During the 85th IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2019 in Athens, Greece, several recent and forthcoming IFLA publications were presented by their authors and editors at the IFLA / De Gruyter Publication Series session. One of the books presented was Peter Lor’s International and Comparative Librarianship: Concepts and Methods for Global Studies. We sat down with him for a short interview on his work.

Peter Lor has been active in the LIS field since the 1960s and served as South Africa’s first National Librarian, as well as IFLA Secretary General from 2005 – 2008.

His new book, the result of years of research, has a number of aims, including: to provide the first systematic overview of the field of international and comparative librarianship, to raise awareness of theory in other disciplines that can be applied in international and comparative librarianship, and to improve research in the field.  But also a more personal one:


My interest in international and comparative librarianship has a moral dimension. I believe that libraries and information agencies have a role in promoting international understanding, tolerance, and peace. I hope that this book can contribute to that.

Global Studies in Libraries and Information SeriesThe book also includes a conceptual framework and methodological guidelines for the field and covers the full range of international relations among libraries and information services. Particular attention is given to the international political economy of information, the international diffusion of innovations and policy in library and information services, and LIS development and international aid.  

Lor’s new book is part of the IFLA Global Studies in Libraries and Information Series, published in partnership with De Gruyter.