|Abstract:||What we attempt here is in no sense a formal summary of content.
We seek rather, in the tradition of the previous Allerton Park Institutes,
to catch and record, through a series of informal observations
and impressions, the sense and feel of the Institute as it developed at
the hands of the hundred or more participants who, for three days,
paused to reflect upon the role of classification in the present-day library
and to exchange with one another their thoughts on this topic of
mutual and (for the moment, at least) intensive concern.
From the inception of planning for this Institute, it was obvious
that it would be a study in contrasts, both within itself and in comparison
with the earlier Institutes. The very wide net which we spread
with our first announcement made such contrasts all but inevitable.
In that opening announcement, you will recall, the invitation to attend
was extended to all librarians who had an interest in classification
whether classifiers, administrators, or staff members from other departments,
whether college, university, public, or school librarians,
whether working in a very large or a very small library. This, then,
was our first contrast (in comparison with earlier Institutes) a very
wide spread in sizes of libraries and types of library work represented.
A junior high school librarian sat next to several librarians from
the Library of Congress; ranged about them were small town and city
public librarians, college and university librarians, other school librarians,
and even a special librarian or two. This factor, in turn,
produced a second (and related) contrast with earlier Institutes a
decrease in the amount of public, or audience, discussion and participationa
decrease which we may hope was compensated for in some
degree by an increase in the more private corridor conferences, table
talk, and coffee chats.