A Pioneering and Independent Spirit chronicles the history of San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science as it evolved from a small school-library training program established in 1928 into the largest MLIS degree program in the world. Set within the heart of California's Silicon Valley, the School's history reflects the dramatic social, ecomic, and educational changes resulting from the information revolution in the 20th century. From the use of closed circuit television in the 1950s to microfilmed course readings in the 1970s to the delivery of courses on the World Wide Web, the School harnessed these new techlogies to keep librarianship relevant as a profession and to make education for the field as widely available as possible. In March 2009, they took ather bold step by going completely online. This means that w they are t only the world's largest MLIS program, but the first wholly virtual one. Based on extensive research in the university's records, Dr. Hansen shows how the School's tradition of entrepreneurship and invation shaped its development between 1928 and 2009 and pays tribute to the administrators, faculty, and students who contributed to the School's success.
Debra Gold Hansen has taught for San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science since 1989. She has an MLIS from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Irvine. Her writings on California libraries and library and information science education have appeared in professional and historical publications.