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Title:When and Why Is a Pioneer: History and Heritage in Library and Information Science
Author(s):Rayward, W. Boyd
Subject(s):Library science --History
Information science --History
Abstract: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.
Issue Date:2004
Publisher:Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 52(4) Spring 2004: 671-682.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 2004.
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-07-23

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