International Library Review

Published by Elsevier
Print ISSN: 0020-7837
This historical study deals with the development of the Arabic-Islamic libraries in the 7–14th Century. It discusses the factors that lead to the rising of the different types of libraries which are: mosques, private, public and academic libraries. The study gives, in some detail, information about the most famous libraries in the Arabic-Islamic civilization. It also talks about management and organization of these libraries. Finally, the study discusses the factors behind the destruction of the Arabic-Islamic libraries.
As centers of research and study in colleges and universities, Chinese academic libraries are heavily used and play a significant role in higher education. However, the level of administration can affect service to patrons and have an impact on their development. In this paper, the characteristics of administration in Chinese academic libraries are examined from both a historical perspective and current practice. The problems arising from the centralization of authority and administrative structure are also examined. Some possible suggestions are made of ways to improve library services in areas such as the quality of leadership, the creation of new positions, the increased responsibility of assistant directors, the re-organization of work distribution, the establishment of reference services, the development of faculty and staff participation in committee work, the importance of a library liaison program and the importance of designing a strategic plan for the library.
For the last 10 years, much progress in higher education, as well as information access has been made. But one of the serious problems is that many users of academic and research libraries are unaware of the importance of scientific and technical information, and lack essential knowledge and skills to locate materials. Therefore, development of library user education has been emphasized and supported by the government in China. For the future users the Ministry of Education has required college and university libraries to develop courses of bibliographic instruction, and has sponsored symposiums for exchange experiences among the university and college libraries. So far, the courses of bibliographic instructions have been established in more than half of the universities and colleges in China.However, for the large numbers of students waiting to obtain user education training, both facilities and instructors are inadequate. It is necessary for schools of library science in China to develop professional course work for the education of instructors in library user education.
The paper examines the state of library automation in academic and special libraries in Nigeria. As a background, an attempt was made to present efforts made by different bodies and institutions in the country to automate their entire library systems. Also disclosed are the reasons why the libraries opted for automated systems, the successes achieved by some of the libraries in automating their systems, and the problems faced by the libraries who succeeded in automating some of their systems as well as those who are still in the process of doing so. Considering the fact that the automation of library systems in Nigeria has spread from academic and special libraries to the public, and there are also a number of companies/institutions engaged in the provision and servicing of computer hardware and software including management information systems, the paper concluded that the future of library automation in the country is bright.
The systematic and purposeful acquisition of information and its systematic and purposeful application are emerging as the new foundations for work, productivity, and effort throughout the world.
The directions of the information professions in Africa are identified by analysing 87 papers published in three source journals. These are the International Library Review, Libri and Information Development during the 5-years between 1985 and 1989.The study revealed that researchers are actively involved in a variety of areas. The prominent areas, are library and information resources, archives, special and research libraries, library education, bibliometrics, library buildings, library automation, university and public libraries, and agricultural information. The study also found that researchers consulted publications in other disciplines, especially in disciplines such as agriculture, education, communications, science and technology, and rural development.
After briefly recalling the creation, organization, role and destruction of the Ancient Library of Alexandria, this article describes the scope and objectives of the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina and its functions and organization in six departments. It explains the symbolic and aesthetic values of the winning design for the new library, the budget required for its creation, and the international support so far obtained. It summarizes the steps undertaken by Egypt, UNESCO and UNDP and briefly explains the future strategy for proceeding with the implementation of the project. It concludes by high-lighting the meaning of the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina for Egypt, UNESCO and the International Community.
The automation of bibliographic control for Chinese materials (along with other East Asian language materials) is significant because of the role this material plays in providing swift access to information internationally, across physical, political and linguistic boundaries. Ten years ago, the Library of Congress (LC) and the Research libraries Group (RLG) initiated a project for seeking means and methods to automate Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) bibliographic records. Today, most East Asian Libraries in North America can process their CJK materials in vernacular languages and scripts in library computers in the same way as Western-language peers had done for years. This paper attempts to review some of the important issues involved in such a movement and the general progress during the last decade. The review which is concerned with the automation of bibliographic control for Chinese materials will emphasize bibliographic utilities in the United States since the automation has been led primarily by East Asian libraries in North America rather than by those in mainland China and Taiwan.
