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Foster Mohrhardt: Connecting the Traditional World of Libraries and the Emerging World of Information Science

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Title: Foster Mohrhardt: Connecting the Traditional World of Libraries and the Emerging World of Information Science
Author(s): Cragin, Melissa H.
Subject(s): Library science --History Information science --History
Abstract: Foster Edward Mohrhardt was a librarian in federal libraries for much of his career and served as the director of the National Agricultural Library from 1954 to 1968. Throughout his long library career, he used the freedom of his directorship to participate in a variety of high-level projects across organizations. This role served both to advance the prestige of the National Agricultural Library and to promote his personal goal to develop national and international library networks to support scientifi c communication. He worked actively throughout his career to bring librarians and documentalists together to address information problems outlined by practicing scientists and policymakers at a time when there was contention and competition between librarianship and documentation, which was then emerging as a new discipline. Mohrhardt considered librarianship an international endeavor, requiring cooperation and creativity to increase access to information produced in other countries. He saw libraries as essential to the growth of science and successful service necessarily tied to the development of national and international information systems. He mobilized people and resources to develop agricultural and research libraries and expand librarianship throughout the world. In light of current trends in scientifi c communication, and reemerging tensions concerning the role of libraries in information systems development, Mohrhardt’s work is a signifi cant model for increasing the prevalence of library expertise in current scientifi c data management activities. As a diplomat who bridged librarianship and documentation, his career as a librarian and an organizational leader deserves renewed attention.
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: 823-852.
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1696
ISSN: 0024-2594
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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