The library is a growing organism: Ranganathan's fifth law of library science and the academic library in the digital era

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This article seeks to explore some possible creative options all aimed for finding unique ways for the academic library to grow in the digital era. The paper use terms and ideas derived from Darwin's theory of evolution but based first and foremost on the philosophical infrastructure phrased by Ranganathan (1931) at his fifth law for library science: the library is a growing organism because those classical theories can give strength and real support to the academic library institution to innovate with a solid framework instead of random actions here and there. It is a conceptual paper based on literature review and field experience as an academic librarian The paper will focus, through three paths: impart information literacy, digital collection development and new contributions to the body of knowledge through repositories and/or co-publishing of electronic journals in order to demonstrate the usability of creativity and innovativeness grounded in Ranganathan's is fifth law for library science: the library is a growing organism. Implementation this spirit might assist coping better disintermediation, making the academic library organism to expend and flourish. All that can't be done without a deeper acquaintance of the library with its consumers and vice versa. The originality of this article lies in its use of classical theories to deal with the challenges presented by the current environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalLibrary Philosophy and Practice
Issue numberSEPT
StatePublished - 2011


  • Academic libraries
  • Comparative analysis
  • Evolution
  • Future developments
  • Influence
  • Innovations
  • Librarians
  • Librarianship
  • Libraries and readers
  • Ranganathan S R
  • Ranganathan Shiyali Ramamrita
  • Services
  • Theories
  • University and college libraries

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