Indian classification guru S.R. Ranganathan definitely had it right with his Five Laws of Library Science. His laws remain virtually timeless as written. They don’t need need anything from a hack like me.

But…as an exercise I figure the laws are fair game. To my thinking, anything us students can do to help us frame our thinking as we tackle the challenge of being new information professionals in the 21st century is good, right?

The Service of Information
It goes without saying that we are about more than just books. As our blog title notes, we care about Information. We’re also in agreement on the importance (THE importance!) of Service, so I think it’s helpful to view the Laws through that lens as well. So, with apologies to S.R., I humbly propose Five Little Considerations of Information Service:

1. Information is for use.
2. Every person his or her Information.
3. Every Information its user.
4. Save the time of the user.
5. The library is a growing organism.

I’m having trouble with number 5. Is library (and for those who aren’t familiar with the original laws, I basically just subbed Information for Library) still appropriate? I thought about using web or Internet but what about physical items? I think one of the main roles of libraries (now, but especially in the future), is to provide the service bridging physical and virtual collections, the web, and whatever ever new info sources come down the pipe. Can we just use Information as in “Information is a growing organism” or is that too generic and too much of pathway to those academic but not so useful discussions about what is knowledge, what is information, what is a document, blah, blah, blah….?

What do you think?

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