The year 2001 ended in insecurity and war after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and the US‑led counterattack on Afghanistan and the Al‑Qaeda strongholds there. It remains to be seen, however, whether this first large‑scale bombing attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor will be any kind of watershed event with regard to individual Americans’ attitudes towards people from other countries, for good or ill. On the other hand, it may be that the explosive expansion of the Internet and the web is effecting an evolution in attitudes, or at least in the extent to which Americans relate to their neighbors in other countries. Certainly, as the article on “September 11th, 2001 and Libraries” indirectly suggests, it is unlikely that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon could have been coordinated in the same way and had the same deadly effect without the communication and coordination that the Internet made possible.
But this issue of World Libraries is in many ways a symbol of hope in the midst of these pessimistic times. This is especially true of the article by Enes Kujundžić, director of the National Library of Bosnia‑Herzegovina, picturing a phoenix slowly rising from the ashes of civil war, with considerable international cooperation in support. And Dick Kawooya’s article about the library associations of Uganda and South Africa concludes with a message of hope, albeit tempered with cautionary counsel, for library associations anywhere that must perforce be dependent upon volunteer leadership. In the same way, Mrs. Akinnigbagbe’s instructive description of the vulnerability of her library to theft beings with it the well‑founded advice that prevention is better than cure. John Abdul Kargbo probes into a role that has, perhaps, often been overlooked by public libraries in developing countries in the past, especially where the values and practices of colonial times have been continued after independence. Finally, Roshan Lal Raina provides practical pointers for website development, an area that has become essential for libraries of all kinds anywhere in the world.
Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science continues its international involvement through its faculty. Dean Prudence Dalrymple’s experiences as a first‑timer at IFLA in Boston are recorded in this issue, and Dr. William V. Jackson has maintained his association with various library‑related issues and locations throughout the world. In addition, the editor of WL was twice overseas in 2001, first in June to present a paper at the 11th Nordic Conference on Information and Documentation, Reykjavik, Iceland and then toward the end of the year, making presentations to the faculty of the Section for Journalism, Library and Information Science, Oslo, Norway and at a Continuing Education Seminar for Digital Reference Librarians at the Royal College of Librarianship, Copenhagen, Denmark.