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Library and Information Science:
A Guide to Online Resources

Link disclaimerSubject Guides and Resources

Book room, Norman Williams Public Library, Woodstock, VT
Book room, Norman Williams Public Library, Woodstock, VT.
Photographic print,
ca. 1885.
Prints and Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

General Guides
Cataloging Resources
Current Awareness
Library Directories
Library Associations
Library Listservs

General Guides

There are many subject guides to print and online literature in the field of library and information science. Several free, online guides that serve as excellent starting points for locating resources and information on all aspects of library science are:

UCIrvine Libraries, Subject Guide to Library and Information Science

e-Library@Iowa State University

University at Albany Libraries, Guide to Library and Information Science

Cataloging Resources

Library of Congress Cataloging Documentation

During June 2013 the Library of Congress announced that it is transitioning to online-only publication of its cataloging documentation. The printing of new editions of subject heading and classification documentation has now ceased, and all new editions and updates will be freely available on LC’s Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA) Web site. Information about the status and location of specific LC cataloging documentation follows below.

Library of Congress Subject Headings.  The final printed edition of LCSH was the 35th, published in 2013.  The 36th edition will be issued in June 2014 as PDF files that may be freely downloaded. New PDF editions will be issued annually; the 37th edition will be issued in January 2015.

Library of Congress Classification Schedules. The most current edition of each classification schedule is available as a PDF file. Beginning in January 2015, new editions of each of the schedules annually.

Subject Headings Manual (SHM). The most current version of each of the instruction sheets comprising the SHM is available as a PDF file. The files will be updated on an as-needed basis, as policies and guidelines are updated. 

Classification and Shelflisting Manual (CSM). PDFs of each of the instruction sheets comprising the 2013 edition of the CSM are available on the ABA Web site. Like the SHM, the files will be updated as needed.

Superseded documentation.  The PDF files for superseded editions of LCSH and LCC will be archived and maintained on separate web pages for those wishing to access them for research purposes. The superseded files should not be used for cataloging. As SHM and CSM instruction sheets are updated, the superseded versions will be overwritten.  Superseded versions will not be retained on the ABA Web site at this time.

Subscription-based access to current documentation. LCSH and LCC will remain available through Classification Web, LC’s Web-based subscription service. Classification Web is a fully searchable and browsable interface for accessing the most up-to-date headings and classification numbers in LCSH, LCC, Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT), the Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music (LCMPT), Children’s Subject Headings, and the LC/NACO Name Authority File. It is updated daily.

The SHM and CSM will continue to be available through Cataloger’s Desktop, LC’s subscription-based online documentation service. Cataloger’s Desktop provides browsing and keyword searching of over 300 cataloging and metadata resources. It is updated quarterly.

Other resources for catalogers on the Library's cataloging and acquisitions pages include Library of Congress Classification Outline, MARC standards, authority records, and more.

Library of Congress Cataloging Training Materials

The Library's Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA) Web site provides access to cataloging resources available through the Library of Congress. The best area of this site for cataloging training materials is the Catalogers Learning Workshop (CLW), which makes available free training resources related to the organization and classification of bibliographic information.

Other Online Cataloging Resources

Multilingual Dictionary of Cataloguing Terms and Concepts (MulDiCat)

Intended to be used for authoritative translations of IFLA cataloguing standards and related documents, MulDiCat contains definitions for many terms and concepts used by the library cataloging community. Terms and definitions are available in English and a variety of other languages.

Current Awareness

Staying abreast of the latest news and advances in library and information science can be quite difficult. The following guides link to resources librarians can use to remain current in the field.

Library Networking: Journals, Weblogs, Associations, Conferences

Robert Teeter, district librarian for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, lists many resources to help librarians network with colleagues and stay current in the field.

Steven Bell's Keeping Up Web Site

Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian for Research & Instructional Services at Temple University's Paley Library, maintains this annotated guide to online resources for librarians seeking to "keep up" with news and developments in library and information science.

Library Directories

Often, your local library, or your country's national library, is the best starting point for receiving assistance and locating information. Find your local library using the following directories:


Libweb currently lists over 8,000 pages from libraries in 146 countries. Search by keyword, or browse by geographic location.

The National Libraries of Europe

Information on the collections, services, addresses, and online presences of European national libraries from The European Library.

National Library Websites

Maintained by the University of Queensland Social Sciences and Humanities Library.

Search for Public Libraries

A feature of the National Center for Education Statistics which allows users to search for U.S. public libraries by zip code, county, and other criteria.

WorldCat Registry

A directory of approximatley 100,000 libraries and library consortia. Use the Advanced Search option to locate library profiles by geographic location and other criteria.

Library Associations

Library associations are networks of professionals that gather and disseminate information to others in the field and generate public support for library and information services. If you aren't certain where to go to receive information or obtain resources needed for your library or position, you may wish to contact a local library association to seek assistance. The following Web site will help you locate local library associations.

Library Associations Around the World

A Project of the IFLA Management of Library Associations Section, coordinated by the American Library Association, International Relations Office.

Library Listservs

Library listservs are usually maintained by library associations and organizations. Its subscribers are typically members of that organization, or librarians with a vested interested in the listserv's goals or approved topics of discussion. Along with contacting local library associations and your local or national library, contacting appropriate library listservs is another way to receive needed information and resources in the field, and to develop contacts with other library professionals. Below is a selected list of some of the best and most popular listservs related to the field.

International Librarianship

International Librarianship Discussion Groups/Listservs

Acquisitions and Cataloging

ACQNET (acquisitions)

AUTOCAT (cataloging)

COLLDV-L (collection development)

GSAFD (providing subject access to works of fiction)

LIBLICENSE-L (licensing digital information)

SERIALST (serials processing)

Book Arts

Book_Arts-L (for bookbinders, book-artists, marblers, papermakers, printers, curators, and others)

Library Technology

code4lib (a forum for discussion of computer programming in the area of libraries and information science)

DIGLIB (for librarians, information scientists, and other information professionals to share information about the many issues and technologies pertaining to the creation of "digital libraries.")

NGC4Lib (Next Generation Catalogs For Libraries)

Web4Lib (issues relating to the creation, management, and support of library-based World-Wide Web servers, services, and applications)


Dig_Ref (digital reference)

LIBREF-L (general library reference)

School Librarians/Media Specialists

IASL-LINK (International Association of School Librarianship; for members only)

LM_NET (for school library media specialists worldwide)

Special Collections

ExLibris (for librarians working with rare books, manuscripts, maps, and other special collections)

Special Libraries

BUSLIB-L (for business librarians)

MEDLIB-L (for medical librarians)

Law-Lib (for law librarians)

SLA-DSOL (for solo librarians)

Special Library Association Chapter List (includes international chapters)


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  September 11, 2014
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