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LQ Volume 1 Issue 1

Reading notes for the first volume and first issue of The Library Quarterly.

To return to the list of notes on this volume: volume-1

Article 1

This entry is about:

Williamson, C. C. (1931). The place of research in library science. The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 1-17. url:

Note: The first article published in The Library Quarterly is titled “The Place of Research in Library Service.”

It was written by C. C. Williamson, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: School of Library Service, Columbia University

Note: The author's name is listed at the end of the article and not at the beginning.

Note: The article is written in first person. This may be due to the conventions at the time, but according to the first footnote, the article is based on a speech that was delivered in 1930. Use of the first person could be due to that.

Note: A number of literary references are made at the beginning of the article.

Note: The article itself is about showing the value, or convincing young library students the value, of doing research.

Note: He begins with the questions, still asked today, but often asked of him at the time:

“What is the future of library service?” “Will it offer me a satisfactory career? (p. 2).

Note: A point about the profession:

Development it seems to me has been too largely of a quantitative rather than a qualitative character (p. 2).

Note: Another point about the profession, which is relevant today, and about the increase in assistants (or perhaps, paraprofessionals, although that term may be anachronistic):

It is difficult to detect improvement in the professional status of the librarian. The demand for so-called trained assistants has increased notably in volume” (p. 3).

Note: He lists a number of improvements in the next few sentences, but he ends his list with this comment about the not so great improvements for the librarian:

Salaries, and at the same time the prestige, of the more important administrative positions have increased in a significant way, but for the rank and file little progress seems to be made in remuneration and in other evidences of satisfactory professional status (p. 3).

Note: This is in agreement with what Arthur T. Hamlin (1981) wrote about the professional status of academic librarians. Specifically, it took 13 years after Williamson's essay for academic librarians to gain faculty status. Hamlin wrote:

In 1944 the University of Illinois achieved full faculty status and rank for all of its professional staff. It was the first major university to take the step. Others followed with partial or complete recognition in the 1950s and sixties. By the early seventies the majority of universities has swung over to recognition of most, if not all, of the professional staff as members of the faculty, often with faculty ranks and titles (Hamlin, 1981, p. 120).

Note: Williamson believes that the professional status of librarians, their prestige, is not being advanced because they are not doing research. It doesn't seem to matter, to him, whether that research is of a natural science kind, a social science kind, or a humanistic kind, but simply that it is not being done.

Williamson's comment is, in a sense, in agreement with what Hamlin, Shiflett, Carpenter, and Wiegand write. Specifically about the culture of the primacy of knowledge creation over knowledge dissemination. See:

  • Carpenter, K. E. (1996). A library historian looks at librarianship. Daedalus, 125(4), 77-102. url:
  • Hamlin, A. T. (1981). The University Library in the United States: Its Origins and Development. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. url:
  • Shiflett, O. L. (1981). Origins of American Academic Librarianship. Libraries and Librarianship. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation. url:
  • Wiegand, W. A. (1990). Research libraries, the ideology of reading, and scholarly communication, 1876-1900. In P. Dain & J. Y. Cole (Eds.) Libraries and Scholarly Communication in the United States: The Historical Dimension (pp. 71-87). New York:

Greenwod Press. url:

Williamson goes on to cite a number of statistics and examples of how and why research is important, and how quickly it is growing in other fields. Then he notes its total absence in the library field:

What about research in the library field? A little sporadic work here and there by individuals that may possibly be classified as research. No organized or co-operative plans, or only the beginnings of such in two or three university library schools. No money appropriated anywhere, so far as I know, specifically for research in library service. Not a single person employed anywhere by a library or a library system to study problems of library service. No research fellowships. No research professorships (p. 5).

Then this comment that pertains to The Library Quarterly. Recall that this article is essentially a reprint or a first printing of an earlier address, which is why it mentions the future of this publication even though it's printed in this publication:

One of the most hopeful indications that this condition may soon be remedied is the fact that the Carnegie Corporation has recently appropriated $25,000 to assist in starting a new library journal to be edited and published at the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago (p. 5).

