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Academic Libraries Amidst Changing Institutional Directions

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Title: Academic Libraries Amidst Changing Institutional Directions
Author(s): Carlson, William H.
Subject(s): Libraries and metropolitan areas
Abstract: The one word in the title of this Institute about which there can be no argument is "change.* The environment in which our libraries function and the ends and purposes for which we as librarians, exist are altering before our very eyes. Cumulatively the changes have been tremendous, even within so short a period as my personal professional career. I do not feel, as a participant for almost forty years now, that the transition has, as Ralph Ellsworth maintained in his University of Tennessee Library lecture of 1962, been violent. 1 It has been sustained, though, and it has accelerated and is accelerating on a rising curve. Change and transition have indeed been a way of life for Man in his persistent march to dominate his little planet. It is said that when Adam and Eve were fleeing Eden and the wrath of God, Adam whispered to Eve, "Darling, we are living in an age of transition.' Violent or not, change has been so substantial in our entire society, and particularly in our higher educational institutions and their libraries, that the library world of today is a vastly different place and profession than the one I entered in 1926. It is quite possible that librarians, and particularly the oldsters among them, like myself, may look back to the first half of the twentieth century, with its warm and attractive codex books, its proven methodology, and its clear sense of knowing what is important, as the Eden of their profession. Conceivably, they may murmur, regretfully one to another, as they flee the computers, we are living in an age of transition. I hasten to add that I do not personally feel that the computers are going to drive us out of our Eden, and the codex book along with us. To most of the oldsters, however, I suspect that the promises and prospects of the future may seem a rather dismal departure from the happy days of individual empire building.
Issue Date: 1965
Publisher: Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info: In H.Goldstein, ed. 1965. The changing environment for library services in the metropolitan area; papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, October 31-November 3, 1965. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 87-101.
Series/Report: Allerton Park Institute (12th : 1965)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1524
ISSN: 0536-4604
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1965.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-07-16
 

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