Croft, Janet Brennan 1961-
Croft, Janet Brennan 1961-
Born May 5, 1961, in Pittsburgh, PA; daughter of Earl (a chemical engineer) and Marian (a library clerk) Brennan; married Duane Croft (a lawyer), August 11, 1984; children: Sarah. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Indiana University, B.A., 1982, M.L.S., 1983. Hobbies and other interests: Quilting, costuming, making jewelry.
Home—Norman, OK. Office—Bizzell Memorial Library, University of Oklahoma, 401 W. Brooks St., Norman, OK 73019. E-mail—[email protected]
Jenner & Block (law firm), Chicago, IL, reference librarian, 1983-84; Sewickley Public Library, Sewickley, PA, volunteer, 1984-85, adult services librarian, 1985-88; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, reference librarian, 1985; Moon Township Public Library, Coraopolis, PA, cataloger and librarian, 1988-89, substitute cataloger, 1990; Wheeler Basin Regional Library, Decatur, AL, acquisitions clerk, 1993; Martin Methodist College, Pulaski, TN, associate professor, 1993-2000, assistant library director, 1993, library director, 1993-2000; University of Oklahoma, Norman, assistant professor, 2001-07, associate professor, 2007—, librarian and head of access services at university library, 2001—. Conference participant and public speaker.
Mythopoeic Society (member of council of stewards, 2006—), Tolkien Society, Popular Culture Association, American Library Association, Mountain Plains Library Association, Oklahoma Library Association, Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association, New York C.S. Lewis Society.
Outstanding article award, Interlending and Document Supply, 2001, for an article on licensing and interlibrary loan issues; Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies, Mythopoeic Society, 2005, for War and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
War and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2004.
Legal Solutions in Electronic Reserves and Electronic Delivery of Interlibrary Loan, Haworth (Binghamton, NY), 2004.
(Editor) Tolkien on Film: Essays on Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings," Mythopoeic Press (Altadena, CA), 2004.
(Annotator) Dorothy L. Sayers, The Travelling Rug, Mythopoeic Press (Altadena, CA), 2005.
(Editor) Tolkien and Shakespeare: Essays on Shared Themes and Language, McFarland (Jefferson, NC), 2007.
Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Seven: Anglo-American Literary Review, Mallorn, World Literature Today, Journal of Access Services, College and Undergraduate Libraries, Archival Products News, and Journal of Library Administration. Editor, Mythlore: Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature, 2006—, and Oklahoma Librarian, 2006—.
Janet Brennan Croft told CA: "My research has been divided into two fairly distinct areas: librarianship, focusing particularly on legal issues involving copyright of electronic media, and literature and popular culture, specializing in the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and related authors.
"While the majority of my research has been in Tolkien studies, I feel strongly that it is also important to contribute to my profession. When I was asked to investigate how the interlibrary loan department should deal with our various electronic database licenses, I researched the problem, came up with a solution (which we have adopted), communicated this solution to other libraries through articles and presentations, and broadened my research into closely related areas of copyright law and libraries.
"Although a longtime reader of Tolkien, I had never considered his works as a research topic until I read Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory. Though Fussell does not discuss Tolkien, I found many of his observations on post-World War I literature applicable to Tolkien's novels and stories. After presenting a paper on Tolkien and World War I, I was encouraged to expand on the topic, and eventually I wrote several articles on different aspects of war in Tolkien's works and fleshed them out into a book: War and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
"Another area of Tolkien studies that I have explored is various film adaptations of his works. As a result of this research, I edited Tolkien on Film: Essays on Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings." As a member of the press's advisory board I was involved in every aspect of producing this book, from the initial call for papers through layout, typography, indexing, and publicity. This led to the invitation to run for editor of the scholarly peer-reviewed journal Mythlore, which I began editing in 2006.
"Several of my projects deal with how Tolkien used elements from Shakespeare's plays in his works. This research led to another editing project: Tolkien and Shakespeare: Shared Language and Themes. I've also written several articles for the new Tolkien encyclopedia.
"Beyond Tolkien, I was also involved in the production of Dorothy L. Sayers's The Travelling Rug. I provided the annotations for this previously unpublished short story by an author who was a close friend of C.S. Lewis and shared many concerns and themes with the Inklings. As with Tolkien on Film, I was involved with all aspects of the production of this book. I am also assisting with the editing of Past Watchful Dragons, a collection of conference papers on C.S. Lewis. Another project that brings my Tolkien research back to my library roots is an index to over thirty years of the journal Mythlore.
"If there is one theme that can tie together these various strands of research, I believe it is an interest in how people and organizations respond to change, particularly moral and legal change. In both librarianship and literature, studying situations in which formerly clear-cut guidelines suddenly become ambiguous, and understanding the most effective ways to handle change while maintaining ethical and legal balance, can be very rewarding. Understanding the implications of copyright laws in flux due to new forms of media and distribution patterns, and how our basic services may be affected, is essential to providing our patrons the best service possible. Seeking an understanding of how war, technology, access to power, and societal pressures of all kinds (including trends and fashions in entertainment) create change can underscore basic human truths and help us find the moral center of these works and in ourselves."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
University of Oklahoma Faculty-Staff Web site,http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/ (April 2, 2007), faculty profile of author.