TECHNICAL Education, after looming before the British public for half a century, is now with us a recognised factor in our national life. The passing of the Technical Instruction Acts of and 1891, and the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act of gave an impetus to the movement, and has produced results of a most gratifying character. Technical schools, or institutions bearing other names in which technical instruction is given, are now considerably more numerous than Public Libraries. According to a return of the National Society for promotion of Technical Education in England (excluding London), 319 technical schools, under municipal and public bodies, have been erected at a cost of £3,186,102—an average of £10,000 per school in round numbers—and of this sum, one quarter of a million has been involved since 1901. In order to obtain an adequate idea of the extent to which technical instruction is given, it is necessary to take into account the higher grade schools and other institutions which are used for this purpose. But if technical schools be numerically stronger than Public Libraries, the former institution is incomplete without the latter. In such isolation, its relative position to the student, is like a conservatory without a garden to the botanist. A Public Library, with carefully selected books of reference, bearing on the subjects taught in the technical school as well as on all the industries carried on in the neighbourhood, is an indispensable condition to the success of the technical school, and I hope County Councils will, in the near future, use their influence to promote the establishment of Public Libraries in every locality where a technical school is considered essential.
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