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sota's penal, correctional, mental and other institutions.
Reading is not just recreation, but education and therapy as
well. A few dull figures may give an idea of the scope of
these libraries and their amazing circulation in the state's
iteen various institutions eight state hospitals and sana-

TOBER 1938

toria, seven state schools, and three prisons and reforma-
tories. These representative examples are here crowded in.
The St. Cloud Reformatory, which has an educational di-
rector and a full program of schooling and recreation, in
1937 had about 850 readers and a circulation of 193,000
books (including magazines, periodicals and newspapers
which totaled 31,000). Confining the figures to books, this
gives an average of not quite 200 books per reader for the
year. The distribution is equally surprising. Of the total,
100,000 were fiction (much of it solid), 22,000 travel,


14,000 biography, 7000 history, 5000 fine and useful arts,
4000 literature and texts, 3000 sciences, and 5000 miscel-
laneous (sociology, religion, ethics, reference works, foreign
language, picture collection, and so forth). This circulation
is not stimulated by any particular privileges or loosening of
restrictions as a reward for reading. It represents quite ac-
curately a wish to read, directed by good librarianship.
Books withdrawn are actually read in about the same pro-
portion as books borrowed from any other library perhaps
a little better read, considering the circumstances.

The State Public School at Owatonna has about 350
readers among its dependent children, who are of all ages
up to fifteen years. In 1937 the library circulation was 11,-
425 an average of 33 books, magazines, etc., per reader.
Of the total, 5229 were fiction, the rest being rather evenly-
divided among biography, travel, history, arts and science.

In the state prison, with 1295 estimated readers, the cir-
culation in 1937 was about 207,000 books, magazines, etc.,
of which 22,254 were non-fiction. However, the division be-
tween fiction and non-fiction would compare very favorably
with adult reading in the average population.

For all institutions, the total book circulation in 1937 was
649,000 for 7385 readers about 88 books, magazines, etc.,
per reader. Of the total books, 168,000 were non-fiction.
This is almost literate intemperance.

A GLANCE at a library catalogue shows the equally
impressive content of the shelves. In a 38-page sup-
plement to the 272-page catalogue of the men's reformatory,
one finds (not quite at random, but still not fine-combing)
such names as Feuchtwanger, Galsworthy, La Farge, Her-
gesheimer, Lagerlof, Peterkin, Sinclair, Undset, Lippman,
John Cowper Powys, R. C. Sheriff, Dewey, Belloc, Ein-
stein, Norman Angell, Abraham Flexner, and others of
similar caliber, besides a good quorum of books often damn-
ingly dismissed as the classics. There are many books on
archeology, printing, fishing, mechanics, decoration, design,
and other fine and useful arts ; a rich travel collection, most
of it intelligent; good examples of the unbuttoned foreign
correspondent school; and a select choice in biography.

In the latest 22-page supplement to the 172-page cata-
logue of the prison library can be found such names as
Bromfield, De la Pasture (E. M. Delafield, but catalogued
under her real name for some esoteric reason), De la Roche,
Dos Passes, Ellen Glasgow, Sheila Kaye-Smith, Quiller-
Couch, Sackville-West, Arnold Zweig, Bolitho (not Hec-
tor), Henry Adams, Adamic, George Seldes; and in the
biography section, lots of Ludwig and other translations by,
as one might expect, the brothers Paul. In such classifications
as psychology, philosophy and sociology, one finds Adler,
Fosdick, Jane Addams, and in a prison, of all places

All of this listing of proud names is not to say that the
taste of the reformatory, prison, or other institution reader
is exceptionally high. It probably isn't much above that of
the general reading public whatever that means. Gentle
Reader in the mass is about the same all over, even when
he is not very gentle, or is where he is because of lack of
gentleness. Temple Bailey her work, to be precise is
found in the institutions, and so is Zane Grey. They are
popular. There was an avid rush, and probably still is, for
the phoney metaphysics of The Magnificent Obsession and
its simpering pretense to philosophy. Hammock romance,
without the hammock, is read in some abundance, and
mysteries are taken, as someone has said, like aspirin tablets

and about as often. There is a very hearty layer of corner
drugstore taste in institution reading (as in reading outside
prison), but the point is not so much what they read, but
that they read at all and in such large amounts.

