Famous Librarians and Library Science Teachers Biography Series of Librarianship Studies & Information Technology blog presents the biography of Professor P. B. Mangla, a living legend in the field of Library and Information Science in India. He served the University of Delhi for about thirty years as an outstanding teacher. He has a distinction of being the first and youngest Professor of LIS in India.
The article is in around 6000 words and can be considered as his authoritative biography The highlight of this article is a one hour interview of Prof. Mangla which is embedded in this article itself. Seeing Prof. Mangla speaking in the interview is like listening to the history of Library and Information Science in India as well as around the world, including his experience with library and information science luminaries such as, Dr. S.R. Ranganation, B.S. Kesavan, Mortimer Taube, and Dr. Carl M. White, and his experiences at the Columbia University, New York, association with IFLA, association with University of Delhi, etc.
"During my long association with Professor Mangla, I have found him a thorough gentleman with a pleasing personality. His professional knowledge, intelligence, and administrative skills is par excellence. Professor Mangla always shows regard and treats with dignity the senior professionals. He is always polite and courteous to his juniors. He has helped many people in life and shaped the careers of a large number of his students." -- M.K. Jain, Former Chief Librarian, Planning Commission of India.
"I was a student of Prof. Mangla in the University of Delhi. He was a great teacher, a scholar and more of an orator than a lecturer. It was a great privilege for us those days to have been taught by a learned and experienced professor in the field of library science. To me he was knowledgeable, energetic and most respected teacher. He set the benchmark of being Head of the Department of a university. He is one of the top known library scientists in India. I consider him the pride of the profession, someone who inspires others to join the profession and reach the heights, where he could go. I have seen him full of ideas and enthusiasm to guide librarians in national and international conferences. He is known in India and abroad for his professional contributions. I wish him good health and many more years of fruitful professional life." -- Kala Anjan Dutta, Director, American Center Library, New Delhi.
"Prof. Mangla’s and my relationship goes back 39 years. He has been my principal guide and source of inspiration. He has encouraged me to raise my educational and professional qualification and also my professional work. His humanism has greatly strengthened my personal conviction and goals. I can vividly recall remember that day in 1977, when I first met Prof. Mangla in his office in the Dept. of Library & Information Science, University of Delhi for seeking his help and guidance in preparing myself for an interview for a position in the Delhi University Library System. With his able guidance and blessings, I was selected and joined Ratan Tata Library. With that small interaction, I was so impressed with Prof. Mangla’s passion for the library profession and his sense of human values that I silently nurtured a secret ambition to work with this great man and to treat him a role model, for the rest of my future career. Fortunately, Prof. Mangla got me transferred from Ratan Tata Library to the Department’s library and I have had the unique privilege of working under him in the Department’s library when he was Head of the Department. Prof. P.B. Mangla has established his identity as a teacher par excellence, administrator, and a man of vision & action. He has been one the chief architects of library science education in our country, since the Delhi University pattern has been replicated in the universities that have been subsequently established. He had already become a leading name not only in India but in the world as elected as Vice-President of IFLA, winning laurels with prestigious national and international awards for his outstanding contributions for the development of library science education. One of his greatest strengths is an articulate speaker known for his clarity of thinking and outstanding expression. He is often cited as a very difficult and tough interviewer who always maintain quality and standards in professional selections and never compromise with low quality and standards. Prof. Mangla has always believed that if library system of a country goes wrong, nothing else will go right in the knowledge based society and economy. I firmly believe that his life and works has not only been a source of inspiration to me but to a galaxy of library professionals in the country and abroad." -- Dr. R.K. Sharma, Librarian, United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan, New Delhi.
BIOGRAPHY OF FAMOUS LIBRARIANS
P. B. MANGLA
Born: July 05, 1936 Pramod Bhushan Mangla
Occupation: Librarian, academic, historian
Fields: Library science, information science, history
Institutions: University of Delhi
Contents of Biography:
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Wikipedia (Kalsia): Kalsia was a princely state in Punjab, British India, one of the former Cis-Sutlej states.