Note: It's interesting to think that the term library science precedes the actual science of library related research:

Not infrequently I have been pessimistic enough about this situation [that there is no research in the field] to wonder whether there is any justification for using the term “library science.” When the new library school was started at Columbia four years ago we evaded the question by calling it a “school of library service.” That there is such a thing as library service no one can doubt, and personally I do not doubt that it ought to be based on a library science, but I wish the scientific character of our professional activities and of our professional literature were more obvious“ (pp. 5-6).

Note: Williamson notes that to do library science depends on how science is defined. First, he refers to Frederick Barry's Scientific Habit of Thought. In essence, what is important is a scientific attitude based on rational investigation. Second, He refers to John Dewey and his work The Sources of a Science of Education, which argues that science is about the methods involved and not the subject matter.

Reflection: Some of this discussion is based on the (now obsolete) notion of William James' types of *men*: the tough-minded (the scientific mind) and the tender-minded (the artistic mind). I'm not disregarding Dewey's overall thoughts on scientific knowledge, empirical knowledge, and so forth, just this classification as a truthful psychological classification. Of course, although that classification may be obsolete, it's relevant in the sense that many may often still think of people that way, if only as an unquestioned world-view used to judge and classify the various roles that exist. While I am enjoying this article and think there's a lot of good points here, Williamson adds that librarians may be composed of people of the tender-minded sort. So his acceptance of William James' classification is problematic. If we reject that premise, but pursue the same end game (that of a library science as a research science), then what new premise do we accept?

Note: Interesting discussion of empirical versus scientific on pages 7 and 8.

library science is purely empirical. The average librarians is an empiricist, not a scientist. Most administrative practices and technical procedures are followed because they have been tried somewhere and have been found to work. What psychological or other principles are involved is unknown (p. 8).

How has library science (or library and information science) schools changed this? This has been examined. See, for example:

Note: here Williamson quotes John Dewey in *How We Think*:

Empirical inference follows the grooves and ruts that custom wears, and has no track to follow when the groove disappears…..”Skill enables a man to deal with the same circumstances that he has met before, scientific thought enables him to deal with different circumstances that he has never met before.“…. (pp. 8 - 9).

Note: Williamson makes an interesting turn on page 9. Let me quote a series of statements:

You may infer from what I have just been saying that librarians lack the scientific attitude, are tender-minded rather than tough-minded, think empirically rather than scientifically. No, that is not my conclusion (p. 9).


Can it be that there are no problems in library service that call for scientific research? …. No …. (p. 9).


A second possible reason that there is so little research in the field of library service is that if it is a science at all and not an art, it is only an applied science and that the necessary research is therefore carried on in the underlying sciences—psychology, social science, political science, etc. (pp. 9-10).

He dismisses that idea. And writes that:

To my mind the real reason that there is so little study of the problems of library science is that practically no librarians have been trained in scientific methods (p. 10).

He adds other issues that have prevented a *library science*. Organizations are too small and a

deep-rooted prejudice among library workers against subjecting their activities to scientific scrutiny (p. 10).

Note: that first point, that the organizations may be too small, suggests that automation was one, although I should add not the only, causation of library science. This is in the sense that library automation and computerization connected libraries together – such that no library would henceforth exist as an island. Think, for example, of Ralph Parker's piece:

Note: This sentiment has been mentioned before, particularly, I believe, in Hamlin and Shiflett's work (mentioned above):

We hear it said now and then by librarians of long experience and high position that there is not sufficient content in the field of library science to justify programs of study leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy or even a Master's degree (p. 10).

Note: Important to his argument – method is primary:

Nothing short of a lifetime is sufficient to learn all that a librarian needs to know! The important thing is training in scientific methods of attacking and solving problems, the cultivation of the scientific spirit and attitude. As soon as this is recognized and acted upon, library science will become a reality. Until that time librarians, no matter how many facts they carry in their heads, will be looked upon as clerks and routinists (p. 11).

Here I think of Abbott:

Note: This counters those, especially among certain higher education administrations in the 20th century (and librarians too), thought of libraries as simply warehouses:

Those who see no field for research in library service or need of advanced training for librarianship simply fail to recognize the fundamental complexity of library science. To most librarians, as to almost all others, it presents an entirely false appearance of simplicity (p. 12).