The point is further here taken that inmates who demand
and read books, even of a mediocre sort, will leave the in-
stitution better equipped to step back into society and keep
in step. A reading habit does not guarantee culture nor does
it painlessly bestow an education, but it helps.

THE uses of a library, like those of adversity, are rather
intangible. A part of the value is distinctly thera-
peutic. An introvert or an extrovert cannot be turned inside
out merely by directed reading. Reading is not a specific for
a miracle, nor earnest money for a recovery of mental or
physical health or moral rectitude. But, as a sort of massage
for the mind, reading can be used to stroke or induce a
mood, divert or deepen a habit channel, rebuild a tempera-
ment. It works, so to speak, by induction.

The major results are correspondingly intangible. They
are brought about through recreation, education freed
frustration, if you will. As mere escape and more of us
read for that outlet than we realize reading is not without
merit, and cheaper than mental disintegration. As C. R. 1
Carlgren, chairman of the Minnesota State Board of Con-
trol, has pointed out in connection with prison libraries,-
books "provide a wholesome interest ... aid a prisoner toi
see himself and his problems in objective relation to his
family and community . . . broaden his interest in construc-
tive ideas and so make possible his better adjustment on hia
return to society." To bring books to institution inmates is
most definitely not a sleeveless errand.

All of this little-known achievement has not come about
by accident. It can be traced back to the persistence of anr
idea carried forward for years under wise leadership.

Minnesota institution libraries began in 1853, two years
after establishment of the state prison, when an act pro-'
vided that fees paid by visitors to the prison should go for
the purchase of books. From these funds and gifts, the,'
prison library grew until in 1887 the first catalogue wasr
issued with the help, incidentally, of Cole Younger, col-
league of Jesse James and inmate librarian at the time. As:
other institutions were established, libraries were made a.
part of their organization. These libraries were not co-
ordinated under a supervisor until 1913, when the board
of control appointed Miriam Carey to that position.

That was twenty-five years ago and in the period since
there have been only two other supervisors: Perrie Jones,
and Mildred Methven who took office last year. The result '
has been a continuity of idea and devoted effort that owes
much to the constant support and practical approval with j
which the Board of Control has encouraged this pioneer
library work. The present membership of the board (C. 8
Carlgren, L. G. Foley and Anna Determan) is helping the
present supervisor extend facilities to new fields.

Minnesota's Board of Control was the first and appar-
ently remains the only similar board in the country to enw
ploy a full time supervisor of institution libraries.

The work is carried on (in the words of Miss Jones, j
former supervisor and now head of the St. Paul Publici
Library) "to make each one who comes into a library
realize that here is a friendly place, that all libraries will
be friendly places, and that when he goes back to his old)';
community, he can feel that already there is one friendi
waiting for him, the library." Miss Methven, present super-:



visor, says: "The months or years which prisoners spend in
confinement are not often described in terms of reading
satisfaction . . . but their response, expressed if in no other
way than by terms of library attendance and book with-
drawal, is tremendous."

This institution library work is more complicated and
highly specialized than the demands of the ordinary public
library and only a trained specialist can speak with authority
on the subject. Even a layman, however, recognizes one
elementary point of great importance: the delicate problem
k selection. What will be suitable? Will it depress?
Unduly excite? Is it cheaply provocative? Is it beyond the
of the readers? (This last criterion needs little con-
sideration, as a glance at withdrawals will show.) Will it
>e read? (This need hardly be asked; circulation shows
hat just about anything will be read.) These, and a hun-
Ired-and-one others more technical, vary with the institu-
ion prison, reformatory, hospital for the insane, schools
or the deaf, the feeble-minded, dependent children, tuber-
sanatoria, schools for incorrigibles, and so forth
nit they are vitally important if books are to serve their
valuable purpose and not do irrevocable damage.

