The Dept. of Library and Information Science started in 1961 is one of the early depts. established by the University of Kerala. The dept. provides learning opportunities and undertakes research projects in concept and techniques related to diverse areas in LIS. It also undertakes a number of continuing education programmes such as Refresher courses, workshops etc. for working librarians in order to update their knowledge in the recent developments and to provide better services to the user community. The department offers the academic programmes viz MLISc., M. Phil and PhD. The dept. has so far given training to more than 1500 professionals at various levels to manage different types of libraries on scientific lines. It has produced 19 PhDs, 22 MPhil and 250 Post graduate research studies (MLISc) and has completed around 10 research projects in LIS. The Dept. has a good collection of books and periodicals in the dept. library and is equipped with audio visual communication system. The dept. maintains a well established InfoTech Lab with server and more than a dozen computer systems. A peer reviewed journal Journal of Information Science & Technology is also being published from the dept.
The Department is situated inside the University Library complex of the Kerala University, which is located at the centre of the capital city of Kerala.
The Department founded in 1961 on the initiative of the then University Librarian Professor K A Isaac is the premier school of librarianship and information science in Kerala and one of the early teaching and research departments in the University of Kerala. Located in the Kerala University Library Building, presently the Department offers, M L I Sc, M Phil. It also enrolls candidates for research leading to Ph D degree. In addition, the department undertakes research projects, continuing education programmes, and extension activities and offers consultancy services.Initially there was only the Bachelor of Library Science (B Lib Sc) course, which was later renamed as Bachelor of Library and Information Science (B L I Sc).
The Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.Sc.) course was introduced in 1979, with six seats, out of which three were reserved to practicing librarians. The number was subsequently enhanced to 12 and in 1998 a Part-time M L I Sc course was introduced, as a self financing course, and that too in response to the demands from the practicing librarians for opportunities for their professional development. Since1996 M.L.I.Sc. is offered as semesterised course, consisting of two semesters, each of 5 months duration, with total credits of 38, out of which 32 are for core courses and 6 for electives. In 2002 MLISc two year integrated course was introduced, consisting of four semesters, with total credits of 76, out of which 64 are for core courses and 12 for electives.
Since 1982-83 the Department has been enrolling Scholars for Ph D. At present there are 6 supervising teachers including external ones, recognised for guiding research in Library and Information Science. The Department started the M Phil course in Library and Information Science in 1998.
With a view to mould library professionals with good expertise in Information Technology and its application in information storage and retrieval, a Post-graduate Diploma (PG-DIT) Course was introduced in 1996. This is also a self-financing course with an intake of 10. The silver Jubilee of the Department was celebrated in 1986. The year long celebrations consisted of a National Seminar on Library and Information Science Education in India: New Perspectives 10 – 12 December 1986, a Regional Seminar on the Kerala Public Libraries Act, Specialised lectures by stalwarts in various fields, Publication and a host of other programmes.
Prof. K. A. Isaac, has been heading the Department, since its inception till his retirement on 31 July 1985. Initially, Prof. Isaac was heading both the University Library and the Department, and this state of affairs continued till his retirement from the post of University Librarian on 31 July 1980.
Then onwards headship of the University Library and the Department was bifurcated.
Prof. M. N. Ramakrishnan, the then senior most Faculty member succeeded Prof Isaac, as Head of the Department on 1 August 1985. He continued in the position till retirement on 31 December 1990.
Smt. K. K. Lalitha Bai, Reader was the successor of Prof M N Ramakrishnan. She continued in the position of Reader and Head for more than four years from 1 January 1991 till she voluntarily relinquished the headship on 1 May 1994. Dr. G. Devarajan succeeded Smt. K. K. Lalitha Bai, as the Head of the Department and he was in the position till his retirement on 31st March 2007.
Thereafter Sri. M.Varghese, the senior most faculty member was appointed as Head of the Department. At present Dr. A. Gopikuttan is the Head of the Department.
The former faculty members of the Department include Sri. C. A. Augustine, Sri M. M. Job, Dr. M. Bavakutty and Dr. C .V. Rajan Pillai.