World Libraries Editorial — Elizabeth Zak
I'd like to introduce myself as the newly appointed Editor-in-Chief of World Libraries. I feel honored and privileged to take on this role and would like to extend my thanks to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University for entrusting me with this responsibility. While the challenge of the position is great, I embrace my role in this conversation, as World Libraries is a forum for dialog among members of the global community interested in addressing information needs across cultures.
This spring volume comes at a time when global issues pertaining to information needs and access are at a high. Social and political unrest, and the accelerating use of digital technology highlight the need for continuous assessment of how we, as a global community, understand the issues facing those in librarianship and the information professions around the world. The articles herein span a spectrum of topics relevant to all nations and furnish insight into both our triumphs and the pitfalls we face when confronting the needs of the individuals to which we provide service and assistance.
In this issue, Christine Hagar examines the role of the public library in times of community crises arising from natural disasters, which in recent years seem to be more prevalent around the globe. Jeff Hancks provides historical perspective on how public libraries can aid ethnic communities in preserving their cultural heritage while also becoming acclimated to different cultures, a topic that in my view should gain traction as we see more cultures torn apart and citizens displaced not only due to war, but also as a result of economic woes. Richard Dawe and Allison Dolland seek to understand the changing information literacy needs of students in an academic setting, a subject of growing concern as we see a steady evolution and adaptation of a wide-range of digital technology. While different in subject, at its base each article underscores the importance of developing relationships between information professionals, librarians and the communities they serve, as well as the need to look beyond the present to visualize changes on the horizon.
For this reason, I felt it pertinent to choose Judith Krug as the feature of our Pioneer piece. Krug's work on censorship extended into the digital age and into an international movement that ties access to information to basic human rights. Her work emphasized the commitment of LIS professionals to ensuring equal access to information for all people and exemplifies the importance of giving a voice to those that often have difficulty being heard.
I hope you enjoy reading this issue and find insight into your curiosities. In the coming months, I hope to enhance the web presence of World Libraries through the use of social media so I urge you to check back for news and announcements of upcoming additions to our publication. I welcome you to join the conversation to help craft an engaging journal where we can explore the changing global landscape.
About the author
Elizabeth Zak, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, is currently an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University.