An institution librarian faces many special problems. For
that reason, and to get an adequate supply of specifically
rained people for the job, the Minnesota Board of Control,
n cooperation with the library of the University of Minne-
.ota, has sponsored a course in institution librarianship
ipparently the first in the country from which the first

graduates already have been placed. There are trained
librarians in eleven of the institutions. A selected employee
circulates the books in two institutions; a patient in one of
the hospitals ; the educational director at the state reforma-
tory for men ; and the teacher at the women's reformatory
and at the colony for epileptics. As a serious and valued
adjunct to institution administration, libraries in Minne-
sota have a long and worthy tradition behind them, but the
work is not resting content with that tradition. It is looking
forward and going forward.

Educators have upon occasion called upon their gods for
ways and means of stimulating the habit of reading in young
people and adults. Apparently one solution is institutional-
ization in a well-run institution governed by a far-sighted
board, staffed with trained personnel, provided with a good
library under competent supervision, and operated with a
calm eye to social significance. In such circumstances good
library technique gets results. It is something of a revelation
and a comfort to know that the problem of leisure time
activity, adult education, reading habits it is constantly
stated in different forms can be half-way solved, and has
been so solved in surroundings and under circumstances
both discouraging and favorable to reading confinement
bestows time but vitiates incentive. The solution should be
a stimulus to educators, and perhaps a puzzle. Do libraries
and librarians hold the key to that particular locked door?

Perhaps Bacon's dictum should be "Reading maketh a
free man."

The Fat Is in the Fire


Professor of Sociology in the University of Michigan, and
Chairman of the Degree Program in Social Work in Ann Arbor, Michigan

THE recent protest of President W. B. Bizzell, of the
University of Oklahoma and of the Association of
State Universities, against the American Association
If Schools of Social Work has kindled a long-smoldering
sue. This protest, sent in the spring of 1938 to the presi-
dents of forty state universities not members of the Associa-
| on of Schools of Social Work, complained that this
Aoization is attempting to foist upon the colleges and uni-
irsities too narrow and inelastic a program in social work.
_' the items in the general bill of particulars was the
, implaint that the AASSW program is not adaptable to
lany of the educational institutions outside the larger
| -nters ; that it is too definitely a reflection of the set-up
some of the privately endowed schools of social work;
it does not sufficiently recognize rural needs. The pro-
I -t concluded with the suggestion that the educational in-
|iitutions not in the AASSW set up another accrediting
Jganization, to be known as the American Association of
ols of Public Welfare. The whole matter is to be dis-
|ssed this fall in a joint meeting of the American Associa-
pn of State Universities and the American Association of

( i rant Colleges. Let us look back at the matter.
The AASSW was a war baby, but presumably legitimate,
side schools of social work were springing up all over
; land, and some resolute plucking had to be done. During
; gay '20's the association began to grow up, taking itself
' seriously, even if educational authorities in the colleges
universities did not. I have vivid memories of many

doleful hours over poor food in Louis Quatorze or Omar
Khayyam hotel parlors while endless committees reported
on this and that, and the usual array of officers for the
ensuing year was elected. I recall thinking that if we
really were engaged in forging the intellectual content of
social work education, it was a pity we could not strike
a few sparks in the process. Occasionally, I could get an-
other minority male, like myself, to share my regrets.

By the early '30's, the association doubled the dues of
its members and appeared all decked out with a set of
principles and standards, which were to be applicable first
to new schools, later to member schools, who were given a
brief period to catch their breath, conform, or cut loose.

The requirements for admission to the AASSW have
been changed from time to time in the direction of greater
stringency. At present they appear to be seven in number:

The school must be a separate administrative unit.

It must have a director and an annual budget of not less
than $10,000.

After 1939 all member schools must be on a two-year gradu-
ate basis.