In summary, Nigeria has a well established national bibliography following international standards. What is needed now is a refinement in the collection policies, in the cataloguing of Nigerian language material, and in the subject analysis of Nigeriana. These problems might be solved by (a) efficient decentralization of the collecting and cataloguing activities as is done in Canada, and (b) by agreed national policies on modifications of LC classification and subject headings. Planning for the conversion of the national bibliography to machine-readable form will proceed apace.Access to national collections by way of union lists is in need of central co-ordination to eliminate duplication of effort and to enable utilization of already existing machine-readable files. This co-ordination is a responsibility of the National Library, being the national bibliographical centre, but the planning and implementation can be shared with other libraries in the country.
In this paper the author outlined a plan of action to bring the IGIC into being as a new international library service agency under the auspices of UNESCO. Much attention was given to spelling out in detail how to execute the next step in the process.It will be interesting to see how the entire plan develops in reality. Further development depends very much on how the library community around the world responds to the initial step which was the published description of the projected Center.
A questionnaire survey of researchers engaged in seven scientific disciplines was conducted to identify preferred information channels and to determine interdiscipline variations in communication behaviour of Croatian scientists. The article also addresses the problem of the foreign language barrier and the visibility of Croatian science at an international level.The findings indicate that journal articles with their accompanying lists of references are the most important source of information in all the disciplines surveyed, while on-line searching was ranged rather low.Differences between pure, applied and social disciplines were identified in the domain of informal communication and in the publishing of the research results. Contacts with colleagues outside one's organization appeared to be an important element in information retrieval, while informal dissemination of information is mostly performed internally. Except for physicists, participation in international scientific communication is rather unsatisfactory.
This paper traces the development of computerisation of library operations in Singapore from 1970–1989. Two levels of computerisation are examined, namely: 1.(i) institutional level, and2.(ii) network or national level.At the institutional levels, the National Library, National University of Singapore Library, Nanyang Technological Institute Library, Singapore Polytechnic Library, Ngee Ann Polytechnic Library, the Law Libraries Consortium, the Education Libraries Consortium and the ECOMNET Libraries Consortium are among the major libraries examined. At the network level, the development and progress, functions and organisation of the Singapore Integrated Library Automation Service (SILAS) are outlined. The author concludes that computers and related technologies are becoming increasingly important in the library scene of Singapore and that there is no perfect library computer system and upgrading is a necessary continuous process.
Library cooperation is not a new concept in the history and practice of librarianship. This paper reviews the concept of library cooperation in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Nigeria and Ghana, with specific reference to areas of cooperation among university libraries in Ghana.The major areas of cooperation such as inter-library loan service, photocopying of documents and exchanges of materials are discussed. Problems of cooperation such as the poor communication network in Ghana and inadequate materials are also highlighted.Recommendations are made for the improvement of the level of cooperation in the university libraries. These include the need to establish a National Library in Ghana; the removal of all psychological and socio-economic barriers to cooperation; and the improvement of the communication system among libraries in Ghana.
The Nigerian society has cultural and social differences from those of people in developed countries from which educational programmes and practices have been borrowed. The differences are reflected in the peculiarities in the majority of Nigerian citizens' need for educational and informational services in libraries. In responding to these peculiar needs of a people whose majority has had no tradition of using books, the librarian who administers their needs may require education and training which must differ in content from the conventional library programmes as currently borrowed from developed countries.Core courses for the training of librarians who are expected to provide information which may not be recorded in print form, have been suggested for preparing these librarians for the kind of service that would sustain the interest and appreciation of their clientele in the use of libraries. The selected courses, based on the culture and structure of the people, will involve the production of literacy resources, information gathering and dissemination for non-literates, book publishing to conform with local demands and public relations activities which would ensure the social relevance of the library school programmes to the needs of the society.