Note: Williamson then makes a number of great points about how other professions, i.e., psychology, sociology, statistics, etc., cannot do the work of library science. Although library science may draw from these fields, its issues are its own. Those other fields, if they were to study libraries, would, Williamson argues, examine the issues from their perspectives, thus contributing to the problem of Déformation professionnelle, or the “tendency to look at things from the point of view of one's own profession,” although he doesn't use that term.

Reflection: I've been thinking a lot lately about the problem of déformation professionnelle with respect to the differences or approaches between library science and information science. Specifically, if a purely information scientist, that is, someone without a background or an invested interest in library science, recommends something for libraries, under what conceptual framework should that be considered and how should that be evaluated? Here I'm thinking of a recent example: when the altmetrics researchers suggest something in their domain is beneficial to librarians and their work, does the point of view of their recommendation include what library science has deemed to be beneficial, or is the point of view solely an information science one, where that view has been divorced from its sibling? Furthermore, how do librarians accept or respond to such recommendations. See:

So, Williamson adds:

The psychologist cannot do the librarian's job; the sociologist cannot do it (p. 13).

Has information science and library science diverged so much, in some cases at least, where we might substitute psychologist or sociologist in Williamson's statement with information scientist? The end point being library science can incorporate information science theory and knowledge, but it is not itself information science?

Note: Williamson then proceeds to discuss several other really interesting issues, all of which, it seems to me, are still quite relevant, discussed, and pursued today. I'll just mention these things generally: the nature and problems with data collection, what type of library science research could be undertaken, the education of librarians where the end goal is not to make researchers but librarians who can research, and the improvement to library teaching as a result of a increased research.

Reflection: This was a fascinating article and surely a great introduction for *The Library Quarterly* in its inaugural issue. I'm going to hold back, for now, on some autoethnographic responses, but I'll get to it later, as I read more of this and later issues. I especially want to get a sense of the character of this first issue in order to see if there is something coherent about it as a whole. This is important to one of the purposes of this research project — to understand the nature of the journal as a collective thing (a one).

Reflection: The discussion about whether *library science* is a science is interesting, in the sense that it's similar to a discussion that still sometimes happens today, about whether information science is a science. Will we still be having this discussion in another 80 years, in 2090?

Article 2

This entry is about:

Putnam, Herbert. (1931). Consultants at the National Library. The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 18-21. url:

Note: The second article published in The Library Quarterly is titled “Consultants at the National Library.” It was written by Herbert Putnam, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Library of Congress

At the time of this publication, he was head of the Library of Congress, one of the last librarians to have this role.

Note: Putnam refers to the field as library economy, indicating the original term for the field. As noted, Williamson, in the first LQ article, uses the term library service, and discusses library science as a field and term. The use of so many terms signifies, I think, the number of great changes happening in librarianship at the time.

Note: It is interesting that Putnam refers to reference work as “the more popular” aspect of librarianship. That seemed true up till six or seven years ago. I wonder, though, if it's still true. My sense is that other forms of librarianship are growing in popularity.

Note: The first article in *LQ* is a reprint or first print of a speech given by C. C. Williamson. This second article is mostly an informative piece, with a bit of commentary and discussion, about the use of expert consultants (faculty specializing in certain fields of study) at the Library of Congress. Two articles into my reading of the LQ, I'm aware that neither is a research article. I mention this because the Library Journal had been providing the function of informing and providing a discussion board to the library community about such topics since 1876. In the first two articles of this journal, the LQ has yet to become its own thing – still mimicking the function the Library Journal has provided since its founding. I wonder how many articles I'll read before I get a sense that the Library Quarterly has begun to truly develop its own identity.

Note: Although Putnam's article is short, it is a loaded topic and touches upon the core of what it means to be a librarian at a research library. At heart, the issue is about the beneficial use of having subject specialists (i.e., faculty, professors, researchers, etc. and not librarians), who are familiar not only with the subjects of their fields but also the research methods used in those fields, work at libraries to aid in collection development and provide advanced library service to the public or the community at hand. The article reflects the state of library education (and the librarian as a professional) at the time, which was before C. C. Williamson's report (The Williamson Report of 1923) and which recommended graduate study, had the ability to truly have an effect on the state of library education (see In the Beginning .... Although it should be mentioned that the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago had already been founded by this time, and it would have a major impact on the state of library education as graduate study.

