Maurice B. Line
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Maurice B. Line’s interview begins with a discussion of his education and early career. After high school, Line received a scholarship to attend Oxford University and major in Classics. He began his long career in library institutions at the Bodleian Library as a library trainee. He then moved on to the University of Glasgow as an assistant librarian. While there, he was one of the first to conduct library system studies regarding student’s attitudes towards the library. Line brought his interest in library systems to Southampton University where Beres Bland, the head librarian at Southampton, gave Line the freedom to develop his abilities and focus his ideas about information science. As deputy librarian at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Line helped create the first automated acquisition system in Britain. When he became a librarian at Bath University, he directed the study of social scientists’ information requirements, named INFROSS, and a further study on the designs of information systems, named DISISS. In 1985, Line became the director general of Science Technology and Industry at the British Library. Line discusses the constraints of working in the public sector, and his desire to create easy access to library collections internationally. In conclusion, he describes the potential obstacles to the international library system in the future, and the importance of technology in making libraries more accessible to users.
|1950||University of Oxford||BA|
|1954||University of Oxford||MA|
University of Oxford
University of Glasgow
University of Southampton
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
University of Bath
National Central Library
University of Sheffield
DLitt., Heriot-Watt University
Honorary Fellow, Library Association
DSc, Southampton University
Fellow of Birmingham Polytechnic
Companion, Chartered Management Institute
President, Library Association
Table of Contents
Winning a scholarship in Classics to Oxford University. Dealing with a speech impediment. As sub-librarian at Southampton University. Conducting library system studies. As librarian at Bath University. Establishing UKLON. Conducting the INFROSS studies. The DISISS studies. Discussion of gaps in journal coverage.
Working at the Boston Spa while at Bath University. Watching people's careers develop. Donald J. Urquhart's personality. Urquhart's influence on the Boston Spa. The "online revolution. " UK MEDLARS. Establishing the NLST. Competition between libraries. The value of online systems.
Influential coworkers. Harry Hookway. Lord David Eccles. Frederick Dainton. Opinion of Margaret Thatcher. The creation of the British Library. International relationships between libraries. Successes of the UAP. Connections with the IFLA. The merger of LA and IIS.
Access versus holdings. The future of libraries in higher education. The effect of immigration, global warming, and the world water shortage on libraries. The constraints of the public sector. Information for profit. Public libraries versus academic libraries.
The effect of new technology on libraries. Seeing students as customers. Views on religion. User-oriented information services.
About the Interviewer
W. Boyd Rayward is a research professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Chamapaign. He turned to librarianship after graduating in English literature from the University of Sydney. He received his PhD from the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago in 1973. He has held positions in the University of Chicago (where he became Dean of the Graduate Library School). He served as professor and head of the School of Information Library and Archive Studies and Dean of the University's Faculty of Professional Studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney where he is now professor emeritus. He has published two books related to Paul Otlet, Belgian documentalist and internationalist, and a great many articles on history of national and international schemes for the organization and dissemination of information.