A MIXED feeling seems to be present in the minds of members of Public Library Committees regarding the clause in the new Libraries Bill which gives local authorities the option of increasing the present limited rate of one penny to any amount up to a maximum total of twopence in the pound. In view of the fact that the extension of the rate can only be made at the discretion of local authorities, it is difficult to see what objections can be brought against it. One of the strongest arguments in favour of an extension of the penny rate limit is that about thirty library districts have varied the Acts by special legislation giving increased rating powers. When one realizes the demands made on Public Libraries at the present day, compared with those made upon them in 1855, when the penny rate was fixed, the suggested increase appears to be only reasonable.
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