Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy 125th Birthday Pierce Butler

Another significant December library related birthday. Today is the 125th anniversary of the birth of Lee Pierce Butler (1886-1953), library educator at the University of Chicago and author of An Introduction to Library Science (University of Chicago Press, 1933 & subsequent editions).  Like many library school students of my generation my introduction to Butler's An Introduction to Library Science classic came in my first library science course. I still have my copy of the required text which is  marked up extensively. To get an idea of how long ago this was, it only cost me $1.25. My copy has an introduction by Lester E. Asheim, another well known library educator. Basically, Butler tried to provide a theoretical basis for library science to counter the "simplicity of their [the library profession's] pragmatism". In his introduction Asheim indicates Butler's "little booklet" "seemed dangerously revolutionary to many librarians at the time [1933]".  Hard to believe any library science text could have been considered to be dangerously revolutionary.

No comments: