Author: American Library Association. General Meeting
American Library Association
Library science — Congresses
Papers and Proceedings of the Twenty-Third General Meeting of the American Library Association
Held at Waukesha, Wisconsin, July 4-10, 1901
PAPERS AND PROCEEDINGS
TWENTY-THIRD GENERAL MEETING
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
Published by the
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
|Address of the President||Henry J. Carr||1|
|What may be done for libraries by the city||T. L. Montgomery||5|
|What may be done for libraries by the state||E. A. Birge||7|
|What may be done for libraries by the nation||Herbert Putnam||9|
|The trusteeship of literature—||I.||George Iles||16|
|” ” ” ”||II.||R. T. Ely||22|
|Book copyright||Thorvald Solberg||24|
|The relationship of publishers, booksellers and librarians||W. Millard Palmer||31|
|Library buildings||W. R. Eastman||38|
|The relationship of the architect to the librarian||J. L. Mauran||43|
|The departmental library||J. T. Gerould||46|
|Suggestions for an annual list of American theses for
the degree of doctor of philosophy
|W. W. Bishop||50|
|Some principles of book and picture selection||G. E. Wire||54|
|Book reviews, book lists, and articles on children’s
reading: Are they of practical value to the children’s
|Caroline M. Hewins||57|
|Books for children:|
|I. Fiction||Winifred L. Taylor||63|
|II. Fairy tales||Abby L. Sargent||66|
|III. Science||Ella A. Holmes||69|
|Bulletin work for children||Charlotte E. Wallace||72|
|Reference work with children||Harriet H. Stanley||74|
|Vitalizing the relation between the library and the school:|
|I. The school||May L. Prentice||78|
|II. The library||Irene Warren||81|
|Opening a children’s room||Clara W. Hunt||83|
|Report on gifts and bequests, 1900-1901||G. W. Cole||87|
|Report of the A. L. A. Publishing Board||J. Le Roy Harrison||103|
|First Session: Public meeting||107|
|Treasurer’s report and necrology||108|
|Report of Trustees of Endowment Fund||111|
|Report of Co-operation Committee||113|
|Report of Committee on Foreign Documents||113|
|Report of Committee on Title-pages and Indexes
of Periodical Volumes
|Report of Committee on “International Catalogue
of Scientific Literature”
|Memorial to John Fiske||117|
|Report of Committee on Public Documents||118|
|Report of Committee on Co-operation with N. E. A.||120|
|Report of Committee on International Co-operation||122|
|Report of Committee on Library Training||124|
|Collection and cataloging of early newspapers.||W. Beer||124|
|Some experiences in foreign libraries.||Mary W. Plummer||125|
|From the reader’s point of view, and the era
of the placard.
|J. K. Hosmer||127|
|Report on gifts and bequests||127|
|Report of A. L. A. Publishing Board||127|
|Invitation from L. A. U. K.||128|
|Report of Committee on Handbook of American libraries||128|
|Memorial to John Fiske||130|
|Co-operative list of children’s books||130|
|Printed catalog cards||131|
|Trusteeship of literature||131|
|Relationship of publishers, booksellers and librarians||134|
|Relationship of publishers, booksellers and librarians,
|Election of officers||141|
|Report of Committee on Resolutions||141|
|College and Reference Section||142-145|
|Section for Children’s Librarians||163-170|
|Round Table Meeting: State Library Commissions and
|Round Table Meeting: Work of State Library Associations
and Women’s Clubs in Advancing Library Interests
|Round Table Meeting: Professional Instruction in
|Transactions of Council and Executive Board||206-208|
|Illinois State Library School Alumni Association||208|
|The social side of the Waukesha conference||Julia T. Rankin||209|
|Officers and Committees||211|
|Attendance summaries.||Nina E. Browne||218|
CONFERENCE OF LIBRARIANS.
JULY 4-10, 1901.
BEING A LIBRARIAN: ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT.
By Henry J. Carr, Librarian Scranton (Pa.) Public Library.
In your presence, and in addressing you to-night as presiding officer, I feel to a far greater extent than I can express in words the high honor that has been conferred in each instance upon all who from time to time have been chosen to serve as a president of this particular association.
There is in this present age, to be sure, no lack of those popular and peculiar entities termed associations—associations of many kinds, and for almost every conceivable purpose. Throughout the entire continent there exist few, perhaps none, whose history, objects, and work, have warranted a more justifiable pride in being a member thereof, than is found in being a member of the American Library Association.
It may here be said that conditions and circumstances have been favorable to the success of the A. L. A.; not the least of which has been the faithful loyalty of its individual members. We realize, too, that even time has dealt leniently with it, upon noting that of the 64 members who attended its first meeting, held at Philadelphia twenty-five years ago, but 18 have died, and that 20 persons are yet included in its membership list out of the 69 who joined the association in 1876, that initial year. Some of that original number, much to our gratification, are present with us at this 23d general meeting.
