Effects of accreditation on United States and Canadian veterinary college libraries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Susanne K. Whitaker, Vicki F. Croft

Abstract


Objective: The authors’ objective was to document the effects of evolving veterinary accreditation standards on the development of currently existing accredited US and Canadian veterinary school libraries in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Methods: We gathered historical standards that major veterinary accreditation agencies developed with respect to libraries and library services. Historical background on college libraries, their facilities, services, and personnel via surveys, literature searches, and archival documents was also collected. We then correlated the evolving standards with each library’s development.

Results: There was a marked correlation between the prevailing accreditation standards and library development, particularly during the post–World War II era and through the mid-1980s. These impacts—which included new and separate facilities, hiring of professional librarians, and additional open hours—affected not only the twenty new developing veterinary schools, but also the libraries of the preexisting colleges.

Conclusions: Professional veterinary accrediting standards were an important influence on the evolution of veterinary school libraries, particularly during the years of major growth in the number of new veterinary colleges in the United States and Canada. In the 1990s and beyond, both libraries and accreditation standards continue to evolve in response to changes in technology, economics, publishing methods, and more. This latter is a story yet to be told.

Keywords


Veterinary Colleges; Veterinary Libraries; Accreditation; American Veterinary Medical Association

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2020.882

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