What Is Library Science?


Quick Answer

The field of library science, sometimes called library and information science, deals with managing collections of resources, organizing and archiving resources for access, evaluating and analyzing resources and helping others learn to use the materials available in libraries. Library science is a mix of concepts from the fields of information technology, education and management. It focuses on meeting users' needs for information.

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What Is Library Science?
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Full Answer

Library and information science is commonly studied at the graduate level, as many librarian jobs require a master's degree, and library science teaching positions often require a doctorate. The American Library Association, or ALA, accredits programs in the field. Students in a master's degree program in library and information science study such topics as information resource organization, online databases, human-information interaction, media management, information literacy, information architecture and collections development. Students often complete internships at libraries.

Library science professionals can find work in a variety of fields and roles. They can choose to work as academic or school librarians, perhaps focusing on a specific subject area, in universities or K-12 schools. Those working in public libraries could work as administrators, collections managers, reference people or archive managers. There are also special libraries such as at hospitals, museums, prisons, television studies and cultural institutions. Careers in information services may include database manager, researcher and programmer positions.

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