Putnam refers to the practice of librarianship as a “technique” (p. 19). It is interesting to compare this piece with the previous one written by Williamson, who is arguing that librarianship can be much more than a technique. Putnam, then, and at least based on this piece, seems to have a growingly challenged (or obsolete?) view of librarianship (for the time?). Odd to write that given his historical influence.

Reflection: From a historical perspective, the subject matter of this article is interesting. However, my main interest with this project is reflected in the note above about the becoming of LQ as a research journal. When will this happen? The next article? The next issue or volume? When will the LQ mature and become the research journal it has been for most of its lifetime? What kind of research will I encounter? Will it be social science (doubtful), historical, …? My guess is that LQ's becoming will reflect librarianship's (or library science's) own becoming. In fact, this is largely my (so-called) hypothesis.

Article 3

This entry is about:

Keppel, F. P. (1931). The Carnegie Corporation and the Graduate Library School: A Historical Outline. The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 22-25. url:

Note: The third article published in The Library Quarterly is titled “The Carnegie Corporation and the Graduate Library School.” It was written by F. P. Keppel, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Carnegie Corporation

Note: It dawns on me that I do not know how many library schools started with an endowment, whether by a corporation or an organization such as the Carnegie Corporation.

Note: Interesting quote about the intent to fund a library school at Chicago:

The Corporation recognized that there was already in existence a number of library schools of excellent professional standing, but in their judgment there was no school which could be said to occupy for the librarian's profession a position analogous to that of the Harvard Law School or the John Hopkins Medical School (p. 23).

Note: The article is fairly straightforward and is very much, as its title suggests, an outline. After the above quote, Keppel lists a number of reasons for choosing the University of Chicago as the place to create a new school (I'm not going to list these reasons here, but I may want to come back to them later), he summarizes the negotiations between the University and the Corporation about the funding, and then he summarizes the University's process in establishing the school.

Reflection: As I commented in my previous post, such an article could have easily gone into an issue of the Library Journal, as it's primarily a note. However, when I remind myself that this is the inaugural issue of the LQ, which is published by the University of Chicago, then this short outline takes on new meaning:

When I look at the table of contents of a scholarly journal that launches in more recent times, the articles listed usually (it seems to me) are research articles. The fact that the LQ does not (so far) have any research articles suggests something about the broader state of affairs at the time. Such that, the research culture (as Williamson explains (see above)) just didn't exist for library science at the time (we know that to be pretty much true—as we understand research today, at least).

Given Williamson's article, this first issue by this journal, this brief outline about the creation of the library school at Chicago and the Carnegie Corporation's involvement, the launching of this journal is very much itself an argument about the need for a library science. Said otherwise, this journal's coming into being is very much an act of creating a library science. And it makes sense that the University of Chicago is the source of the first research journal in library science, given the intent behind the quote above (the creation of an esteemed library school, the likes of which should resemble something akin to Harvard Law). Perhaps then, the Carnegie Corporation should not only “take the credit—or accept the responsibility” (p. 23) for all the public libraries it built but for also, in some way, creating the opportunity for a library science to exist. (That “credit” or “responsibility” quote is in the article but I use it, tongue in cheek, out of context.)

Reflection: That I need to remind myself that this is the inaugural issue, as I did above, is something that itself has special import. While my goal with this project is to get a sense of the journal as a thing in and of itself, a thing that has its own identity, that is historically situated, and that has contributed substantially to the identify of the field, I also have to try to read this journal fresh—from the viewpoint of someone who is reading this journal for the first time in 1931, when it was published. If I forget to do that, then I will lose something in the experience or the reading, or I will not notice things that may have been noticed or thought of by readers at the time it was published.

[1]: /blog/2013/07/19/lq-vol-1-issue-1-article-1-autoethnographric-study/

Article 4

This entry is about:

Waples, Douglas. (1931). The Graduate Library School at Chicago. The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 26-36. url:

Note: The fourth article published in The Library Quarterly is titled “The Graduate Library School at Chicago.” It was written by Douglas Waples, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Graduate Library School, University of Chicago

Note: The purpose of the article is to explain the Graduate Library School (GLS) at Chicago. The motivation is based on the relationship between GLS and the LQ. The author writes that since the editing of the journal “will likely fall upon the staff” (p. 26) of the GLS, then an understanding of GLS and its policies should be provided. The first footnote indicates that it was first delivered to the Association of American Library Schools in 1929, which, I should add, is presently known as the Association of Library and Information Science Education.