During the last few decades research activities have grown rapidly in Ethiopia. Introduction of higher education and foreign assistance for this purpose have led the Ethiopian Government to set up several research institutes in the country. The Institute of Ethiopian Studies is one of them, set up to enable research activities in various areas of Ethiopian culture as well as to provide a documentation centre for them. Information and documentation are considered to be the infrastructure of research work. The present state of information and documentation services of the Institute is briefly described along with its history, activities and sections. The importance of introducing some new devices, such as compiling bibliographies, cumulative indexes, book lists and starting a newsletter to keep the researchers abreast of new developments at the Institute.
This article describes some of the ways in which libraries, both academic and public, can become key players in the process of economic restructuring and development. In Eastern Europe, for example, we have seen powerful waves of political and economic change sweeping over one country after another, demanding that long-standing economic theories be revised and old ways of conducting business be reconsidered. New schools of business and management, modelled on Western schools of business, are coming into existence. In all of these processes, the primacy of the need for information to support transition and growth is unassailable. This article discusses some of the information needs of modern economic life and argues that support for libraries and the training of librarians in the skills to develop business-related libraries, easily accessible by communities of users, is crucial to the health of business education programs, the communities of small businesses and, therefore, to the general economic health of a country.
Virtually all aspects of all library functions are going through a period of change, but a few contrasts between and among Western countries persist. First, decentralization to allow for regional initiatives and traditions persists at the risk of inhibiting growth of integrated national systems, especially in Europe. However, coordinating agencies to affect national and international exchanges are growing, and education for professional staff is receiving more attention in Europe. Second, library staff are more often bureaucratic than professional on the continent, as compared with the United States and the United Kingdom. Third, technology is adapted and adopted most often and most intensively in libraries serving medicine, science, and technology in all countries. Fourth, information privacy and sharing information continue to be major policy issues for all.There are other problems explored in this paper that affect the status of libraries everywhere and underlie the contrasts found at all levels of technological development across national boundaries and across types of libraries: 1.(1) The need for national and international levels of information policies.2.(2) The need to identify the components of information science that are library-related.3.(3) The identification of the role of libraries in the changing information environment.Resolution of these three problems will enhance national and regional distinctions, which should allow for more effective library services on all political levels.
The purpose of this article is to report library developments that took place in the Sultanate of Oman during the past two decades. Rapid social and economic development in Oman has not been matched by adequate improvements in library and information infrastructure. Still in their infancy, libraries in this country suffer from deficiencies in human and physical resources. There is no designated national library. Public libraries are few and appear to function within a rather limited scope. Academic libraries got off to a good start. The Sultan Qaboos University Library is in the front line and is likely to have considerable potential as a research library. Several special libraries exist mainly in government ministries and other government-supported institutions. These are also not yet fully developed and provide only limited services. School libraries are also deficient in resources. The dearth of qualified school librarians seems to be a major problem. The effort to collect ancient manuscripts is making steady progress with two libraries already set up. Education for librarianship has started in earnest. Thus, the first batch of locally-trained Omani professional librarians is due to graduate this year.
The paper sets out to determine the social origins and professional status of librarians in Ghana with a view to understanding them as a professional group of working individuals. It examines the personal characteristics such as age, sex and marital status of the librarians. Parental influences on the choice of profession, as well as the status of individual librarians in their organizations and institutions are investigated. The results of this study indicate that most librarians in Ghana come from working class homes and that librarians in Ghana are satisfied with their status in their organizations and institutions.
