CONCEPT AND NEED FOR INFORMATION:
We shall look at the meaning, of information as also the meaning of other related words such as data, facts, intelligence, advice, knowledge and wisdom. Although often these words are often used synonymously, each one is different from the other in meaning. and use. Some of them are explained here with examples with special reference to library and information science.
Information emanates from all human activities and achievements; both individuals and corporate bodies are involved in the creation of information for some purpose or the other. Research and Development activities, for instance, generate new information which, in turn, is used as a basis for bringing forth more information. Some organisations are entrusted with the task of collecting and organising statistical information through census and surveys. A state with its organs of executive, legislature; judiciary, business and industry generates vast amount of information and contributes substantially to its growth.
We shall also study in this Unit why information gets generated at all. This is explained by taking typical examples of information needs of a wide cross-section of people; viz., students, teachers, medical and legal practitioners, engineers, technologists, business managers, industrialists, government officials, legislators, research workers, and other specialist groups.