Historical Background of the Department : Quite conscious of the growing requirements of its users, the Aligarh Muslim University built a modern multi-storied building of Maulana Azad Library that was inaugurated in 1960 by Late Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India. The library which once started with a small personal stock of few hundred books of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of this great seat of learning and which came to be known as the Lytton Library of the M.A.O. College in 1877, has now grown into a mammoth collection of about 15 lac printed and E Books. It is now regarded as the second biggest University Library of the Indian sub-continent. However, the foundation of the Department of Library Science was laid way back in 1950-51 with the introduction of a 'Certificate Course in Library Science,' by the then University Librarian, Late Prof. S. Bashiruddin. The course proved so popular that after a few years, the University decided to run two courses a year. Encouraged by the success of the certificate course, Late Prof. S. Bashiruddin introduced 'Bachelor of Library Science' in 1958-59 with full time Lecturers for the first time in the country. The Certificate course was discontinued in 1968-69. Subsequently, 'Master of Library Science' was introduced in 1970-71. Another pioneering step taken by the Department in the year 1986-87 was the introduction of Library Science as a subsidiary subject at B.A. level in the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences. Realizing the need and importance of research in the subject, the Department started M.Phil. /Ph.D. programme since 1990-91. Meanwhile the department shifted from the rear portion of Maulana Azad Library to the present building in Kennedy Hall Complex in 1995. In line with the UGC's model curriculum (2001), the syllabi of the courses offered by the department have been thoroughly revised and introduced from the session 2003-2004. A special feature of the revised syllabi is the emphasis on Information Technology and hands-on training on a number of library automation software packages. A well-equipped computer lab supports the revised syllabi with Internet facility. The seminar library of the department is the first fully automated library of the university. It is characterized by the facilities such as Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), circulation through barcodes, access to online journals and a CD workstation. A portion of the library has been glass partitioned to provide services through exclusively devoted terminals. The teachers of the department have also received training in Information Technology within the country and also abroad.
Library and Information Science Today
Present era, specially the later half of 20th century has seen an unprecedented boom in the production of documents in almost all fields of knowledge, especially in Science and Technology. The ever increasing bulk of recorded information available in book form, non-book form or electronic form together with satellite data has created a formidable phenomenon called 'Knowledge or Information Explosion' or more appropriately, 'Information Revolution'. Under the circumstances, users find themselves at their wits end to know what is published where in their own areas of interest and how to gain access to required piece of information pin pointedly, exhaustively and expeditiously. Consequently, libraries as information centers and librarians as Information Scientists have attained significant positions in the modern society.
Inadequacy of traditional methods of information handling have recently led to the growing use of computer and communication technologies in the storage and retrieval of information and its communication through various networks at local, national and international level. In fact, the traditional view of the library, as a store of information held locally, is being eroded as the library is becoming a gateway to information resources world wide.
The computer based services that have transformed a modern library into electronic library include access to information-from local and remote databases through INTERNET, INTRANET, CD Networks, e-books, e-journals, computerized in-house library operations (such as acquisition, classification, cataloguing, circulation serial control etc.) in addition to electronic mail, file transfer, Barcode and other multimedia technologies. Of late the new concepts such as 'Library without walls', 'Virtual Library', 'Electronic Library' and 'Digital Library' have emerged. The resources of such libraries are available in digital form and can be accessed from any corner of the globe. These advances have not only revolutionized the discipline but also compelled the library professionals to equip themselves with the latest information and communication technologies.