Search for Academic Excellence

a newspaper picture of Dean Yenawine


The following interview is the third in a series of 10 articles highlighting prominent schools and departments within USC. Dr. Wayne Yenawine, Dean of the College of Librarianship talks about his school and its advancements.

By Bob Baker




Q. Dean Yenawine, the College of Librarianship is a relatively new college at the University. Could you please tell me when it was established and for what purpose?

A. I came to USC in 1970 and was given a year to recruit a faculty for the College. At that time, we in the faculty spent another year developing curricula for the students. In September 1972 we opened to our first students, and in the summer of 1973 graduated our first class. The college itself I guess you could say grew out of the old library curriculum in the education department, which was established in 1956 for the sole purpose of training librarians for the public schools. now we are a graduate school, with the exception of two courses, and we are considered a multi-purpose college. We not only train librarians for the public schools, but for specialized areas as well. Much of the reasoning behind the establishment of this school, was that during Thomas Jones' administration, the University realized that the state had a need for the establishment of centers for specialized training. out of this idea, of course, came this school, those of nursing, social work, public health, and medicine. Before 1972, those seeking to upgrade their basic undergraduate education through the masters degree had to go out of state to get degrees. the present school provides a needed opportunity for in-state people to upgrade their education. And, we have been fully accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) since June 1974.

Q. What is the basic function of the College?

A. We want to provide a graduate library education for those students either entering the profession, or those who are now practicing who want a masters degree to upgrade their status.

Q. Are there any plans for developing an undergraduate curriculum in library science?

A. Right now there are no plans for development o f such a program. The masters program we have now replaces the undergraduate curriculum which was established in 1956. It had been replaced as the University changed its purpose from granting public school library education to preparing librarians for all kinds of professional work.

Q. What kind of direction does the College hope to take in the next five years?

A. Now that our two principal emphases of developing a masters program and granting credit for only summer work have been accomplished, we are making an effort to head in two more areas. We are interested in establishing a program of continuing education in library education, and we are also interested in developing a sixth year program to those who have already earned their masters but who are looking for specialization.

Q. The College is housed in the old Davis College. Do you ever see a time when you might need a building of your own?

A. There will be no such moves until we exhaust the available space in the existing building. Of course, as soon as the social sciences building is completed, the history faculty who are on the second floor will be moving and we will be taking over those offices. Once we get that area now occupied by the history department, our special seminars in the core courses will be able to house 80 students as compared to the present 50.

With that additional space, we will also need to expand our materials lab such that we will be able to more adequately work with children and young adults.

Q. Just where do you think USC's library school is in reference to other library schools in the nation?

A. Today there are some 60 odd schools accredited by the ALA, and we are of them after only a couple of years of existence.There are 12 graduate library schools which offer the doctorate, but the are in a class by themselves with the additional faculty and funds available for doctoral programs. With those other 40 plus schools which offer masters degree and or 6-year programs, we compare very favorably. In fact, the ALA was so impressed with our program when their accrediting team visited the University last summer that they have recommended that other schools follow and study our development. We will not be offering any doctoral programs in the foreseeable future because of the expense factor. Doctoral programs are a very expensive means to education. Besides, both UNC at Chapel Hill and Florida State already have programs so it would be kind of foolish for us to design our own. I think that the question of developing another doctoral program in this region is a rather moot one.

Q. Do you have any personal dreams for the USC College of Librarianship?

A. My dream was to get the school started. I was here for a year trying to get it off the ground by myself, and I think it has come along amazingly well.

The Gamecock, 19 June, 1975