BIOGRAPHYJesse Hauk Shera (8 Dec. 1903-8 Mar. 1982), internationallyrespected librarian and library educator and dean of the School ofLibrary Science at Western Reserve University(subsequently CaseWestern Reserve University, was born in Oxford, Ohio, the son ofCharles H. and Jessie (Hauk) Shera. He received an A.B. from MiamiUniversity (Ohio) in 1925, an A.M. from Yale in 1927, and a Ph.D.from the University of Chicago in Library Science in 1944. Hebecame dean of the Library School at WRU in 1952, having workedfor the Scripps Foundation for Research in Population Problems(1928-40), Library of Congress (1940-41), Office of Strategic Services(1941-44), and as associate director of the library and associateprofessor of library science at the University of Chicago. As dean ofWRU Library School, Shera helped found the Ctr. forDocumentation & Communication Research which did pioneeringresearch in automated information storage and retrieval andmachine literature searching, and of which Shera became director in1959.
Shera was president of the Ohio Library Assoc. and onadvisory commissions to the Census Bureau, EducationOffice, and Natl. Science Foundation. He represented theU.S. government in Europe and Latin America atinternational conferences on documentation andlibrarianship, served on the President Lyndon JohnsonsCommission on Employment of the Handicapped and theCleveland Mayors Commission on Employment of theHandicapped. Shera was dean of the Library School until1970; in 1972 he was appointed dean and professoremeritus. Shera married Helen M. Bickham and had 2children, Mary (Baum) and Edgar B.
CONTRIBUTION:Shera’s contribution to reference services through the major writings onbibliographic organizations began in collaboration with Margaret Egan, withwhom he published conference papers with the title Bibliographic Organization(1950), contributed by the most eminent national and international scholars inthe area. Shera’s own paper dealt with classification. Reviewing the history oflibrary classification, beginning from Aristotle to Comte, Shera reached for aprinciple that “classification is basic to bibliographic organization.” From thisShera argued for “divorcing classification from hierarchical order becausesuch a single-faceted arrangement failed to account for multifarious relationsin a book.” Throughout his professional life, Shera was a prolific writer. Although he heldsuccessive positions in international organizations, government and academia,it was primarily as an author that he exercised an enduring influence onlibrary and information science profession in general, and reference servicesin particular. His Introduction to Library Science (1976) is still one of theworld’s most widely-used texts for the reference services profession, and it hasbeen translated into many languages, including Russian.Shera defined “the true essence of librarianship” as “the maximization of theeffective use of graphic records for any purpose that contributes to the dignity,beauty, and strength of human endeavor.” Over and again, he asserted histhesis that the library must derive its goals and practices from the needs andgoals of society.
Academic libraries is a library that is attached to academicinstitutions above the secondary level, serving the teaching andresearch needs of students and staff. These libraries serve twocomplementary purposes: to support the schools curriculum,and to support the research of the university faculty andstudents. There are the libraries in community colleges in four-year colleges, and there are the central libraries in theuniversities and the more specialized libraries in colleges withinthe universities. In each kind of institution, the purposes, staff,buildings, program of services, equipment, and physicalfacilities of the library are determined by the extent and natureof the curriculum, the size of the faculty and student body, themethods of instruction, the variety of graduate offerings, theneeds of faculty and graduate of financial support, and whetheror not the library is a part of an area, state or regionalcooperative system which certain materials, equipment andservices may be shared.
Academic libraries is a library that isattached to academic institutions above thesecondary level, serving the teaching andresearch needs of students and staff.These libraries serve two complementarypurposes: to support the schoolscurriculum, and to support the research ofthe university faculty and students.
1. It selects and acquires books and materials through purchases and gifts.2. It prepares these materials for the use of students, faculty, and others whorequire them. This preparation includes:a. Classifying materials according to the classification system in use by thelibraryb. Cataloguing these materials, that is, providing descriptive informationabout each other one as to author, title, facts of publication, number of pages,illustrative material, and subject matterc. Stamping, pasting, typing and lettering3. It makes these materials easily accessible physically through open shelvesor other efficient means and bibliographically through catalogs,bibliographies, indexes, and thesauri.4. It circulates materials from the general collection and from the reservecollection.
