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, March 06, 2012

The emerging role of the library within an information-based global economy

Libraries in a broad sense (whose role is about physical presence, and intellectual content facilitators) are automated and provide access to print and electronic resources, both in the east or the west, are mostly using similar software platforms (irrespective of a function: acquisition, storage, processing), as well similar retrieval solutions (be it standalone pc, integrated computers or web-based solutions), etc..

One may ask, and the answers are not here:
  • how far this globalization (spirit of global village), is effecting the local (spirit of sustaining the local needs), and vice verse???
  • If the global village is meant to universal ubiquitous information access to so many bibliographic references / full-text resources, is only between the haves (developed world), or includes all the have-not's (developing, under-developed and not so developed world)? See also: Ethics of access: Globalization, feminism and information society by Gillian Youngs, Journal of Global Ethics, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2005
  • What standards, if any, are being developed / applied for effective and efficient service delivery
  • how this virtual library is being taken-over, from the perspective of a traditional library (LIS) by other competing stakeholders (IM, KM, CM, IT, etc.)
  • What’s really driving & / or intensifying the competitive pressures on the traditional library?
  • What other long-term options &/or opportunities are available for libraries?
  • What needs to be done today to change course and restore the image-cum-brand of the library-that-has-to-be?

    Reading now:
    Globalisation in academic libraries: A reflective comparison of academic libraries at Cork, Ireland, and Chihuahua, Mexico,
    McCarthy, James P; Javier Tarango Ortiz. Library Management31. 7 (2010): 505-520
    This paper attempts to compare two academic libraries in very different parts of the world. It aims to look at the influences which their local origins have had on them as well as the commonality which the internationalisation of the library profession has brought on them. The paper seeks inferences about the impact of globalisation on the world of academic librarianship. It looks at commonality of experience past, present and future. The process of investigation was to pose a number of questions regarding what academic libraries are, their role in academic landscapes, the impact of globalising technologies and the future of the book. The findings are that there is a commonality of experience and that modern library technologies have changed the nature of professional practice significantly in recent decades; that indigenous traditions of practice at local level are being replaced by an integration of internationally shared experience. The paper should interest those researching the future of academic libraries, comparative developments in academic libraries worldwide, the future of repository storage in the face of digitisation and the future of academic landscapes.

    >>James P. McCarthy can be contacted at:, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
    >>Javier Tarango Ortiz, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico

    On the same shelf:
  • The Development of Virtual Libraries in Commonwealth Libraries in Commonwealth Libraries in Australia, Amanda Magnussen
  • A New Era of Education Reform: Preparing All Students for Success in College, Career and Life, click here or here
  • The Community Library in Our Emerging Knowledge Economy
  • The disappearing virtual library, Christopher Kelty
  • AskERIC and the virtual library: lessons for emerging digital libraries, R. David Lanke
  • Credibility on the internet: shifting from authority to reliability, R. David Lankes
  • Mess, John A. “I Want An Expert, Not A Librarian”: Expert Advisory Services, Library Reference, And Knowledge Economics On The Internet. Internet Reference Services Quarterly 6.1 (2001): 49-67.
  • Steal this book? Don't bother, By Candace Lombardi, CNET News
  • Kaufman, Paula. "It's Not Your Parents' Library Anymore: Challenges And Opportunities In The New Webs Of Complexity." Journal Of Library Administration 46.1 (2007): 5-26.
    The 21st century holds the promise of a modern Renaissance in which traditional research library collections and services collide with the promises and realities of digital information and knowledge management. The most intriguing challenges and opportunities for research libraries center on the juxtaposition between the traditional library and digital information and knowledge management, with resultant webs of complexity. This paper examines these challenges and opportunities and raises questions of values and principles, missions and strategies, content and copyright, and methods and ethics. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
  • Beinhart, Larry. The Librarian. NY: Nation Books, 2004, 72.
  • Silicon, Carbon, Culture: Combining Codes Through the Arts, Humanities, and
    Technology: Final Report of the Silicon, Carbon, Culture Initiative. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
  • Lougee, Wendy Pradt. Diffuse Libraries: Emergent Roles for the Research Library
    in the Digital Age
    . Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources,
  • Kurzweil, Ray. The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human
    Intelligence. NY: Viking, 1999.
  • Murray, Janet H. “The Exhilaration of Access.” Threshold, Winter 2004.
  • Digital Information and Knowledge Management: New Opportunities for Research Libraries (Journal of Library Administration), Sul H. Lee
  • The impact of Internet on scientific traditional knowledge Ghobrial, R.A.;
    Documentation & Inf. Centre, Khartown, Sudan, Communication Technologies: From Theory to Applications, 2004. Proceedings. 2004 International Conference on Issue Date: 19-23 April 2004
  • Visions for Fundamental Change in Libraries and Librarianship for Asia Pacific
  • Googlization of Libraries: Debunking the Internet Godzilla Myth
    The Second Follett Lecture, Graduate School of Library and Information Science,
    Dominican University, 15 February 2006, Edward J. Valauskas -- reproduced in World Libraries Volume 19, Numbers 1 & 2, February 2012
  • Haugen, Betty (2005) "The Impact of Globalization on Law Libraries," International Journal of Legal Information: Vol. 33: Iss. 3, Article 8.
  • "Legal Information Management in a Global and Digital Age: Revolution and Tradition" cited in Impact of Globalization on International and Foreign Law Information
  • The Impact of Globalization on Libraries and the Role of IFLA, Claudia Lux
    SILF 2006, powerpoint
  • The Impact of Globalization on Library Management and Marketing, by Su, R. Yang, Q., IFLA PUBLICATIONS, 2007, VOL 125, pages 293-302
  • Google’s Convergence Re-visited
  • Should librarians be considered professionals?
  • The MLS Project: An Assessment After Sixty Years by Boyd Keith Swigger


    Thought for the day: We’re in the business of giving away knowledge. For free. Come in, please come in, and take some knowledge for free, no, no limit, keep going, gorge on it if you want, no, it’s not a trick, a come on, a free sample and then we’ll bill you later, or we’ll paper your head with banners and pop-ups. Librarians don’t have a lot of status and we don’t make a lot of money, more than poets, but not so much, say, as your more successful panhandlers, so our ideals are important to us and the love of books and the love of knowledge and the love of truth and free information and letting people discover things for themselves . . . –Larry Beinhart, The Librarian
  • Do We Still Need Libraries? December 28, 2012, The New York Times -- Debaters: a) Failing to Close the ‘Digital Divide’, Susan Crawford; b) More Relevant Than Ever, Luis Herrera; c) It’s Not Just Story Time and Bookmobiles, Buffy J. Hamilton; d) For Gathering and for Solitude, Matthew Battles,
  • Libraries Try to Update the Bookstore Model / Libraries See Opening as Bookstores Close, By KAREN ANN CULLOTTA, December 27, 2012

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    Anonymous James said...

    Thank you Mohamed for contacting me. Below are some thoughts which I have been wondering about since publishing my last paper:
    As a Librarian who has a life long interest in Archaeology, I am curious, ultimately, about the totality of human knowledge. Like never before the globalising impact of modern media is such that those bodies of knowledge which are the products of humanity's interaction with landscape and with itself, can now be considered as something growing towards an integrated totality stored and universally accessible in digital more than ever old voices are being added to the stories of new and more recent voices. Bodies of knowledge exist and have existed in oral traditions associated with story, song and dance, in artifactual assemblages which speak directly through the visual and the
    tangible and within the traditions of recording media used for the spoken and written word.
    In an imagined digital repository fro all of this product of human 'knowing' one might ask what understanding of history and prehistory, as we currently define these words, might such an integration of world cultural knowledge bring? I mean culture in the very broadest sense i.e. defining all human knowledge across the universality of descriptive classification embodied in for example The Dewey Decimal classification scheme. From that viewpoint how much of it has been lost, how much has been recovered through archaeological related research, how much has been lying dormant in repositories (museums, archives, libraries), how much is active, how much is currently being created and what will happen to it much redundancy and replication is there in it? Today, as in times past, we try to comprehend this 'knowing' through classification schemes from the simple to the complex, along with the underlying philosophies which give them their architectures and perspectives. But given the integrating power of new technologies what 'reformations' of our understanding of knowledge will take place, what new architectures of influences will become evident, what lost influences and interdisciplinary dependencies might be rediscovered? In the pioneering frontiers of cyberspace what are the challenges presented by the complexities of managing and retaining knowledge as a universal human asset? How might this resolve itself in terms of preserving distinctive cultural identities and their contributions to the totality of human knowing?

    6:01 AM  
    Blogger Mohamed Taher said...

    Hi James,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    I see your point and understand it has two different contexts--although in another sense it is the two sides of the coin.

    First, it is about the indigenous knowledge, most of it is tacit. And, second it is about the human knowledge that is in the public and visible domain, aka tangible domain.

    And, in the same breadth, one may ask: Is the age of Internet adding to the sum human knowledge or just sharing the same human knowledge (not mere data / information) in different forms is one question. If it is adding, that in what context and how do we know that.

    Take a look at the indigenous knowledge at my other blogs, in KM and in faith-based context. Let me know what you think:

    Knowledge Management of Local / Indigenous Traditions for a Globalized World

    Vertical and tacit: Multifaith and Knowledge Management in Perspective

    Knowledge Management Applications in Multifaith & / or Multicultural Transactions Revisited

    9:02 AM  
    Blogger Andrew william said...

    very nice blog. thanks for sharing this

    8:36 AM  

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