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Foundations of Library and Information Science

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  840 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Foundations of Library and Information Science is the most current introductory text available, covering the practice of librarianship, the place of libraries in the broader information infrastructure, the development of information science, and more. Library and information science students and professionals will find the background and concepts they need to meet today's ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 579 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Neal-Schuman Publishers (first published 1998)
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Monique Well just starting graduate school in this subject let me boldly offer my own understanding LOL.. Basically library science is the science of…moreWell just starting graduate school in this subject let me boldly offer my own understanding LOL.. Basically library science is the science of libraries, what makes them run, why, how we market ourselves, integrate within the Semantice web and the internet and stay relevant in the knowledge infrastructure we all learn from..Ah breaking down what is information (what we know) what is knowledge (what we learn or get from others) and what is wisdom (knowledge commonly known by all) and how we get all that to the world..Library science is complex and multifaceted and encompasses politics, economics, social and educational barriers..All the ways libraries get and disseminate information and stay knowledgeable basically(less)
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Community Reviews

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i just realized i dont need this book anymore!! i have read all the chapters i have been assigned, and to the book i say good riddance!! its a textbook, so i wasnt expecting it to be the best book i ever read or anything, but now it is all behind me. its not bad, just unthrilling. i am going to win library school!!!
Dec 29, 2008 Greg rated it did not like it
Shelves: libraries, school
This book was terrible. It sucked. Or at least the ten pages I read of it before I decided there was no reason for me to read the book and that I'd do just as fine in the class by not reading it. I was right, since I got an A plus in the class.
Sep 11, 2007 Lavina rated it it was ok
Useful if the subject interests you (it will give you foundations and whatnot), but wow -- only three years old and it's hilariously outdated.
Dec 11, 2012 Kiri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-science
This book has such potential. It is written in readable, concise, and lucid prose. It presents some genuinely fascinating material, such as the history of the library profession, statistics on the public's media consumption habits, and an analysis of the ethical issues that face librarians.

The book's Achilles Heel is the fact that it is woefully outdated. Despite apparently having been revised for its 2010 3rd edition, most of the statistics come from 2001-2004, or even earlier. The book would
Scott Pagel
This was a good textbook for my course of the same name as the book title. The content was adequate (except in one area - see below) and the bibliography for each chapter is very nice to have. I'll probably keep this book even though my course is over.

The only content weakness was in the area of technology. Certainly, it is nearly impossible for any printed book to be current on technology issues. I wouldn't expect it to be. However, this book was revised in 2010 but many technology statistics
May 08, 2008 Beth rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Only as required by class.
Recommended to Beth by: LIBR 200
I've been working my way through this book all semester (it was assigned) and it's been a trek. It's a SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOW read, with some very dated data, such as 1990 survey information about American's use of public libraries. Sometimes, this frustrates me because Pew data would be much more accurate. Rubin makes good use of tables when appropriate.

Most disappointing is that the most interesting information is contained in the first chapter, so you're lulled into thinking the rest of the book wi
I'm reading this book throughout this whole semester at school for my first semester towards my MLIS.

It's okay. A lot of it is really dry and boring to read, but I guess it has mostly relevant information in it.
Reviewing a textbook..aah the joy..Spending eighty-five dollars for a six week summer session was truly heartbreaking..LOL I love book buying as much as the next girl and had to justify this one internally as that pricetag was killer..but truly honestly I can say that I used this book in every paper and we were assigned every chapter so I got to know “good ole Rubin” as my professor calls him very well…and despite disagreement with my classmates who found his work a little basic and outdated ...more
Oct 26, 2011 Liana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in library school
Recommended to Liana by: The syllabus
More than likely, now that I own this book, I think I might refer to it over and over to refresh the author's words of guidance contained within. This is a book that will answer everything you want to know about the library profession and then some. To me, this book affirmed my wish to become a librarian and comes complete with guidance on how to obtain the appropriate skill sets needed for working in any type of library or center for information. Easily absorbed, even entertaining...and it's a ...more
Welson Chang
Mar 26, 2009 Welson Chang rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking to be a librarian
So I read this book for my Foundations of Library and Information Science class and I have to say that it's quite enjoyable. Yes, the statistics and data in the book is a bit out of date but it still carries a lot of relevant information such as the history of library science as a profession. For those who are interested in getting to more know about being a librarian, this book is a good start. For those who are interested in knowing why people should support their libraries, this book is a ...more
Aug 06, 2014 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and easy to read for a textbook
Dry, long-winded and void of examples. Useful in certain areas, but not as many as the subject warrants.
Stephanie Snyder
Thorough but repetitive.
May 20, 2015 Lady rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: course-textbooks
Adequate required text for MLIS degree. The reading of it isn't as painfully dull and thick as other texts that I've come across. I'm at the start of my course study and have only read the Intro plus 2 other chapters so far. The 1st chapter in particular was very helpful, informative, if a bit too expansive. We will be reading/responding to the entire book within a 4-week period (it's an intensive summer course--ridiculous!) in addition to other assignments, so I hope the reading continues to be ...more
Weird, this is the last book I'll ever put on my "library school" shelf, as I'm graduating in a week. Crazy.

