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LQ Volume 2 Issue 1

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

To return to the list of notes on this volume: volume-2

Article 1

This entry is about:

Wilson, Louis R. (1932). Aspects of Education for Librarianship in America. The Library Quarterly, 2(1), 1-10. url:

Note: The first article of the first issue of the second volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “Aspects of Education for Librarianship in America.”

It was written by Louis R. Wilson, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: University of North Carolina

Note: Wilson's overall goal with this article is to describe the state of affairs at the time. To set it up, he provides a little history.

As the title suggests, the article is primarily about librarian education, library schools, library faculty, library curricula, future directions, and so forth.

Note: On library research and on the purpose of library research.

Investigation in the library field will probably never be as exact as that in the sciences. It may have to partake of the nature of investigation in the social sciences and education. But it is essential if librarians are to understand the point of view of workers in other disciplines in the field, and if they are to increase the effectiveness of the library as an educational and social instrument (p. 8).

Note: Not really relevant to anything I'm doing, but I believe this is the first mention of the Depression in this study:

Just now, owing to the depression, difficulty is being experienced by some of the schools in placing their graduates (p. 9).

Note: Still applicable today and, with a few word substitutions, still current:

Similarly, librarians must be trained who will be effective in making books available to rural populations, who undrstand the book needs of patients in hospitals, who can elicit interest in books and support of libraries through the radio, and who are skilled in co-ordinating and guiding the various agencies which are engaged in general adult education activities (pp. 9-10).

Article 2

This entry is about:

Sullivan, Donna E. (1932). Library Planning in Teacher-Training Institutions. The Library Quarterly, 2(1), 11-41. url:

Note: The second article of the first issue of the second volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “Library Planning in Teacher-Training Institutions.”

It was written by Donna E. Sullivan, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: State Normal School

Note: An analysis of the various kinds of libraries in service to teachers colleges.

Note: Sullivan begins by highlighting the contributions that normal schools have made to teaching but notes that the model has become outdated and there is currently a transition to the teachers college. In essence, the transition is comparable to one from a vocational school to a four year degree.

Note: With the rise in teacher colleges at the time, Sullivan makes the argument that they will need good libraries to serve their students. It's an argument for a library that fits the needs of a particular college rather than an entire university.

Note: Very interesting turn. The title of the article Library Planning refers to actual space planning and the arguments Sullivan provides are directed toward the good use of a library, current and future. She incorporates blueprints to make her point about certain arrangements. She even highlights “working arrangements” (p. 15). So her concern is not just about library users (including students and faculty) but also about library workers.

Note: Longstanding tradition to have a library of children's literature for teacher colleges:

Of the three rooms, the one at the front of the building is devoted to a model children's library and is a non-circulating collection of books used in the course in children's literature taken by the students in the kindergarten-primary course. The middle room is known as the “children's room,” and here the children's librarian has her desk … (p. 19).

Note: I haven't read Matthew Griffis' dissertation "Space, Power and the Public Library: A Multicase Examination of the Public Library as Organization Space", but I've heard him present a couple times (excellent presenter and very interesting topic) about the use of space in public libraries (within the context of Michel Foucault and the panopticon). I wonder how he'd comment on this passage, which suggests that the intent is to place the library's desk in a location that helps library users rather than librarians.

On the second floor the outstanding features are the librarian's desk in the main delivery lobby, always visible and available; (p. 19).

(Just brought this up with a colleague who walked by my office and we had a great conversation about it.)

Note: I'm seeing a similar effect here at UK with the construction of the new dormitories near the main library:

With the allotment of these rooms to other departments more use of the library developed. The students no longer consider the walk from classrooms to library a task, and the end of each class hour sees great numbers of them going to and from between the buildings (p. 29).

Note: There's a line at the top of page 35 that makes me wonder whether the design of academic libraries in cities may have been influenced by the needs of students commuting to the city from suburbia – who would have needed a place to read and study while they were on campus.

Note: The argument for the library's central position / location on a campus is essentially an argument about equal access to information, except from geographic perspective:

In planning a building for the library of a teachers college, a number of important points immediately come to mind. A central location is desirable, that all students from the various other buildings and departments may reach the library in approximately the same time and share equally in having “first choice” of the books in demand.

Note: The reserve room makes its appearance into the library:

With the present methods of instruction, where individual textbooks have been retired into the background and students are referred to a number of books for each course, need for housing these books constantly in demand in one place has become a necessity, and the reserve-book room has appeared upon the scene to fill this need (p. 36).

Note: The expected (at that time) life expectancy of a library building (at least at a teachers college):

In planning a library building a careful estimate of the maximum possible growth of the student numbers and library books should be used as a basis on which to compute the needs for the next few decades. To plan for a few years is not sufficient; new libraries do not drop down into outstretched hands whenever the olds ones become crowded, and a new building must serve for thirty, forty, or fifty years (p. 39).

Note: I still occasionally hear about problems when one doesn't listen to the other.

Hearty co-operation between the architect and the librarian is a state to be encouraged, and a most satisfactory library can be the result of united effort on the part of these two, with, of course, certain concessions on the part of both (pp. 40-41).

