to the advancement of the profession and of library science and information science through local, state, regional, national and international library or information organizations.
Library science is very closely related to issues of knowledge organization; however, the latter is a broader term which covers how knowledge is represented and stored (computer science/linguistics), how it might be automatically processed (artificial intelligence), and how it is organized outside the library in global systems such as the internet. In addition, library science typically refers to a specific community engaged in managing holdings as they are found in university and government libraries, while knowledge organization in general refers to this and also to other communities (such as publishers) and other systems (such as the Internet). The library system is thus one socio-technical structure for knowledge organization.
Information has been published which analyses the relations between philosophy of information (PI), library and information science (LIS), and social epistemology (SE).
The study of librarianship for public libraries covers issues such as cataloging; collection development for a diverse community; information literacy; readers' advisory; community standards; public services-focused librarianship; serving a diverse community of adults, children, and teens; intellectual freedom; censorship; and legal and budgeting issues. The public library as a commons or public sphere based on the work of Jürgen Habermas has become a central metaphor in the 21st century.
Most people are familiar with municipal public libraries, but there are many different types of public libraries that exist. There are four different types of public libraries: association libraries, municipal public libraries, school district libraries and special district public libraries. It is very important to be able to distinguish between the four. Each receives its funding through different sources. Each is established by a different set of voters. And, not all are subject to municipal civil service governance. Listed below is a chart from the New York State Library's library development website. This chart lists all of the information about the different public libraries.
The study of school librarianship covers library services for children in schools through secondary school. In some regions, the local government may have stricter standards for the education and certification of school librarians (who are often considered a special case of teacher), than for other librarians, and the educational program will include those local criteria. School librarianship may also include issues of intellectual freedom, pedagogy, information literacy, and how to build a cooperative curriculum with the teaching staff.
The study of academic librarianship covers library services for colleges and universities. Issues of special importance to the field may include copyright; technology, digital libraries, and digital repositories; academic freedom; open access to scholarly works; as well as specialized knowledge of subject areas important to the institution and the relevant reference works. Librarians often divide focus individually as liaisons on particular schools within a college or university.
Some academic librarians are considered faculty, and hold similar academic ranks to those of professors, while others are not. In either case, the minimal qualification is a Master of Arts in Library Studies or Masters of Arts in Library and Information Science. Some academic libraries may only require a master's degree in a specific academic field or a related field, such as educational technology.
The study of archives includes the training of archivists, librarians specially trained to maintain and build archives of records intended for historical preservation. Special issues include physical preservation, conservation and restoration of materials and mass deacidification; specialist catalogs; solo work; access; and appraisal. Many archivists are also trained historians specializing in the period covered by the archive.
Special libraries and special librarians include almost any other form of librarianship, including those who serve in medical libraries (and hospitals or medical schools), corporations, news agencies, government organizations, or other special collections. The issues at these libraries are specific to the industries they inhabit, but may include solo work, corporate financing, specialized collection development, and extensive self-promotion to potential patrons. Special librarians have their own professional organization, the Special Library Association.
National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is considered a special library. Its mission is to support, preserve, make accessible, and collaborate in the scholarly research and educational outreach activities of UCAR/NCAR.
Another is the Federal Bureau of Investigations Library. According to its website, "The FBI Library supports the FBI in its statutory mission to uphold the law through investigation of violations of federal criminal law; to protect the United States from foreign intelligence and terrorist activities; and to provide leadership and law enforcement assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies.
Preservation librarians most often work in academic libraries. Their focus is on the management of preservation activities that seek to maintain access to content within books, manuscripts, archival materials, and other library resources. Examples of activities managed by preservation librarians include binding, conservation, digital and analog reformatting, digital preservation, and environmental monitoring.