Note: The article outlines nine policy statements about the School. Notably, the School is meant to push research and not to train future librarians.

Note: Since GLS is primarily interested in producing library science doctorates, the School represents, at the time, a new model of library education. The question is, when did Schools begin to merge this model with models related to library education, such that they produce both doctorates headed for research and instruction and Masters headed for librarianship?

Note: As C. C. Williamson (see Issue 1, Article 1) does, Waples refers, in a section titled “What is a Library Science?”, to John Dewey's The Sources of a Science of Education.

Of this piece, Waples write:

No writing has appeared to date which in short space so helpfully presents a philosophy of research in the social studies (p. 30).

An interesting quote about this:

I take it no one has to argue any longer the fact that librarianship *is* primarily a social enterprise; that only in so far as we know what human needs are responsive to reading can we furnish the best reading in the best way; that to this major problem the difficulties met in administering library routine as at present organized are altogether subordinate; and that what the librarian can ultimately contribute to the advance of scholarship and hence to the welfare of society depends entirely upon his ability to select from all fields of knowledge whatever helps to reveal and satisfy the needs that reading can meet (p. 30).

Note: Related to “all fields of knowledge,” Waples writes that:

We are just beginning at Chicago to find out what elements of other University departments and disciplines pertain to library problems. The extent of such application is obviously great, far greater than we can ever hope to evaluate precisely. But various other fields of study have already been identified as capable of yielding laws, facts, and methods of investigation from which a genuine science of librarianship may evolve (pp. 33-34).

The fields include:

  • bibliography
  • education
  • history
  • law
  • literary criticism
  • philosophy
  • political science
  • psychology
  • social service administration
  • sociology
  • statistics (p. 34).

Note: The final section of the article functions as an appendix (although not labeled as such) and outlines the topics that were being investigated at GLS during its first two years (1928–1930). In large part, and aside from the wording of the descriptions, many of the topics under investigation read as if they could be present day topics under investigation.

Reflection: I don't have much to say about this piece, within the context of my current project, but I have a hunch that I will need to refer to it again later. At this point, the article's presence in LQ signifies the general introductory nature of this first issue. Given the message about research at GLS, I still find it interesting that the first issue was not populated with research articles, and I keep thinking that that is important. Since the list of topics under investigation, at GLS, is about two pages long, it seems that it could have been populated so. Perhaps, and as I commented in my last post (Issue 1, Article 3), since *LQ* is the first research journal for the field, the introductory nature of this issue is more important than simply thrusting out research articles. That says to me something about the historical importance of this journal (and others) and its role in forming the identity of our field of study. Again, I refer to my abstract for what I mean by that.

Note: As I was reviewing my notes, and re-read the line that follows, something occurred to me:

the librarian can ultimately contribute to the advance of scholarship and hence to the welfare of society

If this piece had been written today, I'm fairly sure that the word “libraries” would have been used instead of the word “librarian.” So the above line, and others like it, if written today, I imagine, would have read like so:

*libraries* can ultimately contribute to the advance of scholarship and hence to the welfare of society

Plutchak has written on this tendency to substitute (see reference below) librarians for libraries. I have a conference presentation on this too (see reference below).

  • Plutchak, T. S. (2012). Breaking the barriers of time and space: the dawning of the great age of librarians. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 100(1), 10-19. doi:
  • Burns, C. S., & Altman, M. C. (2012). Who or what is constrained by the Library Bill of Rights? A theoretical analysis of intentionality and collective action for library and information science. 2012 Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas, USA, January,

2012. Abstract:

So, I will incorporate this into our ethics research project. The question to incorporate is: when did the field begin assigning agency, responsibility, praise, action, and so forth to libraries instead of to librarians. Of course, one article does not make a trend, but I'm curious if there is something to this. (How I'd incorporate that into an ethics research project means changing the ethics research project a bit. Which is fine because that project is a bit stalled and needs something.)

