In these notes at the beginning of our last volume we expressed the hope that its conclusion would see at least the approach of peace. That hope has not been fulfilled, and only an unreasoning optimist could say that at present the cessation of hostilities is anywhere in sight. The year has been marked by success and tragedy; tragedy in the losses we have sustained of some of the leading young men of the profession who have died in all parts of the world for the Flag; success in the fact that the moral of the nation has grown rather than diminished, that the Empire is more determined than ever to secure a world in which free men may live, that the course of events have proven to our American brethren that our cause is and has been just. As librarians we share in all the feelings created by these facts. Perhaps the most significant social fact of the year has been the gradual awakening of the people to educational opportunities, and the need of them. There has been a wave of interest in things intellectual, from the utilitarian point of view mainly. The need of meeting German after‐the‐war competition is frankly the impetus to interest in education among many public men; but there are educationists with somewhat higher views whose voices are receiving attention; and, it is obvious, alas, that there were never so many cranks in full volubility as now. Whatever may be the causes of the new interest, it is undoubtedly the duty of librarians and library organizations to take full advantage of that interest to press the claims of libraries to a public hearing. How that is to be done is the business (theoretically) of the Library Association to determine, and we understand that of late it is devoting attention to the problem.
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