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LQ Volume 4 Issue 3

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

To return to the list of notes on this volume: volume-4

Article 1

This entry is about:

Scribner, B. W. (1934). The Preservation of Records in Libraries. The Library Quarterly, 4(3), 371-383. url:

Note: The first article of the third issue of the fourth volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “The Preservation of Records in Libraries.”

It was written by B. W. Scribner, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Bureau of Standards

Note: This piece is largely an update to an earlier article by Scribner on preservation. See Scribner, 1931.

It is also, I believe, the third article dealing with preservation. The other one is Iiams, 1932.

Article 2

This entry is about:

Dale, Edgar, & Tyler, Ralph W. (1934). A Study of the Factors Influencing the Difficulty of Reading Materials for Adults of Limited Reading Ability. The Library Quarterly, 4(3), 384-412. url:

Note: The second article of the third issue of the fourth volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “A Study of the Factors Influencing the Difficulty of Reading Materials for Adults of Limited Reading Ability.”

It was written by Edgar Dale and Ralph W. Tyler, who were affiliated with:

  • Affiliation: Bureau of Educational Research
  • Affiliation: Ohio State University

Note: This should be an interesting study. It's about identifying the characteristics of reading material that make the material easier to comprehend for adults with limited literacy abilities.

Note: The study will use multiple regression. Until now, only correlation coefficients with confidence intervals have been used in these early articles, so this is the most advanced use of statistics to date in *LQ*. Note that it is written by people outside of the library science field.

Note: The study, for some reason, includes only people of color as participants. Not sure why yet. The authors do seek to generalize to all the population and do, for the most part, seem respectful of their participants, but some of the remarks seem to be a bit condescending.

Note: The study includes only personal health reading material.

Note: Very detailed description of creating and administering the test.

Note: The authors are checking for reliability and validity of their test instrument.

Note: An audience statement:

For most purposes librarians and others interested in selecting reading materials of given difficulty will find these three counts valuable (p. 402).

Note: The authors state their multiple regression equation and then describe how to use it:

The use of this regression equation may easily be shown by illustration. Suppose one wished to select some reading material which are easy enough so that they would be comprehended by at least 80 per cent of adults who have from third- to fifth-grade reading ability. Samples of these selections of similar size to those used in this study could be examined and the number of different technical words, the number of different hard, non-technical words, and the number of indeterminate clauses counted. These counts could then be multiplied by -9.4, -0.4, +2.2, respectively. The resulting products could then be added to 114.4. If all the selections were chosen in which the resulting sums were 80 or higher, we should have those in which the predicted difficulty of comprehension would be such that the selections would be understood by 80 per cent or more of the adults who have third- to fifth-grade reading ability. For these selections we should probably find half of them within 9 per cent of the difficulty predicted. Hence this regression equation does give a reasonably accurate prediction of the difficulty of reading materials similar to those used in this study (pp. 402-403).

Note: The article contains three “exhibits.” Exhibits A, B, and C are samples of the three tests administered in this study.

Article 3

This entry is about:

Adams, A. Elwood. (1934). The Use of the School Library by Teachers and Pupils in Junior and Senior High Schools. The Library Quarterly, 4(3), 413-419. url:

Note: The third article of the third issue of the fourth volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “The Use of the School Library by Teachers and Pupils in Junior and Senior High Schools.”

It was written by A. Eldwood Adams, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Rosemead School District

Note: This is a brilliant article on school libraries. As relevant today as it was 80 years ago.

Article 4

This entry is about:

Hely, Margie M. (1934). Copies of Collateral References for College Libraries. The Library Quarterly, 4(3), 420-435. url:

Note: The fourth article of the third issue of the fourth volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “Copies of Collateral References for College Libraries.”

It was written by Margie M. Hely, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Western Kentucky State

Note: The author defines collateral reading as “'outside reading'” (p. 421) that is related to coursework.

