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The Library World Volume 4 Issue 4

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 1 October 1901



The Twenty‐fourth Annual Meeting of the Library Association has come and gone, yet neither the zeal nor the number of those attending this now respectably aged foregathering show any sign of diminution. While several well‐known faces were—let us hope only temporarily—absent from the Plymouth meeting, new ones seemed to be in more than usual evidence. From east and west and north, but not from south on this occasion, librarians and committee‐men made their devious ways to the Three Towns, there to discuss the ever new and ever widening work of libraries, upon which so much has been written and said, that it might seem to the outsider that the purely technical side of library work at all events must or ought to have been exhausted by this time. It is believed that the wondering question, What can these librarians find to talk about? is by no means seldom heard in the town or district in which are undertaken what it is usual to refer to as the “pleasant labours”—with a good‐humoured emphasis on the “pleasant”—of the Conference. Yet, those who are familiar with the subject, are well aware that there are many topics in library management which have never been brought even once before the annual meeting, and that there is scarcely one of the matters which have been discussed upon which something fresh and valuable could not be said. What is said and written is too often a reiteration of an old story, worn threadbare in the telling, which is only to point the fact that the number of men who look at a subject in an original way and think out something for themselves is small, and this is no truer of librarians than of any other body of men. But there need be no fear of a dearth of subjects, even in the narrow field of library technology, for many years to come. New developments must be made to meet new conditions as they arise, and this means new problems to be solved.


(1901), "The Library World Volume 4 Issue 4", New Library World, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 84-112.




Copyright © 1901, MCB UP Limited

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