Librarian's Lobby
by Daniel D. Stuhlman
June 2003

Book Prefaces

Librarians see a lot of books and never have time to read all that they want. This month's column is a series of prefaces written by an imaginary scholar, Philip Aaron Myber. This is is a product of my imagination. All the names of people and universities are imaginary. Any relationship to real or historical people is purely coincidental.

Preface to the first edition of American Libraries

When I began research on this book three years ago, I imagined a work that would comprehensively cover the history and use of libraries in the United States. The task to fit this into a book of 300 pages was a difficult task. Much was left out. The title, American Libraries, is meant to speak for itself. It is hoped that the ideas, thoughts, and my philosophy of library usage will encourage others to study libraries or to use library with increased enthusiasm and competence.

I must extend my deepest gratitude to my teachers from my high school years, Mrs. Bella Walker, Mr. Walter Little, Rabbi Avraham Magnatimus, and Rabbi Eliezer Reshon who began the process of helping me learn to think critically. With their help I learned to appreciate the written work, love libraries, and love talking about the ideas that have shaped our civilization. My utmost thanks to the professors who expanded my mind, Janis Tompsen, Susan Enigan, Moishe Siegel, the late Waddell Neal Caryle and my thesis advisor, Professor Manfred Lesley, I thank my friends who read the manuscript, guided my thoughts and gave me words of encouragement when my energy needed recharging. Their suggestions saved me time and insured the words I wrote are those I meant. My friend and colleague Professor Mordecai Shlomo Katan deserves special mention because this book was born at a dinner in his home. Despite all their advice I can still blame no one for lapses in memory, reason, or judgment. It is my hope that the readers will be the final advisors for future editions.

My loyal and hard working secretary and special assistant, Ms. Barbara B. Padsky, who shared many long and frustrating hours preparing this manuscript for publication, Ms. Padsky gives thanks to her typewriter, which had to suffer countless hours of pounding. Both author and reader appreciate her careful preparation of my notes.

This book is dedicated to my students and research assistants, David Shimansky, Mike Faber, Ed West, and Debra W. Zehavi, who devoted many hours interviewing librarians and checking facts. To all my teachers, students and readers you will always be with me.

Philip Aaron Myber     BA, MLS, DLS, Ll. B. (honorary)
Lynn University          January 5, 1977

Preface to the Second Printing of the first edition

Since the first publishing of this book over six months ago, I have heard from many readers. They ask me,"Why can't all history be a lucid and beautifully written as your book? When are you writing a sequel?" The warm reception to the first printing necessitated this new and larger printing. The text has not changed except to correct minor printing errors. Based on the positive reader response we are preparing a second edition that will be bigger and more comprehensive.

Again thanks to all those who helped with this first edition. I want to thank my editor, Gordon Salerio from Clarmont Press who made sure this book went from my desk to yours. This edition, as the first, owes a great deal to my conversations and mail from Dr. Mordecai Katan. This edition is dedicated to my very special assistant, who worked long hours on this project, Ms. Barbara B. Padsky.

Philip Aaron Myber BA, MLS, DLS, Ll. B. (honorary)
Lynn University   August 15, 1977

Preface to the second edition of American Libraries

The widespread use of this book by library school students, history students, librarians, and the general public has encouraged me to prepare this second edition. Much thought was invested in revising sections to address the needs of a non-librarian audience. Thanks to Edith Sifriah who prepared a glossary to aid the non-professional in the understanding of technical terms. The bibliography was updated to reflect the broader coverage and newer books.

Again my deepest gratitude to Barbara. B. Padsky, my devoted special assistant, who typed all the changes.

I wish to share with the reader a letter received from my colleague and mentor for this project, Dr. Mordecai Katan.

Dear Philip,

Five years have passed since that evening that led to the birth of the project that led to the publication of American Libraries. It is hard to believe that a conversation at a Shabbat meal would lead to a book that has received a very wide audience for a scholarly book. I just want to point out a few areas that could use improving in the second edition.

The areas dealing with library architecture are skimpy. The size, shape, and floor plans affect how the library is used. While you have good sections on the history of the public library and the university library, I felt you did not cover school libraries and special libraries adequately. [Note: Dr. David Shimansky is preparing a book on school libraries and the history of children's collections.]

The complexity of a creating a history for libraries defies all efforts to achieve uniformity and breath of coverage. It is hard to cover the first subscription and university libraries. These early libraries served the elite subscriber or the elite student. Most of the general public was barely literate. Now we are looking toward a day when computers will take away the tedium and routine of circulation and bibliographic control. Librarians will soon have powerful electronic tools to help them serve the readers. Some day soon we will punch the proper codes into a computer keyboard and a record of books and their location will be flashed on the screen.

Historians are already indebted to you for your ideas and analysis.
Sincerely yours,

Morty [Dr. Mordecai Katan, Morningside University]

Second printing of the second edition

The continued success of American Libraries is indeed a delight.  This second printing has some corrections for minor typographic errors. Barbara Padsky is now Barbara Myber, and as always my partner, cheerleader and chief critic.

Philip Aaron Myber   Hawthorn University June  1, 1982.

