During the many years of peace perhaps the most depressing thing about libraries was the absence of public interest in them. The newspapers, public men, writers on education, amongst whom were many people who made daily use of libraries, in their public utterances completely ignored them or confined their mention to the mendacious archaism that they were merely purveyors of poor fiction. This was most unsatisfactory, for no institution can rise to its full possibilities unless it is the subject of encouragement and healthy criticism. Now affairs are different. The war has been a crucible in which most things have been tested, and libraries are proving to be no exception.
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