The world is too small to function within borders. Librarians have recognized the need for mutual respect and co-operation between nations, and the importance of their role in achieving this end. IFLA represents the interests of librarianship and has established various core programs that address common concerns. Aspects of international co-operation include the needs for preservation of materials, resource sharing through international networks, international telecommunications, librarian exchanges and materials exchanges. Obstacles to technology, finances and cultural differences must be overcome. Developed nations must assume an open and helpful attitude toward sharing technology with underdeveloped nations so that they can begin to thrive, standards of living improve, and economic markets open. Librarians can effect major changes in the way information is transmitted across borders, thereby shaping information policy and the resulting world order.
The title of this article implies full-time training in educational institutions culminating in the writing of examinations and the award of certificates. This assumption would exclude: 1.(i) useful in-service training programmes run in virtually all libraries;2.(ii) series of short residential courses which are available, for instance, in New Zealand, as part fulfilment of essentially in-service training programmes, which may lead to certification;3.(iii) workshops, seminars, etc. which may or may not lead to some form of certification, and4.(iv) courses in librarianship offered as part of teacher-training programmes such as the Minor in librarianship run for the first two years of a three-year course leading to the award of the Nigerian Certificate in Education in some Advanced Teachers' Colleges in Nigeria.Narrowing down the scope of the title in this way leaves us mostly with African library schools offering sub-professional courses and particularly the two library schools in Nigeria with which the writer is closely connected. But in doing so attention will be drawn to certain issues characteristic of this level of education for librarianship generally with occasional comments whenever necessary.
Iranian librarianship is developing rapidly. While there have been libraries in Iran for several millenia, it is only in the last two or three years that libraries have begun to move forward in modern fashion. Perhaps now that they are improving, an assessment of their status is appropriate, so this paper will attempt to describe the current pattern of Iranian library service and the directions it is likely to take.
It is stressed here that the literate presuppositions against which the so-called problems of information in Africa have so far been couched, as outlined above, are part of the problem and not its solution. The approach has not only obscured the major issues but created a kind of mystification that further complicates the real problems, given that faulty, and ethnocentric diagnoses do lead to skimpy and scattershot solutions.As a result, there is a further freezing of the existing information gap and the intensification or perpetuation of misdevelopment. It is also emphasized that the physical nature or mode of information is only a means to an end and is, therefore, not as important as the information itself. While it is recognized that better preservation is assured by the durability of a given medium, the present emphasis on literate and formal channels, as opposed to so-called illiterate, oral, preliterate and informal media, seems both unnecessary and propagandistic.
Academic libraries, particularly in the developed world, are functionally active, providing improved reader and house-keeping services due to developments in computer and telecommunications technology. But, a survey conducted in 27 English-speaking West African university libraries showed there to be a degree of inactivity among the libraries as judged by the level of priority attached to their legitimate functions. The libraries also showed a marked preference for functions which are not considered complex in their execution. Results from five university libraries selected from other English-speaking zones of Africa were used to corroborate or compare those from the West African sub-region. The results showed that these other libraries are also more or less functionally inert.
The most extensive program is located in Brazil at the Universidad Federal Minas Gerais which has 16 faculty members and in 1976-79 had among them a British (American educated) and an American library educator.Several schools reported “type of library” courses or specialized bibliography courses which could provide an appropriate locus for basic biomedical bibliographic information.Considering the health problems all countries are facing, library schools in Latin America should be encouraged to make a stronger effort to train individuals for this subject area. The American Association of Library Schools has been prominent in its support of co-operative efforts with Latin American educators as perhaps best exemplified by its Austin, Texas meeting in 1980 when the pre-conference entitled “Library and Information Science Education in the Americas: Present and Future” was held.However, Latin American educators themselves, encouraged by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) are making efforts to continuously upgrade their teaching. Evidence of this can be found in IFLA's pre-conferences at the August 1982 Montreal meeting.
