Broken Pieces
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From his earliest reading memories in wartime Britain through five decades of librarianship, eminent librarian and former ALA President Michael Gorman offers insights from his extraordinary career in this new memoir. Gorman relates his personal and professional journey in prose that is by turns charming, opinioned, and revealing. He made perhaps his most significant contribution to librarianship as editor of the 1978 Anglo- American Cataloguing Rules, a major development that receives detailed attention here. The debates and arguments that would shape professional practice for years to come are dramatically presented, with a vivid cast of characters including leading librarians from two continents. Broken Pieces, Gorman’s account of being on the front lines of many of the most important decisions made in librarianship during his career, is a timely and entertaining read.


Michael Gorman was Dean of Library Services at the Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno from 1988-2007. From 1977 to 1988 he worked at the Library of the University of Illinois, Urbana as, successively, Director of Technical Services, Director of General Services, and Acting University Librarian. From 1966 to 1977 he was, successively, Head of Cataloging at the British National Bibliography, a member of the British Library Planning Secretariat, and Head of the Office of Bibliographic Standards in the British Library.

He is the first editor of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, Second Edition (1978) and of the revision of that work (1988), and he is the author of The Concise AACR2. Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness, and Reality (co-written with Walt Crawford) was honored with the 1997 Blackwell’s Scholarship Award. Our Enduring Values, published by ALA in 2000, was the winner of ALA’s 2001 Highsmith Award for the best book on librarianship. He is also the author of Our Own Selves: More Meditations for Librarians (2005) as well as hundreds of articles in professional and scholarly journals.

He has given numerous presentations at international, national, and state conferences. Michael has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Margaret Mann Citation in 1979, the 1992 Melvil Dewey Medal, Blackwell’s Scholarship Award in 1997, the California Library Association/Access, Collections, and Technical Services Section Award of Achievement in 1999, and the Ken Haycock Award in 2010. He was a member of the American Library Association’s Council (1991-1995 and 2002-2006), the ALA Executive Board through 2007, and was president of ALA in 2005-2006. He was made a fellow of the [British] Library Association in 1979 and an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in 2005. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the Thames Valley in 2007.



Chapter 1 Et in Arcadia ego, 1941–1945
Chapter 2 London, 1946–1947
Chapter 3 On the move, 1948–1952
Chapter 4 Finchley Catholic Grammar School, 1952–1957
Chapter 5 Hampstead Public Library, 1957–1960
Chapter 6 Paris and afterwards, 1960–1962
Chapter 7 Marriage, Ealing Public Library, and library school, 1962–1966
Chapter 8 BNB, children, cataloguing, and a crisis, 1966–1969
Chapter 9 BNB, the British Library, 1970–1974
Chapter 10 Illinois, 1974–1975
Chapter 11 Back to England, the University of Illinois Library, 1975–1978
Chapter 12 The Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 1968–1978