Wikepedia (PEPSU): The Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) was a state of India between 1948 and 1956. It was created by combining eight princely states: Patiala, Jind, Nabha, Kapurthala, Faridkot, Kalsia, Malerkotla and Nalagarh.
Professor P.B. Mangla: "S. R. Ranganathan was my teacher of library sciences at Delhi University in 1954-55. I consider him my mentor. A great scholar, Ranganathan was considered to be the father of library sciences, not only in India but also across the world. Given his accolades in the field, he was invited to Delhi University, by the then vice-chancellor Sir Maurice Gwyer, to start a postgraduate program in library sciences in the year 1946. He wrote around 60 books and was awarded the Padamshree in 1958. I owe him my successful career in library sciences. Though he is no longer alive, I can vividly recollect the days I spent with him. I still remember how he used to provoke students to talk and also, make students listen to him carefully. As a person, he loved, lived, ate drank, and slept library sciences. He devoted his entire life to the field. He held classes at home, more like the modern system wherein the teacher is available 24x7. Even while taking his regular walk down the road, he was often found discussing the subject with his students. Ranganathan’s basic philosophy as a teacher was based on the Indian system of learning, which involved sharvan – listening and studying, chintan – debating, and mannan – assimilation. I can never forget what he said to me when I was leaving for New York in 1961, to pursue a master in library sciences at the Columbia University. He said: “You will be crossing the Atlantic on the way to New York. Leave whatever you have learned here, in India, in the ocean and go with a clean and fresh mind to America so that you can learn new things with a clear mind. And on your way back, collect your baggage from the Atlantic and assimilate it with your learning in America, so that you can put forward and use your new ideas in the right manner her in India.” The crux of his guidance was – Be open to new ideas and be flexible in your approach, so that the best can be achieved. I think it was a privilege being a student of this great teacher known not only nationally, but internationally as well."
|Columbia University's Butler Library|
Photo credit: Andrew Chen / Wikimedia Commons
Prof. Mangla did his Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Delhi. At the University of Delhi, he was a student of Dr. S.R. Ranganathan, father of library science and library movement in India. He served the University of Delhi for almost four decades out of which 29 years as a Professor of Library & Information Science. He had the distinction of being appointed as a full-fledged Professor at the age of 36 years which was a matter of real achievement in his career. During his tenure at the University of Delhi he held several senior and prominent positions such as Head of the Department; Dean, Faculty of Arts; Dean, Post-Graduate (Evening) Studies (which had an enrolment of about 1500 post- graduate students); and, Chairman, Board of Research Studies. He was a Member, Court of the University of Delhi almost for three decades, as also, of its Executive Council (EC), and, Academic Council (AC) which are the highest policy-decision making bodies of the University, for several years. He functioned as Chairman, Governing Body, of two prestigious Colleges of the University of Delhi, namely, Deshbandhu College, and Dyal Singh College, for several years. He retired in 2001 after a 29 year-professorship at DU.
At the University of Delhi, Professor Mangla has held with credit the Membership or Chairmanship of several University Bodies. Important among these were:
- Member, Court, 1967-68 and 1972 onwards.
- Member, Executive Council, 1976; 1986-88.
- Member, Academic Council, 1967-68; 1972-82; 1985-88 and 1994 onwards.
- Chairman, Standing Committee (Students) of the Academic Council, 1987-88; 1994 onwards.
- Chairman/Member, U.G.C. Fellowships Awards Committee, 1976-86.
- Chairman, Governing Body, Deshbandhu College, New Delhi, 1990-94.
- Chairman, Editorial Board, University of Delhi Annual Report, 1989 onwards
- Chairman, Programme Implementation Committee, NSS since 1989.
- Chairman, WUS Women's Hostel, 1990-92.
- Chairman/Member, P.G. Men's Hostel, 1978-84.
- Member, Governing Bodies of Daulat Ram College, Ramjas College, Sri Venkateswara College, Ram Dayal Anand College, Deshbandhu College, Rajdhani College for varying durations since1976.
- Chief Election Officer, DUSU Elections, 1992-94.
