Dissertation Information for John V. Richardson Jr.
- John V. Richardson Jr.
- (Alias) John V. Richardson
- Library and Information Science
- Indiana University (USA) (1978)
- David Kaser
- George Whitbeck
- Ellen O. Altman
- David Zaret
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: THE SPIRIT OF INQUIRY IN LIBRARY SCIENCE; THE GRADUATE LIBRARY SCHOOL AT CHICAGO, 1921-1951
Abstract: Although the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago was "established as a new school of the highest professional type," there is a remarkable lack of evidence regarding the school's contribution to librarianship. The nature and extent of our understanding of its contribution is incomplete, contradictory, and even controversial. The present lack of knowledge regarding the GLS at Chicago has not allowed the library profession to make a balanced assessment of the GLS's contributions.
To study this knowledge void, the investigation adopted the following logical framework. The first dimension of the study examined the objectives of the GLS program. The second dimension was time--time in which these objective were met, modified or changed. The third dimension, the evaluation of the degree to which these objectives were met, was determined by John C. Flanegan's critical incident" technique. Five research questions directed the collection of data:
1) What was the GLS's definition of library science and conception of research, and did these differ from the field's definition and conception?
2) What was the origin of the intellectual technique and the underlying "science" of librarianship?
3) What were the roles of the Chicago Library Club, the University of Chicago, the Carnegie Corporation, the Board of Education for Librarianship, and the GLS deans in formulating and redirecting the School's objectives?
4) What were the GLS's objectives, for what purpose were they prepared, and how widely were they promulgated within the profession?
5) Did the GLS meet, modify, or change objectives over time?
Employing historical methodology, this study drew upon primary and secondary source material. Primary source material comprising manuscripts and archives was consulted in more than a dozen individuals' and institutions' possession; these documents were subjected to external and internal criticism. In addition, a number of interviews were conducted to sub-stantiate the reliability of collected data.
The findings of this study indicate that the GLS had varying degrees of success in accomplishing its objectives. It most fully recognized its objective of offering instruction on a graduate basis and in establishing its program as an integral part of the University. The school was less successful in training students for teaching library subjects. Of the alumni who were graduated before 1932, thirty-three percent of the doctoral graduates and seventeen percent of the masters graduates accepted positions in library schools. During Dean Louis R. Wilson's tenure, these figures decreased to twenty and eleven percent, respectively. In the period following his retirement, however, the proportion of doctoral graduates accepting such positions increased more than two times, while masters graduates accepting faculty positions continued to decline. It was also during Wilson's deanship that a new objective, the administration of libraries, was developed. In training students in the methods of investigation, the GLS achieved considerable success by adopting quantitative social science methods, but to the neglect of humanities research methods. As the objective of publishing the results of investigations, the GLS established the first scholarly vehicle of communication for library Science, the Library Quarterly, in 1931. Similarly it initiated the "Studies in Library Science" monographic series of significant research in librarianship. Starting in 1936, the proceedings of the revivified Summer Institutes were also published as a part of this series.
The impact of the GLS upon librarianship is most clearly visible in its adoption of a critical spirit of inquiry into library problems and a willingness to experiment. Also from among the 415 (210 B.L.S., 137 M.A., and 68 Ph.D.) graduates in this period, a significant number of productive researchers and leaders emerged to serve the field. Explanation, interpretation, and implications of these developments together with relevant charts and tables, are presented as part of this evaluative examination of the role of the GLS at Chicago in helping to shape the work of the American library profession.
MPACT Scores for John V. Richardson Jr.
A = 6
C = 10
A+C = 16
T = 6
G = 1
W = 6
TD = 6
TA = 0
calculated 2014-07-02 17:34:18
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