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Library Trends 52 (4) Spring 2004: Pioneers in Library and Information Science


Library Trends 52 (4) Spring 2004: Pioneers in Library and Information Science. Edited by W. Boyd Rayward

Underlying this collection of papers is a belief in the value of history in helping us to achieve a reasonably full understanding of current trends of development in what we might call society's "knowledge apparatus" and in the institutional arrangements to which libraries and information services are central. Such a historically based understanding presents a richer, more considered context for planning for the future than would otherwise be possible. I am intrigued by the paradox that history is only in part about the past. History provides us with a way to think about the present and the future. Because we can never know it directly, it is actually constituted and reconstituted by what we bring to it from our ever-changing presents. It offers the opportunity to question both simplistic descriptions and quick and easy explanations of what seems to be happening, what seems to be the case in the present. It also offers the opportunity from the ever-changing perspective of the present to go back to reassess what seems to have happened, what seems to have been the case in the past and how it has influenced the present. It is this dialectical process that keeps history as a discipline always unfinished and alive.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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