Article 5

This entry is about:

Reece, Ernest J. (1931). “The Service Loads of Library-School Faculties.” The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 37-56. url:

Note: The fifth article published in The Library Quarterly is titled “The Service Loads of Library-School Faculties.” It was written by Ernest J. Reese, who was writing on behalf of the Committee on Teaching Loads in Library Schools, a committee of the Association of American Library Schools (now ALISE), and who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: School of Library Service, Columbia University

The article, according to the first footnote, is based on an earlier report given to the Association.

Note: I'm not sure, yet, if I'll have much to say about this piece. It's a report about the hours instructors spend on various duties related to teaching and instruction as well as various other non-course duties or activities. It's an interesting piece, for historical reasons and, also, because in many ways it seems not much has changed. I suppose it was an important piece at the time, given the relative newness of library schools and a need to understand the norms.

Note: One interesting, superficial bit is the way distributions are conveyed in the time before computers. The distributions are displayed in tables, with the mean of the numbers in the top row, per the count of the numbers in the second row. It's a fairly informative method of conveying the details. Both overall means and medians are provided, which is nice. Medians are too often left out of statistical reporting today.

Note: It seems, according to Table V in the article, that most instructors spent about a half hour revising student work in one of the courses. Good to know!

Note: The courses covered include:

  • Library administration
  • Library routines
  • Reference books and work; bibliography
  • Book selection
  • Cataloguing
  • Classification

Note: The second section covers data on non-course activities. As listed on pages 46-47 include:

  • care for student welfare
  • oversight of field work
  • editing of school publications
  • preparation of exhibits
  • attendance at school social functions
  • official participation in general activities of institutions which which schools are connected, e.g., universities and library commissions (pp. 46-47).

Note: Per Table XIV on page 47, the “time per week spent in non-course activities”: *n* = 47, *m* = 10.24, and *mdn* = 9.37 (p. 47).

Note: Interesting quote about how the data can be used to assess instructors' working loads. Key words or ideas that stick out to me include: health, work environment (physical conditions), scholarly and professional demands, wise decisions.

Also, the health of individuals, the physical conditions under which they must work, the demands pressing upon them because of their professional records, all may influence vitally the effort to reach wise decisions in particular cases. A teacher's service program is obviously not a think to which time-clock methods can be applied (p. 48).

And this quote, as far as applying the data to specific individuals:

The case may be taken of an instructor believed to occupy a middle rather than an extreme position as to speed and experience, who is in good though not robust health, who works steadily but without tension or excess, who has taught a variety of subjects, and to suit whose abilities some reallocation of existing assignments can be considered (p. 48).

Note: The next part is very interesting, as the author suggests the number of hours, based on the medians reported in the earlier part of the paper and other numbers including class size, that could be devoted to each course per week (esp. for new instructors who haven't built up experience or materials to draw from). They include, for one section courses (although numbers are often given for courses taught in two sections):

  • Library administration: 9.18 hours per week
  • Library routines: 5.38 hours per week
  • Reference books and work: 13 hours per week
  • Classification: 23.25 hours per week
  • Non-course activities: 9.37 hours per week (pp. 49-50).

There are a number of caveats and exceptions in the above numbers. Reece, for example, offers numbers based on deductions for time spent by assistants and for other reasons.

Note: The article ends with two appendices, though they are not labeled as such. The first is a copy of the letter sent to faculty requesting their participation in the study. The second is the handout given to faculty and that was used to collect the data.

Note: While I wrote above that not much has changed—one key difference between then and now is that this article reflects a point in time when instructors in library schools were not overwhelmingly PhDs, and so this report does not take into consideration the amount of time needed to do research.

Reflection: Although it's a report and not a scientific study, this is the first data driven article in the *LQ*. I am not, as of yet, being very autoethnographic in my field notes, and I'll have to say something about that in a future post. I'm taking this time as a period of figuring things out.

