INFOST 891: International and Comparative Librarianship at SOIS

Regrettably I have not presented this course for a number of years, while I’ve been completing my book. Now that the book has been completed, I’m rethinking the course.

Here is the description of the course as it is given in the syllabus:


An in-depth study of the literature and research methods of International and Comparative Librarianship; international LIS relations, influences, aid and cooperation; international organizations; major current issues and themes. Prerequisite: grad st; cons instr.


A systematic approach to the study of International and Comparative Librarianship, providing an overview of their literature and major themes. Current approaches to research methods, including the theoretical underpinnings of international comparative studies, are explored. Topics to be examined include international relations, professional influences, aid, and cooperation between libraries, library systems and library and information organizations, with particular reference to information flows between developed and developing countries and the role of international organizations in, or affecting, the field. Attention may be paid to international dimensions of professional practice in the USA.


Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish between international and comparative librarianship, define the two fields and discuss how they complement each other.
  2. Describe the research methods appropriate to each field and apply this knowledge to the critical evaluation of examples from the literature.
  3. Analyze relations, influences and cooperation between library and information institutions, organizations, groups or individuals of two or more countries.
  4. Evaluate the impact of library and information related development aid and the work of relevant cultural and philanthropic agencies.
  5. Describe the role of major international governmental and non-governmental organizations and agencies active in the field of library and information services, and evaluate their work.
  6. Discuss major issues in international information relations, including economic and political factors affecting information flows between developed and developing countries.
  7. Discuss the practical application of international and comparative library and information studies in professional careers and work in the USA.

Course schedule and list of readings

Here is the course schedule and list of readings for the 2014 spring semester. And here is the course schedule and list of readings for the fall semester 2015.


Here is a flyer that has been used to advertise my course to students. It is open to MLIS and PhD students.


1 Response to Courses

  1. Mr. Madaki Abdulsalam says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am a student of LIS department in Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria. I am presently offering Comparative Librarianship as a course of study in my department and I could not get the clear view and good understanding of the coruse. This is because, am unable to lay my hands on any publication about Comparative Librarianship. Prof. Sir, please kindly help me with your materials on international and comparative librarianship. Also, I will be glad if u will link me with any source of materials or publications on Comparative Librarianship. Thank u in anticipation of your urgent and positive response, sir.

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