Uses Of Libraries Essay

Uses Of Libraries Essay-64
André Cossette, a librarian in Quebec, Canada, wrote the text presented here as an investigation of the foundations of the library profession.As you will see in his acknowledgments, it was written as part of a graduate program in Library Science at the University of Montreal.

André Cossette, a librarian in Quebec, Canada, wrote the text presented here as an investigation of the foundations of the library profession.As you will see in his acknowledgments, it was written as part of a graduate program in Library Science at the University of Montreal.Sound ideas about what librarianship is and what its goals are permit us to claim a degree of autonomy in institutions where we might otherwise serve as mere functionaries rather than as the professionals we are.

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Understanding librarianship through a philosophy of its foundations rather than through its contingencies makes it matter, and highlights the importance of its continuation.

I hope contemporary readers will find the book useful in this regard.

However, if I am not mistaken, many readers may recognize in it ideas that are present within their own practice but which they have not before seen expressed in a systematic way.

Cossette’s intention was to build a foundation for the practice of librarianship that was a simple, solid and comprehensive structure, and not a mixture of diverse ideas that sound appealing but are never thought through one against another.

We are generally not concerned with their logical connections or lack of connections.

Cossette’s essay begins with the complaint that modern librarianship lacks a clear philosophy.

The other question that I can imagine being asked by readers at this point is, What is the relevance of a library philosophy of 1976, however solid, to the questions faced by librarians in an era when everything has changed and continues to change rapidly?

The answer I would give is that philosophy, of all of the disciplines that can be applied to a study of the profession, is the only one that has a sufficient degree of abstraction and generality to remain valid and instructive over a period of time during which so many of the methods and even contexts of use have been overturned.

It was written in a very different context, and it asks basic, philosophical questions about the profession that don’t occur to most American librarians to ask.

Therefore, I feel that it rests on me to explain why librarians today ought to read Cossette’s little book on library philosophy.

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