Robert S. Taylor Web Resources

July 20, 2006

I’m going back over my work from the past two semesters to compile all of the resources that I used for my projects. This list the list of web resources that I used in my biography on Robert S. Taylor.

  • Barbie Report –’s copy of the report of the U.S. Department of Justice entitled Klaus Barbie and the United States Government: A Report to the Attorney General of the United Stated Government, August 1983. The original pdf version is available from the U.S. DOJ. Taylor recruited Barbie to work for U.S. military intelligence while he was stationed in Germany after WWII.
  • A Documentary History of Hampshire, 1965-1975Vol. 1, Chapter 14– Library and Computer Use – This chapter contains two documents written by Taylor when he was library director of the Hampshire College Library: The Hampshire College Library (1969) and Computers and Computer Use (1969).
  • For Whom We Design Systems – Robert S. Taylor – Information given by Robert Taylor when he was included in the Pioneers of Information Science Scrapbook by the planning committee for the 1998 Conference on the History and Heritage of Science Information. Some biographical information is included.
  • History of Information science Technology 1960s – There is a reference to Taylor in relation to the “Science Information Specialists” conferences held at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1961. “Robert S. Taylor (1976) said that this was the first time that a distinction had been made between specialist and scientist and between information technology and information science. He also said that these conferences had a significant impact on the establishment of the School of Information and Computer Science at Georgia Tech, the Center for the Information Sciences at Lehigh University, and the program in Information Science at Drexel University.”
  • Information needs– From a web site entitled “Core Concepts in Library and Information Science (LIS) by Birger Hjorland. Hjorland discusses concepts from the following article: Taylor, R. S. (1968), Question-negotiation and information seeking in libraries. College and Research Libraries, 29, 178-194. “Robert S. Taylor’s theories (1968) about the mental development of information needs have been rather influential in LIS He describes the development of information needs as a relatively independent development “in the head” of the users. It has a continuous development and go through some phases termed Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4, going from an “unconscious need” over a “conscious need” to a “compromised need”. Taylor’s theory have been discussed by Hjørland (1993, 1997). It is argued that information needs probably do not develop continuously because a given piece of information may disturb the under standing of the problem underlying the need. It is also claimed that what develops “in the head” is not the primarily the need but knowledge about the problem-area, which causes the need. The implication for Hjørland (1993/1997) is also that the concept of knowledge interests(known from Habermas, 1968) is a better framework for the understanding of information needs and their development compared to the cognitive framework.
  • Information resource management: manager of data, information, and knowledge– by Dr. Zenona Atkociuniene, Faculty of Communication, University of Vilnius. In the paper, Taylor’s value-added spectrum for information processed is discussed.
  • International reader in the management of library, information and archive services compiled by Anthony Vaughan [for the]General Information Programme and UNISIST. – Paris: Unesco, 1987. – x, 672 p. – 30 cm. – (PGI-87/WS/22). Taylor is quoted in chapter 7 – Evaluation and Change– in a section on the Definition of a Library. “The two philosophies currently in fashion assert as a basic principle that the library is the centre of a school, college or university. This principle seems to us unacceptable. It is not the library (one of a number of functional services) that is the centre of a teaching institution but rather the main agents of education, i.e. the teachers and students. We agree entirely with the great American librarian Robert S. Taylor, who says that such a principle is simply a metaphoric platitude. Together with the student-learner, the most important agent in a teaching establishment is the teacher. Taylor’s comments on the library-college approach are also worth quoting:

    One recent and growing idea, the library college, though bold and challenging, is not the answer at this time(…). It represents a basically naive and early – too early – attempt to solve a very large and complicated problem. It is a rhetorical rather than empirical approach.” 

