- Formal Education for Documentation in the United States of America
- No.2, p.65-76
Varied definitions and interpretations of the terms, “documentatio” and “documentalist” are given in the introduction.
Formal education for documentation in the United States is not very old. The first course entitled “Documentatio” was given by Helen M. Focke at the Western Reserve University School of Library Science in the academic year, 1950--51. It was followed by Mortimer Taube's course, “Theory and Practice of Documentation” given at the University of Chicago Graduate Library School in 1952. In 1958, it was reported by George S. Bonn that courses in documentation or science documentation were given at six library schools. An analysis of announcement bulletins of library schools for 1962--63 and other reports revealed that sixteen library schools and two other departments in universities were providing at least one course each in documentation at that time. Prior to this academic year, some suggestions and proposals on new programs for training documentalists had been made by some individuals and institutions, among which the most remarkable were the interdisciplinary programs for the training of information scientists made by technological institutions.
Existing and proposed programs are categorized as follows: Category I: This program provides a few courses in documentation. In most cases, it is observed at library schools (15 library schools and two other institutions). These courses in documentation are isolated from or not necessarily integrated with the core curriculum of the school. Category II: This is an expansion of regular library science curricula and consists of basic courses in library science and advanced courses in documentation. Examples can be seen in the program of the School of Library Science and Center for Documentation and Communication Research at the Western Reserve University and in the programs proposed at the Georgia Tech Conference on Training Science Information Personnel by faculty members of the University of California School of Librarianship at Berkeley. These are considerably similar to the program of graduate school of science information previously suggested by Cohan and Craven. Category III: This can be called interdisciplinary and is divided into four types. Type A: A combination of courses in a science department and basic courses in a library school for the training of science librarians or science literature analysts. Curricula of this type were once suggested by the University of Illinois. Type B: In this type of program, basic library education is expanded to include some portions of documentation technique and also is combined with courses provided by the departments of business administration, literature, and engineering. The courses given include industrial management and systems and procedures, editing and publishing, research methods in engineering management, etc. It was proposed by the Drexel Institute of Technology at the Georgia Tech Conference. Type C: This program consists of courses in science, language and information science and was proposed and is being carried out at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Type D: This consists of mathematics, linguistics, logic, psychology, electrical engineering, etc. and forms information science. This interdisciplinary type of curriculum has been considered or experimented with by Lehigh University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan.
Although in recent years there has been a remarkable increase of library schools with a few separate documentation courses in their curricula, this obviously has not been sufficient to solve the current problems of education for documentation. Formal education for documentation in the United States is apparently developing in two ways: 1) a separation between traditional library education and new education for information science, and 2) the development of new educational programs which include information science as well as traditional librarianship.
A careful study is needed to determine whether training for documentalists should be divided into separate educational programs for subject librarians, subject literature specialists and information specialists. A study of the possibility of establishing a comprehensive education program combining library science and information science should be made. A general and thorough basic exploration should also be made of how documentalists are to be trained.(Japan Library School)