Considering its purely voluntary nature, the migratory holding of its successive meetings in different parts of the land, and the notable avoidance of fads, or any tendency towards selfish ends that might otherwise mark its united efforts, it becomes almost a matter of surprise that so many persons have unfalteringly kept up their allegiance from year to year ever since the time of their joining the association. But, as a matter of fact, the A. L. A. has at no time fallen off in its total membership; and at this date it numbers nearly one thousand contributing members paying dues for the current year.
The American Library Association has now attained a period of twenty-five years in its history—a quarter of a century. During that time, in the addresses given at its general meetings, as well as in the multiplicity of noteworthy and valuable papers contributed to its Proceedings, and the sundry publications devoted to library interests, it would appear as if there must have been presented almost every conceivable phase of library thought and sentiment. Can anything new be said, or old ideas placed in a new light, so as to be worthy of hearing and attention at this time? I fear not, except as some lessons may be drawn from the experience of one’s past work, perhaps, that shall serve to aid yet others who are to tread like paths in life.
I beg, therefore, that you will bear with me for a short space of time while I give expression to some thoughts drawn from the experience of myself and others while Being a Librarian.
Without now restricting their application to particular phases of librarianship, let us at the outset consider them as relating to any and all conditions of it as a vocation. “Why did you take up library work?” is a question not infrequently asked. To that query various answer may be given, according to the individual views of the persons replying. Perhaps one general reason, that in a certain way has had its unconscious influence upon many of us, is best stated in the following characteristic passage from the “Book-hunter:”
“To every man of our Saxon race endowed with full health and strength, there is committed the custody of a restless demon, for which he is doomed to find ceaseless excitement, either in honest work, or some less profitable or more mischievous occupation. Countless have been the projects of man to open up for this fiend fields of exertion great enough for the absorption of its tireless energies, and none of them is more hopeful than the great world of books, if the demon is docile enough to be coaxed into it.”
Since Burton’s day the “great world of books” has taken on many phases of which he never dreamed. And we, as librarians, may reasonably believe that if not entirely a part and parcel of it, we are nevertheless called upon to deal with that “world” in almost every form, and are ourselves more or less important factors in it. We may not be called upon to adopt the “strenuous life,” or seek to impart it to the conduct and activities of others. But necessarily we are and must be accustomed to “doing things”; and, by that very doing, will in some degree, each in our own field, inspire and influence others also.
Furthermore, do we not find our “restless demon of work” more agreeably inclined and contentedly occupied in the library field than in other lines of life which we may have previously entered into? I, for one, certainly think so, even though we may not have had that idea in mind at the outset, or when making the change. And, too, that we derive a certain feeling of encouragement akin to inspiration, that in itself renders us contented and happy, when responding to the varied demands on our time and energy that are entailed by our positions as librarians. That is half the battle, the rest being but a question of persistence in the application of means and ability.
Therefore, in the consoling words of one of Elbert Hubbard’s salient sayings: “Blessed is that man who has found his work.”
It is not the purpose of these present remarks to set forth particularly the compensations in a librarian’s work; neither the advantages or disadvantages, the opportunities or drawbacks therein. Those factors have all been frequently and well discussed in prior years, by some of our well-known associates and various contributors to library literature. I desire, rather, to suggest some features and relationships connected with our work as a profession, from which an occasional lesson may be taken, and possibly a word of encouragement, if such be needed.
First of all, is librarianship a profession? Does it possess the characteristics that make it such; and is that work more nearly professional than otherwise, which lies at its hands to be done? Some such queries were propounded to me by the president of a state library association one day last fall, as we were journeying together to an annual meeting. He, himself, had been a teacher and an educational administrator for a number of years before becoming a librarian; and of the recognized professional standing of his former occupation there could be no doubt.
My first, and off-hand, answer was to the effect that librarianship certainly has many professional features, even though its being a true and undoubted profession in every respect might be disputed now and then. Going further into this question of professional status, however, it will be found that the literature of views and discussions thereon, pro and con, is by no means small. For one of us to now express a doubt that librarianship, as a whole, is a profession, would be almost presumptuous; and I, for one, do not propose to do so. My thesis, so far as it relates to the present remarks, is in affirmation of the claim; not only that it is a profession—our profession—but really the profession of professions!
All other professions now depend to a considerable extent upon that of the librarian for the custodianship of their literature, without whose care much of it might be lost. We may not be able to transmit to future eras such enduring records of antiquity as has been done by the librarian of old in his collection of clay tablets (which now serve to tell us of the affairs of mankind as transacted thousands of years ago), but it is certain that we are doing our part towards ma