An Introduction to Library Science
Publication date: November 2008
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
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AN INTRODUCTION TO LIBRARY SCIENCE by PIERCE BUTLER. FOREWORD: THE Graduate Library School of the Uni versity of Chicago was established in 1926 in response to a desire on the part of many librarians and organizations interested in education for librarianship that a library school should be provided in connection with one of Americas great universities which would de vote itself to advanced study and investigation in the field of librarianship. In urging the establishment of such a school its advocates were impressed with the rapidly in creasing resources of American libraries and their consequent growing complexity. They were also convinced of the necessity of providing instruction in accord with the highest standards of modern scholarship in order that the most ef fective forms of library organization and admin istration might be insured. The rapid expansion of public, county, school, and special libraries al so offered convincing evidence that the relation ships of these organizations to society and gov ernment were of such a nature as to require con sideration as comprehensive and scholarly as that given to the development and direction of social and economic institutions. The University of Chicago, in assuming re sponsibility for the development of such a school, has constantly kept these objectives in mind. Accordingly, the Graduate Library School, established on this basis, has undertaken to realize these objectives through the organiza tion of its curricula, the methods of investiga tion which it employs, and the correlation of its work with that of other schools and departments of the University which seem to have something of value to contribute to the study of librarian ship. The School has also undertaken the publi cation of the Library Quarterly through which members of its staff and student body, librari ans, and others may present the results of inves tigations or record significant developments in the various fields of library interest. In order to carry this work further, the School herewith begins the publication of a series of studies in Library Science in which will appear from time to time the results of more extensive studies than can appropriately be presented through the pages of the Library Quarterly, The present volume, An Introduction to Li brary Science is the first of these studies to ap pear in the series. It has been prepared by Dr. Pierce Butler, formerly of the staff of the New berry Library and now Professor of Bibliograph ical History in the Graduate Library School. As the title indicates, it is concerned with the consideration of librarianship as a science. It should be pointed out, however, that the title will prove misleading if it is interpreted too liter ally. The volume is not an elementary handbook which deals with library rules and procedures. On the contrary, through the essays which con stitute the volume. Dr. Butler sets forth the es sential nature of science as he conceives it, and shows how the problems of the modern library as an important social institution may be studied in accord with its spirit and methods. In this re spect it reflects the approach made by the School to librarianship and the attitude assumed by it in the study and investigation of library prob lems. That many librarians will not agree that libra rianship can properly be studied in this way is to be taken for granted. Differences of opinion on this point have already been expressed and will continue to be. It is the hope of Dr. Butler and of the School, however, that while this diversity of opinion will continue to exist, those who hold such a contrary opinion will accord his presenta tion a sympathetic hearing...