So far as municipal libraries are concerned, by the time these lines appear librarians will mostly have faced the annual ordeal of the Estimates. It will not have been an easy time for them; for 1921–22 will be the first year in which the high post‐war charges of all kinds have to be encountered as a whole; and the forecast, at a time when the public generally is crying for economy—by which it means retrenchment—has in many cases seemed a gloomy one. The times are serious, and unemployment and slack industries do not make for enthusiasm for library or other constructive expenditure. The phase is, we hope, a transient, transitional one, and while we may deplore retrenchment in any phase of our work, it may be better to face the facts squarely, and to acquiesce in a certain amount of restraint than to resist it, in the hope that our moderation may lead to a larger measure of money and moral support later. It is only a hope, but it is worth cherishing.
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