Logo for Twitter Social Media app. Logo for Linked In Social Media app.

History of ASLIB

ASLIB original members team photo.

ASLIB was founded in 1924 as the Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureaux with a remit (which it maintains today) to welcome practitioners in all aspects of information management, rather than only libraries and librarians.

ASLIB has played a significant role in the life of the nation, and in information management throughout its history. During World War II ASLIB used information management expertise and innovation to provide leadership and monitor oversees newspapers. ASLIB fed relevant information to Government departments. It also stepped in to provide professional education and training when the only university course in existence at the time had to close down. ASLIB (which is the name pure and simple, it is no longer and acronym) continues to play a strong role in professional development through its training courses and publishing programme.

Innovation, adaptability and leadership have been key features of ASLIB over the years through its publications, Communities of Practice, conferences, meetings and consultancy. The ASLIB Information Resources Management special interest group was at the forefront of Knowledge Management for example when that area of practice began to develop. ASLIB played a key role in the development of BOPCAS (British Official Publications Current Awareness Service) in partnership with the University of Southampton.

Over its 87 year history, some leading figures have participated in the work of ASLIB such as Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan from India (who developed the Five Laws of Library Science). Professor Brian Vickery, an influential figure in the field of classification and information retrieval and a powerful force in the development of faceted classification was research director at ASLIB.

That long history of leadership, innovation and the development of best practice in information management is the foundation we build our work on today.