Note: Brilliant:

Records kept by the writer over a period of many weeks from two reserve desks revealed that there are relationships between these factors which remain constant. The number of students multiplied by the number of pages each must read will give the total number of pages to be read by all the students. The number of pages read per hour by the typical student multiplied by the length of the average loan in terms of an hour will give the number of pages read by the typical student during one average loan period. If the first product (the total number of pages) be divided by the second product (the number of pages read by the typical student ini one loan period), the number of loans needed for all the students will be ascertained. Then if this total number of loans be divided by the number of loans one book may be expected to make in the given period, the quotient will give the number of books needed. Thus by an objective method, the number of duplicate copies necessary for a given class under given conditions may be determined (p. 422).

It's a common theme that early authors were very concerned with coming up with objective methods and measures.

Library Science arises out of a push for this objectivity.

Another example:

The number of pages that an average student can read in an hour was believed to be a determining factor. From Mr. Ivan A. Booker, assistant director of research, National Education Association, it was found that his studies of the reading rates of college freshmen entering the University of Chicago in the fall term of 1930 and of 1931 revealed the mean rate of 3.68 words per second for the first year and 3.83 words per second for the second year (p. 424).

I couldn't help myself. I just timed my reading of this article and clocked myself in at 6.25 words per second (375 words in 60 seconds). I guess I beat college freshmen from 1930.

Note: As I said, brilliant. After proposing a formula for determining how many reserve books a course will need, she tests it:

At Western Kentucky State Teachers College an instructor in a psychology class purchased with department funds five copies of Warren and Carmichael's Human Psychology. He placed them at the reserve desk with the comment that these were believed to be sufficient. Two weeks elapsed and he came to say that his students were complaining that they did not have enough books. With facts about his class and the assignment furnished, the librarian used the formula to determine how many copies his class needed.

a = 50 students in the class
b = Approximately 50 pages to be read per week
c = 28 pages read per hour by the typical student
k1 = 0.62 hours (37 min.) per average loan
k2 = 19 loans per average week

Substituting in the formula, we get

a X b / c X k1 / k2 =
50 X 50 / 28 X 0.62 / 19 =
50 X 50 / 28 X 0.62 X 19 =
7+, or 8 copies (p. 432).

Incapable of reproducing the exact representation of the above calculations.

She then writes:

The five copies had evidently been too few. The instructor agreed to purchase three extra copies, and no further difficulties were reported throughout the three remaining months of the semester. Since each copy is good for about nineteen loans to a week, the class was short fifty-seven loans. No wonder they were in trouble. The instructor was completely converted to the efficacy of the formula (p. 433).

Reflection: This is an important article not because of the findings but because it represents a way of going about solving a problem that was representative of the time period and of the beginnings of library science.

Article 5

This entry is about:

Hurt, Peyton. (1934). The Need of College and University Instruction in Use of the Library. The Library Quarterly, 4(3), 436-448. url:

Note: The fifth article of the third issue of the fourth volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “The Need of College and University Instruction in Use of the Library.”

It was written by Peyton Hurt, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: University of California

Note: This will be an important article too – simply because of its topic matter. However, I'm always surprised by this expectation:

College and university librarians are repeatedly astonished at the lack of knowledge of library technique on the part of students, research workers, and even on the part of instructors (p. 436).

Why would they have the expectation that any of these people would have the necessary skills?

Note: This is one of those studies that show we still ask the same kinds of general questions today.

There is a question, however, of just how much or how little the average person knows of the technique of using a library as a source of information on subjects that interest him personally (p. 436).


How much does the undergraduate and the graduate student, in the course of his college and university studies, learn concerning methods of using a library (p. 436)?


What changes, if any, are needed in our educational system if we are to develop a greater degree of student independence and initiative in using the library as a source of information (p. 436)?

The last question is especially important. Note the desired outcome: student independence. Long the goal of academic libraries.

Note: One of the subtle points of this article seems to be that reference is an overused substitute for solid library use instruction. That's an interesting point. Take the following:

One familiar with the library research methods employed by the great majority of students must realize that this independent work is far too often work for the library assistant, with little beneficial training for the student (p. 443).

