> > > LIBREAS. Library Ideas # 7

Short Cuts: Myoung Wilson (Social Sciences Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries)

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LIBREAS: You may have heard about the discussion within our institute about the state of Library Science and the question whether there should be a „library” in the department’s name at all. We would like to know your opinion concerning this question: Is there something like a Library Science and if yes – what is it about?

Myoung WILSON: From my experience and that way I look at I think library is more services. If you go into information studies where you’re involved in systems, systems design and information retrieval you have something like scientific studies. But if you are talking about general libraries I look at them as more of a service so if you’re talking of Library Studies and Information Science this is closer to what it is than „ Library Science”. My old school at the University of Michigan was called “School of Library Science” but I think they changed the name to „School of Information”. This is something I can agree.

LIBREAS: This is what we did here in Berlin as well. There was even the idea of changing it into something like “Institute of Knowledge Organization”…

Myoung WILSON: This is even very further advanced. But „Library Studies and Information Science” implies to me knowledge management and knowledge organization – because you can’t just do the knowledge organization without the knowledge managing – so it would be to narrow. You would have to say „ Knowledge Management and Knowledge Organization”.


LIBREAS: Do you remember the first time you’ve been to a library means your first „library experience”?

Myoung WILSON: Well, I grew up and was educated in Korea until college and at that time I never really used reference services at the library. The library was a study hall as most undergraduate students think the library is a study hall. My first realization that the library is more than a study hall is when I came to graduate school at Penn State which is way too late. There I saw all this reference tools and there for the first time I asked a question to a reference librarian: „How do I find out to use newspapers?” and I was told to use the New York Times Index. I still remember that reference room at Penn State University in State College in Pennsylvania and I remember that I just said „ Wow!” And than as I spend so many times in the libraries doing my studies I decided to become a librarian.