Professional Aspects of Law Librarianship, 1 College and Research Libraries 221 (1939-40)
WITHIN MY own experience I have seen public librarians as a class look askance at the professional standards of college and university librarians. They in turn have looked askance at special librarians and particularly at law librarians. To some extent each group was justified in its attitude of superiority. There was implicit in it, however, a fundamental error. We spoke glibly of professional development, as though all libraries should or could be poured into the same mold, to come out rounded into shape, and stamped with the hall mark of quality. There is of course a substantial substratum of technique and doctrine applicable to all libraries of whatsoever kind. We are all engaged in the same sort of work looking to the accomplishment of like ends. Where we differ is in the emphasis which we place in different kinds of libraries upon the various techniques used. This emphasis is determined by the purposes for which the respective libraries exist. We cannot evaluate the professional development of all kinds of libraries by standards set for a single dominant group, the public library, for example, because those standards were themselves chosen in response to special needs. We must ask, for each group, these questions: ( I) professional development for what purpose; (2) for the benefit of what clientele; ( 3) to make useful what kinds of material?
Date of Authorship for this Version
Hicks, Frederick C., "Professional Aspects of Law Librarianship" (1939). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4713.