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)].

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Call for Chapters: Role of Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Achieving Civic Engagement and Social Justice in Smart Cities

Currently, I am in the process of editing a forthcoming book entitled, Role of Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Achieving Civic Engagement and Social Justice in Smart Cities, to be published by IGI Global, an international publisher of progressive academic research.


Important Dates
February 23, 2021: Proposal Submission Deadline

March 9, 2021: Notification of Acceptance
May 8, 2021: Full Chapter Submission
June 21, 2021: Review Results Returned
August 2, 2021: Final Acceptance Notification
August 16, 2021: Final Chapter Submission
About the Book (a quick glance):
The focus of the book is on two themes, civic engagement, and social justice. This brings in two perspectives that become the value of this book. First, it is to illustrate that librarians are not just stamping books, and libraries are not just lending books. Libraries and librarians are actively engaged in social goals and encourage community-led partnerships. Second, it presents evidence that library-led engagement does facilitate in bridging the digital divide and therefore a social good. The lessons and best practices in the book will include, among others, digital literacy skills with a focus Social inclusion and civic participation, as a social role of Libraries, Archives and Museums (LAM), have been dealt with individually (e.g., social justice in libraries, 9). The book presents a holistic approach to understanding implications of the collective work of LAM, as it evolves today.

Little of the existing research has identified the requirements of community leaders and experts (they are not even included in PEW's Digital Age survey, 1.) with regard to social inclusion or community engagement. Furthermore, the voices of LAM have not been heard collectively--presenting the other side of the coin.

Here are a few suggested areas of research:
General areas:
e. Conduct a survey, focus group or interview with LAM leaders, and ask: If communities are creating an atmosphere for engagement, such as civic interfaith literacy programs will LAM's be interested in being collaborators?
example. ["Forum is From Interfaith Encounter to Engagement:, Stories of Interfaith Dialogue; Tackling Prejudices; Learning from Differences; Engaging a Racialized Society, and The Life Cycle of Dialogue."(2)]
Specific areas of research:
1. LAMs, Community organizations (schools, academia, NGO, non-profits) and Information Studies (LIS) are, hypothetically, mutually dependent and therefore well connected? Need evidence based studies.
2. Digital literacy services, (e.g., media bias, fake news, civic interfaith orientation) can be more attractive, only when libraries market their services as more reliable than oral sources, deceptive sites, digital dividers, hidden Web, etc.
a. Identify plans for the next five to ten years for better social inclusion or community engagement: The book aims to bring new voices from the community and LAM- - two sides of the coin. Community leaders & experts will bring their expectations, experiences and insights (with this data, LAM community leaders and experts will bring their voices, enabling both sides to work closely, benefitting the readers, in many ways).
b. Identify projects that are short term and long term, for a better role of LAM's services in the digital age: The book will present the lessons learned from digital literacy to reduce social isolation,, and enhance civic engagement (empowering to detect channels of discrimination, hate, violence, etc.).
c. Highlight measurable outcomes for increasing satisfaction of the community: Provide current issues, trends and challenges faced by LAM's in service delivery/customer feedback, first in increasing civic engagement and second in restoring social justice.
d. Assess the accomplishments: Present the state-of-the-art review of community engagement and social justice models in practice and in curriculum.

Target Audience
Community organizations
Educational leaders and faculty in iSchools
Information management leaders and professionals
Social and community specialists in smart city design
Front line workers in all public and private sectors
Policy makers engaged in training and HR in diversity
Researchers, and developers of digital tools

Recommended Topics
Part I: Digital Literacy Framework (social and civic)
1. Big data literacy 2. Civic engagement literacy 3. Cultural competency literacy 4. Cyber crime literacy 5. Digital scams literacy 6. Eco-Spiritual literacy 7. Fake news literacy 8. Gender literacy 9. Hate crimes literacy 10. Religious literacy (Averting Violent Extremism)
Part II: Social Justice/Civic Engagement Framework 1. Acceptance 2. Advocacy 3. Civic-minded 4. Collaboration 5. Compassionate 6. Diversity 7. Respect
Part III: Interfaith Literacy for Civic Engagement, Strands: 1. Dialogue Dimension; 2. Dialogue of Life; 3. Dialogue of social involvement; 4. Theological dialogue; 5. Dialogue of Experience Part
IV: Emerging Trends
• Community (organizations, leaders, experts, planners, methodologists, consultants, stakeholders, participants)
1. Partnership with LAM &/or Information Studies programs: What works?
2. Social justice and civic engagement: policies, programs, process: Best practices
3. Civic Interfaith and other literacies: Lessons learned
• Information Studies Programs (organizations, faculty, researches, students, alumni, leaders, experts, planners, methodologists, consultants, stakeholders)
1. Partnership with LAM &/or Community programs: What works?
2. Digital Literacy Instruction: Models for LAM
3. Social justice and civic engagement: Train the trainer program
4. Civic Interfaith and other literacies: Hands on experience, critically evaluated success stories • LAM (organizations, leaders, experts, planners, methodologists, consultants, stakeholders, participants) 1. Partnership with Community Organizations &/or Information Studies programs: What works? 2. LAMs partnership: Public,/Private. Local, Global: What work's 3. LAM-led community activities: Lessons learned 4. Community-led activities: Success reports 5. Evaluating tools (e.g., LibQUAL) and Techniques: Best practices.

