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Kalpana Dasgupta

LIBRARIANSHIP STATUS QUO?
By K. Umapathy Setty
Vikas, New Delhi, 1977, 129, 40.00

VOLUME II NUMBER 4 July-August 1977

Librarianship is a comparatively new discipline not only in India but also in the western countries. Though libra­ries and communication of information date back to the early days of our civi­lization, systematic approach to librarian­ship or information organisation, retrie­val and dissemination is a recent phenomenon. The author of the book under review has taken up the broad spectrum of this new field of activity in almost its totality. The book is a compilation of essays which deal with individual topics within this broad layout. The first essay deals with the history of books and the custo­dians of books in India from the early ages. The second essay stresses the im­portance of library service in non-formal education. The importance of non­-formal education in a developing country is discussed and the role of libraries in this system of education is emphasized. There are two essays, one highlighting the problems of teachers’ college libra­ries of Karnataka and the other, a user study of the City Central Library in Mysore. The author has laid down very worthwhile standards for administration of a good library for a teachers’ college. Each essay in this book deals with one important area of librarianship. The author discusses the changing role of librarians and the importance of libraries functioning as information centres to keep pace with the need of the hour. Library science education has been very extensively covered in more than one essay. Not only do we get an overall view of library education in India, but a comparative study of librarianship at an international level is also given. The American system of library education, American education in area studies, edu­cational innovations in the U.S.A. and their impact on academic libraries are discussed through several essays. This is a good effort because many important aspects of today's librarianship are discussed. The areas such as histori­cal background, present condition in practice and the possible changes in the field according to user needs are brought together. The detailed study of the American system of education in librarianship and the comparative study of international librarianship are very informative for the interested reader. In the two essays dealing with libraries in Karnataka, the author has made some very candid re­marks about the problems of the present library system: ‘The teachers’ college libraries in Karnataka are poor in their collection, ...


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