This School’s Social Mission: The Early Days
The School originated in 1918 to mitigate an acute shortage of qualified librarians in California. But this mission was founded on a strong social agenda to achieve economic efficiency, to foster social harmony, to promote individual personal development, to protect civil liberties, and to promote liberal democracy. I will review this social agenda with special attention to the role of public libraries, the rise of authoritarian political ideologies in the 1930s, the development of bibliography, and the interpretation of that social agenda in today’s circumstances.
This talk is an expanded version of Professor Buckland’s remarks at the School’s 101st Birthday Celebration.
Michael Buckland is emeritus professor in the School of Information and co-director of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative. He grew up in England and studied history at Oxford and librarianship at Sheffield University. He trained at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and moved to the University of Lancaster Library in 1965. In 1972, Buckland moved to the United States to be Assistant Director of Libraries for Technical Services at Purdue University Libraries before becoming Dean of the School of Library and Information Studies at Berkeley from 1976 to 1984. He served from 1983 to 1987 as Assistant Vice President for Library Plans and Policies for the nine campuses of the University of California. Professor Buckland's interests include bibliography, library services, search and discovery, cultural heritage, and the history and theory of documentation.