Reblog: “A Little Library History: 1912 Library Director’s Report”

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Last week I attended the Washington Library Association conference, where I had the chance to chat with librarians who have been in this profession for decades. When I asked them what changes they’d seen, many of them didn’t know where to begin, but others thought the profession hadn’t really changed that much. Here’s the account of someone in the latter camp.

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Image credit: Tentes on Pixabay.

Mr. Library Dude

Last week was National Library Week. Our library director shared with us her predecessor’s library report from 1912. I was struck by how many of the report’s themes are still integral to today’s libraries.

Library Director's Report from 1912 - photo courtesy Carroll University Archives Library Director’s Report from 1912 – courtesy Carroll University Archives

Authored by Amanda Flattery, who worked as college librarian from 1905-1915 and who was described as possessing “outstanding scholarship, high ideals, and ready humor” (see her obituary – page 2), starts her report by describing the the juggling of multiple duties. Sound familiar, librarians? It then moves on to the year’s major activities and issues. Here’s where I see parallels to today’s library work:

  • Creating bibliographies: Aren’t those today’s LibGuides?
  • Students unable to find desired information: Yep, even in today’s info-rich environment, this is still a hallmark of what we do.
  • A course in reference work and bibliography: That has morphed into information literacy.

View original post 280 more words

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