In starting this new journal in the field of library and information science, wherein quite number of journals already exist, the Department of Library Science, University of Delhi has certainly not acted in a hurry. Sufficiently long period of time was devoted in the Department in discussing and reviewing various relevant questions in this regard: firstly, whether there is a need for another journal, and secondly, if the answer was in the affirmative, what kind of journal, with what specialization, if any, etc.? Only after having got convinced about the need of starting a new journal did the Department to decide to embark upon this venture with the earnest hope that this Journal of Library and Information Science would not only have a successful career but would also serve as an important media for the dissemination of the new ideas and knowledge in this rapidly developing discipline.
Among the several points duly considered by the Department in this connection, one point which deserves special attention was that in spite of the fact that this country has made important original contributions in this field during the past four decades or so, the number of good quality journals being published in India at present is still quite limited.
At the same time, since the Department of Library Science: during its formative years it had good fortune of having associated and guidance of eminent library scientists such as late S.R. Ranganathan and late S. Das Gupta and has since its inception in 1946 always been in the forefront in this country in laying down norms and standards not only for the development of library and information science training programmes but of library services as well. Sir Maurice Gwyer, the then Vice Chancellor of the University of Delhi, on whose initiative this Department was started in 1946, has affirm faith in the positive contributions which can be made by well-organized libraries not only in the development of education and research but also in the development of an enlightened society in the country. It was therefore for the first time in the country that he established a Department of Library Science like other teaching departments in this University. This Department from its very beginning had provision but only for the usual training programmes but also advance training and research activities. Subsequent Vice-Chancellors also always provided incentives to this Department for its academic development through the following years. A very significant decision, which needs to be highlighted here, was taken by the University in 1972 when Vice-Chancellor Dr. Sarup Singh decided to have the Department finally separated from the dual control of the University Librarian and consequently the Department was provided with one full time position of a Professor. This decision falls in line with the present trend has already been in existence in a country like USA and even in a country like UK where for decades providing library science education was being imparted primarily by its Vice-Chancellor, Professor R.C. Mehrotra who is a well known scholar and educational administrator and who has very kindly contributed Foreword for the present issue.
The Board of Editors have plans to bring out special dealing with different aspects of library and information science from time to time. Specialists in the profession are therefore requested to send contributions for this Journal in the areas of their specialization. Since, besides the traditional subjects much research is at present taking place in the area of automation in libraries, contributions in the form of original articles, review articles etc. In this area are in particular earnestly solicited. Besides these, much new knowledge is being produced these days under the auspices of the national and world information systems such as NATIS, UNISIST, DEVSIS, etc. and this Journal would certainly serve as a media for dissemination of this knowledge as well.
The present issues consists of seven articles, all written by Indian authors and deal with different areas such as university library, library science education, information network and systems, classification, etc.
Since now the issue is in the hand of the users, the Board of Editors will greatly appreciate to have their views and suggestions which would help further improve its contents and quality.