Middle October finds most libraries well settled into their winter work, and this winter will probably be the most unusual in the history of the public library movement, while it will not be without its problems for every other description of library. Present indications lead us to believe that there will be no falling‐off of the demands of the civilian population; our libraries are crowded in the earlier part of the evenings, and unless some catastrophe intervenes of which we have at present no anticipation, this demand is not likely to fall much lower. Apart from their book work, some libraries may find it necessary to shear away their extension work in the shape of lectures and similar activities, mainly, of course, because of shortage of labour, but also because of the darkness of the streets at night. This latter difficulty is being met by some by moving the time of the lectures forward, and we think the plan has much to commend it. We hope, wherever they can, that librarians will maintain as many as possible of these activities “that show,” since they will keep the libraries before the public at a time when they are likely to be thought comparatively unimportant. There should be no acquiescence in the notion that libraries are luxuries, and that they have not a part of quiet but immense importance to play in the immediate future.
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