The Legacy of
Jesse Shera
Reaching Back to
Look Forward:
By Cynthia Bosak
Vincent Jew &
Hanako Moondance
Biography
 Born December 8, 1903 in Oxford, Ohio
 Graduated from Miami University with an B.A.
in English literature in ...
Librarian Career
 1927: Unable to find a teaching position, he became an assistant
cataloger at Miami University’s librar...
Librarian Career (continued)
 1944: Completed Ph.D. dissertation; became Chief of Preparation
and then Assistant Director...
Contributions to Librarianship
 1955: Established the Center for Documentation &
Communication Research (CDCR) with James...
Career & Contributions to
Librarianship (continued)
 1967: Remained Dean of the School of Library & Information
Science a...
Philosophies
 Wanted librarians to have a professional creed; to be more careful
and precise in answering patron’s questi...
Historical Context:
Professionalism in Librarianship
 Librarian position not actively thought of as a scholarly position
...
Historical Context: Organization of
Information and Use of Resources
 “The library problem, like the problem of education...
Legacy
 JESSE is the primary email discussion list used by
librarian and information science educators in his honor
 ALA...
Legacy (continued)
 Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished
Published Research (1998-current)
– Honoring exemplary publica...
Learning Points
 Use technology to your benefit and that of your
“customers” rather than allowing it to use you
 Perseve...
References
 Carroll, C.E. (1970). The professionalization of education for
librarianship: With special reference to the y...
References
 Shera, J.H. (1953). Historians, books and libraries: A survey of
historical scholarship in relation to librar...
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Jesse hauk shera workshop presentation test3

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The Legacy of Jesse Hauk Shera - library pioneer

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Jesse hauk shera workshop presentation test3

