MUCH has already been said and written upon the subject of the indicator: but in view of the general trend of advanced Public Library administration a little space may with advantage be devoted again to the consideration of its value as a modern library appliance. Passing over (a) the decision of that curiously constituted committee formed in 1879 to consider and report on indicators, and (b) the support which it received in 1880 from the Library Association, it may be said that for the next fourteen or fifteen years the indicator system was the popular, almost the universal, system in vogue throughout the country. Of late years professional opinion as to its value has undergone a remarkable change. The reaction which has set in was brought about chiefly by the introduction of Open Access in 1894, with the many reforms that accompanied it, though much, doubtless, was due to the prevalence of a more exact and systematic knowledge of librarianship, and to the natural evolution of ideas. It is not, however, intended in this paper to compare the indicator with the open access system, but with others suitable to the requirements of a closed library.
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