Of all the ways to divide an overview of one's current engagements, this may be the among the least obvious. Looking at library interest is obvious, and unimaginative, enough. My interests in philosophy are not some sort of personal philosophy of library science, but more along the lines of metaphysics or philosophical theology. In the past, when I spent much more time in reference and collection development, a continued interest in philosophy could be justified as a subject specialty. It might even make sense now for one who delved a great deal into information theory and had a passion for the philosophy of mind. Alas, neither is the case. Still, both library science and metaphysics do take up enough of my academic life to include both and so subsume various intellectual actives under these two headings.


I received my MSLS from what was then the College of Library and Information Science at the University of Kentucky (the library program is now part of the Journalism School) under the direction of Michael Harris. It was under his influence I came to see the book as a book as primary, rather than the librarian as a facilitator of information. To that end I tend to see the librarian's primary roles as that of a collection development agent--selecting the best materials for our patrons--and cataloger--so describing materials in the intellectual universe that they are readily accessible. As a consequence, it is my hope that electronic library systems will make the bibliography hierarchy of this intellectual universe so apparent that the role of bibliographic instruction for patrons can focus on the selection of appropriate materials rather than the tools by which they are found. My slim body of work bears this conviction out.

In this light, some of the challenges facing librarians today are: placing electronic resources, including those found on the Internet, within a stable collection development policy, cataloging and indexing those materials so that there is some sort of continuity between these sources and sources more traditionally connected with the library--such as books and periodicals--and presenting these materials, as well as their place within a bibliographic hierarchy, to library patrons. Rather than stabilizing, the web has simultaniously shattered any rational hierarchy based on the nature on the nature of how information is stored or how one might expect to search for information and provided the illusion of a flat, universe of knowledge--as can be seen in the utter simplicity of the Google interface. What is exciting is that while libraries are not yet even close to restoring some rationality to the universe of knowledge, smaller institutions, such as Wingate University, are making great strides. Although not fully implemented, this library's online catalog--Voyager from Ex Libris--and NCLive (North Carolina's library information gateway) are making great strides to that end. To that end, we continue not only to integrate our various electronic source but work to assure that they are widely available.

Besides these projects, I am a lurker (and occasional contributor) on LIBREF-L (a discussion list for reference librarians), LIBNT-L (another list, this one for librarians using the various Windows-based servers) and Web4Lib (a list dedicated to issues regarding libraries and information science on the web).


I studied philosophy under Win Corduan at Taylor University--from whom I own a mostly Reformed and somewhat medieval or Neo-Thomist outlook--and then Stu Hackett and William Lane Craig at Trinity Evangelical. From Dr. Hackett I owe my appreciation of Leibniz and from Dr. Craig that of philosophers as diverse as John Duns Scotus and Alvin Plantinga. Later, while at Louisville Presbyterian, Burton Cooper gave me by first real introduction to the work of Alfred North Whitehead.

Current projects, if they can be called that, center around problem of evil. An initial attempt can be seen in my sole article on the subject. Initially, I studied the problem because it seemed to be the largest question facing a faith such as Christianity. Lately, however, I continue to be fascinated with the topic because the topic covers so much ground, such as the nature of existence, the connection between actual existence and logical possibility, the relationship between morality and liberty, and even the relationship of God with his nature. I should also add the the ontological argument has been a preoccupation for over twenty years. One would think that I would just get over it and move on, but no such luck. I hope someday to settle down and write more.