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2016, vol. 15, iss. 28, pp. 3-12
article language: Serbian
document type: Review Paper
published on: 18/06/2016
International and comparative librarianship: Definitions, representatives, development and characteristics of the concepts


This work represents an overview of descriptions of international and comparative librarianship as a subject area, from the fifties of the last century, when the first definitions were made, to the present time. In theoretical works, the terms international librarianship and comparative librarianship were mostly used within a single syntagma, which is also visible in the first definitions. In the initial phase of defining the concepts, the first researchers were mostly emphasizing the mutual influence of comparative and international librarianship. Commonly accepted definitions of both terms were formulated in the seventies, and have been developed in accordance with changes in the library and information science. Since then, international and comparative librarianship have been observed as different subject areas. The first part of the work gives a brief historical overview of the development of libraries as social institutions, through a variety of relationships and comparisons, primarily in the framework of international librarianship. The phenomena in this area were observed in historical context, starting from the ancient times. The second part is dedicated to the analysis of works dealing with the subjects of international and comparative librarianship. The problems of metatheory, methodology and method as a constitutive part of scientific research were also observed. The third part is dedicated to defining international and comparative librarianship in the works of the most significant theoreticians in these areas. These works were written in the second half of the 20th century, mostly in the seventies and eighties. The fourth part is dealing with the differences between comparative and international librarianship, with a special emphasis on comparative research as a starting point for comparative librarianship, and their international implications. Conclusions were made according to the concepts of modern international and comparative librarianship, which are still developing.