Current Issue 13thFebruary 2016 - 19 February 2016, i.e. No. 45


- Om Shashi Shekhar Singh

Library and Information Science (LIS) is an interdisciplinary 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. The libraries being the repositories of knowledge and information, their importance has increased. In this situation, the librarianship has attained the status of a separate discipline. Librarians are the custodians of libraries and they organize, maintain, and store books in the libraries. They help people to find information and use it effectively in their personal and professional lives. The traditional libraries which contained only books now have periodicals, journals, micro-films, audio-videos, cassettes and slides for various purposes such as education, research, reference and pleasure.

      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.

      The career in library includes areas like library and information systems management, classification/cataloguing systems, bibliography, documentation, preservation and conservation of manuscript, collection management, information systems and technology, research methodology, computer applications, reference, statistics and management, information processing, archives management, indexing, library planning, etc. Library science is constantly evolving, incorporating new topics like database management, information architecture and knowledge management, among others. It is an interesting subject and provides a great opportunity to have the knowledge of wide variety of information sources.

A Day in a LIS Professional’s Life
On a typical day a librarian might perform some of the following duties:-

  1. ranalyse users’ needs and provide the information they need;
  2. show users how to efficiently search for information on the Internet and in other online resources;
  3. select and purchase materials and prepare those materials by classifying them according to subject matter;
  4. supervise assistants who prepare cards, computer records, or other access tools that direct users to resources;
  5. collect and organize books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and other materials in a specific field, such as rare books, genealogy, or music;
  6. coordinate programs such as storytelling for children, and literacy skills and book talks for adults;
  7. conduct classes as per need for junior professionals;
  8. publicize services;

      The first school for library science was founded by Melvil Dewey at Columbia University in 1887. The minimum qualification required to take up a course in Library Science is XII standard. Graduates from any stream can go for Bachelors degree in library science the duration of which is one year/ two semesters. After that, students can go for Masters Degree in library science, which is of one-year duration/two semesters course. Advanced studies in Library & Information Science include M. Phil and Ph.D. Besides, there are also diploma and certificate courses. Basically, a good librarian should have keen interest in books as well as a variety of topics, excellent communication skills, customer service attitude, methodical approach, high organizing ability/skills, and ability of understanding user needs.

Employment outlook and opportunities 
      According to one report, library and information science has been ranked as one of the “Best Careers of 2008.” As India is moving towards a knowledge society with proliferation of learning and research institutes the demand and importance of library science is growing rapidly. Consequently, job opportunities for librarians are on the upswing. Nevertheless, with the advent of information technology and computers the traditional concept of is being redesigned to include not only books and other printed materials but also new tools of information like CD-ROM, internet, virtual libraries etc. There is a lot of scope for a career in library science and the person in this field can find employment opportunities in the following areas.

1.   Public/Government libraries
2.   Universities/collages/schools and other academic institutions
3.   News agencies and organisations
4.   Private organisations and special libraries
5.   Foreign embassies
6.   Photo/film/radio/television libraries 
7.   Information centres/documentation centers
8.   Companies and organisations with large information handling requirements
9.   Museums and galleries, which have reading rooms and research facilities
 10. Law library/Special library, etc.

Types of library-science professionals:

Some of the career options are as given below:

  1. Library Attendant
  2. Library Assistant
  3. Semi-Professional Assistant
  4. Junior Librarian/Professional Assistant
  5. Assistant Librarian
  6. Deputy Librarian
  7. Librarian/Chief Librarian
  8. Researcher/Scientists/Application Specialist
  9. Consultant/Reference Librarian
  10. Cataloguer/Technical Assistant/Records Manager
  11. Director/Head Of Information Centre
  12. Senior Information Analyst
  13. Junior Information Analyst
  14. Senior Library Information Assistant
  15. Law Librarian
  16. Indexer
  17. Information architect
  18. Archivist

      LIS professionals can also aspire to get a job in private publishing houses and other private companies handling with voluminous information.


In the age of information revolution librarianship is a well paid job. However salaries of library professionals vary depending upon their individual qualifications, experience, size and nature of the hiring institutes. Persons with a superior record and high qualifications can achieve high positions. The salaries in college and university libraries are comparable to those of teachers. Indeed, the salaries of special librarians are high. Librarians employed in government museum, archives, galleries have higher earnings than those in colleges and universities. Librarians working in research institutes and private documentation centres also have handsome earnings.

Some of the Major Institutions offering Courses in Library Science
      National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resource (NISCAIR) New Delhi and Documentation Research & Training Centre (DRTC) Bengaluru are two prime institute offering Library and Information Science courses. Besides this, mostly all Indian universities offer degree courses in Library & Information Science, some are:

  • Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi
  • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (Website:
  • Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
  • University of Delhi, Delhi
  • Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi
  • Pt. Ravi Shankar Shukla University, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
  • Sampurnand Sanskrit Vishvidyalaya, Varanasi
  • Kurukhetra University, Haryana
  • Panjab University
  • Gujarat University;
  • Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu
  • Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu
  • Makhanlal Chaturvedi National Institute of Journalism, Bhopal
  • Andhra University and Amravati University, Maharashtra
  • Arya Vidyapeeth Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Bharatpur (Rajasthan)
  • University of Rajasthan, Bhusawar , Bharatpur-321406, Rajashthan
  • Awadhesh Pratap Singh University, Rewa (Madhya Pradesh)- 486003 
  • Bangalore University, Bangalore (Karnataka)
  • Behani Siksha Mahavidyalaya, Pushkar Bye Pass, Ajmer (Rajasthan) – 305001
  • Bhavnagar University, Gauyrishanker Lake Road, Bhavnagar (Gujarat)- 364002
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Mersa, Ranchi ( Jharkhand )- 835215
  • Bishop Heber College, Post Box No. 615 , Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu)- 620017
  • Bundelkhand University, Kanpur Road , Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh)- 284128
  • Osmania University Campus , Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)– 500007
  • Lucknow University, Lucknow
  • Dr. Hari Singh Gour Sagar University, Sagar (M.P.)
  • Jivaji University, Gwalior (M.P.)
  • Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Agra (U.P.)
  • Bilaspur University, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh

Distance Education

  1. Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068 Website :
  2. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University, Road No.46, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad - 500033, E-mail :
  3. Kota Open University, Rawatbhata Road, Akhelgarh, Kota-324010, Rajasthan, Tel.: 91-744-421254
  4. Nalanda Open University Camp. Office, 9 , Adarsh Colony, Kidwaipuri, Patna - 800001, Bihar, Tel.: 91-612-234330
  5. Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Dnyanagangotri, Near Gangapur Dam, Nashik-422005, Maharashtra, Website : 
  6. Madhya Pradesh Bhoj (Open) University, Red Cross Bhawan, Shivaji Nagar, Bhopal-462016, Madhya Pradesh, Tel.: 91-755-550606
  7. Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Govt. Bungalow No.9, Dafnala, Shahi Baug, Ahmedabad-380003, Gujarat, Tel.: 91-79-2869690
  8. Karnataka State Open University, Manasagangotri, Mysore - 570006, Karnataka Tel.: 91-821-515149
  9. Netaji Subhas Open University, 1, Woodburn Park, Kolkata -700020, West Bengal E-mail :
  10. U.P.Rajarshi Tandon Open University, 17, Maharshi Dayanand  Marg (Thornhill Road), Allahabad -21100, Uttar Pradesh, E-mail :


(The above list is indicative only)

(the writer is, Chief Librarian, Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mewat - 122108, Haryana, E-mail:
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