Note: And this is a brilliant passage:

It would seem fair to ask if it would not be advisable to teach the use of library materials and then throw the students into the ponds of economics, history, biology, and other subjects, to the abandonment of the time-honored method of instruction by lectures and assigned reading. Would not such procedure lead to continued study and reading on the part of those who become interested in various subjects? Would it not tend to create independence and initiative which would be highly useful after college courses were a thing of the past? Would it not pave the way for intelligent adult self-education (p. 443)?

Note: Library use instruction:

As a result of the present study, the university is introducing a course in library use and general bibliography. The course, under the School of Librarianship, will be open to upper division and graduate students in all fields, but will be designed especially to meet the needs of students in the social sciences (p. 444).

Note: Need to come back to this article in the future. Aside from the topic matter, the article is historically interesting for its listing of general reference works and library methods that were considered necessary at the time.

Article 6

This entry is about:

Krassovsky, Dimitry M. (1934). Bibliographical Work in Russia. The Library Quarterly, 4(3), 449-466. url:

Note: The sixth article of the third issue of the fourth volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “Bibliographical Work in Russia.”

It was written by Dimitry M. Krassovsky, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Hoover War Library, Stanford University

Note: It is interesting to read a library science article about the USSR and that predates the Cold War.

Reflection: Mental note: Incorporate bibliographical and bio-bibliographical work.

Note: Nice turn a phrase the captures what a library is without people to use it:

The revolution gave impetus to the development of libraries, and the introduction of technical facilities made of them not “cemeteries of books” but living bodies (p. 461).

In essence, library science is the study of library as a living body – of its health, its use, its betterment, etc.

Note: Interesting history of library science developments in post-revolutionary Russia.

Article 7

This entry is about:

Spratt, H. P. (1934). Notes on Some Scientific and Technical Libraries of Northern Europe. The Library Quarterly, 4(3), 467-486. url:[

Note: The seventh article of the third issue of the fourth volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “Notes on Some Scientific and Technical Libraries of Northern Europe.”

It was written by H. P. Spratt, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Science Museum Library

Note: These are actual notes. The first paragraph explains that what follows are simply notes the author took on a tour of “some of the most important scientific and technical libraries of seven nations in Northern Europe” (p. 467). Spratt writes:

The notes which follow should therefore be accepted as an objective review; those who do n ot look for a philosophical treatise will not be disappointed (p. 467).

Note: Spratt describes the use of an “'Adrema' machine” that was adapted for information retrieval. See page 476. Not much on the general web about this device. This site outlines the use of this device by the Nazis for documenting forced laborers: A full description should be in the following piece, currently head by NY Public Library:

Note: Author describes a really cool public library in Stadsbiblioteket, Stockholm. Although this article is a rather straightforward, dry description of libraries, this is rather more lively:

In the children's department, which is beautifully decorated and furnished with miniature chairs, tables, and bookshelves, there is the remarkable Story-Teller's Room. Seats for fifty children are set out in semicircular rows in front of a recess in which the story-teller sits and talks about fairies and “trolls” for an hour every afternoon. The walls are decorated with all kinds of fantasies, and the roof is an enormous umbrella (p. 483).

Note: The author speaks to a different topic, but this is, at heart, the agenda of the time:

to rationalize the work of the library (pp. 484-485).

Article 8

This entry is about:

Lyle, Guy R. (1934). College Literary Societies in the Fifties. The Library Quarterly, 4(3), 487-493. url:

Note: The eighth article of the third issue of the fourth volume of The Library Quarterly is titled “College Literary Societies in the Fifties.”

It was written by Guy R. Lyle, who was affiliated with:

Affiliation: Antioch College Library

Note: A very lively depiction of college literary societies in the 1850s. As noted in either Hamlin or Shiflett or both (as well as others), the libraries these societies built would become important contributions to academic libraries later in the 19th and early in the 20th centuries.

lq/volume-4-issue-3.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/07 09:01 by seanburns