A Short History of the School of Library and Information Studies

Miles M. Jackson and Robert D. Stevens

When the founder of the Graduate School of Library Studies (now called the School of Library and Information Studies) came to Hawaii in 1964 to lay the groundwork for opening the school in June 1965, it was the best of times for establishing a graduate library program and Dr. Ralph R. Shaw the ideal person to carry out the task. Hawaii was prospering economically, statehood had been achieved only five years earlier and there was a general feeling that now that the citizens of the State were masters of their own destiny, and emphasis should be placed on the development of an expanded and greatly improved system of higher education. The University of Hawaii began a building boom in the late 50s that accelerated in the 1960s and 70s. Student enrollment passed the 10,000 mark for the first time in 1962, there was an expansion in numbers of faculty and in new programs including new professional programs. It was only natural that a professional school of librarianship be an integral part of this growth for the growth of elementary and secondary education with increased need for school librarians, the growth of higher education, and the establishment of the East-West Center, which had as one of its major objectives the training of professional personnel to work in Asia or in the U.S. to bridge the gap between East and West, all suggested a need for training in librarianship. In a report prepared for the East-West Center in 1961 Robert L. Gitler indicated that there would be a need for increasing numbers of professional librarians in Hawaii in the years ahead and suggested also that because of its location and the presence on campus of the East-West Center the University would be the ideal place to undertake the training of Asian librarians who were then coming to the U.S. in increasing numbers for their professional education. In that same year the House of Representatives of the First Legislature of the State of Hawaii passed a resolution instructing the University to examine the possibility of offering a degree in library science and to report its findings at the next session of the legislature.

Dr. Ralph R. Shaw, an innovator and gadfly, who was among the earliest to examine and comprehend the problems of adapting computers to library operations came to Hawaii at the height of a varied and distinguished career. After completing his undergraduate work at Western Reserve University, he earned a BS and MS in librarianship at Columbia University and the Ph.D. in librarianship at Chicago. He had been a bibliographer at the Engineering Societies Library, the Director of the Gary Indiana Public Library System, Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Library, and a Professor at the Rutgers University Library School. He had invented and patented a photographic method of book charging and a coding system for the rapid retrieval of data on microfilm. He founded and operated Scarecrow Press which published a substantial number of works in the field of librarianship. He had been active in professional organizations and had served as President of the American Library Association. He wrote on a wide range of professional topics and planned and directed a project to bring under bibliographical control the early record of American publishing. He was eminently suited for the dual task of revamping the University library system in such a way as to provide for its future growth and establishing the program of graduate library education. He changed the classification scheme used from Dewey to LC, divided the library into a graduate and undergraduate library, and planned the Hamilton Library building, a structure that was once described by the Dean of Architecture as the only example of superior architectural design on campus. These activities constitute a fitting capstone to what had been one of the most outstanding professional careers of his generation.

The School's first full-time faculty member was Margaret Taylor who was assigned in 1964 the task of expanding the existing collection of reference and professional materials to bring resources up to the standard required for graduate library education. In designing the curriculum-setting admission requirements and establishing such administrative routines as scheduling classes to meet once a week rather than in three fifty-minute sessions, Dr. Shaw was influenced by the practices of Rutgers and other graduate library schools as well as by the American Library Association's requirements for accreditation. The School's first classes met in the summer of 1965 and were taught by George Bonn, Roger Greer, Ralph Simon, and Helen Stevens. In Fall 1965 Margaret Ayrault, Edward Schofield and Mary Andrews Shaw joined the faculty and Rachel DeAngelo in 1966. In a brief period Ralph Shaw had put the School on a firm footing and had established strong programs in school librarianship, reference, administration and management, and technical processes. In building the faculty he emphasized a combination of practical library experience and academic accomplishment. The School was accredited by the American Library Association in June 1967, the shortest period between start of a graduate school and approval by ALA, a record not matched since.

In October 1966, Dr. Robert Stevens, then Director of Research Collections at East-West Center, joined Shaw as Associate Dean of Library Activities. A graduate of Columbia's School of Library Service with a Ph.D. in Public Administration from American University, Stevens had held a variety of positions in technical services and reference at the Library of Congress from 1947 to 1964. In his last five years at LC he served as Assistant Director with primary responsibility for coordination and development of the Library's collections, and during 1962-64 planned and established the Library's overseas acquisitions and cataloging offices in Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. He had enrolled in courses in Chinese history at the University of Hawaii while on duty with the U.S. Navy in 1944 and had made a number of visits to the East -West Center in conjunction with his duties at the Library of Congress. In addition to teaching courses in government documents and library administration, Stevens had primary responsibility for public services, and assisted Dean Shaw in drawing up the plans for Hamilton Library with special responsibility for designing the quarters to be occupied by the Library School. When Shaw retired in 1968 to an active life as director of Scarecrow Press and translator and publisher of a classic German history of early book illustration the duties of Dean of Library Activities were divided and Stevens became Dean of the Graduate Library School while Dr. Stanley West who had been a member of the faculty became University Librarian.