The faculty may be on a full time or part time basis, but
at least two persons must be full time.

Four divisions of courses must be offered: Those relating to
fundamental techniques ; those which adapt scientific materials
to the needs of social work, such as labor problems and
criminology; courses in the practice of social work, such as
family welfare, child-placing, public administration; general
courses in the history of social work, social philosophy, etc.

JBER 1938


The teachers of technical or practice courses must have had
valid experience in social work.

At least 300 clock hours of field work must be taken within
the two graduate years, supervised by one of the school staff.

It is to be noted that no mention is made of the academic
requirements for teachers in the schools, a point included
in Dr. Bizzell's memorandum. Further, these standards were
set up largely without the active collaboration of the respon-
sible administrative heads of the colleges and universities
affected by them. Resentment rumbled on many state uni-
versity campuses as the AASSW program developed. The
association dropped Wisconsin from membership, despite the
fact that John Gillin has done perhaps more than any other
individual to infuse social work with the substance of
scholarship ; and that C. A. Dykstra, an eminent leader in
public service, has recently been made president of the uni-
versity. The University of Michigan was for a time on the
association's probationary list because it has two centers for
its work, Detroit and Ann Arbor, with corresponding dis-
tribution of authority between the two units. Though no
change was made in this set-up, the executive committee of
the AASSW announced at a meeting in May 1938 that
the University of Michigan had met all the technical re-
quirements for membership.

TO be fair, one must show another side of the picture. It
is clear that the Association of Schools is very much alive
to a real educational need to which university and college
leaders were for a long time impervious. As these authori-
ties came to realize their responsibilities to social work and
other service professions, they reacted to the program of
the association in one of two ways : either they accepted the
entire program, fearful of losing status by attempting any
modification; or they rebelled. A response of the second
type, on the part of President Bizzell, has precipitated the
present issue. There is now real danger of a rival organiza-
tion to the AASSW being set up by institutions that will
not, or cannot, conform to its requirements.

The situation has other complicating factors. Not long
after the Association of Schools got underway, the American
Association of Social Workers came into being. The AASW
has enlarged its educational requirements for membership;
they can now be met only by attending one of the units of
the AASSW. Of course, such a development is not new in
the educational field. Some professional schools, notably
the teachers colleges, have been charged with securing legis-
lation that prescribes as prerequisite to a license the peda-
gogical diet which only they are equipped to supply.

Let us see how it works out. In 1936-1937 the thirty-two
member units of the AASSW (there are now thirty-five)
had an enrollment of 3692 full time and 3712 part time
students. This means that more than half the enrollment
was on the basis of in-service training practicing social
workers who needed a few credits to entitle them to mem-
bership in the AASW. One should rejoice in any effective
stimulus to educational work, but one cannot avoid a sense
of dismay that the universities have been let in for a great
extension of so-called "graduate work" on a night school
basis. While the other professions are pulling away from
night schools, with their proved ineffectiveness, social work
seems to be developing on this rejected base, under condi-
tions that bring distinction neither to the profession, nor
to the graduate schools that offer the work.

Another issue that deserves further exploration concerns
the apportionment of courses, as between those of an aca-

demic analytical character on the one hand, and technical
professional courses, on the other. Roughly, the distinction
here is between courses that tell about things, and courses
that tell how to do things. Training for social work seems
to be heavily laden with the latter type of course. Dynamics
are developed at the expense of solid intellectual content.
I was once called to sit in on a doctoral committee in educa-
tion where the candidate's thesis subject was "Record
Blanks Used in Colleges of Less Than One Thousand."
From such dull fruitless tasks, one would like to deliver
social work students; yet when one sees approved master's
theses devoted to such subjects as intake procedure or
methods of recording, one wonders whether the center of
intellectual indifference has not been reached.