  • Judas Among Us: Who Betrayed Jean Moulin?– From a website dedicated to Jean Moulin and the French Resistance. A summary of a report by Klaus Barbie to Taylor detailing Barbie’s capture of Jean Moulin is given.
  • The Making of Library (1972) by Robert S. Taylor – The work written by Taylor to detail the making of the Hampshire College Library.
  • Nazis, Operation Condor, and Bush’s Privatization Plan – An article by William F. Wertz, Jr. in a March 25, 2005 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. Taylor is mentioned as Klaus Barbie’s recruiter.
  • Robert S. Taylor Biography – My biography of Taylor written for ILS503 – Foundations of Librarianship in March 2006.
  • A Tour of Information Science Through the Pages of JASIS– by Marcia J. Bates, Guest Editor – Published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science, vol. 50, no. 11, 1999, pp.975-993. This article contains selected article titles from JASIS and its predecessor American Documentation. Two of Taylor’s articles are mentioned: “1982 Value-Added Processes in the Information Life Cycle Robert S. Taylor 33 (5): 341-346. Energy, time, and money must be invested to change useless data to productive knowledge, a value-added process” and “1962 The Process of Asking Questions Robert S. Taylor 13 (4): 391- 396. Four levels of question formation may be isolated and analyzed…”
  • University students information seeking behavior in a changing learning environment – How are students’ information needs, seeking and use affected by new teaching methods?– by Eeva-Liisa Eskola, Department of Information Studies, Abo Akademi University. In this paper, Eeva-Liisa Eskola discussed Taylor’s concept of information use environments.
  • What is Information Science and How is it Related to Library Science? – A lecture on information science. Robert Taylor’s definition of information science from a Library Journal article (v.88, pp. 4161-4162) is summarized:
    1. The study of the properties, structure and transmission of specialized knowledge;
    2. The development of methods for its useful organization and dissemination.

    He suggested that a focus on the information sciences could represent a change in the library from a “sophisticated but passive warehouse to a more dynamic institution.”

I’m Psyched!!!

April 18, 2006

Yesterday, I finally got a grade back on my Robert S. Taylor biography – and I did fine. I was a bit concerned about the paper, since I ended up having to work on most of it while I was on vacation in St. Maarten. It took tons of discipline to try and get the paper finished (working on the beach with a laptop is a tricky proposition). Additionally, the initial draft was far longer than the specified 5 double spaced pages. Having to thin the paper out was difficult – and I thought that there was a choppy feel to the paper because of it. Fortunately, the professor did not find that to be so.

Anyway, this makes me feel much better about the class. It is very difficult to take a class and get absolutely no grades until the last two weeks of class. I have been hesitant about working on the final project because I had no sense of what the professor thought of my work. As such, I’m a bit behind where I should be – and will be spending all available time working on the project over the next two weeks.

At least, I feel like I’m making more progress than I was a couple of weeks ago.

R.S. Taylor – Planning a College Library for the Seventies

February 6, 2006

Taylor, R.S. (Fall 1969). Planning a College Library for the Seventies. Educational Record, 50(4), 426-431.

Taylor suggests that there were three projected steps one should take when planning a library for the seventies. First, planners need to reevaluate library space incorporating such services as “the book library, audiovisual systems, copyring services, bokstore, and computer center” (p.431). Taylor argues that such planning will help to offer the user broader information choices. Second, the library and librarians need to be closer to the educational process. The third step in this planning process is to allow the library to become a place to foster experimentation – for the space and for the staff. Taylor thinks that planners should rethink the library as a space placing emphasis on the users and their information needs.

An interesting article, not much to add to my biographical research. The blurb on Taylor: “Robert S. Taylor is director of the library at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts. This article, written under a U.S. Office of Education grant, was adapted from a presentation to the Danforth Foundation Workship on Liberal Arts Education, 24 June 1968, in Colorado Springs.