A series of grants from the East-West Center and the U.S. Department of Education made it possible to educate Asian librarians and to hold institutes and workshops in the problems of Asian librarianship and to train Americans as well in the difficult problems of building, bringing under control, and providing reference services on specialized collections of Asian materials. The School developed a special relationship with Indonesia. In Spring 1970 Stevens served as consultant on library education to the Government of Indonesia for a period of several weeks. He returned to Djakarta in the following year to teach during the spring semester and Dr. Sarah Vann spent a sabbatical year teaching at the University of Indonesia during 1972. During this period the Dean of the Department of Library Studies of the University of Indonesia spent a semester in residence at Hawaii and a group of three students completed a semester of course work and on-the job training for which they received credit towards their Indonesian degrees. Mastini Hardjoprakoso who graduated from GSLS in 1972 now serves as National Librarian of Indonesia. Dr. Karmidi Martoetmojo, one of the students who studied and worked at SLIS for a semester later went on to complete his doctorate in librarianship at the University of Florida and now serves as Dean of the University of Indonesian school.

As faculty positions became available through retirements or new funding Stevens attempted to build to the School's strength in technical services and school librarianship and to add competence in Asian librarianship. Dr. Yukihisa Suzuki who came to Hawaii from a position as Head of the Asian Collection at the University of Michigan had established strong ties with Japanese librarians at all levels and during his tenure the School became the focal point for U.S.-Japan library relationships. Dr. Sarah Vann, the preeminent expert on the Dewey classification, had worked extensively in Asia as an advisor and consultant on classification and brought to the School a first hand knowledge of the status of Asian librarianship.

During this period the School was generously supported by scholarship grants from the U.S. Department of Education which provided tuition and stipend plus an allowance for the School's administrative expenses for as many as 24 students in some years. These funds made it possible for the School to pay for faculty travel to professional meetings, to hire additional staff, to purchase media equipment, and to fund programs of continuing education. By 1971-72 enrollment had reached 200 students and 100 students were granted degrees in one year. Shortly thereafter it became obvious that the national estimates of need for librarians were exaggeratedly high and more professional librarians were being produced than there were jobs available with the result that enrollments dropped off and the halcyon days of generous Federal support gradually drew to a close.

In 1975 Stevens left Hawaii to rejoin the staff of the Library of Congress as Chief of the Copyright Cataloging Division. During the years 1976-l980 he returned to Hawaii to teach Government Documents during the Summer Session. Following his return to Hawaii in 1980 he taught Government Documents and offered continuing education courses until 1989.

Following Stevens' retirement Ira W. Harris was named Interim Dean in Fall 1975, becoming Dean in Fall 1976 after a national search. Harris had come to Hawaii in 1965 to assist Ralph Shaw in establishing the University's undergraduate library and to teach. He earned his masters and doctorate in librarianship at Rutgers and before that had studied at Pratt Institute. His library experience was gained at the Newark Public Library and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

By 1976 the School was awarding an average of 70-75 masters degrees, annually. The employment conditions for librarians in Hawaii paralleled those in the rest of the nation. The School was established at a time when there was a national shortage of librarians. However an economic recession and completion of the anticipated growth cycle for librarians caused a decline in the early 1970s. By 1978 the State freeze on state funded positions was removed when national and local economic conditions improved. Daniel Bell's comments on the post-industrial society served noticed that the U.S. was no longer a smoke stack economy. The "information age" was evident when it was announced that at least one half of the gross national product of the United States was concentrated on the production, processing and distribution of information. The School under Harris' direction recognized the impact of information technology and the need for a strong continuing education program for librarians in Hawaii. There were growing opportunities for MLS graduates for careers in information storage and retrieval outside traditional library settings.

The School revised its statement of goals and objectives in 1980. The new goals and objectives sought to relate to the realities of a rapidly changing world of libraries and information technology. This new statement recognized the importance of MLS graduates being prepared as planner, organizer, manager, communicator and decision maker.

The curriculum saw changes that brought added strength to the program. A thesis option was added in 1978/79 and two new courses were approved: LS 695 - Research in Librarianship for Plan A and LS 700 Thesis Research. To strengthen the information science component computer programming was added and LS 670 was revised to become Introduction to Information Storage and Retrieval.

The Academic Development Plan III in 1977-78 identified the need for a multidisciplinary doctoral program. An informal committee of representatives from various academic disciplines i.e., library and information studies, computer science, communication, psychology, decisions sciences met on a regular basis to discuss mutual interest in a doctoral program. Official permission from Graduate Division to plan for the doctoral program was approved in 1982.

During 1977-78 the State of Hawaii Department of Education revised its certification requirements. The School's curriculum for school librarianship was evaluated and approved as the official agency responsible for recommending individuals for certification for school library specialization. Dr. Harry Uyehara and Therese Bard, played key roles in providing the leadership in preparing school librarians and public librarians specializing in youth services. Ira W. Harris resigned from the deanship in 1982 after seven years of leadership.