Preface to the paperback editionAmerican Libraries

It is a rare honor that a scholarly book will be published by a major paperback publisher such as Samaco Publications.  This book is being printed on heavy non-acid paper so that it will be as durable as the original hardcover editions.  Samaco promises a wider readership than the hardcover editions.  For that reason this is a new edition.  I abridged or eliminated many sections to give the book greater appeal to a mass audience.  The sections on public libraries now reflect a greater awareness of urban problems and challenges. I added a sections containing ideas and trends to make better libraries. The sections on university libraries reflect the need for library collections that reflect relevance in education.

Religious and ecclesiastical are not covered in this volume since recently my published The Great American Religious Libraries deals with the important public and private collections of Bibles, Christianity and Judaism in the United States and Canada.

Again thanks to the students who make this a labor of love and to my wife who makes the impossible, possible.

Philip Aaron Myber  Hawthorn University September 4, 1982.

Preface to The Great American Religious Libraries

This book is an expansion of the chapters in the first edition of American Libraries dealing with the religion based collections.  The great religious collections in New York City were at my finger tips when I attended Morningside University.  Morningside has one of the largest comprehensive collections in the world.  Its collection of Judaica, Christianity and eastern religions make it one of the treasures of the world.  Within walking distance of Morningside are Union Theological University and Jewish University of New York, each with collections more than 200,000 volumes of religious works.

Great books are the result of a confluence of ideas.  New York City has some of the biggest and most comprehensive library collections, however, universities in other cities are important, too.  Chicago and Los Angeles have great universities and libraries, but they are not within walking distance of each other.  Many of the great universities started as divinity schools.  These schools became comprehensive universities.  The influence can be felt every time the Hebrew words or letters are seen in their official university seals.

I thank God for giving me the strength to finish this project especially since the birth of our son has limited our hours of work and presented new challenges.  This is also my last semester at Hawthorn University.  In the Fall we will be moving to Chicago where I will join the faculty of Hyde Park University's School of Information Studies.

Philip Aaron Myber  Hawthorn University May 4, 1983

Preface to the American Libraries Series

Readers have sent me many ideas that were not covered in the original edition of American Libraries. The paperback editions brought the ideas to a wide audience.  All the editions combined have sold over 150,000 copies. The success of The Great American Religious Libraries has encouraged me to continue my study of American libraries by expanding the scope.  Valuable suggestions from readers changed our conception of bibliographic history, book publishing, non-book publishing, electronic media, library automation, and visiting libraries.  Television, radio, and movies have made a greater impact on American life than I imagined back in 1974 when I started this journey.

This monograph series now has five volumes. The three written by me are: The Development of the American Public Library, The Development of the the University and College Library, and The Great American Religious Libraries.  The History of Library Collections for Children and Teens was written by my colleague and friend, David Shimansky and The Business and Special Library was written by my wife, Barbara.  Another volume on the use of computers in libraries is being written by Avi Faber and will be published in about two years. The series is aimed at today's developing students who will be tomorrow's scholars.

This book is dedicated to our son, a future scholar, who held his first book at four weeks and taught himself to read before he was 25 months old and to our 1 month old daughter.

Philip and Barbara Myber
September 5, 1985  Hyde Park University

Preface to the Encyclopedia of Library Service, Bibliography, and Libraries

What began at a dinner with a friend in 1974 has developed into this encyclopedia.  American Libraries was first published in 1977 intended as a comprehensive history of the American library. The book was more popular than the publisher first predicted.  Samaco Publications published the paperback edition which brought the books and its ideas to 100's of thousands of readers.  The monograph series soon proved inadequate to cover the entire field of library service.    MRS Films produced a series of documentary and instructional videos based on my books.  Many of my former students worked on those film projects.

This encyclopedia has been internationalized.  It covers the history and current practice of libraries, books, media, publishing, printing and bibliography all over the world. Since the task of recording and reporting knowledge is never ending, we had to make deadlines and cutoff dates to insure that this work got finished. The next edition will continue where this one left off.

This encyclopedia is dedicated to our families.  They had to compete with a labor of love and a consuming monster.

Philip Aaron Myber, editor-in-chief
BA, MLS, DLS, Ll.B. (hon), DHL(hon)
Barbara D. Myber, associate editor
BA, MLS, Ph.D.
David Shimansky, editor, children's and school libraries
Ira Westman, editor, history of libraries
BA, MS, Ph.D
Debra W. Zehavi, editor, library automation
BA, MLS, Ph.D.
Sharel Feinshtein, editor, European libraries
BS, MS LS, Ph. D.

Chicago, IL   September 4, 1988

Daniel D. Stuhlman is president of Stuhlman Management Consultants, Chicago, IL, a firm helping organizations turn data and information into knowledge. We are looking for new clients and opportunities. Visit the web site to learn more about knowledge management and what our firm can do for you. Previous issues of Librarian's Lobby can be found at:

Librarian's Lobby Judaica Library Network of Metro Chicago Stuhlman Management Consultants Stories by Stuhlman

 ©2003 by Daniel D. Stuhlman. All rights reserved.
Last revised July 3, 2003