Article 6

This entry is about:

Reeves, Floyd W., & Russell, John Dale. (1931). The Relation of the College Library to Recent Movements in Higher Education. The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 57-66. url:

Note: The sixth article published in The Library Quarterly is titled “The Relation of the College Library to Recent Movements in Higher Education.” It was co-authored by Floyd W. Reeves and John Dale Russell, who were affiliated with:

Affiliation: University of Chicago

Note: Another source confirming Shiflett and Hamlin.

It is only in comparatively recent decades that the maintenance of a library has been recognized as a necessary function of a college (p. 57).

The rest of the paragraph provides a nice description.

And it was a problem even up to the time of writing, or near to it:

Although the stronger and better-administered colleges began early to develop systematic plans for increasing the effectiveness of their libraries, the condition which has been described persisted in most of the weaker institutions until well into the twentieth century (p. 57).

Note: The next paragraph details some of the reasons why colleges began building up their libraries: standardizing associations and state departments of education, namely.

Note: The next paragraph details why they didn't build up their libraries before. Namely:

The principal reason for this lack of interest in the library is probably attributable to the “lesson-hearing” and textbook type of instruction which as prevailed in colleges. Under such instructional methods little use is made of the library. The instructor merely assigns “so many pages in the text for next time,” and when the class meets again the hour is devoted to hearing a recitation on the assigned materials in the text” (p. 58).

Regarding the above quote, frame this problem today with respect to undergraduates' use of the library (and their use of textbooks), graduates' use of the library (and their use of textbooks). The correlation is probably strong and negative, even today.

Note: As with the above quote, not much sometimes changes:

In fact, under the “textbook” plan of instruction, a library assignment is looked upon by students as something of a bore, as just another chore to be performed for an overconscientious instructor (p. 59).

Note: The authors suggest that changes in higher education trends will impact library development in certain ways. First:

The first educational movement which affects the library is the rapid increase which has occurred in the amount of course work carried in the field of the social sciences (p. 59).

The authors go on to say that a decline or a leveling of courses in foreign languages and mathematics, both of which tend to not need the use of the library, and an increase in social studies courses, which require more library reading, as well as student bodies, will involve more use of the library.

Also, social studies / social sciences are fields where,

new material is being produced at a comparatively rapid rate (p. 60).

Note: Second:

A second educational movement affecting library conditions in the college is the introduction of general survey courses (p. 60).

Although since survey courses are now well established, this is probably not true today:

It is the observation of the writers that these survey courses do not function satisfactorily where given by the textbook method (p. 61).

Although, I mean “probably not true today” in certain way. It may be true that textbooks do not do well for survey courses, but anthologies, functioning in the same way as textbooks, might. And the use of anthologies might deter library use now. So, I'm just generalizing from textbooks to anything that students have to buy that diminishes their need to use the library.

Note: Third:

A third educational movement which will have an effect upon the library is the change in the methods of science teaching (p. 61).

Basically the authors argue that science teaching is becoming less dependent on laboratory work, at least in the early years of higher education, and more dependent on lectures and outside reading.

Note: Fourth:

Within the last few years a large number of the better colleges of the country have introduced independent work courses, sometimes referred to as “honors” work (p. 62).

Of note about this: this trend would not only require more library material but it would also require, the authors note, a need for reference librarians who can help the independent students find relevant work related to their independent studies.

Note: Fifth:

Some colleges and universities are experimenting with the introduction of a course of general reading. Such a course cuts straight across departmental lines, in an attempt to give students a broad and general view of the classic expressions of human thought in all fields (p. 62).

The authors note, that in response to this trend, not only is more material needed in the library, but the library has responded by setting up reading or seminar rooms. This was another important point in [Shiflett][1] and [Hamlin][2].

Note: Sixth:

Another educational movement affecting the library is the breaking-down of the hard-and-fast barriers which have separated the various fields of study into departments, and the provision for a much greater degree of correlation of subject matter in related fields (p. 63).

This trend died a long time ago. Instead of majors and minors, some colleges were using fields of concentration, usually four to eight of them. Nice idea.

Note: Seventh:

Another educational movement which will affect the college library is the development of graduate study (p. 63).

Note: The authors then list the kinds of demands these seven movements will have on the college library.

  • larger book collection (p. 64)
  • “care in the selection of library materials” (p. 65)
An attempt to extend the book collection rapidly usually overtaxes the ability of faculty members to select books (p. 65).