More on Robert Taylor

February 1, 2006

From the Pioneers of Information Science in North America project:Robert Saxton Taylor’s page:

Dates: 1918 –Worked at: Lehigh University and Syracuse University

Other Info: Worked at Lehigh University as Librarian (1956-1967); Professor and Director of Information Science; Director of Library Science and Professor of Language and Communication at Hampshire College (1967-1972); worked at Professor (1972- ?) and Dean (1972-1981) of the School of Information Science at Syracuse University.

Published articles in user studies – used the value-added approach to information sciences. In 1963 wrote about the impact of behavioral sciences on information science.

Awards: 1972 Best Information Science Book – ASIS; 1956 Fulbright Lecturer.

Offices: ASIS Executive Officer (1959-1961); President (1968).

From Pioneers of Information Science of North America Scrapbook:

Significant moment of career in 1953 sitting at reference desk in Lehigh University Library. He started asking questions that would form the basis of his work over the next several decades. He had been educated as an historian – and worked as a newspaper reporter, sports editor, intelligence agent, free lance writer and a librarian.Profession and Education:

  • Directed Center for the Information Sciences at Lehigh (1962-1967)
  • With the program in Language and Communication at Hampshire College (1967-1972)
  • School of Information Studies at Syracuse University as Dean and Professor (1972-1983)
  • 1986 published work on value-added processes (NSF supported)
  • 1968 published work on question negotiation and information seeking in libraries
  • 1990 pubished work on information use environments (IUEs).

quote from page “It is people, both as individuals and as members of organizations for whom we design systems. This is a user-driven approach. Technology, important and overwhelming as it is at this moment, is but a means of gathering, storing, manipulating, and moving information to people who can make use of it. Our professional responsibility is to understand the technologies and to use them effectively to help people in whatever setting. Without people at the center we become but another technology-driving vocation.”

More on Robert S. Taylor Paper

January 31, 2006

Additional research about Robert Taylor:

Blurb from Library Journal, December 1984, Vol.109, Issue 20, page 220 “Former Dean Robert Taylor recruited Klaus Barbie.” Reports that in October 17th issue of the Syracuse Post Standard, the lead story was “Ex-SU Dean Recruited Klaus Barbie as U.S. Agent.” Comments that Robert Taylor said he didn’t know of Barbie’s past when he recommended him in 1947.

Ryan, Allan A. Jr. Klaus Barbie and the United States Government, The Report, with Documentary Appendix, to the Attorney General of the United States. Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, Inc., 1983.

General information from Ryan text:
Robert Taylor was part of the 66th Counter Intelligence Corps under European Command (EUCOM) stationed in Region IV (headquarters in Munich) in Memmingen. Since April 1946 Kurt Merk had been working for Taylor. On April 10, 1947, Merk told Taylor about Barbie. Taylor knew that Barbie was wanted in Operation Selection Board. Taylor did not notify Headquarters about Barbie. Checked with superior Lt. Col. Dale Garvey, Commanding Officer of Region IV. On April 14-15 decision made by Taylor and Garvey to use Barbie as an informant.

Taylor met with Barbie on or about April 18, 1947 and deal was made. Barbie impressed Taylor as “an honest man, both intellectually and personally, absolutely without nerves or fear. He is strongly anti-Communist and a Nazi idealist who believes that he and his beliefs were betrayed by the Nazis in power” (p.13). Barbie reported on French intelligence operations in U.S. zone of Germany, on activities of Romanian ethnic Germans, and on Soviet activities in U.S. zone. Use of Barbie not known to headquarters until two months later.

On May 22, 1947, Captain Frazier at CIC HQ asked for clarification of certain matters. Taylor for first time reported to CIC HQ that information came from Barbie not Merk. Taylor acknowledged that Barbie was to be arrested in Operation Selection Board, but requested he be allowed to retain freedom. Region IV forwarded Taylor’s report to CIC HQ on June 3, 1947 recommending Barbie be used as an asset. Appears as if request was ignored.

Taylor placed increasing reliance on Merk and Barbie. By summer of 1947, Merk had web of 48 to 52 informants in Germany and Eastern Europe. (all previous from page 13).

