Library Science History
Library science, also commonly referred to as ‘library and information science,’ is a field focused on data and literary management, information technology, literary education, and other important facets of a library, such as collecting books and other materials, organizing them effectively, preserving books and historical data, and sharing the knowledge contained within with others. This science became an official ‘study’ when a school for the subject was created in 1887 at Columbia University. Though what those original students studied was vastly different than what librarian students might study today, it help to create a basis for the field and to make libraries the functioning, complex systems they are today.
One man, Shiyali Ramarita Ranganthan, is commonly credited as the father of library science, though he actually did not begin working in the field until many years after the school was established. However, he is credited of making this science much of what it is today by coming up with the five laws of the study and for developing the analytic-synthetic classification system and the colon classification system. Without his contributions, this science and libraries themselves would not be nearly as organized or as comprehensive to the common person as they now are.
The archive science is an important subgroup of this science and focuses on organizing various resources and information. It also researches and finds new ways of helping people to understand classification systems, modern archival technology, and more. Additionally, workers in the field research how others understand the information collected, work to develop ethical systems for library service, and also help with legal, technical, and organizational facets of libraries. While some people do focus in just this area, most students of library science study archival science as part of their training. As such, the two are often interconnected and rarely distinguished from one another.
Today, many people pursue the librarian career in library science, and studies and even majors on the topic are available from a wide range of colleges and universities throughout the world. Typically, students of library science focus on and learn about collecting data and other materials, information systems, technology, research, cataloging and classification of library materials, preservation of library materials, reference materials, and library management. Those who graduate from such programs often go on to become librarians, specialized librarians – such as children librarians, researchers, or library management team or board members.
Obviously, library science is an important and fascinating field. It is, in a sense, responsible for cataloging and capturing our history and information for future generations. Without this study, we would not have the knowledge of our past that we do today and the world would not be quite the same as it is now.