THERE are now so many meetings of the Library Association and its branches and sections that the good custom of recording meetings and the discussions at them has fallen into desuetude. In a way it is a gain, for when the discussion was commonplace the account of a meeting became a mere list of those who attended and spoke, bones without flesh; but in the days when The Library Association Record really was a record, its reports were a part of the educational and informational material of every librarian. Something should be done about this, because 1938 opened with a series of meetings which all deserved the fullest report. The principal one was the investiture meeting of the President of the Library Association on January 17th. The attendance was greater than that at any meeting of librarians in recent years, of course other than the Annual Conference. Chaucer House was beautifully arranged, decorated and lighted for the occasion, an atmosphere of cheerfulness and camaraderie pervaded the affair. The speeches were limited to a few preliminary words by the retiring President, the Archbishop of York, before placing the badge on his successor's neck; a brief, but deserved panegyric of Dr. Temple's services by Mr. Berwick Sayers; and then a delightful acknowledgment from His Grace. The serious point the Archbishop made was his surprise at learning the wide extent of the library movement and his conviction that it must be of great value to the community. His lighter touch was exquisite; especially his story of the ceremonial key, which broke in the lock and jammed it when he was opening a library in state, and of his pause to settle mentally the ethical point as to whether he could conscientiously declare he had “opened” a place when he had made it impossible for anyone to get in until a carpenter had been fetched. Altogether a memorable evening, which proved, too, as a guest rightly said, that one cannot easily entertain librarians, but, if you get them together in comfortable conditions, they entertain themselves right well.
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