IN wishing our readers the compliments of the New Year, we can congratulate them and ourselves upon the manner in which libraries of all kinds have survived one of the mo difficult economic times in memory. It is true that the Great War furnished many library authorities with a pretext, perhaps to some extent justified, to reduce their library activity. But of late they have had the authority of a Government demand for retrenchment in actual money, which was likely to have had a severe influence upon libraries. Fortunately, as Lord Irwin pointed out at the opening of Chaucer House, public libraries escaped the universal axe which was applied to other departments—at any rate in a measure; although, indeed, there were places, like Sheffield, where the cut was not reasonable. Nevertheless, on the whole it may be said that public libraries came out of the difficult situation with happier results than most institutions. It is not accurate to say that the crisis is over, but it is quite true that its worst time has passed, and that there is a definite opening out of financial possibilities throughout Great Britain. “We see not yet the full day here, but we behold the waning night,” is a quotation which we may apply to the present situation.
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