The American Library Journal: an instrument in the hands of 'Dui'
Keywords:American library journal, Melvil Dewey, American Library Association, American Metric Bureau, Spelling Reform Association, Library cooperation, Cooperative cataloguing, creative accounting
The American Library Journal was founded on May 17 1876, when Melvil Dewey met the publisher Frederick Leypoldt in New York; in the same occasion they also organized the first conference of American librarians, during which, at Dewey’s motion, the American Library Association and its Supply department were founded. Moreover, again in 1876, Dewey founded two other Associations, the American Metric Bureau and the Spelling Reform Association, each with its own Bulletin and Supply department. This paper takes into account the nature and evolution of the passions and obsessions that drove the whole life of Melvil Dewey and that led him to undertake a real crusade to reform America, educate the masses in the shortest possible time, optimizing time and costs, as well as to «synchronize» the American libraries by standardizing rules, cards and equipment. In this perspective, The American Library Journal seems to have been the tool chosen by Dewey to spread its reforming ideas of library cooperation among the community of American librarians, but also a showcase to promote resources and materials from the ALA supply department, from those of other Associations and from the companies that Dewey himself will established later.
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