Meanwhile, there has developed between social work and
sociology an unfortunate family row. Logically or not, soci-
ology has been the actual matrix out of which social work
has developed in many places, and I believe that the two
subjects belong and should be kept together, though I am
aware of being hopelessly outvoted. It is not too much to
say that many sociologists feel themselves superior to any
concern with social work, or with any aspect of social re-
form. On the other hand, there is a tendency among social
workers to view the sociologists as a sportive clan who earn
their living through a tenuous system of remote contacts
with reality. This cleavage between sociology and social
work has found confirmation in the program of the AASSW
which will not recognize any units that are adjuncts of
departments of sociology. Though there may be certain ad-
ministrative advantages in such a separation, I am certain
that, intellectually, there are, or ought to be, areas of com-
mon interest between departments of sociology and schools
of social work. To permit them to develop into hostile or
indifferent camps, the present tendency is unfortunate.

ANOTHER issue is the length of the period of graduate
study necessary for a degree in social work. The Asso-
ciation of Schools has committed its members to a two-year
graduate program for the degree of Master of Social Work.
One may contend with some force that the two-year pro-
gram is burdensome to both students and the educational
institution ; and that it is not warranted by the prospective
awards for the student, following graduation, nor by the<
intellectual rigors of the curriculum. It is, furthermore, an
invitation to the student to attend a school for only a few
courses, or for a year at the most, and then to seek a job
having slight prospect of completing work for the degree
According to the most recent figures for 1936-1937, of the
7404 students attending schools of social work during that
year, 437 received the master's degree and eight, the doc-
torate. The recipients of graduate degrees were thus 6 per-
cent of enrollment. This issue thus raises two questions :

1. Since with a single graduate year, assuming proper under-
graduate foundations, a student may secure a master's degree
in business administration, education, forestry and many othei
technical subjects that are comparable to social work, whali
valid basis have the schools of social work in insisting upon a
rigid two-year program for their students?

2. How can colleges and universities afford to support a pro-
gram of which only a small percentage of students can take>j
full advantage?

There is finally the question as to the effect of the two |
year postgraduate course upon the outlook of promising!,
undergraduates who aspire to the field of social work. Afte;
October 1939, no school offering professional courses on rV



undergradaute level will be permitted to remain in the As-
sociation of Schools. This will limit undergraduate work to
background courses in the social sciences. This is possibly
the most defensible element in the whole policy of the asso-
ciation. But it leaves the graduating student, who cannot
immediately afford another year, and assuredly not two, in
a quandary. He or she may solve the issue by turning to
other fields, as many of them are doing, with a distinct loss
to social work. A partial solution would be to increase the
amount of scholarship funds. Another way out is to find
apprenticeship jobs for the most promising graduates, to
give them some experience and a little financial help before
undertaking their graduate studies. However the issue may
be met, it is imperative that some means be devised for re-
cruiting a fair proportion of the abler college seniors and
putting acceptable training within reasonable reach.

It is now announced that the Association of Schools has
received a grant of $36,000 from the Rockefeller Founda-
tion for enlarging its work. This is a splendid recognition
of pioneer effort. The association is very much aware of
the threat from President Bizzell and his group, and is in
a conciliatory mood. There is some talk of admitting schools

with a one-year graduate program, though it is to be hoped
that it will be on terms that will not give them an inferi-
ority complex. The important factors are the standards of
the professional training and the qualifications of those who
give it. Too many social workers are scrambling for gradu-
ate credits like small boys raiding a pear orchard. They
should be brought up short by a stiff curriculum well bal-
lasted with subjects of academic discipline. This is impera-
tive not only for the maintenance of graduate standards in
the schools, but for the future of social work itself. The
capacity for sustained research, for example, is a sine qua
non of graduate work; but outside the University of Chi-
cago School of Social Work, the contributions of the schools
to research in social work are conspicuously absent. These
are problems for the Association of Schools of Social Work,
to solve which it may well devote its Rockefeller grant.

The editors of Survey Midmonthly have invited Wilber
1. Newsletter, president of the American Association of
Schools of Social Work, dean of the School of Applied
Social Sciences of the University of Pittsburgh, to comment

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