Sometimes we are so close to technological advances that we forget what an amazing world we’ve created for ourselves.
I was reminded of this world of magic when I set out to search for my deceased uncle’s EdD dissertation. I didn’t know if he actually had written one or where he had received his doctorate. The first thing I did was email my brother and sister. Since it was late at night, neither of them responded right away.
So I did a search for his name to see if any of his articles or other history were available on the net. Up came an entry at The College at Brockport State University of New York for the Ross M. Coxe Memorial Award. I had completely forgotten about this memorial that my cousin, Kathy D’Ambra, had helped set up. I then emailed the library at Brockport State to see if they had his dissertation on record. They kindly called this morning at 6am Seattle time to share that they couldn’t find anything. Now that was responsive customer service.
As I groggily stumbled to my email to respond, I noticed a note from my sister that she was not able to find hard copy of my uncle’s dissertation but she vaguely remembered that he did his EdD work at Wayne State University in Detroit. Now I am feeling like an idiot as I was just talking to a friend about my uncle and grandmother living in downtown Detroit.
Without much hope, I entered my uncle’s name into the library search box and up came a pointer to his dissertation on A Suburban School System Faculty Looks at and Improves its Program in Social Studies for Children and Youth. The notes on the page indicate that the thesis is only available at the library. Darn. I am not likely to be in Detroit anytime soon. As I wonder whether I can send a note to see if they would copy it for me, I see a pointer that it was microfilmed.
Off I go to the UMI Proquest dissertation express service to see if I can some how get a copy of the dissertation. Within a few seconds up pops a screen that says that they have the dissertation and I can order a copy. So I order the dissertation and now I can’t wait for the paper copy to arrive to see a part of my Uncle Ross’s view of education in 1957.
Thank you dear, committed librarians all over the world for the dedicated work you do in preserving the many ways that knowledge is created, produced and distributed. I am deeply grateful for how much of this work you keep putting online.