Anyway, I enjoyed this book, or at least as much as you can enjoy a text book. Yes, it's a bit dated in relation to the internet and electronic information, but the basic fundamentals, core concepts, and history of library science are all there. All in all, a good book for those interested in the core principles of library science.

One quibble: the last chapter seems very "Debbie Downer" ab
Monica St. Dennis
Apr 18, 2014 Monica St. Dennis rated it liked it
This book was useful, and I ended up buying my rental copy because I think it's a good thing to have around while completing the MLIS. I'm sure I'll refer back to it frequently the whole time I'm in library school. It is, of course, incredibly boring, as is every other book I've ever read with the phrase "foundations of" in the title.

Just read it with upbeat music on in the background, and you'll be fine.
Joey H.
Apr 20, 2012 Joey H. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really need an option for variable reviews. . . This is a 2-star book if you work in libraries and/or know anything about library operations and services. If, however, you have no library experience, I feel like this book would be supremely useful. So, 5 stars if you've never worked in a library. Otherwise, it's pretty meh.
Anna Janelle
A nice introduction to the library science profession - outlining the historical and contemporary issues surrounding information science.

The course whetted my appetite for the field in my first semester of graduate studies. Of particular interest: the impact of technologies on the field, the handling of privacy, and the concept of information ethics.
May 28, 2008 Ruby rated it liked it
Somewhat dry required reading for Intro to Lib Studies, but if you are a nerd like me you may also enjoy this nice thick overview of all things library. We read selected chapters and I do not plan to finish it on my own. But I may dip into it from time to time as a resource. Good to keep on the shelf.
Apr 18, 2013 Jonathan rated it liked it
Surprisingly interesting look at the history of libraries and of the challenges facing the library and information science community today. I'm giving it three stars only from the perspective of someone reading for pleasure because it's extremely dry. If you're a nerd, in grad school, or both, there is some good stuff in here.
Jan 06, 2016 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lis
A not to painful to read textbook. Required readings every other week for my foundations course. Did lead to some decent discussion in the course but thats also directly related to have an involved group of students. We read it out of order but I don't think that really effected the flow of information.
Aug 12, 2009 Kaley rated it liked it
Recommends it for: MLS students, people interested in learning more about the field of Information Studies.
Obviously this was for class, but I did actually enjoy it! It was thorough, well written, and interesting (as a newcomer to the field). My only complaint is that a lot of the info was outdated, which is clearly a never-ending battle in this particular filed. Things change quickly, and a new edition with updated info and statistics is a must!
Mar 01, 2010 David rated it it was ok
Another very dry summary of the library profession. The aspect of this book I did find helpful was the impressive and surprisingly easy-to-understand diagrams used to illustrate various characteristics of the field. I loves me some statistics!
Jun 17, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok
Shelves: text-books
Can I count text books? Well I read it, so I am! This one would garner 2.5 stars. It was dry - that's what happens with text books! But, I did very much enjoy the history portion of the book, being a lover of historical perspectives.
Lila Brantley
Apr 10, 2012 Lila Brantley rated it did not like it
This book is so boring and hard to read. Rubin, I know you are smart, incredibly smart, but seriously just write the book using everyday language so we can understand the concepts. The chapters are hellishly long to boot. That being said, the historical chapters were very interesting.
Apr 16, 2015 Kasey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good text. I hardly ever read required texts cover to cover, but I had to for this course. It was well written and easy to read. It taught me a lot and I will likely keep it instead of trying to sell it back.
Dec 09, 2013 Briana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives thorough detail of the foundations of library science, as well as the current issues today's librarians face. I read this for one of my graduate courses, and while the chapters were quite long, they were very thorough.
Oct 21, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, mls
Library Science 101. If you haven't worked in libraries, it's a good overview of the structures, issues and values behind those who work for libraries. Even includes the history of the institution and the ways in which it will succeed and survive in the future.
I learned a lot from reading this book, however, I found the chapters to be too lengthy and exhausting. It read too much like a textbook and lacked any humor. I also wish it included visuals of some of the information or more real life scenarios.
Elaine Hall
Apr 11, 2012 Elaine Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction to the profession. I mostly enjoyed the history chapter - great overview. A good general resource that I'm sure I will refer to again and again - especially in utilizing his references on specific topics.
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Help 6 13 Feb 04, 2009 12:22AM  
  • The Organization of Information (Library and Information Science Text Series)
  • The Portable MLIS: Insights from the Experts
  • Reference and Information Services: An Introduction (Library and Information Science Text Series)
  • Developing Library and Information Center Collections
  • Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century : An Introduction
  • Library and Information Center Management
  • Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction
  • Librarian's Guide to Online Searching
  • Rethinking Information Work: A Career Guide for Librarians and Other Information Professionals
  • Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives: A How-To-Do-It Manual
  • What They Don't Teach You in Library School
  • Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior (Library and Information Science)
  • Basic Research Methods for Librarians (Library and Information Science Text Series)
  • Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages
  • Ambient Findability: What We Find Changes Who We Become
  • Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators
  • Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder
  • The Oxford Guide to Library Research

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