Sunday, January 09, 2005

Military Librarians

The interesting thing about librarianship to me has always been the amazing number of places you find libraries. From Fortune 500 companies to small churches, from universities to small elementary school collections, librarians answer to many titles and have many roles in their organizations. The basic underlyling aspect to their jobs is "service."

The State in S.C. ran this very informative article about military librarians.
A Marine in Iraq wants a database search for information about terrorist suspects. A lonely child with a deployed military parent needs a few good books to help pass the time. A sailor deployed for months at sea wants to study for college entrance exams.

As the war on terror continues, America's military librarians serve readers who range from warriors in the field to the families they've left behind.

"Last year, we had 20,600 people sign up to use our services," said John Vassallo, director of the Thomas Lee Hall Library at Fort Jackson, the Army's largest training installation.

The number of military libraries is amazing:
Army officials say there are about 82 such Army libraries at installations around the world. In all, there are about 230 libraries in the Army system, which includes academic, technical, legal, medical and military unit libraries.

Air Force officials say their service has 109 libraries worldwide; Navy officials said their branch has 32 general libraries on bases and book collections on some 322 active vessels.

The Navy and Marine Corps also have more than 50 specialized libraries for academic, technical, medical and legal matters, according to Carole Ramkey, head of the Grey Research Center at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va.

Read the whole thing.

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