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S.R. Ranganathan

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Alena Keene

on 29 June 2015

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Transcript of S.R. Ranganathan

Career in LIS
Childhood & Family
Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan

Born: August 12, 1892 in Shiyali, Madras, India

Father: N. Ramamritam (small landowner) (d. 1898)
Mother: Sitalakshmi (d. 1953)
Brother: R. Natesan (d. 1964)
Sister: R. Avaiyambal

First wife (married in 1907): Rukmini (d. 1928)

Second wife (married in 1929): Sarada (d. 1985)
Son: Shri R. Yogeshwar (b. 1932)

Hindu High School in Shiyali (graduated at age 16)

B.A. (Mathematics) Christian College in Madras, 1913

M.A. (Mathematics) Christian College, 1916

Education degree, Teachers College in Saidapet, 1917

Honors certificate in library science, School of Librarianship, University of London, 1925

Early Career
1917 - Began teaching Physics and Mathematics at Government College in Mangalore and Coimbatore.

1921 - Became Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Presidency College in Madras.
The Five Laws of Library Science
1924 – Appointed librarian at Madras University, went to study librarianship at University College London, returning to Madras in 1925
1928 – Founded Madras Library Association
1929 – Founded the first library school in India which became a part of University of Madras
1948 – Introduced a Master of Library Science degree at University of Delhi
1950 – Introduced a doctoral program in Library Science at University of Delhi
1950 – Introduced a doctoral program in Library Science at University of Delhi
1944-1953 – President of Indian Library Association
1958-1967 – President of Madras Library Association
1965-1972 – Vice President of Governing Council of the Indian Standards Institute
Throughout his career, Ranganathan wrote sixty books and 2000 articles (Kent et al, 1978). Here are few of his prominent books that have impacted the domain of library science:
The Five Laws of Library Science, 1931
Colon Classification, 1931
Library Administration, described library work as 1000 different jobs, also described the physical library (layout and furniture), 1935
Prolegomena to Library Classification, 1937
Philosophy of Library Classification, 1951
A descriptive Account of Colon Classification, 1967
Classified Catalogue Code: With Additional Rules for Dictionary Catalogue Code, 1958

Colon Classification
Despite the facts of not knowing much of library work, when Ranganathan took charge of the Madras University Library he clearly showed dissatisfaction to these following issues:
The alphabetical arrangement of books by authors because it was not helpful in selecting books.
Library staff had no postsecondary education background.

While at the School of Librarianship in London, Ranganathan spent most of his time at the school library.From that experience, he got introduced to library science domain. Furthermore, as a mathematician one of its aspects that caught his interest were these Classifications Systems:
Decimal Classification (DC)
Expensive Classification (EC)
Subjective Classification (SC)
Library of Congress Classification (LC).
The Five Laws of Library Science
1931 (Ranganathan's most famous publication)
1. Books are for use.
2. Every reader his book.
3. Every book its reader.
4. Save the time of the reader.
5. The library is a growing organism.

Digital archive of the full text: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.$b99721;view=1up;seq=13

S.R. Ranganathan
"The library is a growing organism."
1. Books are for use.
Not just “books”, but information and media in all formats
Increase accessibility (least restrictions)
Longer hours and 24/7 electronic access
Interlibrary Loan

2. Every reader his (or her) book.
Collection development
Meeting users’ needs.
Tools and resources
Reference services

3. Every book its reader.
Classification and organization technology
-Outreach and marketing
Social Media

Relevance Today

4. Save the time of the reader.
Virtual, email, chat, and phone reference
Online catalogs, requests, and holds
Mobile apps
Drive-through windows

5. The library is a growing organism.
New services
Technology trends
New physical space designs

(Rimland, 2007, p. 24-26)
Colon Classification
Ranganathan dissatisfaction with Decimal Classification were that many compound subjects did not get a co-extensive DC number, and all facets of the Class Number subject, except the last one, were frozen (Garfield, 1984).
One day while visiting a Selfridges shop in London, He became amazed watching the demonstrating the use of a Meccano toy kit. “The salesman was making different toys from the same kit by permutation of blocks, strips, nut, and bolts.” (Sajita & Jagtar, 2013, p.266).

This experience was the eureka moment that inspired Ranganathan to develop the same ideology to create various class numbers from same subject concepts to suit the individual documents (Sajita & Singh, 2013).
According to Sajita and Jagtar (2013), Ranganathan envisioned that:
• All knowledge consists of some basic and discrete concepts, which could be combined to construct class number to suit a document specifically, instead of assigning it a predetermined readymade class number.
• Connecting symbols in the form of punctuation marks served his nut and bolts.

His analytico-sysnthetic ideas lead him to pursue further research that ended in 1993 with the development a new classification system called, The Colon Classification (Garfield, 1984).

The Colon Classification edition has undergone several revisions since its publication in 1933.
• Version 1 (1933-1950): Rigid Facet Era introduced the 1st edition to the 3rd edition:
“The facet formula was rigid and pre-determined. Colon was the only connecting symbol for all the facet, E.G., 2::: N ‘Libraries in 20th century’.” (Sajita & Singh, 2013, p. 267).

• Version 2 (1950-1963): Analytical-Synthetic Era introduced the 4th edition to the 6th edition:
The 4th edition was a significant achievement, he theorized “the five fundamental categories and generalized them as concretely as PMEST.” (Sajita & Singh, 2013, p. 267).

