HIS MAJESTY THE KING is winning new admiration, if that were possible, as the speaker of words on libraries which are memorable. At the opening of the University Library at Cambridge on October 22nd, he described that great new library as “both a power house and a testing station of educational activities,” and went on to say, “It is a workshop of new knowledge and a store‐house of seasoned wisdom.” It is difficult to think of phrases which convey more fully the work and aspirations of a great national library. We cannot refrain from mentioning again the significant fact that within one year His Majesty has opened two libraries, which together have cost £1,000,000 to build. If any have doubts as to the national attitude towards the library movement, they will probably be resolved in favour of the future of libraries by thinking of this. Of course, the Manchester Public Library was built out of the sum accumulated from the sale of a previous central library, and we know that one half of the £500,000 spent at Cambridge came from the International Education Board; but in the first case, the good will of Mancunians was required for the spending on the library of this large sum of money, and in the second case, £229,000 was obtained by public subscription from friends of Cambridge. These are works of faith which must have a very great effect upon the future of education and culture of England. If they were alone, however, they would have been significant, but when we remember that Leeds University and the City of Sheffield have built great libraries, and even in smaller places such as Dover a new library has been established, while there are many new branch libraries at Birmingham, Bristol, and elsewhere, and renovations of older libraries, as at Coventry and Croydon, and Nottingham, we realise that in a time which is thought to be one of depression, the public library has made strides which are almost as great as those of the early Carnegie days.
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