What’s In a Name?


This year in the SLA Conference back in April. Professor Mumtaz gave a keynote about changing the name of the LIS Decipline to be “Information Management”. His speech was titled “What’s in a name?”

Ever since 1968, when I first met some Arab friends in the United States and, later, many more while living in Arab countries, I have gotten used to receiving a surprising look whenever I am introduced by name to another Arab person. Mumtaz happens to mean “excellent,” and it seems some people are uncertain whether my name really fits my personality. I meet the situation in a light mood, saying that I am not responsible for my name–it was my mother’s choice.

Current SLA President was present on the occasion and she requested prof. Mumtaz if he would allow its publication in the Information Outlook, which has perhaps one of the widest circulations in our field. His work is now published in the July/August 2009 issue of Information Outlook.

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MUMTAZ ANWAR has been a professor at Kuwait University since 1999. He founded the master’s program in Libraryand Information Sciences at the University of the Punjab (Pakistan) in 1974 and served as chairman of the department.He later worked as associate professor and director of library affairs at King AbdulAziz University (Saudi Arabia) and asprofessor and chief librarian at International Islamic University (Malaysia). This article is excerpted from a speech hedelivered at “Beyond Libraries: Innovation for Knowledge Gateways,” the 15th annual conference of the SLA Arabian GulfChapter, in April 2009. He can be reached at anwarma37@gmail.com.


3 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. Great words by great person. These five pages provide a rich primary source of the evolution of the concept over the last years.. his words are really noteworthy. I like the way Prof. Mumtaz started his speech by using story telling technique and the way he concluded his speech by the following ” Almost 5 generations and 122 years have gone by in drifting from one mismaching symbol to another, and we have been hesitating to adopt the one befitting our true identity”

  2. Fatma. You were not there at the farewell, But thats where i got my speech ideas and technique from. He is great and i like his style. And at the conference he was so tiered and sick, but he insisted of giving the speech. The president of the SLA was so impressed that she insisted on publishing it right on the spot and did not wait.

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