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What Is Information and Library Science?

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  • Written By: Sarah Kay Moll
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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Information and library science is an interdisciplinary field of study focusing on the management and use of information resources. It is usually presented at the graduate level, and people can earn a master's or doctoral degree in information and library science, which prepares them for a career in managing information. It is also a current field of academic study, with scholars across the world researching different aspects of information science.

This field focuses on the management of libraries and other information resources such as museums or online databases. How people interact with information is another major topic. Information technology is constantly changing, affecting the way people retrieve, access, and interact with information, and is another focus of information and library science.

The way people use information in daily life is a big part of the study of information and library science. People in this field are also interested in the use of information in various fields, such as medicine or science. Scientists and doctors may use and access information in a different way than a businessperson or teacher, and this is a subject of study.

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Graduate programs in information and library science prepare people for careers in information management. These programs often have a focus on human-information interaction, investigating the way people use and acquire information. They may also have classes about information access, discussing the ways information professionals can make it easier and simpler for people to get the information they need. Information systems management and organization of information resources are other important topics a graduate program would likely cover.

People who study information and library science are prepared for a variety of careers. They may become librarians, managing public libraries, school libraries, or even academic libraries. They are also qualified to become museum curators or archivists. Other people may manage information systems in a variety of fields such as medicine or business.

In addition to the people working in the field, information and library scientists may become academic researchers. Human-information interaction and the way people react to new information is one topic many researchers investigate. The information-seeking behavior of different groups of people and how this behavior is influenced by demographics is another area of study. Scholars in the field may also investigate different uses of technology to organize and provide access to information. Researchers in this field have a variety of techniques to study information use, for example they may track publications by top scientists or the everyday information use of a group of people.

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