Owing to its almost universal quotation, the recent action of the Westminster City Council in closing not only its South Audley Street Library but all its newspaper rooms as well, has been the significant event of the last month. By these means, and by severe restriction of its expenditure on new books, a reduction of over three thousand pounds has been effected. Westminster is perhaps the richest borough in London; its library rate of only a fraction of a penny in the pound produces the sum of well‐nigh twelve thousand pounds. Certainly a larger amount than that recorded by any other library authority administering a similar number of libraries, although the fixed charges that have to be met are probably the highest in the Kingdom. Unaware of the extent of the Westminster income various local papers have quoted the amount saved and attempted to draw a moral from it to apply to the libraries in their own localities—libraries which are already in a state of semi‐starvation. It should, therefore, be remembered that, although the Westminster libraries have been crippled to an extent that only their users can know, there is still a larger sum devoted to public libraries in Westminster than in any other borough of similar size, and while Westminster is injured by the loss of one‐third of its income, a similar loss would mean ruin to most other library systems.
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