Search results1 – 10 of 214
Mr. Robert F. Ashby's article in the Autumn number on the provision of fiction in libraries encourages us, as consumers who are not librarians, to make a suggestion about the criteria used in selecting from one kind of popular fiction, crime stories. The element of something more than a puzzle and a story has always intrigued us in these books, and our interest in them is now almost exclusively in their discussion of this other factor. So we read crime fiction at random, from the local library; and recently we took the first six thrillers which neither of us had read from the Latest Additions shelf so as deliberately to consider them from this point of view.
The fiction question—i.e., whether or not light literature should be provided in public libraries—has exercised men's minds since 1850 and before, and there is every sign…
The fiction question—i.e., whether or not light literature should be provided in public libraries—has exercised men's minds since 1850 and before, and there is every sign that it is still very much alive today. One may perhaps wonder that members of a profession having broadly the same objects in life have not yet reached unanimity on this fundamental point, but we are far from an agreed philosophy of librarianship: we are not at all clear as to what a public library is for.
AS J. L. Hobbs shows so clearly in his recent book, the interest in local history is growing enormously at present. The universities, training colleges and schools, as well as the institutions of further education, are all making more use of local studies—geographical, economic, social and historical—in their regular courses, in their advanced work, and in their publications.
MODERN publishing difficulties make it well‐nigh impossible for a journal which appears on the 15th of the month, as we do, to give a satisfactory report on a Conference which does not conclude until the 2nd of the month. We are therefore arranging that post‐conference comment shall appear in our June number. We have only this to say of the programme, that it was a good attempt to reflect the many‐sided interests that make up present librarianship ; there were no wasted days or even hours ; there were several meetings at the same hour and visitors had to exercise severe self‐discipline in their choice of those they attended.
UNTIL 1952 Queen's University was fortunate to have one main library building. With the establishment of the Institute of Clinical Science in the hospital area 1½ miles from the main university site, the formation of a separate medical library near the hospitals was considered essential.
BY THE TIME this is in the hands of readers most of them have ceased to record their daily doings in any detail in the new diary; it will now be used merely as an engagement book, although some men and women seem to be able to do even without that limited reminder of their appointments. Nevertheless we wish our readers at this late hour a good librarianship year with increasing progress in the arts of the book and of communication, and their distribution. If the men who do things were only as ready and able to find time to write of them for the benefit of their fellows, how lively our professional journals, including ourselves of course, would be. That is something we would stress. It has been well said, indeed is widely recognized, that every man and woman owes a debt to the profession of his or her choice. They pay it by doing the business of their library day well, by their efforts, successful or otherwise to improve their service; it is only after those efforts, we agree, that their duty to their co‐workers may emerge. No one writer or librarian can be familiar today with everything that is happening in libraries; the profession is so much larger than any one of us, and infinitely larger than those we serve imagine it to be. Nor can any library journal, with the resources now available, give the merest chronique of the variations that abound in practice. Something towards such omniscience may be reached if we all have a regard for the whole profession.
THERE ARE TIMES, you know, when I feel that there is nothing new to be said about technical college libraries. Perhaps in another few years we shall have some progress to report, but, in the remote event of there being at present some development which has not been fully described, the person to do the job is probably not the librarian who is speaking to you now. He is very conscious that neither by years of experience nor by acquaintance with many different colleges is he qualified to survey technical college librarianship. Yet there may be some point in taking another look at fairly familiar territory, because some of you may have had little contact with college libraries, while others may have had relations with them different from those enjoyed by the librarian.
“If you can see it, it's obsolete.” This dictum, applied usually to the amazingly rapid progress in aircraft design, has validity also for books. Not only in technical mat‐ters but increasingly in general subjects, by the time a book reaches the reader the march of events has put it out of date. Later information is scattered in pamphlets and periodicals, in newspapers, and sometimes in manuscript. Somehow or other most of this plethora of paper must be captured, classified, and made more readily accessible.
When James Conant visited Australia in 1951 he unwittingly entered an existing, lengthy debate about the value of university‐based knowledge in Australia. The Second World…
When James Conant visited Australia in 1951 he unwittingly entered an existing, lengthy debate about the value of university‐based knowledge in Australia. The Second World War, with its significant reliance on academic expertise, had suggested that if knowledge could win wars, the labour of academic staff could be considered to normally have social and economic value to the nation. In 1951 Conant had no way of foreseeing that steps made, in this light, at Federal level during and after the war, would culminate in the 1957 Review of Universities in Australia, chaired by Sir Keith Murray, and the injection of a large amount of funding into the university system. Conant’s confidential report to the Carnegie Corporation does show that he saw the system in desperate need of funding, which wasa reality that everyone agreed upon.1 The long debate included options for university funding and the potential change to the character of universities if the community, rather than the cloister, was to determine the purpose and character of knowledge. Conant’s report reflects this debate, centring (as many other participants did as well) on the value universities would gain if they were more obviously useful and relevant to industry and if their reputation was less stained by elitism and arrogance. Conant could not gather sufficient data in his visit to identify the nuances of this long discussion nor could he see the depth and spread of its influence over the decade or so preceding his visit. As a result, his particular agenda seems to obscure the perception of the threat that change provoked to some of the traditional values associated with academic work. To consider the debate and the character of academic work in the university scene that Conant fleetingly visited, we need to look back just a few years to another, but very different, visitor to the Australian system.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the origins of tensions between the benefits (such as technologies and skills) and the substance of knowledge (often described as…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the origins of tensions between the benefits (such as technologies and skills) and the substance of knowledge (often described as “pure inquiry”) in Australian universities. There are advantages to considering this debate in Australia, since its universities were tightly connected to scholarly networks in the British Empire. After the Second World War, those ties were loosened, enabling influences from American research and technological universities, augmented by a growing connection between universities, government economic strategy and the procedures of industry. This paper thus traces some of routes by which arguments travelled and the ways they were articulated in post‐war Australia.
Ideas do not travel on their own. In this paper, the author takes a biographical approach to the question of contrasting attitudes to university knowledge in the post‐war period, comparing the international scholarly and professional networks of two British scientists who travelled to Australia – contemporaries in age and education – both influencing Australian higher education policy in diametrically opposing ways.
This research demonstrates that the growing connection with economic goals in Australian universities after the Second World War was in part a result of the new international and cross‐sectoral networks in which some scholars now operated.
Australian historiography suggests that shifts in the emphases of post‐war universities were primarily the consequence of government policy. This paper demonstrates that the debates that shaped Australia's modern university system were also conducted among an international network of scholars.