Library and its use as a Strategic Diplomatic Tool

Abstract

Author(s): Rajesh Kumar Sinha

Libraries are popular social and cultural institutions with a wide prevalence across the world. As the store house of knowledge and information, their presence and popularity is seldom matched with other institutions. Since the ancient times, libraries did catch the imagination of people, including the ruling elite and found a place of pride in almost all bigger, developed states and societies. Similar to developments in all other domains of sciences and society, libraries too have evolved and grown and today have moved from a mere physical presence to a digital and even virtual form. Politics and statecraft too, have evolved and grown over the centuries. New ideas, tactics and strategies have come to supplement political thoughts, works and ideas. To achieve various political and strategic objectives, states have resorted to the use of various tools from diverse fields, such as science, technology, diplomacy and the like. Libraries too, have gradually grown into an important tool to protect and promote the perceived national interests of a state. Though the usage of libraries as a tool of foreign policy and diplomacy is quite limited to a handful of big and powerful countries yet their significance is quite formidable. An analysis of libraries as an important strategic diplomatic tool is certain to reveal insightful and interesting developments that have taken place in this domain and what it entails for a state’s diplomatic and foreign policy strategies.

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