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Foundations of Library and Information Science



Foreword by Camila A. Alire
In the fifth edition of this classic textbook, Richard E Rubin and new co-author Rachel G. Rubin provide a foundational text for LIS students and professionals while taking into account the numerous societal, technological, political, and economic changes affecting library and information institutions, their users and the discipline as a whole.
Foundations of Library and Information Science effectively prepares LIS students and professionals for an increasingly nuanced set of responsibilities. The new edition explores:
- the history and mission of libraries from past to present, including the history of service to African Americans; - critical contemporary social issues such as services to marginalised communities, tribal libraries, and immigrants; - the rise of e-government and the crucial role of political advocacy; - digital devices, social networking, digital publishing, e-books, virtual reality, and other technology; - forces shaping the future of libraries, including Future Ready libraries, and sustainability as a core value of librarianship; - the values and ethics of the profession, with new coverage of civic engagement, combatting fake news, the importance of social justice, and the role of critical librarianship; - knowledge infrastructure and organization, including Resource Description and Access (RDA), linked data, and the Library Research Model; - the significance of the digital divide and policy issues related to broadband access and net neutrality; - intellectual freedom, legal issues, and copyright-related topics; - contemporary issues in LIS education such as the ongoing tensions between information science and library science; and • the changing character of collections and services including the role of digital libraries, preservation, and the digital humanities.
This book is an essential resource for both aspiring library and information science practitioners and those already established in the field. It will also be of interest to students of other information sciences, including information and knowledge management, librarianship, publishing and museum studies.

List of Figures

Foreword by Camila Alire



  1. The Knowledge Infrastructure
  2. From Past to Present: The History and Mission of Libraries
  3. The Library as an Institution: An Organisational Perspective
  4. Transforming the Library: The Impact and Implications of Technology
  5. Library and Information Science: An Evolving Profession
  6. The Organisation of Knowledge: Techniques and Issues
  7. Information Science: A Service Perspective
  8. Information Policy: Stakeholders and Agendas
  9. Intellectual Freedom
  10. The Values and Ethics of Library and Information Science


A. Major Library and Information Science Associations and List of Additional Associations

B. List of ALA-Accredited Programs

C. Standards for Accreditation of Master's Programs in Library and Information Studies

D. IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto 1994.

About the Authors


Richard E. Rubin is the former Director of the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University, USA. He has spoken and presented at workshops throughout the United States, primarily on aspects of human resource management, and he has been active in professional associations both nationally and locally, having served as Chair of the ALA Committee on Accreditation. Dr Rubin is the author of numerous publications including four editions of Foundations of Library and Information Science (Neal-Schuman 2000, 2004, 2010), and his articles have appeared in journals including Library Quarterly and Library and Information Science Research.

Rachel G. Rubin is Director of Library and Information Services at Capital University, USA and Councillor-at-Large for the American Library Association. Previously, Rubin was library director for Bexley Public Library and has held positions at Worthington and Columbus Metropolitan libraries. Rubin is a graduate of Carleton College and Kent State University, and she holds a Ph.D. in Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions from Simmons College.

'This is a very impressive contribution to the LIS literature; in many ways it puts a useful boundary around the entire field... For students qualifying and qualified, for practitioners, teachers and researchers, this book is a stimulating, informative and reassuring companion. Thoroughly recommended.'

Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association

"In this fourth edition, Rubin excels at providing everything working library professionals and those desiring to become library professionals need to know. This text could be considered 'the librarian's Bible,' as it is so comprehensive in its coverage of the profession. Rubin's relaxed and conversational writing style makes it a highly approachable text and a valuable addition to any professional resource collection, library and information science classroom, or personal reference."— VOYA

"This text is an exemplary introduction for students entering the profession, a handbook for continuing professional development, a research tool for those pursuing topics and issues further, and a key resource placing library and information science developments in context. It will be sought after and well used library and information science students and others."— Australian Library Journal

"This is a well-written and comprehensive book, which has much to offer aspiring LIS professionals and those already practicing in the field ... Rubin has done an excellent job in updating the book and highlighting the challenges which the 'digital information age' presents to LIS. The book deserves to be read widely."— International Journal of Information Management

"This edition has been reorganized, revised, and updated to reflect the current state of the field, including new information on the internet, blogs, wikis, and social networks, as well as electronic publishing like e-books and digital libraries and the development of Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records."— SciTech Book News

"This is a valuable textbook for introductory library and information science courses ... The index enables the practicing librarian to use this work as a resource for additional and updated information on aspects of librarianship in a manner that suits the novice."— ARBA Online

"A top-notch curriculum or self-study aid for anyone interested in any of a wide variety of information science professions, Foundations of Library and Information Science is especially recommended for college library collections."
— Midwest Book Review

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