DOYEN OF LIBRARIANS is the life story of William Warner Bishop, focusing mainly on his activities from 1902 to 1941 as leader in professional movements and organizations in the United States and abroad, adviser to philanthropic foundations in their library-related activities, scholar, administrator, library educator, and author. Since he participated in many of the significant professional events of his day, it is secondarily a partial record, from his viewpoint, of these events and the people involved in them. The account of his career at Princeton, the Library of Congress, and the University of Michigan, where he built one of the nation's most important research collections and founded a graduate school for librarians, provides the backdrop for his accomplishments at the national and international levels.
Included in the story of Bishop's rise to the professional eminence he enjoyed when he retired in 1941 (the Librarian of Congress and other peers characterized him as the dean of American librarians as early as 1926) are the accounts of his part in helping the American Library Association formulate and discharge its role in the library movements in the United States and abroad, his chairmanship of the advisory committees that dispensed over 2,000,000 of Carnegie monies to college libraries in the 1930's, his unique role as chief American advisor in the completion and modernization of the bibliographical records of the Vatican Library, and his part in the founding of the International Federation of Library Associations and his service as its second president.
Glenn Sparks (BA, MA, MLS, PhD) is a professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, The University of Texas at Austin. His other publications are related to the history of the American library profession, biography of librarians, library and information science education, and management.