Book Notes: Introduction to Librarianship

[AN: All notes are taken verbatim from the book. I claim no rights to them.]

Introduction to Librarianship by Jean Key Gates

  1. Thus, although a library is a building or institution for the custody, circulation, and administration of a collection of books (and other materials), there are definitely established kinds of libraries. (pg 1)
  2. To most laymen a librarian is a librarian. (pg 3)
  3. Librarianship may not be the only profession in which the professional title is not reserved wholly for the professionals. (pg 3)
  4. Since the church was the empire’s most important institution, in its early days, bishops, monks, and priests were more prominent than secular scholars and writers. Church buildings multiplied and, as a consequence of the requirement that each bishop have a library, ecclesiastical libraries and monastic collections were established widely. (pg 23)
  5. The Arabs were indeed great conquerors, but it was in the role of “adapters, preservers, and spreaders of civilization” that they contributed to the story of libraries, and it was largely through them that mathematical and scientific knowledge was transmitted toEurope. (pg 25)
  6. In 597 the monk Augustine landed atKent, where he founded the church atCanterbury. (pg 31)
  7. Charles the Great = Charlemagne, 768-814 (pg 32)
  8. From the viewpoint of the student of librarianship, the most significant result of the Crusades was that twelfth-centuryEuropewas brought into touch with the highly developed civilization of the East and exposed to new ideas, new knowledge, and new literature. (pg 38)
  9. The universities ofBologna,Paris, andOxfordare examples of permanent institutions of higher education which grew out of the wanderings of students and the instruction of individual teachers. The first universities in Italy, France, and England were followed by the establishment of institutions of higher learning in Spain and other countries of Western Europe, and thus by the close of the Middle Ages there were about eighty universities in Europe. (pg 39-40)
  10. One of the most important academic libraries was the one given by Robert de Sorbon to the college which he founded inParisin the thirteenth century for students of theology and which eventually became part of theUniversityofParis. (pg 40)
  11. Eventually, every college in a university had its own library. The more important books were chained to the desks, but in some libraries the chains were lengths so that the student could take his book to a nearby table while he studied. (pg 40)
  12. Francebecame the center of this vernacular literary activity, producing the chansons de geste, the Fabliaux, and the poetry of the troubadours and the trouveres. Other examples of vernacular literature are the English epic poem, Beowulf, the Eddas of Iceland, the German Nibelungenlied, and Spain’s El Cid. Medieval literature reached its height in Italy in the Commedia (Divine Comedy) of Dante, whoh wrote in Latin but also in Italian, thus establishing the vernacular Italian as a language suitable for literary expression. (pg 40-41)
  13. During this period [the Middle Ages], only royalty, nobility, the church, and the universities could afford books. (pg 42)
  14. Philobiblon, one of the fist books about books, tells of his [Richard de Bury] extravagant love of books and reveals some of the methods he used in collecting them. (pg 43)
  15. Petrarch gave his library to St. Mark’s inVenice, but his wish that it be maintained by the Venetian government was never fulfilled. (pg 43)
  16. “It was an age of accumulation, of uncritical and indiscriminate enthusiasm. Manuscripts were worshipped…The good, the bad, and the indifferent received an almost equal homage. Criticism had not yet begun. (pg 45)
  17. The full-page woodcut, printed from a wooden block on which the text and illustrations had been carved, was the next step in printing, and by A.D. 868 the Chinese had produced a complete book, The Diamond Sutra, in this manner. Woodcut printing inEurope, however, was delayed until the fourteenth century. (pg 47)
  18. Movable types, made first of clay and then of tin, also originated inChinabut were never used extensively by the Chinese. (pg 47)
  19. “Printing as it appeared inEurope, was an independent outgrowth of the time.” (pg 47)
  20. This event of incalculable significance in the cultural history of mankind occurred between 1440 and 1450 in the vicinity ofMainz,Germany. (pg 47)
  21. Printed books which can be dated before the year 1501 are called incunabula. (pg 48)
  22. The Reformation exhibits in the realm of religious thought and national politics what the Renaissance displays in the sphere of culture, art, and science—the recovered energy and freedom of the reason. (pg. 50)
  23. It has been said thatGermanyin the sixteenth century “was saturated with books.” (pg 51)
  24. Some of the great national libraries were founded during the seventeenth century: the Prussian State Library inBerlin(1659), the Kongelige Blibliotek inCopenhagen(1661), and the National Library of Scotland (1682). (pg. 53)
  25. In the last quarter of the century, the Revolution of the American Colonies focused attention on the democratic concept of the worth and dignity of the individual and the French Revolution proclaimed the importance of the common man. (pg 55)
  26. The Sloan and Harleian collections and that of Sir Robert Cotton, together with the Royal Library which had existed from the reign of Henry VII, formed the foundation of theBritishMuseum, which was incorporated in 1753. (pg 56)
  27. But to meet all the new demands for books from people who were unable to buy them, a new kind of library was developed: the lending or circulating library, begun by booksellers who loaned books on payment of a small fee. (pg 57)
  28. In 1850 the English Parliament passed the first Public Libraries Act, allowing local councils to organize libraries and support them by taxation but limiting the amount that could be spent for that purpose. The first public library was established atManchesterwith Edward Edwards as librarian. Edwards, who had been influential in securing the passage of the Public Libraries Act, set forth some general principles of library service which have been followed ever since: Library service must be given freely to any citizen who wants to use it; library service is a local responsibility and the cost is borne collectively by all who pay taxes whether they use it or not; books of all kinds and on all aspects of a question should be included in the collection. (pg 58)
  29. These libraries were of three kinds: (1) parochial, for the sole use of the minister; (2) provincial, for the use of all types of readers; and (3) layman’s containing books to be “lent or given at the discretion of the Minister.” (pg 64)
  30. Circulating libraries—or lending libraries, as they were also called—originated in Scotland in the eighteenth century, became numerous there, and then spread to England and the Continent.
  31. Since the colleges of the period emphasized textbook teaching and discouraged wide reading, their libraries were open chiefly for the occasional loan of a book to a professor or a student or for the perusal of recent periodicals. Upperclassmen could use the library under certain conditions, but, in general, freshmen and sophomores were not permitted to use it at all. (pg 84)
  32. At this meeting, the American Library Association was organized “to promote the library interests of the country.” (pg 88)
  33. The first formal library school program was opened atColumbiaCollegeby Melvil Dewey in 1887, and before the close of the century, four other programs for the training of librarians were established. (pg 88)
  34. The need to preserve government documents is as old as ancient Sumer, where such preservation began, and as current as today’s Congressional Record. (pg 89)
  35. The use of the library to support religious and moral instruction, of particular importance to the ancient Egyptians and the people ofIsraelandJudah, was characteristic of all early civilizations because libraries generally were connected both physically and administratively to the temples. (pg 89-90)
  36. One should remember, however, that as early as the first century B.C. Julius Caesar proposed the establishment of public libraries to educate the people for intelligent participation in the affairs of state, and his proposal, carried out after his death, resulted in the eventual establishment of some twenty-nine public libraries in Rome. (pg 91)

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