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2.5 How old is librarianship?




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This article is from the Libraries FAQ, by Anthony Wilson paw@iglou.com with numerous contributions by others.

2.5 How old is librarianship?

From the Libraries FAQ 1.2 by Steve Bergson:
Much younger, but difficult to pinpoint. The _ALA Glossary..._ defines
librarianship as "the profession concerned with the application of
knowledge of media and those principles, theories, techniques and
technologies which contribute to the establishment, preservation,
organization, and utilization of collections of library materials and
to the dissemination of information through media." (pg. 130) Barbara
Ehrenreich writes, in her _Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the
Middle Class_ (Pantheon: New York, 1989) that professionalization
occurred between 1870 and 1920 (pg. 133). I don't know if a consensus
has been reached on a specific year for this development. Certain
milestones are noteworthy, though.

1876 - Melville Dewey established the first standardized
classification system for libraries (DDC)

- the American Library Association was founded

- _Library Journal_ began publication

1882 - first ALA library conference held

1887 - Dewey established the first library school at Columbia
University (which has since closed down)

1965 - MAchine Readable Coding (MARC) coding was introduced

 

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