In class discussion on Friday we did not get around to talking about Du Mont's article "Race in American Librarianship: Attitudes of the Library Profession". My biggest problem with the article is its failure to talk about Plessy v. Ferguson (the 1896 US Supreme Court case that established the concept of separate but equal, for more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plessy_v._Ferguson). Only once on page 498 is there a passing reference when Du Mont says "Librarians as a whole, northern as well as southern, tended to avoid the issue of integration even after the legal reversal of the 'separate but equal' doctrine in 1954 brought the whole question into national prominence." So why is Plessy v. Ferguson missing from the article? What utility would Plessy v. Ferguson bring to the article?
I do not know the answer to the first question. When Du Mont says, "in 1940 Gleason had reported that out of 774 public library units in the thirteen states of the South, only 99 provided any service to blacks" (498) I dismayed by the lack of library services available to blacks in the South. If Du Mont had included Plessy v Ferguson this would show that the American Library Association could have mounted a legal challenge to remedy the unequal library service to blacks in the South based on the doctrine of "separate but equal" but choose not to challenge the status quo.