Schools & CollegesSchools_%26_Colleges.html

By Carlton B. Joeckel, A. M., B. L. S., Associate Professor of Library Science

At the beginning of the academic year, 1926-27, a very important advance was made in the status of instruction in librarianship offered at the University of Michigan by the establishment of a two-year course in Library Science. In authorizing the inauguration of this program, the Regents were formally recognizing the existence of a demand, which had been making itself urgently felt for a decade or more. As standards, both for libraries and for librarians, have steadily increased in recent years, there has been a corresponding call for trained librarians in the libraries of Michigan and throughout the country. The unusual facilities offered by the splendid book collection and technical equipment of the University Library seemed to make it particularly appropriate for Michigan to enter the library-training field in a more complete way than ever before.

Although the term "Library Science" is comparatively new in the list of subjects taught at Michigan, instruction in "Library Methods" has been given in the Summer Session since 1909. These earlier courses were begun as an introduction to library work and were particularly designed to afford practical instruction to librarians of small libraries and library assistants who had had no formal library training. The importance and helpfulness of the courses were soon demonstrated, and the amount of university credit offered was in-creased from the two units allowed at first to the full eight units of credit given for Summer Session work. In undertaking year-round instruction in the library field, Michigan has followed the lead of other state universities, such as Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, and California and of various private institutions such as Columbia, Simmons, Western Reserve, and others. Michigan, however, has not established a separate"School of Library Science", thus adding another administrative division to the University hierarchy, as most of the other institutions have done. Instead, it has incorporated its courses in library work in already existing units. The first year's work has been made an integral part of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, leading to a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Library Science, and the courses of the second year have been made a part of the Graduate School, leading to the degree of Master of Arts.

The courses as a whole have been organized as the Department of Library Science, of which Librarian William Warner Bishop of the University is the chair-man. Thus what seems to be a very fortunate connection with other departments of instruction in the University is maintained. Graduation requirements are arranged in such a way that the candidates for bothBachelors' and Masters' degrees may elect a certain number of hours in other departments, and the work of students in Library Science has thus been greatly strengthened.

At the present time, the elementary courses offered by the Department may be elected by Seniors who have at least one-third more honor points than credits, and the advanced courses are open only to students who have had a full year of library training. Beginning with the first semester of the year1930-31, however, the elementary courses will be open only to students who already have a bachelor’s degree from the Literary College at Michigan, or institution, and who present one-half more honor points than credits. In addition, all students admitted will be required, as at present, to have a reading knowledge of French and German. This brings Michigan fully into line with the standards now required in the best American library schools.

In entering upon this new work, the first concern of the University administration was to secure an adequate and competent faculty. This was accomplished only after a very thorough canvass of the whole country and after, many conferences with the Board of Education for Librarianship of the American Library Association and leading librarians throughout the nation. In addition to Dr. Bishop, who fills the dual post of Librarian of the University and Chairman of the Department, there are two Associate Professors and one Assistant Professor. Besides these full-time members of the faculty, two members of the staff of the General Library also offer courses.

Librarian Bishop is in charge of the introductory course in library work, which covers particularly the history of books and libraries. He also directs the activities of the seminary courses in university library administration and in special administrative and bibliographical problems. The elementary and advanced courses in cataloguing and classification of books and a seminar in the cataloguing of public documents are offered by Associate Professor Carlton B. Joeckel, who also conducts seminaries in public and university library administration the latter jointly with Mr. Bishop. Before coming to Michigan, Professor Joeckel was a lecturer at the School of Librarianship of the University of California and Librarian of the Berkeley Public Library. Miss Eunice Weal, Assistant Professor of Library Science, conducts the courses in reference work, elementary and advanced bibliography, and in the making of the book. Miss Wed has had a wide experience in library work, and was, at the time of her appointment to the faculty, Assistant Custodian of the Clements Library.

