International and Comparative Librarianship

S. R. Ranganathan, P. N. Kaula, R. N. Sharma, J. F. Harvey, D. J. Foskett, J. P. Danton, M. M. Jackson, etc.
This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The oldest library in the world just opened to the public — the al-Qarawiyyin library, Fez, Morocco

1,157 years after it first opened, the world's oldest library has finally been restored and unveiled to the public. Located in Fez, Morocco, the al-Qarawiyyin library is part of the world's oldest continually operating university, al-Qarawiyyin University, which opened in 859. The library got several small additions and renovations over its millennium-long existence, but it wasn't until 2012 that Canadian-Moroccan architect Aziza Chaouni
decided to give it a total face lift. 
world's oldest library
To show off al-Qarawiyyin's new appearance, the university has opened the space, which had previously been reserved for academics and theologians, to the general public.
Take a look inside....
The al-Qarawiyyin university, library, and mosque were founded by Fatima El-Fihriya in 859 — around the time early forms of algebra were being invented.
Continue reading: The oldest library in the world just opened to the public — the al-Qarawiyyin library, Fez, Morocco

Monday, May 16, 2016

International and Comparative Librarianship History Revisited : First Facts About Libraries

This collection is inspired by many sites that have Interesting Facts About Libraries (sadly, many facts don't have an authentic source). 
Here are just a few “secrets” or little-known first facts about libraries, with a source:
  1.  Bookboat: The first floating library service began in 1959. "Epos" - Norway's floating library, by Anne Marie Oevstegaard. [source]
  2. The World's Oldest Library. Hans H. Wellisch. "Almost all present descriptions of ancient libraries consider the Library of Ashurbanipal, dating from the 7thc BC and discovered around 1850" [source] [see also:  Library of King Ashurbanipal Web Page]
  3. The world's biggest library is The Library of Congress [source]
  4. The smallest library in the world has appeared on the streets of New York City, it has space for just one reader at a time. - Recommendation : Read a short book (under 150 pages) or a book with a yellow cover [source]
  5. The Harvard University library houses a collection of books bound in human skin. [source]
  6. The latest news maker: A Shikara ride to the library: Innovative cafe near Dal lake is book lovers' paradise in J&K offering rare books of Kashmiri history  [source]
  7. One of the world's biggest books claimed headlines about Bhutan [source]
  8. The highest library in the World at 230.9 m (757 ft 6 in), at the JW Marriott in Shanghai - China [source]
  9. The Filipino librarian has the distinction of being the first librarian in the world to be professionalized through the legislative process. [source]
  10.  The first Bookmobile (mobile library) - The British Workman  reported in 1857  a perambulating library operating in a circle of eight villages in Cumbria. [source]
  11. The world´s most overdue library book: The Oregonian: Borrower returns books 52 years late to Portland State University's library, with unsigned note [source]
  12. The Most Stolen Books From Libraries : The Guinness Book of Records tops the list.[source]
  13. There are more public libraries than McDonald's in the U.S.- a total of 16,604 including branches [source]
  14. The Firstthe nation's first lending library in the United States : Though the Library of Congress was the first official post-revolutionary library, it was not the first governmental library in the United States. The history of the first governmental library stretches back to 1731, when Benjamin Franklin and several of his friends in the Junto society founded The Library Company as a non-profit.[source]
  15. The first library catalog : ... the Seven Epitomes, the first library catalog to establish the bibliographic model in imperial China. [source]
  16. The first comprehensive Arabic national bibliography was compiled by Ibn al-Nadim, ' Kitab al fihrist' [source]
  17. 1 in 3 public libraries across the U.S.A. have Facebook accounts [source]
  18. The first library classification system, eisted during the Han Dynasty, and the first book notation system as well. [source]
  19. U.S. public libraries were some of the first institutions to be racially integrated because whites generally didn’t want to put up much of a fight about them. Some were even ashamed at the time to learn that libraries were segregated. [Source]
  20. Authors get paid every time UK or Irish libraries lend their books. [Source]


Thursday, May 12, 2016

The “Golden Age” of Librarianship? Changes in the Information Profession from 1947-2014

As a history enthusiast, I really enjoyed learning about the evolution of the library profession in my 9005 Management course and how the profession has changed over the past century. We watched this really interesting vocational video about librarianship from 1947, which gives a good insight about the roles and responsibilities of librarians in the immediate post-WWII era, what kinds of educational requirements are needed, and job prospects for aspiring librarians in the mid-20th century.
In some ways, not much has changed in the past half century in the library profession. In 1947, the educational requirements were a university degree and attend a specialised library school, while in 2014, the same is true except the requirement is now a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS/MIS/MLS). That is not surprising in that educational requirements for many jobs have increased to at least have a basic college or university degree, but the specialised degree in library school is still the minimum requirement to be a librarian then and now. Another thing that remains true in the field of librarianship are the soft skills required to excel in the profession. While the demand for hard skills may change as technology advances, the human side of the profession remains unchanged as librarians need to have excellent interpersonal skills and must deliver exceptional reference services to patrons. Having a love for books/information and people is as relevant in the 21st century as it was in the 1940s, even if librarians now use electronic databases and digital resources. Continue reading

