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The Library World Volume 13 Issue 4

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 1 October 1910



THE Thirty‐third Library Association Conference was distinguished by several features, of which special mention may be made of the social side, the President's address, and the Trans‐Atlantic representatives. On the whole the business side was dull, and to a majority of those present, unproductive. None of the papers possessed novelty or special inspiration, and the discussions were just about the usual level. The attempt to make the meeting important in the public eye was only partially successful, if one may judge by the newspaper comments which accompanied and followed the Conference. Only Dr. Kenyon's vigorous defence of municipal libraries appears to have created interest; and for the time being, at anyrate, he seems to have laid the fiction bogey. His figures showing the work of the municipal libraries seem to have greatly impressed the journalistic community, and for once they realised that the value of these public institutions can only be ascertained by taking into account the whole of their work instead of the operations of a single department. The public meeting held on September 6th, at 8 p.m., was fairly well attended by the citizens of Exeter, and they were entertained by a series' of good addresses by Dr. Jennings of Brighton and others. The Glasgow lay delegate made up for the past reticence of Scottish members by the length and eloquence of his speech. The loss of the American slides rendered a lantern lecture impossible, but Miss Ahern's talk on American library work and ideals made up for what otherwise would have been a great disappointment. Dr. Locke, chief librarian of Toronto, spoke well, and several American librarians also addressed the meeting. Like many of the British members of the L.A., some of them possess the knack of speaking well without saying very much. This apparent paradox will bear thinking over. A paper on “Books and village children” elicited a long discussion but none of the other papers were of great interest. The annual business meeting was a mere torrent of talk, conducted by the same small ring of individuals who inflict their views on every occasion with unfailing regularity. They possess in perfection the art of effective blether which begirls and ends in mere words. To listen in a hot room to these men talking about nothing is an act of heroism for which every auditor deserves the medal of the Royal Humane Society or the Victoria Cross. The delegate to the Brussels Congress was more effective with what he concealed than with what he reported. As remarked above, the knack of saying a lot about a little is not possessed by Americans alone to the exclusion of other nations!


(1910), "The Library World Volume 13 Issue 4", New Library World, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 96-128.




Copyright © 1910, MCB UP Limited

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