International and Comparative Librarianship

S. R. Ranganathan, P. N. Kaula, R. N. Sharma, J. F. Harvey, D. J. Foskett, J. P. Danton, M. M. Jackson, etc.
This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Saturday, January 14, 2017

You’ve probably never heard of this creepy genealogy site. But it knows a lot about you: --- The Washington Post

There are many “people search” sites and data brokers out there, like Spokeo, or Intelius, that also know a lot about you. This is not news, at least for the Internet-literate. And the information on FamilyTreeNow comes largely from the public records and other legally accessible sources that those other data brokers use. What makes FamilyTreeNow stand out on the creepy scale, though, is how easy the site makes it for anyone to access that information all at once, and free.

Profiles on FamilyTreeNow include the age, birth month, family members, addresses and phone numbers for individuals in their system, if they have them. It also guesses at their “possible associates,” all on a publicly accessible, permalink-able page. It’s possible to opt out, but it’s not clear whether doing so actually removes you from their records or (more likely) simply hides your record so it’s no longer accessible to the public.

On the same shelf :
If you live in North America, there are lots of sites like this. For example, (,,,, etc.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The 204-year-old Madras Literary Society in Chennai is getting a new lease of life, BBC

A new lease of life for a 200-year-old Indian library

The Madras Literary Society library located in the centre of the south Indian city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras.
It houses more than 55,000 books, including a huge collection of tomes that are between 150 and 300 years old.
From outside, the imposing red brick building, which was constructed in 1905, looks like something out of a British period movie.
The architectural style is typical of the Indo-Saracenic movement, favoured by the architects of British India in the late 19th Century.
Continue reading @ BBC

On the same shelf:  Librarianship and Library Science in India : An outline of historical perspectives. (Mohamed Taher and Donald Davis) New Delhi , Concept Publishing,1994

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Rising from the ashes, Jaffna Public library writes new chapters, by Meera Srinivasan

The library has 30,000 titles, low in comparison to the nearly 1,00,000 books it housed until 1981, The Hindu 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The secret libraries of history, BBC

"After news emerged about an underground reading room in Damascus, Fiona Macdonald discovers the places where writing has been hidden for centuries."
  • French sinologist Paul Pelliot in the Library Cave at Dunhuang in 1908 reading the manuscripts (Credit: The Musée Guimet)
  •   The Vatican Secret Archives includes Pope Leo X’s 1521 decree excommunicating Martin Luther (Credit: Capitoline Museums, Rome)
  • Solomon Schechter recognised the significance of the manuscripts in the Cairo genizah (Credit: Wikipedia)
  • Historian Erik Kwakkel discovered “hidden libraries” within Medieval book bindings (Credit: Erik Kwakkel)  ... continue reading the full article
On the same shelf:

Thursday, August 04, 2016

'People view librarians as peons' James Nye

James Nye in conversation with The Telegraph's Sanjib Mukherjee
"Known for his efforts in documenting thousands of records relating to South Asia, James Nye, the bibliographer for south Asia at the University of Chicago Library, was in Bhubaneswar to speak at the Odisha Knowledge Lecture series hosted by the state government. His connection with India began in 1960s, and since then, he has been coming to this country twice every year. His initiatives also include making the records available online. Anwesha Ambaly of The Telegraph spoke to him on various issues related to archiving of documents and his association with India's history ...
♦ Do you feel that the role of a bibliographer is significant in India as it is in western countries?
There is also a cultural problem where people have viewed librarians nothing more than peons. There is a deep need for people across all the fields in library sciences. From people selecting or cataloguing to administrators, who could run library as organisations, the needs are rising but the gap is huge. But, there are great opportunities and the country needs to realise that...." Full text here and here

On the same shelf:
  • The Indiana Jones of words, In a telephone interview, with MEHER MIRZA, The Hindu
  • Conservation of cultural assets need of hour: Nye Indian Express
    "Delivering the fifth lecture of Odisha Knowledge Hub (OKH) in the State Secretariat here, Nye emphasised on conservation and open access to cultural assets and heritage." [also here]

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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

“Take a Book; Return a Book" : Little Free Libraries

Note: The Little Free Library is an organization and movement that began in Madison, WI in 2009, that has since swept the country (and the international community) with the goal of spreading free books to all.

"My Little Free Library war: How our suburban front-yard lending box made me hate books and fear my neighbors This gift from my wife was supposed to be harmless fun — but now when people stop, all I feel is dread," DAN GREENSTONE,

Little Free Library has a seductive marketing slogan that’s carved into the top of every unit: “Take a Book; Return a Book.” Such a simple equation. And such wishful thinking. Take? Oh, absolutely. People are, in fact, really good at that part. For example there was the young mom who lifted her toddler up to the box, watching uncritically as he scooped up “Imaginary Homelands,” Salman Rushdie’s collection of criticism and essays. Which I’m sure he enjoyed.

When it comes to returning, people mean well. For example, I don’t doubt the sincerity of that young mom when she told her greedy little urchin, “We have to remember to come back soon and give them some books.” The problem is that, to borrow my favorite report card phrase, remembering, for most people, “remains an area of growth.” It’s not that I blame my (mooching) neighbors. Indeed, I, myself, seldom return books to the public library on time. And they fine you if you don’t. But since I don’t punish people (unless you count silent, withering judgment), I’ve got no leverage. The truth is laziness is just part of human nature. It’s what separates us from the beavers.
On the same shelf:
  • Free Books! How to Start a Little Free Library in Your Neighborhood by Alya Hameed
  • Little Libraries / Las Bibliotequitas
  • where to locate your neighborhood's little library
  • The Crackdown on Little Free Library Book Exchanges
  • 10 things to know before building your Little Free Library
  • Private Circulating Libraries in India

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