Web known as “Buro Petersen.” (page 14).

Agent Hahdu took over for Taylor in the spring of 1948 (page 18).

Synopsis of Robert S. Taylor Article

January 27, 2006

Taylor, Robert S. “Reminiscing About the Future: Professional Education and the Information Environment,” in Library Journal, (September 15, 1979), 104(16), p1871(5). This is a thought provoking article about library and information science education in which Taylor asserts that “the future is what professional education is all about” (p.1871). In the article, Taylor argues that librarianship as a profession needs to distance itself from the physical library – a concept that seems quite simple (although controversial for many, I’m sure), but one that I still haven’t totally been able to wrap my mind around. I had a definite “Eureka” moment when reading this, I have to admit. The library is not the center of the information universe, but is only a piece – and not necessarily a central one. Taylor writes that “a failure to participate in the whole system will tend to isolate the library and the librarian even more than they currently are from the blooming, dymanic, changing world out there” (p.1872). I couldn’t agree more – and again, I’m amazed at the relevancy of this article today and it was written 27 years ago!!! Later in the article, Taylor point out that library systems are fine for what they are, but that they only exist in the library world. They are not systems with which the world at large are familiar. We, in libraries, should be thinking about the user and the questions they ask and the information needs that they posess rather than focusing on preserving established library traditions (p.1872). Taylor identifies several skills and attitudes that librarians could and should acquire if they were to “cut their umbilical cord to libraries and similar document-based systems” (p.1873). They could possess “an ability to organize data and information for people to use,” “an awareness of the totality of information resources and strategies in search for information,” “a sensitivity to use, uses, and users of information,” and “a strong tradition of service” (p.1973). Such attributes would help library and information science school graduates understand that systems must be designed by and for human beings. In terms of the future of professional education, Taylor identifies six subject ares of concern. First is the organization of information. He suggests that we need to organize information based on the “natural processes of information-seeking and knowledge utilization” (p.1873) rather than in traditional methods. The second area is the information environment which can be explained as the context of knowledge and how humans process information. Next is the area or information media which deals with media formats and the natural way in which information is organized. The systems and technologies area is the fourth area. In this area, Taylor is more concerned about the formal methods of design, analysis and evaluation of systems that are created by people, machines and information. The fifth area is reasearch methods which “is concerned with the education of critical consumers of research results and effective participants in the research process” (p.1874). Finally, the last subject area is management which is the area that binds all of the previous ones together. It is the area which is concerned with the identification and definition of information problems (p.1874). In conclusion, Taylor writes that “libraianship is too important a profession to be tied to the fate of a single institution” (p.1875). He suggests that the profession has several large problems with which it needs to deal: “better filters to withhold rather than supply information, better means for making information available, programs on information literacy, and maintenance of a human scale in information and knowledge transfer processes” (p.1875). Other references that I need to check: Taylor, Robert S., Manpower and Education Programs for Management, Research, and Professional Growth in Library and Information Services, report to the National Commission on LIbrary and Information Science, October 1974. Taylor, R.S., “Libraries, Librarians, and the Information Environment” (copyright 1979 by the author). Taylor, R.S., “Educational Breakaway,” American Libraries, June 1979, p.364-68.

Information on Robert Taylor Biographical Research Report

January 27, 2006

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am writing a biographical research report on Robert S. Taylor for my Foundations of Librarianship (ILS503) class. I will include journal-type entries to document my research.

Robert Saxton Taylor – born 1918.

Worked at both Lehigh University (as Librarian and Director of the Library Center and Professor of Language and Communications) and Syracuse University (as Professor and Dean).

Published in area of user studies – known for “value-added approach” to information services.

Awards – 1972 American Society for Information Science Best Information Science Book, was appointed Fulbright Lecturer in 1965.

Was president of American Society for Information Science in 1968

biographical information taken from – accessed on 1/27/06.