Monday, March 25, 2013

Women's History Month - Isadore Gilbert Mudge

Isadore Gilbert Mudge wanted library patrons to be able to access reference books and learn independently. She devised the phrase “material, mind and method,” and thought all reference librarians should know the materials they dealt with, be intelligent with an excellent memory and be able to answer clearly answer, including the source of material they were using (consequently called the Mudge Method).

Constance M. Winchell, Mudge’s protégé, said, "Probably no other one person has contributed so much to raising the standards of reference collections and reference service in the libraries of this and other countries."

Anyone who has ever done research at a library can thank Mudge that we have a wide variety of resources to use, and that our librarians know what’s what in helping us figure out where to look and how to utilize them.

She also found time to write A Guide to Reference Books, which went through four revisions; two articles for the Library Journal; a Thackery Dictionary; as well as the bibliography for Henri Bergson’s published works. Oh, and she found time to teach part time, in between all of that researching.

Whoever said women couldn’t handle the stress of rigorous research obviously had never met this woman.


(Lauren is writing about Women who ROCK in honor of Women's History Month.) 

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