Associate Librarian Goodrich of the University Library offers a one-semester course in special collections and, with Miss Weed, carries the course in national and regional bibliography. Miss Edith Thomas. Head of the Extension Department of the General Library is in charge of the work in high school library methods and in pamphlet materials. Other members of the departmental staff include Miss Gertrude Maginn, Recorder, Mrs. Daphne Todd Norton, Custodian of the Library Science Study Hall, Mrs. Helen Watson, Reviser, and Miss Mary Loughin, Departmental Secretary.

The Department, through the courses mentioned, is able to provide a well-rounded training in general library work. From the beginning, it has been the de-sire of the administration to provide, particularly in the graduate work, for the special training of librarians and assistants for university and college libraries, a field in which no other library school has as yet specialized.

During the Summer Sessions, it is the practice to secure the services of librarians of a national reputation and of well-known instructors in librarianship, in addition to various members of the regular faculty. In this way, the Department can offer several advanced courses of great interest, in addition to portions of its elementary work. This year the University is particularly fortunate in securing the services of William Coolidge Lane, Librarian Emeritus of Harvard College, who will offer two courses in the history of books and libraries. In addition to Professor Lane, Miss Adelaide F. Evans, head of the Catalog Department of the Detroit Public Library, and Mrs.Gertrude Drury, Chief Instructor of the St. Louis Library School, will be members of the Faculty during the Summer Session. In recent years, such well-known librarians as Professor Sydney B. Mitchell, now Director of the School of Librarianship of the University of California, Professor J. C. M. Hanson, of the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago, Miss Helen Martin, Chief Instructor in the School of Library Science of Western Reserve University, and others have served in the same capacity. All instruction in Library Science is given in the General Library building. The elementary classes meet in Room 110, a large and comfortable lecture room, equipped with a lantern, which is used for lectures, and class exercises, which require illustration. Adjoining this lecture room is the Library Science StudyHall, which occupies the southwest corner of the ground floor of the General Library. Here each student is assigned a seat at a desk or table, with a convenient file for cards and papers.

In the Study Hall is housed the rapidly growing departmental book collection, composed of books, periodicals, and pamphlets which are intensively used in the various courses. The students are also allowed access to the book-stacks of the General Library, which serve as a further laboratory for their special problems.

Beginning thus under most favorable auspices, it has perhaps not been surprising that the Department should have attracted a considerable number of students. Although the standards set up have placed the emphasis on quality, rather than quantity, the enrollment has already increased considerably beyond original estimates. In 1926-27, 62 students were registered; today the number has reached 90. Of these, it is expected that 58 will this year receive the Bachelor’s degree in Library Science and 8 the Master's degree.

The fact that the Department has drawn its 90students of the current year from 18 states and 3foreign countries is of particular interest in considering the scope of its influence. Almost half of the students come from outside of Michigan, thus showing the wide extent to which information concerning this new phase of the University's activities has spread.

A similar distribution is shown when the record of the kinds of work into which the graduates in library science have gone is examined. Just half of those who graduated in 1928 found positions in Michigan libraries; the others were scattered from Oregon to South Carolina and from Missouri to Montreal. All kinds of libraries are represented in the list to which students have gone—university and college libraries, public libraries, large and small, high school libraries, special reference libraries of various kinds, a widely scattered field which well illustrates the great diversity of modern library interests. Although the department has as yet graduated only two classes, those of 1927and 1928, the Alumni Association is already active. The Class of 1927 held an enthusiastic reunion at a banquet at the Detroit Women's City Club in Detroit on April 27th, which was attended by many former students, as well as by Mr. and Mrs. Bishop, Miss Mann, Miss Wead, Miss Maginn, Miss Thomas and Mr. Goodrich. A dinner of Library Science Alumni was held at Washington on May 15th during the Annual Conference of the American Library Association.

The Michigan Alumnus

May 18, 1929, page 614

History of the University of Michigan

Department of Library Science