  1. 1. The Legacy of Jesse Shera Reaching Back to Look Forward: By Cynthia Bosak Vincent Jew & Hanako Moondance
  2. 2. Biography  Born December 8, 1903 in Oxford, Ohio  Graduated from Miami University with an B.A. in English literature in 1925  Graduated from Yale University with a M.A. in English in 1927  Married Helen M. Bickham in 1928 and had two children  Graduated from the University of Chicago, Graduate Library School (GLS), with a Ph.D. in 1944  “Backed into the library profession”  Prolific writer; remarkable given he was visually impaired, making reading difficult  Died March 8, 1982 in Cleveland, Ohio
  3. 3. Librarian Career  1927: Unable to find a teaching position, he became an assistant cataloger at Miami University’s library  1928-1940: Became a bibliographer at Scripps Foundation for Population Research – Worked with a Hollerith Machine, a computing machine used to compile and tabulate data electronically, using punch cards  1938-1940: On leave to attend GLS  1940-1941: Chief of the library census project at the Library of Congress  1941-1944: Assistant Chief, Central Information Division of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – Supervised conventional library and picture collection – Organized reports from various military services and censorship intercepts
  4. 4. Librarian Career (continued)  1944: Completed Ph.D. dissertation; became Chief of Preparation and then Assistant Director at the University of Chicago Library  1947: Became assistant professor at GLS, teaching courses on American Library history, academic libraries, cataloging, library administration and the theory of classification  1951: Became associate professor with tenure  1952: Became Dean of the School of Library Science (SLS) at Western Reserve University (WRU), increasing faculty and library graduate populations; reorganized the American Documentation Institute (ADI), which eventually became the American Society for Information Scientists  1953: Editor of American Documentation  1954-1959: Editor of Western Reserve University Press
  5. 5. Contributions to Librarianship  1955: Established the Center for Documentation & Communication Research (CDCR) with James Perry and Allen Kent (information retrieval pioneers)  1956: Established a doctoral program at SLS which served as a model for other librarian schools (received a 3-year grant from the Carnegie Corporation for the study of library education)  1956: CDCR sponsored a conference on Practical Utilization of Recorded Knowledge (PURK) with librarian and non-librarian representatives discussing common problems  1960-1971: Became CDCR director, created curriculum on information storage and retrieval  1961-1968: Wrote a column “Without Reserve” in the Wilson Library Bulletin
  6. 6. Career & Contributions to Librarianship (continued)  1967: Remained Dean of the School of Library & Information Science as WRU merged with Case Institute of Technology  1970: Retired as Dean; remained as professor  1970-1971: Visiting professor at University of Texas  1972: Dean Emeritus at Case Western Reserve  As a prolific writer & lecturer, Shera maintains an enduring influence on the Library & Information Science profession  Writings included: 11 books (wrote, edited or assisted editing), 45 book chapters, 10 reports, 108 periodical articles, 74 columns in Wilson Library Bulletin, 29 editorials in American Documentation, 104 book reviews, 45 publications in Library Literature (some of them reprints and collections); occupying 29 linear feet at the Case Western Reserve University Archives in Cleveland, Ohio
  7. 7. Philosophies  Wanted librarians to have a professional creed; to be more careful and precise in answering patron’s questions  Thought classification basic to bibliographic organization (1st American to note that classification was used outside of libraries)  Wanted automation and computers to be applied to library science without losing sight of humanism of the profession; “Embrace the technology but do not become its servant” (1976)  Believed elements in American life contributed to the growth of the public library as a social agency; society shapes libraries  Developed a new discipline – social epistemology – with Margaret Egan exploring ways society can access and perceive its environment or information using bibliography, documentation and librarianship, introduced in the article Foundations of a Theory of Bibliography (April 1952 issue of Library Quarterly, 22:125-38).
  8. 8. Historical Context: Professionalism in Librarianship  Librarian position not actively thought of as a scholarly position  1930’s -1940’s: varying types of library education available based on previous and continuing education levels  Disparities in education received from programs and thus difficulty to award same degrees to students of the field  Absence of cohesive education for librarianship across the board  Standards adopted in 1925, updated in 1933; one of few written forms regarding consistent librarianship though lacking thorough terms  New terms not created until 1951 and applied in accreditation visits to schools in 1953
  9. 9. Historical Context: Organization of Information and Use of Resources  “The library problem, like the problem of education, is not storage but retrieval” (Shera, 1973)  American Documentation Institution previously focusing on microphotography, microfilm as resources  Microfilm effective tool for space conservation, but not access, retrieval and dissemination  Libraries coming together in order to share information (i.e. ILL) thus creating need for optimal organizational systems
  10. 10. Legacy  JESSE is the primary email discussion list used by librarian and information science educators in his honor  ALA LRRT(Library Research Round Table) Research Award (1975-1986) – The award was established by the Library Research Round Table to honor excellence in library research. – $500 award given annually  Jesse H. Shera Award for Research (1988-1995) – After Jesse Shera’s death in 1982, LRRT obtained permission from his family to use the Shera name. – In 1996 and 1997 no worthy winners were found thus a new award was formed.
  11. 11. Legacy (continued)  Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research (1998-current) – Honoring exemplary publications in the field of library science  Jesse H. Shera Award for the Support of Dissertation Research(1998-current) – 2012 winner was Victor J. Sensenig for his dissertation “Public Libraries and Literacy in Ecological Perspective”
  12. 12. Learning Points  Use technology to your benefit and that of your “customers” rather than allowing it to use you  Perseverance prevails  Society does shape libraries: digital has made a world of difference  Master the basics first, then “tweak” them  Librarianship is customer diven, not data or technology driven
  13. 13. References  Carroll, C.E. (1970). The professionalization of education for librarianship: With special reference to the years 1940-1960. Metuchen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press.  Farkas-Conn, I.S. (1990). From documentation to information science: The beginnings and early development of the American Documentation Institute-American Society for Information Science. Contributions in Librarianship and Information Science, 67. Retrieved from www.asis.org.  Garraty, J. & Carnes, M. (Eds.). (1999). American national biography. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.  LRRT’s Shera Research Awards Recipients. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/offices/ors/orsawards/sherawinners
  14. 14. References  Shera, J.H. (1953). Historians, books and libraries: A survey of historical scholarship in relation to library resources, organization and services. Cleveland, OH: Western Reserve University.  Shera, J. H. (1973). Knowing books and men; Knowing computers, too. Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited.  Wiegand, Wayne A. (Ed.). (1990). Supplement to the dictionary of American library biography (Vol. 1) Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.  Pictures from www.weebly.com, www.likrakauer.com, www.nypl.org and www.case.edu respectively.

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