OUR pages continue the discussion on book‐display, about which all has not been said by any means. The ingenious librarian will always sharpen his wits upon the attracting of readers, and the main problem in the matter is merely: what sort of reader is it most desirable to attract? We do not apologise for this reiteration, because it is the fundamental subject now facing librarians. We are not in the least moved by a comment in a contemporary that we are decrying libraries when we assert, and in spite of him we do assert, that fiction issues nearly all over London show a decline. That decline, we repeat, is due to the slight increase in the employment of readers, and to cheap fiction libraries. What the public librarian has to decide is if he shall compete with such libraries or more definitely diverge from them. If a middle course is preferred—as it usually is by Britons—what is that course? Ultimately, is the educated reader to be the standard for whom the library works, or the uneducated? Or, to put it another way, is the librarian in any way responsible for the quality of the books his community reads? Our readers, young and not so young, are invited to help us to answers to these live questions.
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