Library and Information Sciences ( LIS ) Placeless Spaces in the Digital Era

Library and Information Sciences ( LIS ) Placeless Spaces in the Digital Era

Ugochi Chioma Ekenna (Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria), Lynda Obiageri Okorigbo (Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria), Leonard Anezi Ezema (Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria) and Ozioma Prudent Ogbuagu (Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6618-3.ch017
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Abstract

Before the internet, libraries were the best source of information available. The library was not only a repository of knowledge; it was also a place to hang out and study. However, the internet and the ever-expanding digital gateway have resulted in the rise and prevalence of information on our phones, tablets, or our laptops. Some people have argued the place of LIS in the digital era and have concluded that there is no need of heading down to the library anymore for information. It is important to clear up such misconceptions. People do still use libraries to find out information. The researchers organized the chapter in the following way: introduction and background, history and development of LIS, overview of library and information science (LIS), librarianship past and present, trends and issues in library and information science curriculum, significance of LIS in the digital era, challenges of LIS profession in the digital era, recommendations, conclusion, and references.
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Introduction And Background

Library and Information (LIS) is an academic programme meant to produce information professionals who are able to provide quality information services and adapt to technological change in an information based environment. With the emergence of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the information services activities have changed. In other words, the new and emerging technologies have significantly influenced the way and manner information is acquired, organized, preserved, repackaged, disseminated, and delivered. Therefore, LIS programme is expected to train individuals to be relevant, dynamic, services oriented and responsive to the gradual and drastic changes taking place in information sector globally. By implication, the more there is continued change in information sector, the expectations of the society, information users’ needs and behaviours also change. In this contemporary time where digital seems everything and everything seems digital, Library and Information Science as a discipline is continuously struggling to keep up with diverse platforms through which it can satisfy the demands of the society (Alhassan and Ahmed, 2015). The realities of the present day digital era are upon us; upon the world; upon different professions, as well as upon Library and Information Science as a discipline. Today’s environment is characterized by developments in technology, over abundance of information, changes in the demand for LIS service delivery and a magnitude of challenges in Library and Information Science (LIS) education (Mohan and Nisha, 2015).

Before the internet, libraries were the best source of information available. The library was not only a repository of knowledge, it was also a place to hang out and study. However, the Internet and the ever-expanding digital gateway have resulted in the rise and prevalence of information on our phones, tablets or our laptops. Some people have argued the place of LIS in the digital era and have concluded that there is no need of heading down to the library anymore for information. It is important to clear up such misconceptions. People do still use libraries to find out information. Unlike the internet, a library is a free source of knowledge. While most of us take the internet for granted, it is a privilege that we pay for. If you can’t afford an internet subscription, the library is your only option. It’s still important for children who need to study outside of school. Or for students who need to study outside of classes. It’s also where many tourists will head to if they’re looking for information. Essentially, the library provides equitable access to anyone in search of information.

These days’ libraries provide more than just “dusty books” it also provides internet services free of charge. Libraries are also becoming a place where modern technology and old information meets. There are now online libraries, where you can read all the books available digitally for free. Emerging technologies can be used to quickly find the location of the book that you need. There are some resources you can get from a library that can’t be found online. Libraries across the world have ancient texts that do not yet have digital files. For a historical researcher, this is the only place that they can be found. They cannot even be bought online. It’s important that libraries continue to utilize new forms of tech to keep up with modern times.

The digital era has brought of dynamism to the library and information science (LIS) profession. This has come as a result of the sophisticated nature of the present day library user. The library clientele are constantly prompting librarians to be more proactive in their service delivery. The advent of the Internet has compelled libraries to provide services in more dynamic ways. Library and information service is an umbrella term covering all services obtainable in the library. This does not only imply “within-the-library services” but also includes mobile library service which, in essence, is the provision of library services to clients outside the library building. There is need for professionalism in providing these library services. Ranganathan’s five laws of librarianship have always served as a watchword for libraries and librarians and it states as follows:

  • 1.

    books are for use;

  • 2.

    every book its reader;

  • 3.

    every reader its book;

  • 4.

    save the time of the reader; and

  • 5.

    the library is a growing organism.

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