I was sorting through a couple bins of damaged books from the Young Research Library yesterday and came across a 1957 edition of S.R. Ranganathan’s the Five Laws of Library Science (Madras, India: Madras Library Association, 1957). The half title page included the fabulous illustration above used by the Madras Library Association.
S.R. Ranganathan was a president of the Madras Library Association, but I don’t know if he was at the time this logo was designed or when the book was published. He also had a brilliant mind – one of the greatest in the library field ever.
It had been a very long time since I had thought about Ranganathan. I was introduced to his work as a library school student at the University of Texas at Austin during my Intro to Libraries class. But as I flipped through the book, I read again the Five Laws he published first in 1931. To my mind they are still completely relevant to everything we do here in the library and in preservation and conservation (regardless of the medium being used). Here they are:
- Books are for use
- Every Reader His Book
- Every Book its Reader
- Save the Time of the Reader
- the Library is a Growing Organism
Elegant and true.