• Version 3 (1963-1987): Freely-faceted Era introduced the 7th edition:
This new version had a promising result. However, it is still considered incomplete because Ranganathan died in 1972.
Colon Classification
(Sajita & Singh, 2013, p. 273)

1. The subject "research in the cure of tuberculosis of lungs by x-ray conducted in India in 1950" results in a call number: L,45;421:6;253:f.44'N5

2. A History of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, results in call number: T,18.1=CN48,g, 9N” v

3. 20th Century Bibliography of Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, results in call number: O,111, 2J64, M+V” aN

Awards & Honors

1935 – Awarded Rao Sahib (for service and leadership)

1948 – Honorary Doctorate of Literature, University of Delhi

1957 – Awarded Padmashri (for public service)

1964 – Honorary President of the Second International Conference on Classification Research

1964 – Honorary Doctorate of Literature, University of Pittsburgh

1965 – named National Research Professor by Indian government

1970 – Margaret Mann Citation in Cataloging and Classification of the American Library Association

Interesting Facts
Ranganathan was considered by many to be a workaholic, during his two decades in Madras, he consistently worked 13-hour days, seven days. (Dong-Geun, 2012).

From 1954 to 1957, he took part in research and writing in Zürich. While there he contributed to the “Annals of Library Science published by the INSDOC.” (Kent et al, 1978).

He founded and became head of Documentation Research and Training Center in Bangalore, India (Dong-Geun, 2012).

His disciples “viewed him as a yogi, and he concentrated his whole body, mind, and soul on the discipline of library science, so they felt he had embraced it as a path to spiritual perfection” (Garfield 1984, 43).
Abhay (Moderator). (2013). Indian Title Badge [Photograph]. Retrieved June 25, 2015, from: http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?topic=21524.0

BLIS-03P Library Classification Practice (2008, May 31). Colon classification part-1. [Video file]. Retrieved from

Dong-Geun, O. (2011). Ranganathan, Dewey, and Bong-Suk Park: Journal of the Korean Society for Library and Information Science, volume 46, (1), 11-27 DOI: 10.4275/KSLIS.2012.46.1.011

The family on a sight-seeing visit (summer 1954) [Photograph]. In Dr. S. R. Ranganathan: Access portal to works by and on him. Retrieved from http://www.isibang.ac.in/~library/portal/Pages/Photo/f08.JPG

Garfield, E. (1984). “A tribute to S. R. Ranganathan, the father of Indian library science: Part 1.
life and works.” ). Reprinted in essays of an Information Scientist, 7, 37-44. Philadelphia: ISI Press. Retrieved from: http://garfield.library.upenn.edu/essays/v7p037y1984.pdf

Heather o. (2015, February 9). S. R. Ranganathan’s five laws of library science. Retrieved from

Karigar, P (Author). (2013). Padmashiri Award [Photograph]. Retrieved June 25, 2015, from: http://paramparikkarigar.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/front.jpg

Kent et al. (1978). S.R Ranganathan: A short Biography. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, 25. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker Inc. Retrieved from: http://www.isibang.ac.in/~library/portal/Pages/SRRBIO.pdf

Kumar, S.K.A., Ramesh, B.B., Nageswara, R.P. (2011). Implications of five laws of library science on Dr. S. R. Ranganathan's Colon Classification: An explorative study. Journal of the Korean Society for Library and Information Science, 45, (4), 2011, 309-326 DOI: 10.4275/KSLIS.2011.45.4.309

Rimland, E. (2007). Ranganathan's relevant rules. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 46(4), 24.

Ranganathan as a student, 1913 [Photograph]. In Dr. S. R. Ranganathan: Access portal to works by and on him. Retrieved from http://www.isibang.ac.in/~library/portal/Pages/Photo/sm04.JPG

Ranganathan, S. R. (1965, September 1.). In Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank). Retrieved from Biography Reference Bank (H.W. Wilson), EBSCOhost.

Satija, M. P. (1996). Birth-centenary literature on ranganathan 1991-1994: A review. Asian Libraries, 5(2), 65-76. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/212900376?accountid=7113

Sajita, M.P., Singh, J. (2013). Colon classification: A requiem. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 33 (4), 265-276. Retrieved from: http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/90487593/colon-classification-requiem

Send-off from Presidency College, Madras [Photograph]. In Dr. S. R. Ranganathan: Access portal to works by and on him. Retrieved from http://www.isibang.ac.in/~library/portal/Pages/Photo/mu02.JPG

S. R. Ranganathan [Photograph]. In Dr. S. R. Ranganathan: Access portal to works by and on him. Retrieved from http://www.isibang.ac.in/~library/portal/srr2-new.jpg

Welcome as First Madras University Librarian [Photograph]. In Dr. S. R. Ranganathan: Access portal to works by and on him. Retrieved from http://www.isibang.ac.in/~library/portal/Pages/Photo/mu04.JPG
Rao Sahib Medal:
Padmashri Medal:
The family on a sight-seeing visit (summer 1954): SRR, Sarada, & Yogeshwar
Ranganathan as a student, 1913
Send-off from Presidency College, Madras, 1924
Welcome as First Madras University Librarian: The Vice-Chancellor and the Chairman of the Library Committee with the new University Librarian and the entire library staff. (28 Aug. 1924)
Ranganathan's Monologue on Melvil Dewey: https://www.miskatonic.org/files/ranganathan-on-dewey.mp3
S. R. Ranganathan
BLIS-03P Library Classification Practice (2008, May 31). Colon classification part-1. [Video file].
Full transcript