‘It is ridiculous that the Borough Librarian of Croydon should decide the policy of the Scottish Education Department’: the establishment of Scotland’s second library school.
Reid, Peter H.
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In the middle of the 1960s, amid concerns about the direction of professional education in Scotland and problems with the number of places available for those to wishing to study librarianship, there emerged a strongly nationalistic debate surrounding proposals to establish a second school of librarianship in Scotland. The process of establishing that second school at Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology in Aberdeen became protracted and fraught with difficulties. It was characterized by disputes and misunderstandings between the Library Association and the Scottish Library Association. Many of these differences of opinion took on a distinctly nationalistic quality and the debate within the library community at the time can be said to offer wider, allegorical lessons for the changing political landscape between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. This article outlines this debate, principally from the perspective of the members of Scottish librarianship community. It draws extensively on a hitherto private archive of correspondence of those directly involved.