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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).

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Juliette Hampton Morgan (February 21, 1914 – July 16, 1957) was a librarian and civil rights activist in Montgomery, Alabama. The only daughter from a well-to-do white family, Morgan was an early member of the community that pushed for integration. As a librarian she often spoke out against the acts of injustice she witnessed against African-Americans by writing letters to the Montgomery Advertiser, the local newspaper. She was castigated by the community for her racial views and was targeted by segregationists who broke her windows and burned a cross in her front yard. Unable to bear the strain caused by the unrelenting retaliation caused by her views, she took her own life.

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There’s no use going to school unless your final destination is the library.
Ray Bradbury, unknown

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An old library card catalog.
Image credit: Gregg
Prior to the adoption of automated systems, the card catalog was the primary means of accessing a library's collection.

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Melvil Dewey (December 10, 1851–December 26, 1931) was the inventor of the Dewey Decimal Classification system for library classification.

In 1883 he became librarian of Columbia College, and in the following year founded the Columbia School of Library Economy, the first-ever institution organized for the instruction of librarians. This school, which was very successful, was removed to Albany, New York in 1890, where it was reestablished as the New York State Library School under his direction. From 1888 to 1906, he was director of the New York State Library and from 1888 to 1900 was secretary of the University of the State of New York, completely reorganizing the state library and making it one of the most efficient in America, as well as establishing the system of state traveling libraries and picture collections. In 1890 he helped to found the first state library association - the New York Library Association (NYLA) - and he was its first president, from 1890-1892.

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