Unresolved boundaries: the definitional history of special libraries

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dc.contributor Yates, Steven D.
dc.contributor Bullock, Sybil H.
dc.contributor Wilson, Emma Annette
dc.contributor.advisor Wallace, Danny P.
dc.contributor.author Matheny, Alissa
dc.date.accessioned 2017-03-01T17:23:09Z
dc.date.available 2017-03-01T17:23:09Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0001893
dc.identifier.other Matheny_alatus_0004M_12310
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/2322
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Discontent with the term "special libraries" has pervaded the library and information field since the formation of the Special Library Association and the term's widely adopted usage in 1909. The literature related to special libraries has reflected this debate over the precise meaning and nature of special libraries for just as many years. This project considers the historical dialog regarding the varied definitions of special libraries that librarians and information professionals have been engaged in for more than a century. Using systematic review, the scholarly and professional literature is examined and analyzed to track definitional and descriptive characteristics of special libraries in the United States to identify how and why changes have occurred over time. Results reveal strong correlations between definition changes and shifting movements in broader library and United States history, especially in relation to the emergence and application of technological advances. Along with encouraging renewed discussion about the boundaries of what we in the field consider special librarianship, this study confirms that rather than permanent and rigid definitions, special libraries have always had dynamic definitions that react to the changing technologies and practices of the profession.
dc.format.extent 107 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Library science
dc.subject.other American history
dc.title Unresolved boundaries: the definitional history of special libraries
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of Library and Information Studies
etdms.degree.discipline Library and Information Studies
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.name M.L.I.S.


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