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Sunday, May 26, 2013

American Library Re-opens as 'American Corner' in Hyderabad

American Library (located at Panchsheel Hotel, Behind Ravindra Bharathi) in Hyderabad was closed, in 1960s.  And in 2013 it re-opens at St Francis College for Women, Street Number 6, Uma Nagar, Begumpet  Hyderabad.

What's in a Name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. They called it American Corner, instead of US's Information Center (or USIS), and American Information Centre (AIC) or American Library. Is it simply old wine in a new bottle, or meant to satisfy a new dimension? Will this 'American Corner' succeed in bypassing the American Center--huge library and its resources at the former American Studies Research Centre, now functioning as: Osmania University Centre for International Programmes? Only time can give an answer. See also the link below (on the same shelf).
Anyways, they say, elsewhere what is the name all about:
"We call these libraries “American Corners,” a name chosen for them in Russia where the first such partnerships emerged in the spring of 2000." source: usembassy.gov.  American Corners are dedicated information spaces hosted by different partner institutions in libraries with public access worldwide. These partnerships help introduce visitors to the true story of the United States. By providing a multifunctional platform for public diplomacy programs and offering access to print, multimedia, and other materials. The American Corners help maintain open dialogue, counteract negative preconceptions, and build bridges of understanding. They represent the nation's long-standing commitment to spread the ideas and values of American democracy and civil society.   source: usembassy.gov
 In the news:
Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the US Department of State Wendy Sherman and US Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell today unveiled 'American Corner', seventh in India, at St Francis College for Women in Hyderabad.

It would be a collaboration between the US consulate and the college.

American Corners are dedicated information spaces hosted in schools, colleges, libraries, etc. that help introduce visitors to different aspects of the USA.
"The opening of this new American Corner reinforces what people of India and the United State are already doing - bringing our two countries closer together," Sherman said.

Powell said the American Corner will provide a window on life and culture in the USA.-- Press Trust of India | Updated: May 25, 2013
On the same shelf:

  •  Here today, more tomorrow, Rrishi Raote  |  
    November 22, 2013 business-standard.com
  • American Studies in India: Cross-Dressing, Anyone? Helle Dale, The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation
  • Indian contribution to American studies : an assessment by Muhammed Burhanuddin, Mohamed Taher.
  • The South Asian Americans, by Karen Leonard
  • How to Be South Asian in America, anupama jain

    Hyderabadiz said...

    It was the same story in Bangalore, Indira Gandhi shut down everything that was American including IBM, Coca Cola, American center and others. She did that despite massive aid of corn and wheat USA supplied during the famine in India in the late sixties.

    These centers are truly windows to see America, it might be an anti-dote to anti-Americanism, and is the right thing to do. America was misrepresented in India and even now progress is viewed as negative and they associate it with America.

    Thanks for sharing this information, I hope to speak out for American values and attitudes that boost individual spirit of freedom.

    Mike, (214) 325-1916;
    Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work and social settings. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. Mike has a strong presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News, fortnightly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes everything you want to know about him.

    Hyderabadiz said...

    Interesting new phenomenon. Notice how these "corners" are being placed inside established Indian institutions. Americans are very concerned about the vulnerability of their institutions to attacks from anti-American groups and mobs.

    By the way OUCIP (ASRC) was one of the first "American Corners" in the new scheme of things. Of course, you and I and many others know how that place (despite serious gaps becos of neglect over 20 years) remains much more than a "corner."
    Prof. Amritjit Singh

    Hyderabadiz said...

    This new corner has come up in St. Francis Women's College (may be now it is called University). This is kind of 'embedded' public relations. There is a demand for US Education related information in Hyderabad. This is now catered to be private agencies. Also, the Consulate need to build PR for taking the American's who visit Hyderabad for public lecture, etc. These 'embedded' institutions help them, as it would be win-win situation for both. Moreover Consulate need not spend on venue or for that matter the audience, apart from their core list.

    ASRC is a gone case. With hopeless leadership and lack of vision from OU authorities there is nothing Consulate can gain. Its location is also pathetic, particularly these days when the OU is bogged down by Telangana agitation. There was a plan to improve the journals annex at ASRC by consulate and use it as American Center. I am not sure where the proposal stands now.

    Dr. N G Satish

    Hyderabadiz said...

    "bahaar aayi to khulgaye hain naye sire se hisaab saare" Faiz

    "A fresh reckoning begins when Spring returns"

    Dr. Raghu Manvi

    Hyderabadiz said...

    Its high time they did that...

    American Corner is good build-up for the American Center and Library.

    M.K. Prasanna