The Department of Library and Information Sciences (LIS) was established in 1985.
Postgraduate library education in Pakistan started in 1956 by the University of Karachi. In the mid-eighties there were six library science departments all over the country. But they were not producing the required number of trained professional graduates as per demand. Moreover, the rate of technological change created by television, computer and other mass media was so stunning that many librarians had been unable to assess clearly its far-reaching effects on the sphere of their services and operation. Thus keeping in view the demand of professional staff and mission of AIOU, the Department of Library and Information Sciences (LIS) was established in 1985 within the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities to cope with this shortage and change. It contributes to meeting the professional requirements of the existing libraries and training skilled manpower scattered all over the country in accordance with the emerging need and trend. The LIS Department is currently offering/running seven programs.
The main objective of the LIS Department is to contribute to the LIS literature internationally through high quality research particularly focusing on current and future needs. Secondly, there is a high demand from information professionals across Pakistan to have the LIS programs at the AIOU platform through unconventional means of education. Thirdly, there is a high number of LIS professionals working in Islamabad and Rawalpindi who intend to enhance their professional qualifications and they find no such programs offered by public or private universities in this region. Other objectives include:
- To address the local issues in LIS and provide a viable solution through research;
- To enable LIS professionals to make informed decisions based on research;
- To promote evidenced-based LIS practice through the use of relevant research;
- To promote LIS research culture in Pakistan;
- To enrich Pakistani LIS research literature through quality research projects;
- To develop critical and analytical thinking skills of LIS research scholars;
- To develop advanced information literacy skills of research students;
- To improve academic writing skills of LIS research students;
- To improve soft skills of LIS research students;
- To provide a specialized manpower to the LIS job market; and
- To promote information entrepreneurship by establishing industry-academia linkages through need-based research.
The AIOU provides all relevant facilities such as library, HEC digital library, classrooms, study carrels, labs, digitally transformed setup, hostel, and so on.
The Department of LIS intends to offer more academic programs in near future such as postgraduate diploma with specialization in technology, research, management, and information organization. The Department is also publishing a research journal titled “International Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (IJoLIS),” which is recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan in Y category. The Department intends to upgrade this journal to X category.