Ranganathan Revisited Spring Semester 2008 4

In LIS70 this week, we looked at the foundations of the profession and at some LIS philosophers. It was once again that time to discuss Ranganathan and his five laws. Each semester I ask the classes to decide if they would rewrite the laws. Here’s what the Wednesday night group came up with:

Ranganathan’s 5 Laws-Edited to 4:

Information is for use and it’s for everyone.
Every piece of information is valuable and every user will find value in something.
Eliminate barriers between the user and the information.
The library is a growing and evolving organism.

What do you think?

Previous Semesters:



4 thoughts on “Ranganathan Revisited Spring Semester 2008

  • Sukhdev Singh

    Incidentally just few days back While I was preparing a write up to highlight Library 2.0 developments – I wrote the fifth law as – ‘evolving organism’ .

  • Liz Lawley

    Well…I’d argue that “it’s for everyone” is an awkward construction, and also not entirely accurate. Why not simply “Information is for use.”?

    The combining of the second and third laws weakens them both, I think. And I’m not sure that “is valuable” is the right phrase. Value is a…well, value-laden term. 🙂 One of the things that makes those laws so powerful is their simplicity and lack of judgment in terms of quality. ONe of the big challenges we have with changing “book” to “information,” however, is the lack of an agreed-upon all-purpose verb. Reading doesn’t cover the range of content, but consuming and using are both inelegant and somewhat compromised by commercial implications.

    I like the last two, however.

  • MLSstudent

    I think these much better than the updates that Michael Gorman came up with. While I like much of his work, I felt his laws didn’t capture either the spirit of the originals or the ideas behind current librarianship.

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