THIS number of THE LIBRARY WORLD returns to the question of foreign literature in British Libraries. The insistence in recent years upon two foreign languages at least, as a qualification for a librarian, has had some good results; but they are Still inadequate in extent. Every librarian must be painfully aware of the handicap we British people suffer in our average inability to converse in any language but our own; no other race is quite so restricted. A Swiss, for example, does not ask if we can speak this or that language, but asks, “In what language shall we speak together?”—a vastly different thing. It is not because of any lack of power to learn; it is merely our unwillingness or lack of opportunity to do so. Such attitudes are anachronisms to‐day; peoples get so much closer every hour, and it must be clear to all who think that one place in a town where a foreigner should be able to ask an intelligent question and receive an answer in his own tongue is the library.
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