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before February 23, 2021, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by March 9, 2021 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by May 8, 2021, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Role of Libraries, Archives, and Museums in Achieving Civic Engagement and Social Justice in Smart Cities. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery® online submission manager.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Smart Libraries in India -- Survey

Smart Libraries: A cross country analysis of practitioners' perceptions about definition, scope, and challenges.  Survey link 

Smart technologies, smart cities, smart lights, smart home appliances, smart Bluetooth trackers, GPS,  etc., are in Indian news. So are some libraries making news headlines in India--about "Smart Libraries" (SL)--probably an extension of what is known so far as digital librarianship. But many of these smart libraries are piecemeal. Whereas, it needs a holistic approach in building smart libraries. Hence, moving forward, today we need to think about the scope of terminology of Smart Libraries (SL), identify challenges and think about ways to solve the challenges. 

The questions that need to be asked are what makes the library smart. Is it by using the smart devices, or presence of smart librarians, or by using smart approaches, or by smartly emptying book spaces to accommodate the "out--of-the-box" innovative ideas?

This is not an exam, because there are no right or wrong answers. We are simply interested in your opinion. It should take no more than six minutes.

The results of this survey will help in writing a short paper that will be of academic interest. Your responses will be summarized and your name will not  be included in the dissemination of the results. For questions please email

Thank you for you offer to help and for willingness to get smarter about Smart Libraries.


Dr. Mohamed Taher.

Typical day of a librarian


 Before Computer

Functions of the Library were:

Acquisition :





The Library System always have a Librarian (or staff), User (reader, customer, Admin staff, etc.) &  collection (reading resources).  

[Image Library: A system; Thanks]

After computers  & before Internet

Functions of the Library were:

Acquisition :





After Internet:

Functions of the Library were:

Acquisition :





Before Smart Libraries 

More content yet to come - bookmark this page

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Quotable quote: If modernization of libraries really happens, By Shampa Dhar Kamath

 If modernization of libraries really happens, India will be stocked with delivery rooms for the birth of new ideas. Libraries Dying but Literature Thrives By Shampa Dhar Kamath. Indian Express, 16th March 2014. 

context: "By emphasizing selling over lending, the panelists were perhaps just looking out for their bread and butter; by giving libraries the go-by, they were only doing what the rest of India has been doing for a while now. Actually, why just India; public libraries are becoming alien items in many parts of the world. Every other day, you will find articles in the London papers ruing the fact that libraries are mandatory in British prisons but not in their schools."


On the same shelf 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Barnes & Noble is killing itself, John Biggs TechCrunch

Image result for Barnes & Noble

 "On Monday the company laid off 1,800 people. This offered a cost savings of $40 million. But that’s particularly interesting. That means each of those people made an average of $22,000 or so per year and minimum wage workers – hourly folks who are usually hit hardest during post-holiday downturns – would be making $15,000. In fact, what B&N did was fire all full time employees at 781 stores." continue reading


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Technologies librarians need to know in 2017, by Kim Dority

Current and emerging library technology trends in 2017:  What Skills are Needed in Public, Academic and Special Libraries
"Trying to get a handle on what library technologies LIS professionals need to know can be a challenge, as both the tasks that librarians are taking on – and the tools they’re using to do them – seem to be changing daily.
Nevertheless, it’s especially important for job hunters to be aware of technology skills and knowledge that are in-demand, because increasingly these tools will be central to successful performance of your career.


When understanding what may be relevant to your career, consider two variables:
  1. Where you work, i.e., whether the employer would be a traditional LIS or non-LIS setting.
  2. The responsibilities and type of work you might be doing for that employer.