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Concept of Comparative Librarianship

The concept of Comparative librarianship is an old one. Before the development of library literature and formal training, librarianship was based more on observation and imitation. Innovation was at a low ebb. However, novel practices in other libraries studied in comparison with their own, when found useful, were adopted. Thus comparative librarianship has been in vogue since ages.
Comparative librarianship is a systematic study of two or more libraries in term of their development, practices and relative maters and demerits of the various practices; and general aspects of librarianship, library development in terms of the historical, geographical, social, cultural, political, economic and other factors. In other words, comparative librarianship has two aspects, namely:
  1. Comparison of Library Situations; and
  2. Comparison of librarianship and library development in general in different geographical situations.

The comparison of library situations covers:
i) Development;
ii) Operations; and
iii) Merits and demerits.
Such studies help in bringing about a qualitative change in library service.

The comparison of librarianship and library development in two different geographical situations will help us:

  • To ascertain the rate and stage of library development;
  • Factors that have contributed/ or
  • Major impediments in the progress of library and library movement.

Such studies help in bringing about quantitative change in library service.

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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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