LIS 600: Foundations of Library and Information Science Week Three Kevin Rioux, PhD Division of Library and Information Science
Part 1 The Basics
Defining Information Science: Taylor the science that investigates the properties and behavior of information, the forces governing the flow of information, and the means of processing information for optimum accessibility and usability. The processes include the origination, dissemination, collection, organization, storage, retrieval, interpretation, and use of information. The filed is derived from or related to mathematics, logic, linguistics, psychology, computer technology, operations research, the graphic arts, communications, library science, management, and some other fields (Taylor, 1966).
De-institutionalized library science Rubin notes that information science has been characterized as de- institutionalized library science. This view holds the entire world as the collection All humans information needs are the object of the practice of the information scientist
Rubins Framework: Libraries are but one part of a larger information infrastructure that is enormously complex and varied.
Information Science vs. Library Science (not necessarily a dichotomy) Information Science Broader than library science Deals with entire information cycle--creation to use Overtly borrows from the social sciences, e.g.: Psychology Communication Sociology Library Science Focus is on providing access and knowledge organization issues Deals mostly with InBEs Is institutionally focused Overtly identifies as a mature service profession
Goals of information science and their relationship with librarianship The development of theory that helps guide all information systems this is concurrent with librarianships goals and values of access and usability. Maintain an academic discipline with academe, which buttresses librarianship training programs in universities, which emphasize research
Research Emphases in Information Science Information seeking behavior Information needs of service populations Impact of information technologies on human information behavior and society Policy issues
Emergence of user-centered research (and subsequent practice) Systems View Focus on collection Focus on institution More passive approach User-Centered View Focus on user needs A more global view of information A more active approach based on the user
History of Information Science Heavily influenced by library science = the science-ified form of librarianship that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Examples of early library science: classification schemes, collecting circulation statistics Librarians were doing science for a long time before the term was coined
History of Information Science, contd. Emerged as an articulated discipline as new information formats were developed (e.g., microfilm, scientific reports, etc.) to join books in the information sphere. Started to think beyond books VERY BIG CONCEPTUAL LEAP AT THE TIME Emphasis on the information, not the format Information technologies became a focus after WWII Sputnik boosted government support
Paul Otlet Paul Otlet born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1868. His monumental book Trait de documentation. (Brussels, 1934) was both central and symbolic in the development of information science - then called "Documentation" - in the first half of the 20th century. Paul Otlet was the most central figure in the development of Documentation. He struggled tirelessly for decades with the central technical, theoretical, and organizational aspects of a problem central to society: How to make recorded knowledge available to those who need it. He thought deeply and wrote endlessly as he designed, developed, and initiated ambitious solutions at his Institute in Brussels. Emphases: universal organization and access, idealistic internationalism Source: Michael Buckland homepage. University of California, Berkeley
Other early information scientists Martin Schrettinger, Munich: practical classification and library science Melvil Dewey, New York: scientific management, efficiency, modularity Wilhelm Ostwald, Leipzig: hypertext world brain, paper sizes Emmanuel Goldberg, Dresden: automated search & retrieval Watson Davis, USA: Microfilm, American Documentation Institute (ASIS&T) Suzanne Briet, Paris: antelope--scope and nature of documentation Vannevar Bush: USA, As We May Think, MEMEX hypertext system
Other early information scientists, contd. Shannon-Weaver Model--circuit of communication. Source: Mick Underwood
Part 2 Nature of Information Science Areas of Inquiry for Information Science
Interaction with information: A dynamic process Personalidiosyncratic Zipfs Principal of Least Effort (easy access vs. quality) Dynamiccontructivist Kuhlthau (1991) Information Search Process Affective--emotions are a component Social--social beings who learn as a group and share information Cognitive--internal mental processes
Information Needs Need is widely defined Specialized groups Diabetics Children Scientists, Attorneys, Physicians, Teachers, etc. Business Consumers General public
Information Seeking, Information Gathering, Information Acquisition Seeking: looking for relevant information to satisfy a current or immediate need Information gathering: looking for information for a deferred need, e.g., browsing Acquisition: a broader term that includes unintentional bumping into information as we move through the information space, e.g., information encountering (Erdelez, 1997), information acquiring-and- sharing (Rioux, 2004).
Contextual Information Acquisition Also known as a problem environment Problem environment is based on needs Assumes that that people dont often seek information just for the sake of the process This notion is somewhat in opposition to the traditional restrictiveness in reference interviews
Social aspects of information acquisition Mostly rely on our own memory When that fails we prefer to ask people we know for information May not be best: Theory of Weak Ties--Granovetter Librarians as information sources occupy little top of mind awareness for most people. How can we change this? Interest groups agendas for libraries Perceptions of the library across all social groups Often perceived as elitist institutions. How can we change this?
Information storage and retrieval Evaluating the relevancy of the information retrieved Retrieval models (e.g., Boolean terms) Database and file structures Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Natural language processing Artificial intelligence
Easy Access is Key Physically easy to get the information Cost factor--has to be worth it in terms of time, money, effort Policy and laws affect access
What is information? Data--building block of information Information--data with meaning attached to it Knowledge--applied information Wisdom-- ?? Cognitive authority--recognized authorities for discerning whats what in various disciplines
Information value and adding value Value of information has always been a question for us. Today, our information economy is very interested in this issue. Commodification of information Implications for Fair Use Entertainment is a gigantic industry in the US Minimizing the cost of acquiring information Adding Value Additional services or analysis or formatting or reports or delivery mechanisms, etc. Important for all information professionals, especially those who can be described as special librarians
Bibliometrics and Citation Analysis Two of the few research methods developed within the LIS discipline Bibliometrics--collects statistics on how resources are used Who, when, how, where Citation analysis--observes how authors ideas are spread
Emergent areas of inquiry: Information Architecture Knowledge Management Usability Engineering Competitive Intelligence