Childers, Thomas A(llen) 1940-
CHILDERS, Thomas A(llen) 1940-
PERSONAL: Born July 2, 1940, in Chillicothe, OH; son of William Allen (a prison director) and Jeannette Marie (Kohlrush) Childers. Education: University of Maryland, B.A., 1962; Rutgers University, M.L.S., 1963, Ph.D., 1970.
CAREER: Librarian, library and information science educator, researcher, and consultant, and author. Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore, MD, adult and young adult librarian, 1965-67; Rutgers University, Graduate School of Library Service, New Brunswick, NJ, research fellow, 1967-70; Drexel University, College of Information Science and Technology, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, 1970-74, associate professor, beginning in 1974, A.B. Kroeger professor of information studies, 1992-2002, professor emeritus, 2002—. Visiting faculty member, Syracuse University School of Library Science, summer, 1970. Military service: U.S. Army, 1963-65.
MEMBER: American Library Association (councilor, 1972-74, director of library research round table, 1972-75), American Society for Information Science, American Association of University Professors, American Civil Liberties Union, American Management Association, Association for Library and Information Science Education.
AWARDS, HONORS: British Library fellow, 1978; Research Achievement award, Drexel University, 1985; Isadore Gilbert Mudge Citation for Outstanding Teaching and Research Contributions in the Area of Reference and Information Services, ALA, 1985; Honorary Member, Beta Phi Mu, 1990; the Thomas A. Childers Outstanding Student Award is conferred annually by Drexel University's College of Information Science and Technology Alumni Association since 1999; the Thomas A. Childers and Howard D. White Scholarship bestowed by Drexel alumni since 2001.
(With Terence Crowley) Information Service in Public Libraries: Two Studies, Scarecrow (Metuchen, NJ), 1971.
The Information-Poor in America, Scarecrow (Metuchen, NJ), 1975.
(Contributor) Manfred Kochen and Joseph C. Donahue, editors, Information for the Community, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 1976.
Community Information Services: Four Papers Presented at a One-Day School of the West Midland Branch of the Library Association, 11th October, 1978, West Midland Branch of the Library Association (London, England), 1979.
Information and Referral: Public Libraries, Ablex (Norwood, NJ), 1984.
The Public Library Effectiveness Study: Final Report, U. S. Department of Education (Washington, DC), 1989.
Measures of Interlibrary Reference: A Manual, California State Library Foundation (Sacramento, CA), 1991.
(With Nancy A. Van House) The Public Library Effectiveness Study: The Complete Report, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 1993.
(With Nancy A. Van House) What's Good?: Describing Your Public Library's Effectiveness, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 1993.
Contributor to library and information science journals.
SIDELIGHTS: A librarian and researcher of library science, Thomas A. Childers has published a number of resources on public information services. One of these works, Information and Referral: Public Libraries, explains the results of Childers' three-year analysis of the linkage between libraries, their patrons, and the outside resources needed to meet the patrons' needs. Information and Referral also serves as a guide for the adoption of increased information and referral systems in the nation's libraries. A continuation of this theme, Measures of Interlibrary Reference: A Manual explicates a massive research effort on the effectiveness of interlibrary reference service in California over several years and embracing all fifteen of the state's public library systems.
Childers once again contributed to the study of public libraries when he coauthored the analysis What's Good?: Describing Your Public Library's Effectiveness with Nancy A. Van House. This book offers "new ways of looking at the process of planning and evaluating public library service," according to the Public Library Planning Process Web site. Using a model of public library effectiveness (A.M.P.L.E.), Childers and Van House help library administrators assess their libraries and better communicate with patrons. Writing in Library Journal, William Sannwald observed that "the study and application of the concepts [in What's Good?] should help local libraries hone their programs to meet the wants and needs of their many constituents."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Libraries, April, 1984, review of Information and Referral: Public Libraries, p. 222; September, 1993, review of The Public Library Effectiveness Study, p. 724; September, 1993, review of What's Good?: Describing Your Public Library's Effectiveness, p. 724.
Emergency Librarian, September, 1996, review of Wings of Morning, p. 23.
Journal of Academic Librarianship, November, 1984, review of Information and Referral, p. 316.
Library Journal, August, 1984, review of Information and Referral, p. 1430; April 15, 1992, Trisha Morris, review of Measures of Interlibrary Reference: A Manual, p. 129; January, 1994, William Sannwald, review of What's Good?, p. 178; April 15, 1995.
Library Quarterly, January, 1991, George D'Elia, review of The Public Library Effectiveness Study, p. 95.
Library Science Annual, 1985, review of Information and Referral, p. 119.
Reference & Research Book News, April, 1992, review of Measures of Interlibrary Reference, p. 46.
RQ, summer, 1983, review of Information and Referral, p. 355; Fall, 1984, W. Keith McCoy, review of Information and Referral, p. 117.
Voice of Youth Advocates, October, 1991, review of The Public Library Effectiveness Study: The Complete Report, p. 215.
Wilson Library Bulletin, November, 1993, Norma Stevens, review of What's Good?, p. 88.
Public Library Planning Process Web site, http://skyways.lib.ks.us/pathway/cameo/ (March 29, 2005), "Community Analysis Methods and Evaluative Options: The CAMEO Handbook.*"