Asa Don Dickinson, a student of Melvil Dewey, who was asked to organize Punjab University Library, Lahore (now in West Punjab, Pakistan) on modern lines in 1915, also started the first training course in Librarianship in this region in 1916. He published a manual entitled Punjab Library Primer the same year. He also founded the Punjab Library Association (PLA). The training course was started again after Dickinson went back to the USA by the members of PLA. After the partition in 1947, the Panjab University (now in Chandigarh) started training in Librarianship. After partition, Punjabi University was the first to start imparting education and training in librarianship in reorganized Punjab in 1969.
Punjabi University, Patiala was established in April, 1962. After six years, with the efforts of S. Hakam Singh, Head of the University Library the Department of Library Science was established in 1969, with starting of Bachelor of Library Science Programme. It made a humble beginning with only one lecturer named Sh. S. P. Narang. It was placed under the charge of Ms. K. Navalani, Reader and Head of the Department w.e.f. November, 1978. Till then S. Hakam Singh was looking after the department in addition to his duties. In 1978, keeping in view the developments in the subject, the scope was enlarged from Library Science to Library and Information Science with a similar change in the name of the department from Department of Library Science to "Department of Library and Information Science". Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) was introduced from the session 1987-88.
The department has its own departmental library. Housed in a Hall in the department, it is in fact a special library on Library and Information Science, and it also acts as a workshop for the students. It has a collection of more than 2500 monographs, which include reference books, text books, advanced treatises, standards, general interest books and donated collection. The library has also got books transferred from the Central Library of the University.
The department was among the earliest LIS departments in India to develop its own Computer Laboratory in late 1980s. Today, it has 12 computers, and other peripherals. The Computer Laboratory in the department has been connected to the Internet, through the Local Area Network (LAN) in the University.
The Departmental homepage was launched in 1998, the first webpage of any LIS university department in South Asia and was listed in the World list of schools and departments of information science, information management and related disciplines, maintained by Prof. Tom Wilson of UK (http://informationr.net/wl/).
The department started an electronic journal South Asian Libraries and Information Networks (SALIN): An Electronic Journal in 2003. This was the first LIS electronic journal in India made freely accessible to all users across the globe.
Professor M.P. Satija, our first alumnus has made the department proud by attaining international visibility in the field of classification. Prof. Satija is a recipient of ILA Life-Time Achievement Award. About 90% of students get placed in academic, public, and special libraries as well as in documentation and information centres through the following modes. Many of our students pass the NET examination while studying for their MLIS degree.
The research programme was introduced in August 1986 and the first PhD was awarded in 1994. Till date (May 2023) 43 researchers have been awarded PhD, and 25 researchers are registered and 2 are enrolled for PhD in the department.
Online Guest Lecture on Emerging Technologies in Libraries delivered by Dr. Mohammad Rafiq, Institute of Information Management, University of the Punjab, Lahore on 10 August 2021
Guest Lecture on "Effective Stress Coping Strategies" by Dr. Naina, Assistant Professor (Psychology), Department of Distance Education, Punjabi University Patiala organized on 6th December 2021
Guest Lecture on Role of Social Media in Teaching, Research and Collaborative Learning by Prof. Shilpi Verma, Department of Library and Information Science, BBAU, Lucknow organized on 13th December 2021
Library Orientation of Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha Library, Punjabi University Patiala on 22ndMarch 2022
Lecture on Gender Sensitization by Prof. Ritu Lehal, Department of Applied Management, Punjabi University, Patiala on 25th March 2022
Buddy Lecture by Dr. Mamta, Department of Psychology, Punjabi University, Patiala organized on 29th March 2022
Three Days Educational Tour to Manali from 10th to 12thApril 2022
One Day Visit to Musafir Memorial Central State Library, Patiala on 20th May 2022
Guest Lectures on "Universal Decimal Classification" by Dr. M.P. Satija (Retd. Prof.) and UGC Emeritus Fellow, Department of Library & Information Science, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar organized on 23rd & 24th May 2022
Guest Lecture on Women Health and Hygiene by Ms. Sulochna Thakur, from TIENS Himachal Pradesh, organized on 1st June 2022
Extension Lecture on Environment Degradation, Climate Change and Human Health by Dr. Jagbir Singh, Professor (Retd.), Department of Zoology and Environment Science organized on 2nd June 2022
Guest Lecture on ""Development, Problems and Research Trends in Political Science" by Dr. Jagroop Kaur, Professor & Head, Department of Political Science organized on 10th June 2022
Guest Lecture on Intellectual Property Rights by Dr. Balwinder Singh Sooch, Head, Department of Biotechnology organized by the Department in association with IPRs & Technology Transfer Cell, Punjabi University, Patiala on 10th June 2022
Online Meeting on Career Counseling by Dr. Nirmal Singh, Assistant Librarian, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, Ludhiana held on 29th June 2022
Weekly meditation sessions on Sahajayoga Meditation by Dr. Kiran Kathuria, Assistant Professor, Department of Library and Information Science organized since 2014
Buddy Lectures organized on weekly basis by the Department
Farewell Party Session 2021-22