Slice of History - It’s National Librarian Day!
16 April is National Librarian Day! The library has always been an important part of JPL’s research culture, and has been a significant part of the Lab since at least the 1950s. These photos, taken 27 October 1952, show one of the early iterations of the JPL Library. Because of Dr. Pickering’s insistence on JPL remaining research-driven and university-like, the library was instituted as a hub of learning. According to the January 1953 edition of Lab-Oratory, “The Library is staffed by a Librarian [Betty Mears] and 5 assistants. It is also interesting to note that library circulation has increased in proportion to the growth of JPL. The Library now contains an estimated total of 33,000 volumes, of which about 1400 textbooks. A total of 154 periodicals are subscribed to.”
Now taking form of The HUB in Building 111, the JPL Library is an integral function of the Lab. Though the physical card catalogue is gone, and the stacks look different, the library’s walls still hold all of the informational treasures as it has throughout its tenure, and remains an integral part of JPL culture. As of 2021, the Library is staffed by six information science specialists and three information science technicians. More than 90% of the library materials are digital. The Library now provide access to more than 12,000 electronic journals and 50,000 electronic books. In 2020, more than 330,000 articles and 60,000 book chapters were downloaded.
Be sure to thank your JPL Librarians! CL#21-0732