Also in agreement with Shiflett, Hamlin, and others. Academic librarians didn't begin collection development, in the whole, until the 1940s.

Back to our list:

  • “larger facilities for study by students” (p. 65)
  • “better trained library staff” (p. 65), including for selection of books and for the need of good reference librarians
  • “direct instruction in the techniques of bibliography” (p. 65). What we today call *information literacy instruction*. There's been the occasional problem, I've noticed, that information literacy efforts are new when they're actually, as this article proves, over eight decades old.
  • self-evalation or “continuous self-survey” (p. 66) (that is, of the library)

An important final quote, and perhaps one of the original uses of the library as center of the academy theme:

The college library of the future, if it is to serve adequately the needs of the institution, must become the center of academic activities (p. 66).

Reflection: This is an important historical piece. I'll come back to it.

Article 7

This entry is about:

Drinkwater, Geneva. (1931). Three Hundred Days in Roman Libraries. The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 67-71. url:

Note: The seventh article published in The Library Quarterly is titled “Three Hundred Days in Roman Libraries.” It was authored by Geneva Drinkwater, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: University of Chicago

Note: This is a very delightful account about, as the title suggests, a trip to Roman libraries. It begins with a trip to the “Santa Scolastica in Subiaco,” a monastery where St. Benedict lived, and ends at the Vatican library. Although very brief, the piece is a wonderful description of Geneva Drinkwater's experience oversees. There are few descriptions of the libraries, but that's not the focus.

Perhaps because I was intrigued by the name, I did a quick web search for Geneva Drinkwater and have discovered that this is the kind of person who makes good history (read her bio below). Actually, it's a nice reminder that behind every paper I read, there's a person. That may seem obvious, but it's easy to read papers without thinking about the author. That's, actually, part of the point with scientific authorship. I'd have to look it up, but I think that point was made by either Robert K. Merton or Derek J. de Solla Price.

Here are a couple of brief biographies and the second link contains a link to an oral history that she is reading:

I was quite happy to discover that Drinkwater and I both went to school at the same place (University of Missouri) and worked at the same place (Stephens College).

Note: Study update: I'm altering the name of the title of these posts from Autoethnographic Study to Reading Study. The reason is that these readings will be useful for other purposes.

Article 8

This entry is about:

Shaw, Charles B. (1931). The Compilation of “A List of Books for College Libraries.” The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 72-78. url:

Note: The eighth article published in The Library Quarterly is titled “The Compilation of 'A List of Books for College Libraries.'” It was written by Charles B. Shaw, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Swarthmore College

Note: The article begins by noting that the Carnegie Corporation (CC) has taken an interest in academic libraries. Because of this, librarians are seeking grants from (CC). This may be the first instance (at a non-trivial scale, at least) of academic libraries seeking outside funding in the form of grants.

Note: This article is turning out to be a humorous account involving the agreements and disagreements among faculty about the best works (or the works that a college library should hold) for a college library. It would make a good collection management class reading. And the process of dividing up the books by three zones is interestingly similar to Bradford's Law, which was published about three after this article.

Article 9

This entry is about:

Randall, William M. (1931). What Can the Foreigner Find to Read in the Public Library? The Library Quarterly, 1(1), 79-88. url:

Note: The ninth and last article published in the first issue of The Library Quarterly is titled “What Can the Foreigner Find to Read in the Public Library?” It was written by William M. Randall, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Graduate Library School, University of Chicago

Note: This is a nice read. Here's a point by the author that reflects the sentiment of the piece:

There is no consistent relationship between the number of books per capita and the circulation per book…. Two possibilites, therefore, present themselves. Either some nationalities read more than others, or the books in certain libraries are better chosen than those in others. The latter seems more probable (p. 87).

Note: This article makes me want to time travel back to 1931 and get a faculty job at the Graduate Library School. Lots of humor in the writing.

Note: In seriousness, this is a really wonderful article. I would have expected it to be less enlightened about foreign language material, but it's probably much more enlightened than many present day policies are. It ends with some good questions—both about the purpose of the public library and about how to carry out additional research. It's another possible reading item for a collection management class (at least suggested reading item).

lq/volume-1-issue-1.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/07 08:42 by seanburns