Linda Dobb and Library Studies

by

Jeffrey Harris

Another interesting job that one could look into would be the world of Library Studies. Bowling Green’s current Vice-President, Linda Dobb, is a librarian by trade. And she used her skills to propel herself into a law degree and then her Vice-Presidency. After a short stint as a professional actor, and working at the Library of Congress and San Francisco State, Linda Dobb chose Bowling Green State University for her professional home for two reasons: “1) it was known throughout the country for its emphasis on popular culture; 2) it had a Gish movie theatre! And so I found a perfect place to combine two of my three real passions -- libraries and popular culture and even to indulge in my third passion -- acting.” It should be noted that Linda Dobb worked in the BGSU library system for four years before becoming a Vice-President.

Still, the relationship between Library Sciences and Film Studies are not that far apart. “There are several aspects to film preservation in IMDB; they could work for a photographic archive; they could work in a special collection (like our own Pop Culture Library or the Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences); they could write bibliographies on films, even while working in a conventional library; or they could help host film festivals for a public library.”Like libraries: actually physically keeping the items at the appropriate temperature and in the right environment for use; having someone on staff who knows about film so that the items can be cataloged and found online if someone is looking for them; keeping equipment that can display the materials available so that a person can use the films on-site; training an individual in repair or reconstruction, so that the items are always in useable conditions,” Ms. Dobb explains. She later goes on to warn people that a facility must have the proper equipment and time management to devote to a film collection. These are the reasons why many film libraries do not exist in the United States.

Yet, landing a job in a library is not the only aspect that a person can look forward to if contemplating about Library Science. Ms. Dobb explains, “they could work in a print collection that has a good fine arts sub collection, they could work for a film company; they could work for an internet indexing company.

One thing that worries many students who contemplate Library Sciences is the actual usefulness of the library system now that the world is overrun by the Internet and other technologies. Linda Dobb reassures that “academic libraries are filling the needs of niche audiences (researchers in certain areas), or trying to redefine themselves as student gathering places (with group study rooms and coffee shops and computer labs), many special libraries -- in corporations or hospitals -- have simply gone out of existence.” She insists that libraries everywhere should be used to their full capacities, since there are volumes of books are not being used anymore and are just sitting on shelves.

If one is interested in looking into a career path involving Library Sciences, one of the best schools in the country is located in Ohio. Kent State runs its program not only on its own campus, but also offers it on numerous other campuses through out Ohio, including Bowling Green. Linda Dobb praises the work of the Kent State program by saying, “In the coming year, the Kent State library program will be available in Lorain, Mansfield, and Columbus. It has been available through two-way interactive video in Bowling Green, Toledo, Cincinnati and other venues. Kent does a good job of training practical librarians who can get into a library setting knowing how to answer reference inquires, catalog, and buy materials.”

For more information about the Bowling Green library you can visit their website at www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/ . For more information about Kent State’s Library Sciences, their website is www.kent.edu/rags/GraduateStudies/upload/CATALOG-Library-and-Information-Science.pdf .