5. It gives reference service.6. It offers both formal and informal instruction in the use of the library.7. It borrows and lends materials on interlibrary loan.8. It provides adequate and comfortable physical facilities for study, includingcarrels for private study and such aids as typing facilities and photocopyingdevices which are operated by users or by the library staff. In some libraries,especially in community college libraries, facilities for graphic, photographic,audio, and video production are provided.9. It may make bibliographical searches by computer.10. It administers the total library program, including the budget, the organization and supervision of the various library activities, the maintenance of the building and equipment, and the public relations activities.
The quantity and diversity of library materials will vary according to the size,purpose, and the program of the college, but in most college librariesmaterials will include:1. Reference sources of a general nature and reference sources in the subjectfields, with emphasis upon the subject areas included in the instructionalprogram. These reference sources include dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes,yearbooks, handbooks, atlases, gazetteers, bibliographies, reference historieslike the Cambridge Ancient History and the Cambridge History of AmericanLiterature and non-book sources such as microforms.2. A collection of materials containing:a. Book and non-book materials which relate to and supplement eachcurriculum offered, such as history, education, foreign languages andmathematics.b. Important general materials not relating to a specific subject area andimportant sources in subject fields not included in the college curriculumsc. Books and non-book materials for voluntary and recreational reading,viewing, and listening3. Periodicals and newspapers current issues, bound volumes, and issues onmicrofilm and microfiche.
5. Audiovisual materials, which include pictures, motion picture films, slidesfilmstrips, music phonograph records, tape and disk recordings, maps, globescassettes, videotapes, and videocassettes.6. Microfilm, micro cards, microfiche, and other microforms.7. Government publications.8. Programmed materials.9. Archival materials pertaining to the institution.10. Equipment for the use of these materials, such as microreaders andlistening and viewing equipment.11. Terminals for on-line catalog and other searches- computer or CD-ROM.
STAFFThe academic library is administered and staffed by professionallibrarians who have a broad, general education and the specializationswhich are required in each area of service offered by the library, suchas specialties in the subject fields, in languages, in audiovisual andother non-book materials, in guidance of readers, and in computer andother technologies. They have an understanding of the educationalphilosophy and teaching methods of the institution and work with thefaculty in selecting and evaluating materials to support theinstructional program. They keep up with trends in higher education,curriculum development, methods of teaching, and new materials andnew sources of materials. They may teach a course in their specialtyand they may participate in team teaching.
Community college libraryThe public community college is designed to meet the needs ofthe high school graduate who may not choose to go to a four-year college but must have additional education and training toprepare for a vacation, to update occupational skills, or toacquire new skills. It also provides for the needs of the studentswho will continue formal education at a four-year institution.The community (junior) college library must provide thematerials and services to support each of the programs offeredgeneral education, vocational, technical, semiprofessional, andadult education- and to serve the needs of the widely differentstudents who enroll in these courses and the faculty memberswho teach them. The community college library may providecultural activities for the entire community and often serves as acenter for community affairs.
UNIVERSITY LIBRARYA university has a liberal arts college; it offers aprogram of graduate study; usually it has two ormore professional schools or faculties; and it isempowered to confer degrees in various fields ofstudy. The university library may be a centrallibrary which serves all students—undergraduateas well as graduate.
RULES AND REGULATIONSIn order that all students will have equal opportunityto use the library materials, certain rules andregulations are established in all libraries. These rulesgovern the kinds of materials which are circulated, thelength of time they can be borrowed, the fines chargedfor overdue books, the use of library facilities—reading rooms,Listening rooms, conference rooms, and other specialareas—interlibrary loans, photocopiers, computersearches, and the hours of service.
ORIENTATION VISITA part of the first-year orientation program inmost colleges and universities is a visit to thelibrary. In many libraries students are given ahandbook which includes information aboutthe physical arrangement of the library, thekinds of materials it provides, theclassification system in use, the nature of thelibrary catalog, the rules governing the use ofthe library, and the schedule of the hours thelibrary is open.