Foundations of Library and information Science.Foundations of Library and information Science. 3rd ed. By Richard E. Rubin. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2010.471 pp. A$115.00 soft cover ISBN 9781555706906 (available from Inbooks)
Now in its third edition, this highly recommended textbook is authoritative, comprehensive, relevant and timely, and reveals Rubin's background as a leading scholar in the field. Written from a North American perspective, this work provides an insightful examination of the foundations of library and information science, focusing on current library and information science theory and practice, and its social and historical context.
The introductory chapter outlines current trends changing and shaping library and information institutions--the Internet, diversification of population, uncertain fiscal environment and privacy expectations. An examination of the educational, recreational and informational infrastructure since the 19th century follows, covering information growth, processes, devices, networks, media industries, and institutions. Rubin then examines the history and mission of libraries, from the earliest known libraries to the present. An exploration of the evolving library and information science profession addresses education and training, and professional associations.
Techniques and issues related to the organisation of information cover classification systems, controlled vocabularies, cataloguing rules and requirements, bibliographies, indexes and abstracts, the organisation of knowledge within information retrieval systems and the impact of the internet on all this. The library as an institution, its functional organisation, and the types of library authorities are explained, preceding a discussion of public, school, academic and special libraries, which details characteristics and specific issues of each type of library. This leads into an analysis of the impact and implications of technological change and technology-related issues in the 21st century and how this is redefining the library.
The service aspect of information science, its characteristics, defining features, and emerging fields are reported. Information policy and related technical, legal, ethical issues are well covered, and Rubin devotes a chapter to discussing intellectual freedom and information policy as library policy. Rubin's final chapter discusses values and ethics of library and information science.
Easily read and accessible, this text may be read as a whole, or selected chapters read, or dipped into as a reference source. Each chapter is divided into numbered parts and sections, has an introduction, bullets, text boxes, and figures highlighting or illustrating key points, and concludes with a summary, references, and selected readings helpfully divided into books or articles. The book's companion website offers researchers expanded selected readings to further explore subjects covered in the book. Two appendices list relevant North American professional associations, and accredited masters' programmes.
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 by library and information science students and others.