A year or two ago the Library Association established what was called, a Press Committee, having as its objects the correcting of misstatements and the replying to attacks on public libraries in the newspapers. Our press‐cuttings have not given us many examples of the Committee's activity, and we fear it never did much if any work. This has no doubt been because the library profession is so small that the number of men able and willing to further its purposes is necessarily too limited to carry through a vigorous policy. The article in The Daily Mail to which Eratosthenes refers in characteristic fashion this month is an example of the sort of thing which ought to have been met immediately by the Press Committee. We need a few men with level heads and facile pens promptly to challenge any plea for such misapplied public economy. Plausible suggestions that public libraries are of secondary importance are made every day, and so deeply is this opinion rooted in the minds of some of our public leaders that any opposition to it needs to be both practical and wise. To all who have considered social and economic questions at all the strength of the case for the public library has never been more strong than it is at present. But men who believe that economy will be served by stopping the medical inspection of school children and by the abolition of technical education—and such suggestions were actually made in the article we have mentioned—would certainly not spare the university of the people. Indeed, the author bluntly suggested that the libraries should be closed and the officials dismissed! A writer in the Sunday Chronicle sanely declares the closing suggested to be “not only not economy; it is anti‐patriotic.” Under these circumstances a vigorous publicity committee of librarians and library experts like Aldermen Abbott, Brittain, Leslie and Plummer, might do invaluable service.
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