Dissertation Information for Ruth Katz
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: LIBRARY EDUCATION AND LIBRARY RESEARCH: AN ANALYSIS OF INSTITUTIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT
Abstract: The primary objective of this study is to examine two subsystems of librarianship, library education, and library research, at their point of intersection in the university setting, in order to determine the extent to which library educators are integrated into the university environment, and to assess the effect of library education on the development of library research. The conceptual base originates from the literature on higher education and organizational analysis and from that on institutional goals and the process of institutionalization of science and research, especially as the latter affect professional education. Data collection was accomplished using a modified version of the Institutional Goals Inventory (IGT), a copyrighted instrument developed by Educational Testing Service. The IGI was designed for use by college and universities to help them define their educational goals, establish priorities among these goals, and give direction to planning. As modified for use in the present study, the instrument contained thirty goal statements and twenty other items of a personal and informational nature. The instrument was mailed to all full-time faculty of library schools accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) as of February, 1972 (N=629), and to a sample of social and political science faculty at those colleges or universities having an ALA-accredited library school that also offered a doctorate (N=313). Overall response rates were 44 percent of the library school faculty and 23 percent of the social and political science faculty. Profiles of respondents by geographic region and by academic rank compare favorably with profiles of the target population. The data are displayed in terms of the mean values and priority rankings assigned to college and university goals and to school or department goals. Respondents are divided into four subgroups for the purpose of comparative analysis. The four groups are social and political science faculty (N=51), faculty from United States library schools offering the doctorate (N=78), faculty from other United States library schools (N=110), and faculty from Canadian library schools (N=14). The data provided evidence that library school faculty are older, have less likelihood of a doctoral degree, and have more non-university work experience prior to their present teaching position than their social and political science colleagues; that substantial numbers of library school faculty members have never participated in such traditional research tasks as service on doctoral committees, submission of research proposals, or service on campus-wide research organizations; that all United States library school faculty assigned lower priority to research goals than did social and political science faculty; and that library faculty respondents holding doctoral degrees perceived research goals to be more important than did the non-doctoral group. Among the conclusions are the indication that library schools are in danger of becoming isolated from both their university and professional environments. This prospect is evaluated in terms of four tasks said to be necessary accomplishments for organizational survival. The prospect of institutionalization of research in librarianship is seen to be poor and unlikely to occur until there is systemic linkage of library education with practitioners and with other professions. Convergence of goals is seen as one means of achieving such linkage. The framework is a field of study to be called Information Sciences and to be equivalent in scope to existing areas of study such as Social Sciences or Humanities.
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