International and Comparative Librarianship

Authored by: Peter Johan Lor

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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The concepts of international librarianship and comparative librarianship first appeared under their respective titles in the 1950s, when their literatures were overlapping. During the 1960s, and continuing through the 1980s, much energy was devoted to defining each of them and attempting to distinguish between them. Although clearer definitions were developed during the mid-1970s by J. Stephen Parker and J. Periam Danton respectively, some confusion has persisted. In practice the two fields are often grouped together as “international and comparative librarianship” or “international and comparative library science.” Nevertheless, the two fields can and should be distinguished. This entry attempts to articulate the definition and scope of each, outlines some methodological issues, and surveys the development of the literature.

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