- Member, Faculty of Arts of several Universities of India, such as BHU, Kurukshetra University and Panjabi University (Patiala), Dr. Harisingh Gaur University (Sagar), etc.
- Member, Board of Studies, Board of Examiners, etc. in about 35 Universities such as Madras University, S.V. University, Tirupati University, Kerala University, Andhra University, Mysore University, Aligarh Muslim University, Kashmir University, Panjab University, Panjabi University, Rajasthan University, etc. for different durations since 1972.
- Member, Selection Committees for Senior Posts including those of Professors, Principles of Colleges, Readers, Librarians, Deputy Librarians, etc. in more than 50 Universities in India.
At the national level, during the last about 40 years, there has been hardly any committee, commission, working group, visiting team, panel, etc., which Professor Mangla has not been associated either as a member or chairman. It will not be out of place to mention a few of these which have been benefited by his active participation and professional advice.
- Member, UGC Visiting Team for the VII Five-Year Plan, 1983-84.
- Member, UGC Working Group for Improving Library Services in University System, 1982-84.
- Member, UGC Panel of Library and Information Science, 1977-82, and Convenor since 1991.
- Member, UGC Review Committee for Kashmir University, 1977.
- Member, Steering Committee, UGC Information and Library Network Programme (INFLIBNET),1990-94.
- Member, NIEPA Project Advisory Committee for Developing a Financial Code for University System, 1983-84.
- Member, Indian National Commission for Co-operation with UNESCO (Government of India), 1981-84.
- Member, ICSSR Documentation Committee, 1978-93; and 1994 onwards.
- Member, ICSSR Committee for Development of Information Systems in Social Sciences, 1978-79.
- Member, Asia-Pacific Network in Social Sciences (APINESS), ICSSR since 1989.
- Member, Committee for Modernisation of NASSDOC since 1995.
- Member Secretary, Planning Commission Working Group on the Modernisation of Library Services and Informatics for the VII Plan 1985-90.
- Member, Planning Commission Working Group on the Modernisation of Library Services and Informatics for the VIII Plan 1988-89 - 1990-95.
- Chairman, Manpower Development Committee of the National Information Systems in Science and Technology (NISSAT) (Government of India, Department of Science and Technology), 1977-85.
- Member, Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata (Government of India), 1981-83.
- Member, Committee for National Policy on Library and Information systems and Services of the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata (Government of India), 1982-83.
- Member, Committee on National Policy on Library and Information System (Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Culture), 1984-86.
- Member/Convenor of various Committees, Panels, etc., of the Indian Standards Institution with regard to Library and Information Science, 1977-88.
- Member, Executive Committee, INSDOC, (CSIR), 1977-79.
- Senior Vice-President and Founder Member, Indian Association of Academic Librarians, 1978-82.
- Member, Council, IASLIC, 1982-90.
- Expert Member for Selection Committees in UPSC, State Service Commissions, Private and Public Sector Organizations, Commonwealth Scholarships, etc. since 1972.
- Member, Governing Body, Centre for Development of Information Technology (CENDIT), New Delhi, 1984-88.
Professor Mangla has delivered numerous lectures and addresses--Key-Note and others--at various Universities, Institutions, Seminars, Conferences in India and abroad. A sample is as follows:
- Alice G. Smith Lecture, University of South Florida (USA), April 1992.
- Ranganathan Memorial Lectures at Vikram University, Ujjain in 1982.
- Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation Lecture in Calcutta in 1985.
- Guest Speaker, IFLA General Conference held in Chicago, 1985.
- Presidential Addresses to the All-India Library Conference held at Lucknow (1982) and Mysore (1983), respectively.
- Invited to deliver Keynote address for Sri Lanka National Library Services Board Silver Jubilee Celebrations, March-April, 1996.
Professor Mangla has directed the following prestigious Projects of ICSSR and IFLA.
- ICSSR Project on Bibliography of Materials on Delhi, 1978-90.
- IFLA Compendium of Courses in Library and Information Science: Asian Region, 1979-81.
