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Record identifier : 566048
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : McGrath, Leslie Anne
Title and statement of responsibility : Service to children in the Toronto Public Library: A case study, 1912--1949 [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of Toronto (Canada), 2005
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , University of Toronto (Canada)
Summary or Abstract : There are some fine collections of essays on Canada's early library history, and a number of scholarly articles devoted to biographies of early Canadian librarians, but the story of children's services in the public library in Canada has yet to be written. Through a case study of children's services in the largest public library system in Canada, Toronto Public Library, during the years 1912-1949 when its children's services were first officially inaugurated and grew to international recognition for excellence, the present work offers a more detailed examination of the service than has yet been undertaken. Though many of Toronto Public Library's internal records are no longer extant, a number yet remain, and through an examination of this evidence, together with interviews with retired staff members, a picture emerges of the early years of children's services. The consistency with which the children's services staff followed and upheld their philosophical ideals was both the Boys' and Girls' Division's strength and its weakness: as the Division grew in size and reputation its internal operation became increasingly rigid and separate from the system as a whole. As the study ends an era of change was about to begin, where the Division would be reabsorbed into the larger structure. Yet for many years it served the purposes of both the library system and the Division to foster different approaches to service for the adult and children's services departments, and for a time, the educational role of library service for children was an important argument for library expansion and equalization of service. This study examines the period of establishment and growth of children's services, during years of political turbulence and economic upheaval, when libraries, like so many social and cultural organizations, began to allocate resources specifically for the needs of children. Toronto Public Library had impressive results to show for these early years. Though the structure of the children's services Division may have changed, children's librarians will recognize the values and ideals in place in their work today, as well as challenges that can only make one exclaim, plus غ‍a change.
Topical Name Used as Subject : Library science, Information systems
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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