Since 1986, the Ministry of Scientific and Technological Research for Development (MRSTD), through its Information Service, CIDST, has been involved in an extensive programme to inventory the scientific and technical literature available in Madagascar. Its aim is to provide a better service for research. The work undertaken was made possible through government funding and a French grant. Almost 50 000 documentary units were located and identified at some 20 sites, mostly in the capital city. The data base currently contains 14 000 references which can be consulted in local mode at CIDST.This article describes the approach taken by MRSTD-CIDST and the difficulties encountered during the project's separate operational phases. It emphasizes that, in order to achieve full control of the resources, the active participation of all the information units involved is desirable. To that end, Malagasy librarians and documentalists will need basic training and libraries will have to be re-organized before any further inventories are undertaken.
This study summarizes a survey conducted to discover the extent to which professional librarians in Nigerian university libraries have achieved academic/faculty status. The survey revealed that: (1) almost all professional librarians (16 or 80%) in Nigerian universities have full faculty status, coupled with mandatory research and publication for promotion, in 17 (85%) of the libraries; (2) publications in subject-fields and in library/information science carry equal ratings; and (3) academic librarians in Nigeria are entitled to the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as their teaching counterparts. This paper urges the Nigerian Library Association and the Committee of University Librarians to set standards for the attainment of faculty/academic status for professional librarians in Nigerian universities and colleges.
The kind and size of a library determines the need to collect and the method of controlling government publications. New Zealand libraries tend to handle these publications like any other book with the exception of official records and statistics. As a rule, public, rather than academic libraries, are the designated depositories. In comparing the concept of New Zealand libraries to that of the University of Oregon Library concerning government publications, I found that New Zealand libraries collect and store official and statistical publications and give them partial use; most government publications are integrated into the general collection (use is not known), and few libraries have separate government publication sections with special librarians governing the collection. On the other hand the University of Oregon collects all types of government publications for optimum use; many have been integrated into the general collection (use is not known); and a separate documents section is open to the public with several librarian specialists in attendance. Government publications in the general collection are not, as a rule, recognized as government publications by the public, but those publications are readily accessible. Many government publications at the University of Oregon Library are housed in the general collection, but since 1974 publications of the United States, Canada and many international organizations are shelved in the Documents Section. Use of the various classification schemes has proved successful; however, changes and improvements should be considered frequently to make the government publications collection the best able to serve the public.
Two thousand participants attended the White House Conference which focused on five broad user-oriented themes structured under the umbrella theme of "Bringing Information to People"--Library and Information Services for...(1) Personal Needs, (2) Lifelong Learning, (3) Governing Society, (4) Business and the Professions, and (5) International Cooperation and Understanding. (LLS)
This 97-item annotated bibliography presents citations for surveys, associations, library education, catalogs, journals, directories, publishing, library schools, and national libraries. Countries represented are Brunei, Burma, Indonesia, Kampuchea, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. (EJS)
Reviews evolution of West Germany's national library and information services in three periods--early development of national library services, 1946-48; creation of national library associations, 1946-49; establishment of systematic planning for national library and information services, 1971-83. A comparison of West German services with those of other countries is included. (EJS)
Support by the government, sources of foreign financial aid, school libraries, the development of bookselling and the publishing industry, problems with duplicate resources, and professional librarian training are discussed in relation to Nigerian library development since 1960. (MBR)
To identify and describe selected characteristics of the research literature of the basic medical science area of physiology during the three-year period 1970-72, this literature was analyzed to determine where, when, by what subject area, and in what countries it was published. (Author/PF)
The author discusses the cultural policy as it applies to libraries in Hungary. His account of the Hungarian library system is extracted from Education and Cultural Activities in Hungary 1945-70". (SJ)
Presents analysis of papers and articles by teachers and research students of library science schools, professional librarians, and others which were submitted from 1971 to 1982 to 19 English language library and information science periodicals published in India. Classification of articles, chronological split, and subject scatter are discussed. (EJS)
Top-cited authors
Stephen A. Osiobe
  • Ane Osiobe International Foundation
Mumtaz Ali Anwar
  • University of the Punjab, Kuwait University, International Islamic University Malaysia, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah
Mohammed Aman
  • University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Abdelmajid Bouazza
  • Sultan Qaboos University
Michel J. Menou