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ERIC Number: ED256355
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Jun-26
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Shera as a Bridge over Troubled Waters.
Wright, H. Curtis
The establishment of the first documentation center in a library school early in 1955 by Jesse Shera, Dean of the Library School at Western Reserve University, has been widely interpreted as his greatest contribution to librarianship. It may have been his greatest folly, however, because information science has subsequently flooded the library profession with tensions and confusion by (1) emphasizing the technical aspect of communication systems and (2) ignoring the human aspects of communication per se. Shera criticizes information science for its take-over mentality (it must not be allowed to rule the library roost) and for its failure to distinguish data systems (for the transmission and reception of signals) from idea systems (for the intersubjective communication of thought). He also bids librarianship to investigate Symbolic Interactionism as an alternative to Systems Theory, because the former attempts to explain how a mind is put in touch with other minds through the communication of ideas, whereas the latter concentrates on the controlled manipulation of physical data, e.g., electrical impulses, alphabetic characters, and speech sounds. (An extensive list of notes is provided.) (Author/THC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A