IN devoting this number of The Library World in the main to county libraries, we shall not, we think, be guilty of producing what the journalists call “stale matter.” There was a time when county libraries appeared to dominate all small meetings of librarians and even appeared to obsess conferences; a new thing always creates in its advocates and workers an enthusiasm which, to some, appears to be out of proportion. We say “appears to be” because many town librarians felt that their own work was being by‐passed and occasionally belittled. Cooler minds, however, realised from the beginning that the first stages of county library development were as acorns from which oaks would inevitably grow. Few movements have the social importance that the county libraries undoubtedly have. Speaking from the librarianship point of view, it can now be said that the county libraries have proved themselves. The service as yet is uneven, as is inevitable; the movement began and grew in times of great stringency; and even those who advocated it, and it may be those who financed it, did not see its full possibilities. Growth will continue and in time the county library movement will be as fully organised as that of the great city libraries.
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