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International Librarianship

Russia | Developing Countries

 

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The late Pamela Spence Richards of Rutgers University had it right when she said that I was bitten by the Russian bug in the spring of 1996 when the H.W. Wilson Foundation and ALISE sent me to Moscow and St. Petersburg as a Teaching Fellow. Between June 1996 and June 2002, I served as the faculty sponsor of the UCLA-St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts' international exchange program to increase the international diversity in our graduate programs. It was a small, but truly bilateral program, with two excellent visiting students from SPB (i.e., Elena V. Valinovskaya, 1997 and Inna Ilinskaya, 2002) as well as our own Kelly Kolar, who went to SPB to use archival material, advancing her thesis work in Winter 2004; she is the former curator for the Wende Museum of Cold War in Culver City and currently an assistant professor at MTSU, having been a doctoral candidate in Russian history at UCLA, where her dissertation addressed the historical development of Soviet archives.

In recent years, I have been involved with the Fulbright Commission in Russia, reading proposals for the Russian Visiting Scholar Competition in 2004; and Fulbright Graduate Student Competition, 2005, 2007-2008, 2008/2009, 2010/2011, 2013/2014 as well as the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Competition, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. During the 2008/2009 academic year, I hosted Katerina Yefimova, a reference librarian, from the Scientific Library of the Ural State University in Yekaterinburg as a visiting Fulbright scholar. Between 2003 and 2008, I served as one of the local host coordinators for visiting VIP Russian librarians through the Open World Program for the Library of Congress; through December 2013, I continue my international interests as a Vice President of the board of directors for the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles.

At the 1996 exit interview with the Dean of the SPB program, Dr. Yelena Sudarikova gave me a booklet indicating that her program was named for N. Krupskaya (see photo above); based on that information, I became fascinated with the influence that Lenin's wife had on Soviet librarianship and returned several summers to pursue this line of research (see below). If you want to read about my experience using Russian libraries, click here. Of course, I quickly discovered several other influential women who shaped several generations of library practitioners in Russia. You may also find the MLIS thesis work of one of my students, Dr. Elena Boudovskaia (now at George Washington University), of some interest--"Knowledge is Power: Images of the Book in the Soviet Ideological Poster, 1918-1991" (PowerPoint).

Having returned home and having hosted a Open World project, I started to get questions about the Yudin Collection; for those interested in that topic, you might find this useful—A Chronological List of English Language Materials About Gennadii V. Yudin’s Collection (1840-1912) at the U.S. Library of Congress.”

In one of the most exciting developments, the Turkmen State Publishing Service has agreed in principle to publish a new, third edition of the English-Russian Dictionary of Library and Information Terminology.  I have a modest UCLA ASCOR grant to hire a Turkmen translator and hope to deliver the revised dictionary in late 2014.

In the early summer of 2011, I attended the three-week intensive NEH Summer Institute on “America Engages Eurasia.”  And, returned to Ashgabat in September 2012 as a senior Fulbright scholar (see Ampersand article).

PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS

“The Digital Table: A Radical Proposal for Inclusivity,” Pakistan Journal of Library and Information Science 12 (2011): 1-2 .

"US Global Foreign Policy: The Soviet Union and Beyond," Presentation for UCLA DIS 281 "Historical Methodology for Information Studies," 26 October 2010. (PowerPoint).


"Harriet G. Eddy (1876-1966): California's First County Library Organizer and Her Influence on USSR Libraries," California State Library Foundation Bulletin, No. 94 (2009): 2-13. (pdf)

"Harriet G. Eddy (1876-1966): California's First County Library Organizer and Her Influence on USSR Libraries," Bibliografija (no. 3, May-June 2008): 59-69.

"Soviet-American Librarian Intersections: Harriet G. Eddy, First California County Library Organizer and Anna G. Kravchenko," Library Science in Russia and Western Tradition/Bibliothekswissenschaft in Russland und die Traditionen des Westens, 1910-1930 Conference, 4-5 September 2006, Moscow, Russia. (Power Point presentation in Russian)

"Education for Librarianship in the Russian Far East: An Update on Vladivostok State University of Economics and Culture," Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 47 (Spring 2006): 160-164.

An English-Russian Dictionary of Library and Information Science. Los Angles: ITA Press, 2013; first edition, St. Petersburg, Russia: Professiya Publishing House, 2005. This work has been found “valuable” enough to appear in other countries as The English-Russian-Bulgarian Dictionary (Sofia: Izdatelstvo za Bukvite, 2010) and as the Russian-English Dictionary (SPB: Professiya Publishing House, 2013) with three new editors.

"Recent Developments in the Russian Far East: The State of Education for Librarianship." Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 44 (Spring 2003): 137-52. (pdf)


"The Origin of Soviet Education for Librarianship: The Role of Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya (1869-1939), Lyubov' Borisovna Khavkina-Hamburger (1871-1949) and Genrietta K. Abele-Derman (1882-1954)." Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 41 (Spring 2000): 106-128. (pdf)

"Education for Library and Information Science in Russia: A Case Study of the St. Petersburg State Academy of Culture," Journal of Education for Library and Information Science Education 39 (Winter 1998): 14-27. (pdf)

In November 2000, the U.S. Department of State asked me to lecture in Russian Far East, notably at Vladivostok and Khabarovsk; Dr. Ilya Levin, Public Affairs Officer for the US Consulate, wrote of this trip: "I can't think of another example when US taxpayers' money was better spent. Thank you for visiting the Russian Far East." The Embassy asked me to return to Vladivostok and Sakhalin Island in October 2003. In 2005, I served as a short-term Fulbright Lecturer during the Spring 2005 at Vladivostok State University of Economics and Services.

In addition, I have worked with the U.S. Department of State on matters of national security, mainly focusing on the state of library and information economies in developing countries such as Eritrea, Tanzania, Turkmenistan (2005 and 2009), Uganda, and Zambia. I value the role of cultural diplomacy and wish to believe that peace can come about through global understanding. See, for example,

  • “The Information Economy of Turkmenistan: A Seven Year Update,” IFLA Journal 39 (no. 3, 2013): 243-250,
  • "E-Government in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Reaching out to the World?" with Nancy Beygijanian. IFLA Journal 34 (March 2008): 20-33. (full text)
  • "The Library and Information Economy of Turkmenistan," IFLA Journal 32 (no. 2, 2006): 131-139. (full text)
  • "Eritrea, the World's Newest Country: The State of Its Library and Information Economy," IFLA Journal 30 (no. 3, 2004): 231-240. (full text).

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