Friday, April 29, 2016

Travelling library: The two Indians on a road trip to promote books

Satabdi Misra (right) and Akshaya Rautaray (second, right) with the Walking Bookfairs Book Truck in Kerala. They arrive in Mumbai later this month [Image courtesy: Mid-day . com]... A travelling library for India By Preeti Singh |Posted 13-Jan-2016, Mid-day

Satabdi Misra (right) and Akshaya Rautaray (second, right) with the Walking Bookfairs Book Truck in Kerala. They arrive in Mumbai later this month

"The two Indians on a road trip to promote books." By Vikas Pandey, BBC News, 19 March 2016
Library on wheels
"We have sold around 2,000 books so far. And we keep getting our stock replenished in big cities," Ms Mishra says.
But selling books is not their primary goal. They also lend them out, and say their biggest ambition is actually to engage people in conversations about the importance of reading. continue reading BBC . COM
Two youngsters, 20 states and a truck full of books, Last updated on: January 22, 2016
Armed with 4000 books in a truck, two youngsters have set on a unique journey to promote the love of reading across 20 states in India. Their journey will inspire you too! ...
The Walking BookFairs truck at Tea Gardens in Nilambur, Mysore. "It is ironical that there are so many literary festivals happening all over the country but less and less people are reading books. There are very few bookshops in India and no bookshops in smaller towns or villages. ...
"Most bookshops are shops selling textbooks and stationery. Even the bookshops that one finds in bigger towns or cities stock mostly best sellers with zero discounts offered to general readers. ...
"Though there are many good authors in India, many books and authors are not able to reach people everywhere because of a lack of effective distribution chain and because there are no bookshops," says Akshaya, who along with Shatabdi has set up a 'Walking BookFairs' store in Bhubaneswar." ...
Shatabdi and Akshaya have three publishers supporting their tour -- HarperCollins India, Pan Macmillan India and Parragon Publishers. ...
"Even with their support, this turned out to be a very expensive tour, but we decided to go ahead with it as we felt very strongly about it," says Shatabdi. ...
Currently, they are in Karnataka after touring Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. ...continue reading  rediff . com
A Book for Everyone By Kasturi Ray | Bhubaneswar Published: 30th March 2015 How it all began ...
Once during a pleasure trip to Koraput district, both the youngsters, being avid readers, felt it was places like this that need to be told about the kind of books that are available for youngsters. “We decided to start our project from Koraput. We carried books in backpacks and spread those on even pavements and roadsides in the remote villages. We never thought about the response but we were pleasantly surprised to see that people were immediately drawn towards our stall. Children came in large numbers and they said they were seeing story books for the first time,’’ said Akshaya with a smile. They have covered 22 out of 30 districts in the State exhibiting books of all genres and for all ages in the past one-and-a-half years. ...
Investment: Ask them about the investment and Satabdi says not much. “In fact, we bought a second hand van too. Otherwise, we just bought some books on credit and carried them in backpacks to places where we thought we could reach out to people who have been deprived of reading. How much do books cost? But we have been able to sustain so far because we earn as much to live a decent life,’’ she adds. Continue reading New Indian Express

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Broadening Your Internet Search -- Making Searching Even Easier

Internet (or Google) search is not the same a library's catalog search.

Let's first see the problem with what we do (in our Internet search step), and how Google assumes our search request.

In Google search, by using different keywords your search gets more specific.
Example: a. (key words) International Comparative Librarianship; b. (words & key phrases, i.e., words in quotes) "Information services" Research "Content management" Training "Human Resources" "Helpful Advice" "Related Services"
The above specificity reduces the number of search results. Remember, if you make it too specific, you may miss some useful websites.

When you type a word, Google search mechanism views it as though there is an AND between each of your search terms-- though you may not have typed: AND. Obviously Google will search only for websites that have all the words you entered.

Now to broaden your search, you can type OR between two words (that automatically avoids AND). Then, Google looks for sites that have any one of your search terms. For example, if you search for ‘International OR librarianship’, you will find only results with either words--results show all the sites containing the words ‘international’ and all the pages containing the word ‘librarianship’.  [adapted from]

See also:

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviours, Shifting Priorities, An OCLC Research Report

By Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Ixchel M. Faniel, SRELS Journal of Information Management, Vol 52(1) | February 2015, p. 3–23:

Abridged version of: Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Ixchel M. Faniel. 2014. Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviors, Shifting Priorities. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research.

Reordering Ranganathan: Shifting User Behaviors, Shifting Priorities: An OCLC Research Report by: Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., and Ixchel Faniel, Ph.D.

This report suggests that Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science can be reordered and reinterpreted to reflect today's library resources and services, as well as the behaviors that people demonstrate when engaging with them.

Key highlights of the Report:
  • Today's library users challenge librarians to move from the simple declaration of "save the time of the reader"; meeting today's users' needs requires embedding library systems and services into their existing workflows
  • Our modern-day rephrasing of "every person his or her book" is know your community and its needs
  • The core meaning of "books are for use" is still about access; however, our interpretation focuses on developing the physical and technical infrastructure needed to deliver materials
  • Our interpretation of "every book its reader" focuses on increasing the discoverability, access and use of resources within users’ existing workflows
  • We agree that "a library is a growing organism" and propose growing users' share of attention -- continue reading: An OCLC Research Report