A regular contributor of quality research papers in LIS journals of high repute in India and abroad, Professor Mangla has a large number of research publications to his credit. A few of them are worth mentioning.
- India (in ALA World Encyclopedia of Library and Information Services), Chicago, ALA, 1993.
- Library and Information Science Education in India, Delhi, Macmillan, 1981 (Editor)
- Library Education in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Advances in Librarianship. 10. Chap. VI. pp. 191-238, 1980.
- Training for Library Assistants, Guyana, UNESCO, 1979.
- Fifty Years of Librarianship in India: Seminar Papers, Delhi, ILA, 1983.
- Building Library Collections and National Policy for Library and Information Services: Seminar Papers, Delhi ILA, 1985 (Editor).
- Ranganation Memorial Lectures, 1982, Ujjain, Vikram University, 1982.
Professor Mangla is on the editorial boards of a number of LIS journals. For instance, he is associated with the following journals of repute as:
- Chairman, Board of Editors, Journal of Library and Information Science, Delhi University, Department of Library and Information Science, 1976-92.
- Member, Editorial Board, Annals of Library Science and Documentation (INSDOC), 1981-83.
- Member, Editorial Committee, Education for Information (North-Holland, Amsterdam), since 1983.
- Member, Editorial Committee, International Journal of Reviews in Library and Information Science, River Forest, Ill. (USA), 1983-90.
- Member, Editorial Board, Third World Libraries, River Forest, Ill. (USA), since 1990.
- Associate Editor, Libri (Muksgaard, Copenhagen), since 1987.
- Contributing Editor, Asian Libraries (Bangkok), since 1992.
During 1961-92, Professor Mangla was awarded Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship for higher education and educational travel in the United States. Some of the honors bestowed on him in the years following are:
- Elected as Member of the Institute of Information Scientists (London) in 1978 (M.I Inf. Sc.)
- Awarded Fellowship (Honorary) by the Indian Library Association in 1983, as part of Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
- Appointed as UGC National Lecturer, 1984-86.
- Shiromani Award for Human Excellence for 1990.
- IFLA Gold Medal and Citation, 1991.
- Felicitated by Indian Library Association for contributions to the profession in 1994, as part of Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.
- International Who's Who (Europa Publications Ltd., London), since 1985.
- Who's Who in the World (Marquis, Chicago), since 1984.
- Biographical Directory of On-Line Professionals (Marquis, Chicago), since 1984.
- India's Who's Who (INFA), since 1980.
- Who's Who in India (Bombay), since 1984.
- Reference Asia (Delhi), since 1989.
- Biographical Dictionaries of International Biographical Centre, Cambridge (UK), since 1996.
Question 2. Mangla Sir, How and when you decided to go in the library and information science profession.
Question 3. Mangla Sir, can you please tell us a little about your experiences in the University of Delhi. We know that the Department of Library and Information Science at present is considered to be among the finest imparting LIS education in India.
Question 4. Sir, Kindly tell us How was the Department of Library and Information Science before you joined and what steps you had taken to improve the quality of education and bring it at par with the international standards.
Question 5. Mangla Sir, we are extremely interested in knowing your experiences at the University of Columbia, the Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship and your works there. You had the rare honour of the vice-president of International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) during 1985 to 1991. Please tell us something about your association with IFLA also.
Question 6. Mangla Sir, please tell us you experience with library and information science luminaries such as Dr. S.R. Ranganathan, B.S. Kesavan, Mortimer Taube, and Dr. Carl M. White.
Question 7. Mangla Sir, your life and contributions to librarianship in India is considered as exceptional and as a role model for library professionals in the country. Please provide us some tips to become a better library professional library professional.
Question 8. Sir how do you see the future of libraries and librarianship in our country. What are your opinions about the present status of library and information science education and practice of librarianship in India?
4. Mangla, P. B. The Times of India, Monday, April 30, 2007.
- Last Updated 2016-07-25
- Written 2016-04-21
Librarianship Studies & Information Technology blog thanks, Dr. R.K. Sharma, Librarian, United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan, New Delhi for providing support for the interview of Professor P. B. Mangla.