After years of work, my book International and comparative librarianship: concepts and methods (ISBB 978-3-11-026799-0), has been submitted to the printers. It is being published under the auspices of IFLA by the respected German academic and scholarly publisher, De Gruyter Saur, as volume 4 in the series Global studies in libraries and information. It will be released in Berlin and Boston in July 2019, in time for a launch at the August 2019 IFLA World Library and Information Congress.
The book was announced some years ago – embarrassingly long ago – in the De Gruyter Saur catalogue at approximately 400 pages, with the subtitle A thematic approach. But it evolved. As I worked, I was emphatically reminded that professors don’t write books about what they know; rather, they write about what they think they know, but need to check. This resulted in a long research effort, which sorely tried the patience of my editors, family, and friends. (Thank you all!). Obviously I tried to unearth as much as possible of what has been written about international and comparative librarianship over the years. But I was also led to explore other topics in many disciplines. These included ontology, epistemology, and other branches of philosophy, communication science, systems science, social science research methodology, diffusion of innovations and policy transfer, comparative education and other comparative sciences, political economy, colonialism, and development studies, not to mention just about every area in library and information science.
International and comparative librarianship is a field for generalists. We are interested in everything, as long as it has an international dimension.
After several million keystrokes (with my own two index fingers – I started typing as a child and never mastered touch typing) and after oft-repeated editing and retyping, I have produced a doorstop of more than 330,000 words: thirteen chapters, 734 pages of text, a 130-page bibliography listing over 2,000 entries, and a detailed forty-page index. Here is the table of contents.