The Library World Volume 39 Issue 5
Article publication date: 1 November 1936
AT intervals the rules and regulations of libraries should be scrutinized. They are not in themselves sacrosanct as is the constitution of the Realm, but many exist which no longer have serviceable qualities. Nevertheless, so long as a rule remains in force it should be operative and its application be general and impartial amongst readers; otherwise, favouritism and other ills will be charged against the library that makes variations. This being so, it is imperative that now and then revision should take place. There is to‐day a great dislike of discipline, which leads to attacks on all rules, but a few rules are necessary in order that books may be made to give the fullest service, be preserved as far as that is compatible with real use, and that equality of opportunity shall be given to all readers. What is wanted is not “no rules at all,” but good ones so constructed that they adapt themselves to the needs of readers. Anachronisms such as: the rule that in lending libraries forbids the exchange of a book on the day it is borrowed; the illegal charge for vouchers; insistence that readers shall return books for renewal; the rigid limiting of the number of readers' tickets; or a procrustean period of loan for books irrespective of their character—here are some which have gone in many places and should go in all. Our point, however, is that rules should be altered by the authority, not that the application of rules should be altered by staffs. The latter is sometimes done, and trouble usually ensues.
(1936), "The Library World Volume 39 Issue 5", New Library World, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 105-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb009193
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