What an exciting time to assume the position of editor of World Libraries! Two members of the Dominican University faculty, Ed Valauskas and Prudence W. Dalrymple, were instrumental in moving World Libraries from a solely print environment to an electronic one. In the process, we have discovered there is much to learn but the net result has increased our ability to streamline the production process of each issue, thus getting it into your hands sooner than we could have done previously.
While it would be easy to gloat at the speed new technology brings to the world of publishing, it is impossible not to look back to World Libraries inception in 1990 when a more laborious process was involved. Rosary College (Dominican Universitys earlier name) had issued a serial publication, International Journal of Reviews in Library and Information Science. The idea of Dr. TzeChung (Richard) Li, then dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, its purpose was to review books in the library and information science field. Eight issues appeared between 1985 and 1988. In 1988 Dr. Michael E.D. Koenig became the schools dean. He called upon the faculty to review the prospects for the Journal; they felt that a more traditional journal content was more appropriate. Thus a new journal, Third World Libraries, was born, stating that it was to be An International Journal Focusing on Libraries and Socioeconomic Development. Guy A. Marco became the first editor, and the journal continued to appear as a semiannual publication. When Dr. Li succeeded him as editor in the fall of 1996, the journals title changed to World Libraries, to reflect a broader scope.
Throughout its life, World Libraries has always had strong support from Rosary College and Dominican University GSLIS deans and the university administration. Warm thanks go to Drs. TzeChung (Richard) Li, Michael E. D. Koenig, Peggy Sullivan, Prudence W. Dalrymple, and to Dominican Universitys current dean, Susan Roman for believing so strongly in World Libraries. Without their backing, World Libraries would not be what it is today. In addition, many capable people have contributed to Third World Libraries and then World Libraries, as editors, members of the board, and contributors. Each one of them deserves our thanks for building a strong foundation for World Libraries.
In this current issue of World Libraries, we are again fortunate to have authors who represent different countries and different perspectives. We continue with the second part of The Book and the Sand: Restoring and Preserving the Ancient Desert Libraries of Mauritania. In this fascinating article, Krätli concludes his examination of the effects of ancient commerce routes on the book trade. Koehler then gives us insight into a cooperative venture by the schools of library and information science in eastern, central and southern Africa. Our third article, by Kevane and Sissao, examines the financial impact of libraries on reading in eight villages in Burkina Faso. The state of government publications in Nigerian university libraries is treated in the next article by Ajidahun. And we end our global library explorations in this issue with Ortegas historical perspective of the Fundação Biblioteca Nacionals role on the reading initiatives in Brazil.
As always, our hope is that you will find these articles captivating as they provide you with insights into countries and libraries so different yet so similar to our own.
About the Author
Marjorie E. Bloss is an Instructor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, USA.
Email: mbloss [at] dom [dot] edu
© 2006 Marjorie E. Bloss
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