Miles M. Jackson's appointment as Dean became effective on January 1, 1983. Jackson received his Ph.D. degree in Communication from Syracuse University and had experience in administration of academic, public and government libraries. Jackson immediately began directing his energies towards strengthening the information science component and developing a computer laboratory to support the new course on personal computers in libraries and information centers. The faculty was strengthened by adding Carol Tenopir, a specialist in online and full text retrieval and Larry Osborne, automation specialist. New courses included: Expert Systems for Library and Information Environments, Database Design and Creation and Information and Records Management. The name of the School was changed to School of Library and Information Studies in 1986 to reflect the strong information science component in the curriculum. The Certificate in Advanced Library/Information Studies (CALIS) was approved in 1983 and the first certificate was awarded in December 1984 to Twila Herr of Australia. An additional certificate program in archives and records management (CARM) was approved a few years later with the addition of additional courses in archives management. Following a survey of continuing education needs additional short courses were offered on a more frequent basis. The overwhelming response of the professional community to continuing education indicated that the School was in tune with their educational needs.

In 1985 the School began offering the Annual Automation Institute and the Annual Institute in School Librarianship. These institutes are held during the Summer Session and attract students from the mainland and the Pacific region. Institute themes have been on such topics as "Planning for Library Automation," "Automating the School Library," "Managing Library Automation," and "Compact Disc Storage." Because of the increasing recognition of the importance of library support staff, especially in the area of automation, an Annual Institute for Library Support Staff was inaugurated in 1986. The Institute is held in the Spring for one week and offers an intensive program for 20-25 support staff. Participants are selected by their employers, who pay all expenses for the course.

Scholarships are provided by a number of organizations that are committed to the education of librarians. Support comes from Friends of the Library in Hawaii, which has provided scholarships since the beginning of the school. In 1979 Mrs. Rita Blair established the R. M. Blair scholarship as a memorial to her late husband, Robert. Colonel Robert M. Blair graduated with the MLS in 1974. The award is given annually to the most outstanding student specializing in children's services. Since 1986 Alu Like's Native Hawaiian Library Program has provided fellowships to Hawaiian students for MLIS study. The Alu Like fellowhips are provided through a federal grant to support library services among Hawaiians. Graduates who received awards through this program are employed in various state agencies such as: the Department of Land and Natural Resources, State Archives, Public Library System, and Department of Education. Others are employed by the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library and the Alu Like Library Project. Through the years H.W. Wilson Company, a major library publishing house, has regularly provided scholarship funds. Wilson funds are being used for two scholarships in 1991-92.

The increasing need for subject specialization in information services prompted the faculty to include adding dual degree opportunities as stated in the SLIS strategic plan. In addition to the MLIS degree students may pursue a second graduate degree concurrently in the following fields: M.A. in Pacific Islands Studies, M.A. in American Studies, M.A. in History, M.S. in Information and Computer science and the Juris Doctor(Law).

The danger of programs in library and information studies moving heavily into information science to neglect of the humanistic aspects of librarianship is foremost in curriculum planning. The Dean and faculty continuously review the curriculum to see that a balance is maintained between technology and human concerns. As an example, two courses in Hawaiian and Pacific Islands resources have been added to the curriculum. The University of Hawaii is the only university in the United states offering separate courses dealing with the bibliography of the Pacific.

After almost ten years the Board of Regents approved an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in communication and information sciences. The program is supported by four academic units: Communication, Decision Sciences, Library and Information Studies and Information and Computer Sciences. The curriculum is drawn from courses offered in the four academic units with SLIS offering the information storage and retrieval specialization. Miles M. Jackson was appointed in December 1985 as the inaugural chairman of the program by Graduate Division while holding the deanship of SLIS. His appointment carried the charge to organize the program, faculty and admit the first group of doctoral students. Jackson served as Chairman until August 1989. In 1990-91 there were 24 students enrolled in the doctoral program and six of those have masters degree in library and information studies. The School's current research interests are in the areas of library automation, information systems and full -text retrieval and information seeking behavior. Dr. Carol Tenopir leads a research team doing research in graduate and undergraduate use of full-text databases. The group consists of doctoral students in the communication and information science program. The School was reaccredited in 1986 by the American Library Association and in 1991 by the State Department of Education for school librarianship in Hawaii. School librarianship in Hawaii is the fastest growing field in the profession. SLIS has revised its curriculum in this area in light of the revised standards implemented by the D.O.E. to strengthen school libraries throughout Hawaii.

Future plans include increased enrollment, a certificate in preservation administration, additional full time faculty, moving to new facilities in Phase III, of Hamilton Library, inauguration of an annual alumni dinner and a visiting scholar program.

Miles M. Jackson is Dean, and Robert D. Stevens is Dean Emeritus, School of Library and Information Studies University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2550 The Mall, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822.