[Review] Louis Shores: Defining Educational Librarianship by Lee Shiflett

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James V. Carmichael, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Although Louis Shores died as recently as 1981, he is already almost totally forgotten. Even among his living associates, what often comes to mind is the vulgarity of his supposedly self-promoting schemes, and most notably, his self-appointed role as a sort of one-note-Charlie for the library college idea. Pushy to get his own way (too much so for the taste of ALA's Committee on Accreditation), a benign dictator ("consensus" was only a figure of speech among the faculty at FSU's library school) of the good old southern boy-gentleman variety (although he was born in Buffalo, and conveniently forgot his Jewishness for most of the latter two-thirds of his life), and clearly nutty at times (he wrote personal letters t? Sister Ruthlife), and clearly nutty at times (he wrote personal letters t? Sister Ruth Norman of Unarius fame, apparently had enthusiasm for saucer cults, and cherished the idea that reference work was largely an extrasensory phenomenon), Shores was a controversial, and even during his lifetime, largely discounted figure of librarianship. Yet his legacy, which Lee Shiflett has finally unfurled after nearly two decades of painstaking research, probably ranks with that of Melvil Dewey (innovation), Pierce Butler (philosophical foundations), Jesse Shera (intellectual underpinnings), or Anne Carroll Moore (the public service imperative). Shiflett summarizes these contradictions deftly in his final sentence: "Whatever monuments he may have desired are small in comparison to the effect his writing, his thought, and his personality have had on the development of American librarianship as an educational enterprise" (p. 276).

Additional Information

The Serials Librarian 22, nos.3/4:193-95.
Language: English
Date: 1997
Louis Shores, Book review, Librarianship, Education

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