Reflection: This is an insightful article. According to Google Scholar, it's only been cited twice. That's a shame.

Article 3

This entry is about:

Waples, Douglas. (1932). The Relation of Subject Interests to Actual Reading. The Library Quarterly, 2(1), 42-70. url:

Note: The third article of the first issue of the second volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “The Relation of Subject Interests to Actual Reading.”

It was written by Douglas Waples, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: University of Chicago

Note: There are only three articles in this issue, but the articles are quite lengthy. The remaining issues for this volume have about five or six articles each.

Note: This is the fourth article by Douglas Waples. He had articles published in the first three issues of the first volume and now the first issue of the second volume.

Note: Waples, if I recall from past readings of his work, continues to push the idea that other disciplines (e.g., education, political science, etc.) will find library science research relevant and fruitful for their own work. He does so explicitly but also by stating that LS research is not just “technical”:

If it be assumed that the reading desired by a group is both authentic and important, the investigation may also be significant for educators, political scientists, and students of social welfare. Hence the work herein reported should not be regarded as of merely technical interest (p. 42).

Note: Nice outline of the “conditions affecting satisfaction in reading” (p. 44). He uses the propositions in this outline to ask the following research question (so to speak):

How may one proceed to increase the satisfactions obtainable from reading (p. 45)?

And his method is very analytical, well-described, and even pedagogical (which might be purposeful):

The answer we propose has three parts. First, we can separate the conditions that can *not* be directly controlled, such as the reader's desire to read on particular subjects, from the conditions that *can* be controlled to some extend, such as the appeal of the reading matter itself and its accessibility (p. 45).


Second, we can find out for each of several typical groups of readers what sort of reading is defined by the conditions that cannot be controlled (p. 45).


Third, we can modify certain other conditions to whatever extent is needed in order (*a*) to increase the supply of reading that meets the indicated demand and (b) to make it more accessible (p. 45).

Note: The conditions Waples believes are the most relevant to reading satisfaction:

What is practicable, however, is a possibility rendered plausible by data presented in this report; namely, that three of the conditions mentioned are so much more influential than other conditions in their effects upon the satisfaction obtained from actual reading that the others may be disregarded for practical purposes (p. 46).


These conditions, for the general reader, are probably subject interest, readability, and accessibility (p. 46).

And why these conditions are also important for research and practicing purposes:

All three may in time be sufficiently controlled to increase very considerably the amount of satisfactory literature available to various populations. That is to say, the material on the preferred subjects can be increased in amount, its methods of treatment can be better adjusted to the given readers, and it can be more widely advertised (p. 46).

And why (and a sort of prediction that he makes):

Such measures would increase the readers' satisfaction, since the correspondence between the subjects of most interest and the subjects most read about becomes close when the actual reading is reduced to material which (1) includes the given subjects, (2) is attractively written, and (3) is easily accessible (p. 46).

Note: The next section is titled PROCEDURE. I'd have to go back and look but I'm fairly confident that this is the first instance of a clearly defined methods section. I do remember that previous LQ articles did have ill-defined sections or parts that described the methods used but not as explicitly as this.

Note: Waples begins by repeating his research question:

With so much by way of perspective, we may attack the central question—What is the relation of actual reading to subject interest? In other words, to what extent is the reading done by a typical group of adults concerned with subjects upon which the group expresses most desire to read [emphasis added] (p. 46)?

Then Waples succinctly describes how he will answer this question:

To answer this question it is necessary, first, to discover what subjects are interesting and uninteresting as such; then, to determine how much material is actually read upon each subject; and, finally, to make the comparison (pp. 46-47).

Then he ends the paragraph with a nod to a FINDINGS section (it begins on page 55). This signifies to me that it is his intent to title his sections so explicitly. This marks an explicit turn in the literature—a marked change in the evolution of library studies as a library science:

The three steps will be discussed in turn to explain the method of procedure. The section on “findings” presents the evidence (p. 47).

It will be interesting to note how long it takes before this literary turn takes off in future articles.

In any case, this is an important step in the literature.

Note: The first thing Waples does in the procedure section is list a number of possible ways to answer his research question, but point by point he points out their deficiencies. He then makes the case that although any one method may be deficient (or impractical), a combination of these methods may result in valid findings. He rejects a couple of the methods, and uses a combination of three others.

Note: The purpose here is not necessarily to comment on any findings, but here's something I think is interesting, mostly because it's still somewhat the case today, although it may play out in various channels:

Of the fiction read by men and women combined, it was possible to identify the authors of 186 titles. Of these, 55 were sensational stories of the news stand variety that would scarcely appear on public-library shelves (p. 63).

Also, Waples lists the 19 non-fiction titles on pages 63–64. Fascinating list. I'd like to know how many of those books were passed back and forth among the readers.

Reflection: Waples' material continues to be interesting reading. I will need to investigate whether this is the first instance of PROCEDURE and FINDINGS sections.

lq/volume-2-issue-1.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/07 08:48 by seanburns