|Title:||Symposium: Reader Interest in Science - Children
|Subject(s):||Libraries --Special collections --Science
|Abstract:||My interest in science was first stirred by reading the
adventures of an extraordinary young man, who combined the
ingenuity of an Edison with the moral integrity of a Plato and
the get-up-and-go of a Horatio Alger hero. His name was Tom
Swift, and I read my way through his series of adventures with
marvelous rapidity. Such books, of course, were acquired
(along with Frank Merriwell and Nick Carter) by a mysterious
trading process; they did not sit on the shelves of my public library.
After Tom Swift came The Lost World, by Arthur
Conan Doyle, and The Land That Time Forgot, by Edgar Rice
Burroughs, both introducing me to the realms of historical geology.
The piece -de -resistance of that glorious period of
reading was Paul de Kruif's The Microbe Hunters. This work
did the job of convincing me (and many of my contemporaries)
that science was one of the most adventurous areas of man's
This notion of reader interest at a young age pointing
the reader toward a career is not a new one. Many of the thinkers
and doers in man's history were affected deeply by the
reading they did when young, whether they read words printed
on paper, inscribed on parchment, or heiroglyphics on papyrus
and cuneiforms stabbed into wet clay. One of the first "easy"
books on science, a forerunner of "do-it-yourself knowledge, "
was Jane Marcet's Conversations on Chemistry, published in
England in 1820. This book sold over half a million copies in
America alone, and was responsible for many young men turning
to chemistry as a career; one famous example was Josiah
Cooke, the great nineteenth century Harvard professor of chemistry.
|Publisher:||Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
|Citation Info:||In F.B.Jenkins (ed). 1960. Collecting science literature for general reading; papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, November 6-9, 1960. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 44-51.
|Series/Report:||Allerton Park Institute (7th : 1960)
|Genre:||Conference Paper / Presentation
|Publication Status:||published or submitted for publication
|Rights Information:||Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1959.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2007-07-16