World Libraries Editorial:
A Global Community — Christopher Stewart
One of the benchmarks of a strong profession is its ability to work with shared purpose. I strongly believe that, as varied as our work as information professionals may be, we are all members of an international community interconnected not only by systems and standards, but also by mission. This issue of World Libraries — as all issues — spans multiple cultures and continents. The issues, challenges, and opportunities discussed in these pages are familiar to all who are committed to the ideals and aspirations of the library profession. The values we share are not separated by borders and time zones.
We begin this issue with a tribute to a remarkable man, H.A.I. Goonetileke, whose contributions to Sri Lankan librarianship are chronicled by M.K. Geethani Attanayake. Goonetileke, who spent most of his career at the University of Peradehiya, leaves a legacy of leadership, scholarship, and service. Geethani’s detailed profile of this esteemed gentleman inspires and informs.
Sarah Paretsky’s essay, “Another Turn of the Screw” was delivered as the 16th Annual McCusker Lecture in October 2012. Her poignant remarks are biographically rich, and provide testimony of a life committed to great writing and social justice. From her formative experiences on the South Side of Chicago, to her commentary on the great chroniclers of societal injustice such as Dickens and Pasternak, Paretsky’s essay leaves one hopeful, energized, and aware. We are very grateful for permission to publish this remarkable commentary.
Claudia V. Weston’s article “Library Trends in Uzbekistan” provides an overview of the author’s experience as part of a U.S. Department of State U.S. Speaker and Specialist program in 2011. Weston describes the challenges being addressed by the Uzbek library community, which include, but are not limited to, ongoing efforts to coordinate cataloging, as well as the continuing development of a national union catalog. She also discusses the progress being made in Uzbekistan in the development of sustainable library service models.
Library developments over the past two decades in another former Soviet republic, Georgia, are chronicled by Ian M. Johnson. Johnson’s comprehensive and thoroughly researched overview was prepared as a report for a recent program by the European Commission to improve professional education in librarianship in Armenia, Uzbekistan, and Georgia. The library system in Georgia has faced significant, strategic challenges in the post–Soviet era, and continues to do so to this day. Johnson’s unflinching report causes one to consider the ways in which the broader European and international community will help address challenges faced by Georgia and other former Soviet states in the coming years.
In Nigeria as elsewhere, the public library can play a role in fostering a socially inclusive society. Victor Esheruma Igiamoh and Olubunmi Adesola Ogunwemimo’s research on the dearth of social inclusion services provided via public libraries in Nigeria is insightful and important not only for the way it breaks down the problem to a lack of funding, awareness, and other factors; but also because it offers specific recommendations for moving forward. Their vision for socially inclusive services provided by Nigerian public libraries is hopeful and inspiring.
The fourth article in this issue of World Libraries involves a very special type of library that one does not hear about very often. Ujwala Anil Nawlakhe and Mangala Anil Hirwade’s study of philatelic libraries outlines the educational and research missions of these unique institutions in the digital age.
Our book review section includes contributions from two Dominican University faculty members. Bill Crowley reviews Public Libraries and Resilient Cities, edited by Michael Dudley and published in 2013 by the American Library Association. Cecilia Salvatore reviews Michael Piggott’s Archives and Societal Provenance, published in 2012 by Chandos. We thank Drs. Crowley and Salvatore for their contributions.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that World Libraries has recently entered into an agreement with EBSCO. World Libraries will now be included in the Library & Information Science Source in EBSCOhost. We are very excited by the opportunity to expand the visibility and discoverability of World Libraries in new ways.
About the author
Christopher Stewart is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University.
E–mail: cstewart [at] dom [dot] edu
© 2013 Christopher Stewart.