The Library World Volume 3 Issue 3
Article publication date: 1 September 1900
A PILGRIMAGE to West Cornwall can be heartily recommended to any librarian in search of rest, fresh air, and complete change from the monotony of town life. Here he will find abundance of interest and novelty in connection with the habits and customs of the ancient Britons still extant, and derive many impressions of pleasure from the magnificent rock scenery with which the coast abounds. Dairy‐farming, tin‐mining, pilchard fishing, druidical monuments, and wild flowers can also be studied with profit; and even Public Libraries, in a condition of arrested development not uncommon in other districts of England. Cornwall is pre‐eminently the county for Public Libraries. Geographically it is remote from the populous parts of England, and the Great‐Western Railway Company, with commendable forethought, have taken enormous pains to maintain this seclusion by a most pitiful and inadequate service of trains. I was once assured by the Public Librarian of Penzance that no thief would ever raid his institution, for the simple reason that it was impossible to get away quick enough to avoid detection ! A place thus difficult to get away from, is manifestly one which requires strong home interests to make it attractive, and, as theatres, music halls, and other light diversions, find little favour in Cornish towns, the Public Library, with its wealth of varied reading, is practically the only after‐dark resource left. But there are other circumstances which make Cornwall an ideal county for a liberal provision of Public Libraries. The decline of the mining industry has driven many of the men away to other centres, such as South Africa, and it is well‐known that, at the present time, more money is coming into the county from exiled sons abroad than is being made locally. There is thus an enormous surplus of that great natural reader— woman—and to her should be offered in profusion plenty of romantic and other reading as a solace and compensation for the loss of her natural companion—man.
(1900), "The Library World Volume 3 Issue 3", New Library World, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 56-84. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb008823
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