Not least due to pick some of this year’s IFLA WLIC experiences of the LIBREAS editorial board in far South Korea we are glad to present some notes on librarianship and libraries’ everyday life in more or less distant countries.
Thus libraries in Japan have a long tradition. The first library was found in the 6th resp. 7th century followed by numerous libraries for the court, priests and scholars. Stephanie Kaiser provides some overview on the development of Japan librarianship and goes into details concerning different library types.
It’s a matter of common knowledge that South Korea is impressively becoming a highly modern country accompanied by a powerful economy as well as being conscious in its traditions. During our stay for IFLA WLIC we received an impression of this intense development’s dimension. As expected this view tends to be subjective – therefore we are glad to provide a “bird’s eye perspective” by Andreas Müller-Lee, who is a Korean Studies researcher.
The country with the least orthodox exposure to the traditional library ideal is probably Singapur which made the headlines due to the liberalization of the chewing gum prohibition: Meanwhile pharmacies are allowed to dispense chewing gum as long as they are registering the customers. From time to time after improvidently touching underneath the table top as a German reading room user one is almost longing to the South Asian country. Anyway Bernhard Mittermaier has been there – likely for other reasons – and presents the ambitious library@esplanade as a library in a cultural center with remarkable equipment and tempting offers.
Not only geographically Poland is very closer to Germany at all. Just only one hour away from Berlin you can sit down in the public library of the little border town Slubice. The contribution of Stephanie Funk is recommended to all, who are interested in getting a general idea of the Polish librarianship before then schmoozing with the local librarians.
Elke Greifeneder also had some talks to librarians during her study visit to France inspiring her to reflect the relationship between man and machine.
In Iceland the whole country seems to be a library – having at least an internet access which enables to see by www.hvar.is about 8,500 complete journals from the own kitchen table. The country is also remarkable for other reasons. Here you can find the highest per capita volume of publications at all. Besides the high quality of life Anika Bäcker describes what Island offers concretely in the field of librarianship.
A short time ago Myoung Wilson from the Rutgers University visited Humboldt-University and just talking to her the editorial staff of LIBREAS also had two questions. As a result we took the answers of Myoung Wilson to open our new column “Short cuts”.
Even more time than with Myoung Wilson we – as students of the Institute - spent talking with Professor Walther Umstätter. And by the way: So we also did being the editorial board of LIBREAS. You can read how and why we did this in the interview protocols of this issue.
According to Georg Olms the book has a future. Ben Kaden also thinks in that way. But as the opinion paper “Von der Vielfalt und der Einfalt der Medien“ („From diversity and mindedness of media“) shows, perspectives are sometimes rather different.
Elisabeth Simon shows that there is sometimes libraries not only gut soul but all kinds of music to be played in. And she demonstrates how the library could be used actively to convey social qualities.
Poetry has not to tell the plain truth. But it must be able to strike a light. Susanne Brandt shows us such a light by the German adaptation of “Wild about books”. It is warmly recommended to read it together with the own children. The second poem by Susanne Brandt is more directed to the fellow librarians. Because we appreciate lyrics and even more library lyrics the gift voucher from our quiz is given to her.
Finally there is the usual convolute of reviews and a short photo collection illustrating our impressions from Seoul.
We apologize for the short delay of this issue und we very hope to be untroubled by such a technical breakdown that we had while making this LIBREAS issue.
Please do not hesitate to send us your criticism, commendation, comments, proposals for contributions and subjects.
Berlin, December 2006