On the Contemporary Research Status of Book, Library and Information Sciences
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The facts and processes concerning the world of books, libraries and librarianship, as well as written information and communication, have gradually become the subject matter of academic discussion, gaining autonomy in distinct disciplines with the passing of time. The multitude and variability of these disciplines, their constant evolution as well as their character and problems, varying in different countries, make it difficult to present one consistent image of the research status quo. Ever progressing in different forms and intensity, the processes of integration, autonomization and specialization in the field of research on books, libraries and information have transformed and created new constructions, in terms of both theory and methodology as well as research practice. The situation is not helped by the confusion in the nomenclature of disciplines, specialities and research trends, magnified by semantic differences in multilingual literature and carelessness in the usage of concepts and terms. Contemporary research in book, library and information sciences is determined and characterized above all by the following phenomena: (1) The multitude and diversity of research problems prevent their location in one “all-embracing” discipline – be it bibliology, library science or information science. These sciences, then, have undergone autonomization, which at the same time does not rule out connections or cooperation; (2) Each of the disciplines, clearly shaped in this field in the last few decades, has a specifically independent status in the world of science owing to its own specific research subject matter, its characteristic concept apparatus and suitable research methods, unique character of relations with other sciences, as well as owing to cognitive and practical aims; (3) Bibliology, library and information problems are of interest to other sciences, especially humanities and social sciences. They constitute an important element of their research efforts and are of great importance to the theory and practice of book, library and information sciences. A special role is to be performed by (heterogeneous and “polymorphous”) sciences on culture, (social) communication and means of communication (“media science”); (4) In sciences dealing with books, libraries and information, there is a clear division between historical and contemporary problems. Strongly developed, historical bibliology studies the book as a creation and tool of human civilization, a product of material and spiritual culture and an instrument of social communication in the history of humankind; (5) The increase in the knowledge of facts in book, library and information sciences is not yet accompanied by appropriately developed theoretical and methodological afterthoughts, which could allow intensifying research and elevating the importance of the aforementioned sciences.
- Głombiowski, Karol (1970). O funkcjonalną koncepcję nauki o książce [The functional concept of book studies] . "Studia o Książce" [The Studies of the Book], T. 1, p. 24.
- Raabe, Paul (2001). Die Bedeutung der Buchkultur für Europa. Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, Jg. 76, p. 27.
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