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THE activity of librarianship during September was almost breathless. Visitors to Chaucer House in the third week of the month had possibly the most cosmopolitan experience of their lives. It was, as our readers know, the assembly time of the International Federation of Librarians, which divided its London meetings between Chaucer House and the equally hospitable University College. The members, coming from a score or more of countries east and west, had, many of them, been present at the successful and crowded conference of Aslib at Ashorne, and were now conferring further, and being entertained by the Library Association, together with members of the Unesco Library School. That school spent its first week in Manchester, with a tour of Derby County libraries; its second week was in London. Amongst the guests at the reception given by the British Council at Portland Place, and at the L.A's own reception at Chaucer House three days later, many distinguished librarians were met, including Dr. Munthe, Dr. Sevensma, Dr. Ranganathan, the state librarian of Ankara, the University Librarians of Istanbul, Copenhagen, Trondhjem, of Alexandria; and many others, including those of England and Scotland, the Chief Keeper of the Printed Books, Bodley's Librarian, and the Librarian of the National Central Library. Moreover, as these gatherings coincided with the meeting of the Library Association Council, the official leaders of the profession were present, including the President (Mr. Nowell).
Small branch libraries are found in many academic institutions. The purpose of this study was to look at specific aspects of management of these branches and in particular…
Small branch libraries are found in many academic institutions. The purpose of this study was to look at specific aspects of management of these branches and in particular the librarians in these branches from an organizational perspective. The organizational structure and support for branches and librarians was looked at in two institutions, Lund University in Sweden, and Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa. An analysis was made through observation, documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews with affected staff at both institutions, and the input compared to determine commonalities as well as differences. The small branch academic librarian is a vital part of the organizational landscape. Although needing strong support from the central organization in terms of mentoring and staff development, they provide a unique contribution to the profession as a whole as they fill the role of specialist generalist – a breed of librarian capable of working with the specialist in their own field, but at the same time covering all the specialized fields that users would expect in an academic library. Although a lot has been written about centralization and decentralization and the subsequent place of small branch libraries, the actual role of the librarians as a unique one within academic institutions has not been highlighted in the literature. This study aims to highlight this and assist libraries in assessing and improving the working relationship between the central organization and the small branch librarians.
The purpose of this paper is to present analysis of the role of the branch librarian as a valuable paradigm for embedded librarianship. Branch librarians develop strong…
The purpose of this paper is to present analysis of the role of the branch librarian as a valuable paradigm for embedded librarianship. Branch librarians develop strong connections to specialized client groups and build programs and services in response to their unique environments.
A review of research in embedded librarianship was conducted with particular emphasis on branch librarians. This article provides critique of research on embedded librarianship from the perspectives of branch management and an overview of strategies typically employed.
In important ways, branch librarians present an ideal model for embedded librarianship. They work toward close communication with the faculty and students of their academic unit, and are on location, identifying the specific needs and customizing services for patron groups in their academic settings.
The authors are Coordinators of Branch Library Services at Mississippi State University for the College of Architecture, Art, and Design and the College of Veterinary Medicine. The authors’ experiences as branch managers and immersion within their academic units provide a unique and more comprehensive analysis of embedded librarianship, one that has been overlooked.
IN devoting this number of The Library World in the main to county libraries, we shall not, we think, be guilty of producing what the journalists call “stale matter.” There was a time when county libraries appeared to dominate all small meetings of librarians and even appeared to obsess conferences; a new thing always creates in its advocates and workers an enthusiasm which, to some, appears to be out of proportion. We say “appears to be” because many town librarians felt that their own work was being by‐passed and occasionally belittled. Cooler minds, however, realised from the beginning that the first stages of county library development were as acorns from which oaks would inevitably grow. Few movements have the social importance that the county libraries undoubtedly have. Speaking from the librarianship point of view, it can now be said that the county libraries have proved themselves. The service as yet is uneven, as is inevitable; the movement began and grew in times of great stringency; and even those who advocated it, and it may be those who financed it, did not see its full possibilities. Growth will continue and in time the county library movement will be as fully organised as that of the great city libraries.
IDEAL methods of Library service; this, in simple translation is the purpose before the Library Association Conference at Manchester this year. The first thing that strikes any observer is the great variety of current library work. There was a day, so recent that fairly young men can remember it, when a Library Association Conference could focus its attention upon such matters as public library charging systems, open access versus the indicator, the annotated versus the title‐a‐line catalogue, the imposition of fines and penalties; in short, on those details of working which are now settled in the main and do not admit of general discussion. All of them, too, it will be observed, are problems of the public library. When those of other libraries came into view in those days they were seen only on the horizon. It was believed that there was no nexus of interest in libraries other than the municipal variety. Each of the others was a law unto itself, and its problems concerned no one else. The provision of books for villages, it is true, was always before the public librarian; he knew the problem. In this journal James Duff Brown wrote frequently concerning it; before the Library Assistants' Association, Mr. Harry Farr, then Deputy Librarian of Cardiff, wrote an admirable plea for its development. Wyndham Hulme once addressed an annual dinner suggesting it as the problem for the younger librarians. Carnegie money made the scheme possible. But contemporaneously with the development of the Rural Library system, which now calls itself the County Library system as an earnest of its ultimate intentions, there has been a coming together of the librarians of research and similar libraries. We have a section for them in the Library Association.
THE Conservative Government elected on June 18th last has lost no time in putting into practice its avowed principle of reducing direct taxation. Late in July it flew a kite through an inspired leak showing that it intended to save millions on education, one small part of which would be £10 million, purporting to be “saved” by making readers pay for books borrowed through public libraries. First indications of this were in a story included in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and other papers, and as this story was not denied by the Government, the Library Association thought it proper to issue a press statement immediately, with the message that the Association was totally opposed to the introduction of such charges.
SEPTEMBER sees most librarians again at the daily round, although some, including those of the universities and schools, are still scattered on mountains, golf‐courses, beaches and oceans for a short while yet. To older men there is a curious feeling aroused by the knowledge that there is no Library Association Conference this month. They may, in a measure, find compensation in attending the annual meeting of the London and Home Counties Branch of the Association, which will be at St. Albans, or that of A.S.L.I.B., which has Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, as its venue. Both, by some lack of care which might have been avoided, occur on the same week‐end, September 24–26. Quite clearly the special problems of librarianship technique, such as processes, book‐selection and purchase, classification, catalogues, fines, publicity, salaries, hours, and so on almost infinitely, can no longer be discussed profitably at the Annual Meeting of the Library Association; smaller gatherings, such as these, are their fitting place. We make a suggestion to the L.A. Council, for what it is worth and without pretence to being original. It is that it should indicate to all its branches and sections the main questions to which they should devote attention, and that in due course they should produce their conclusions on them. These, being pooled, would form the basis of the L.A. Annual Meeting. This would make a purposeful programme for all, and the results of the Conference might then be considered definite and practical.
THERE are now so many meetings of the Library Association and its branches and sections that the good custom of recording meetings and the discussions at them has fallen into desuetude. In a way it is a gain, for when the discussion was commonplace the account of a meeting became a mere list of those who attended and spoke, bones without flesh; but in the days when The Library Association Record really was a record, its reports were a part of the educational and informational material of every librarian. Something should be done about this, because 1938 opened with a series of meetings which all deserved the fullest report. The principal one was the investiture meeting of the President of the Library Association on January 17th. The attendance was greater than that at any meeting of librarians in recent years, of course other than the Annual Conference. Chaucer House was beautifully arranged, decorated and lighted for the occasion, an atmosphere of cheerfulness and camaraderie pervaded the affair. The speeches were limited to a few preliminary words by the retiring President, the Archbishop of York, before placing the badge on his successor's neck; a brief, but deserved panegyric of Dr. Temple's services by Mr. Berwick Sayers; and then a delightful acknowledgment from His Grace. The serious point the Archbishop made was his surprise at learning the wide extent of the library movement and his conviction that it must be of great value to the community. His lighter touch was exquisite; especially his story of the ceremonial key, which broke in the lock and jammed it when he was opening a library in state, and of his pause to settle mentally the ethical point as to whether he could conscientiously declare he had “opened” a place when he had made it impossible for anyone to get in until a carpenter had been fetched. Altogether a memorable evening, which proved, too, as a guest rightly said, that one cannot easily entertain librarians, but, if you get them together in comfortable conditions, they entertain themselves right well.
LIBRARIES have come impressively into the public picture in the past year or two, and seldom with more effect than when Their Majesties the King and Queen opened the new Central Reference Library at Manchester on July 17th. In a time, which is nearly the end of a great depression, that the city which probably felt the depression more than any in the Kingdom should have proceeded with the building of a vast store‐house of learning is a fact of great social significance and a happy augury for libraries as a whole. His Majesty the King has been most felicitous in providing what we may call “slogans” for libraries. It will be remembered that in connection with the opening of the National Central Library, he suggested that it was a “University which all may join and which none need ever leave” —words which should be written in imperishable letters upon that library and be printed upon its stationery for ever. As Mr. J. D. Stewart said at the annual meeting of the National Central Library, it was a slogan which every public library would like to appropriate. At Manchester, His Majesty gave us another. He said: “To our urban population open libraries are as essential to health of mind, as open spaces to health of body.” This will be at the disposal of all of us for use. It is a wonderful thing that Manchester in these times has been able to provide a building costing £450,000 embodying all that is modern and all that is attractive in the design of libraries. The architect, Mr. Vincent Harris, and the successive librarians, Mr. Jast and Mr. Nowell, are to be congratulated upon the crown of their work.
Our occasional plea for more candidates, representing all sides of librarianship, for the Library Association Council, seems to have been over‐adequately satisfied this year. The rotation system of election provides only five vacancies each year; for these there were seventeen candidates. The voters were as indifferent as usual. The entire number of votes for all candidates was 10,396, and this from a membership of well over 8,000, each with five votes to cast. Possibly this shows the proportion of members who are really active in their interest. The results, however, cannot be called unsatisfactory, although the loss of Mr. Seymour Smith is to be regretted on the London representation. His successor, Mr. F. C. Francis, is a welcome addition, as he increases our connexion with the British Museum, and thus recalls the early years of the Association. From the Country representation we have lost the chief librarians of Glasgow and Newcastle‐upon‐Tyne, and the County Librarian of Denbighshire. The three successful candidates, Miss F. E. Cook (Lancashire), Mr. Duncan Gray and Mr. E. A. Clough, merely return to the Council. This presents a sort of election puzzle, as those who were displaced were also on the Council last year. Possibly some of them formerly represented branches or sections; there is certainly a solution to the puzzle. We say with confidence that any one of the candidates, successful or unsuccessful, would be an excellent councillor. For examples, many would like to see Cambridge University Library represented by Mr. E. Ansell, and it seems impossible that Glasgow is not represented or that the work Mr. Paterson has done should not have kept his seat safe; while few men of recent years have done more for the education of librarians than Mr. Austin Hinton. But the difficulty is that much the same sort of eulogy might be made of those who have been elected.