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The Library World Volume 47 Issue 11

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 1 June 1945



FIGHTING has indeed ceased in Europe and our gratitude, especially in London and its adjacencies, is profound. It is shared by all, of course. War is by no means over and that and the drearier contentions of politics for a month or two, or it may be for years, are likely to act as a brake on many schemes. It is true a substantial Education Act has been achieved during the war but such peace as we have achieved finds none of the great social schemes, other than this, anywhere but in the realm of talk. Older men may well be cynical and more may be sceptical; so, it becomes those who believe a better world is possible to be aware. Hardly a town or county is without a scheme of development of sorts, ranging from entirely new, and always enlarged, central libraries to extended branch schemes. The cold fact is that only in a few cases, if in any, will any building of libraries be permitted yet. That does not mean that scheming is a vain occupation. Librarians realize as other men do that housing needs will overwhelm building resources for a few years and that schools, which are disastrously inadequate to permit the full implementing of the Act of 1944, and hospitals, will be preferred to us. Librarians, however, must be opportunists, too ; they will lose nothing by readiness to seize chances. Let us take what we can get; if, in the many newly‐planned residential centres, satellite towns, or other communities, no elaborate library accommodation is possible, let us reflect that what really matters are a book service and a centre of information, which do not require elaborate buildings, only good librarianship. Then, when the needs of the area are known, an appropriate building may be provided. And, as Mr. Berwick Sayers has suggested, much more temporary buildings than have been erected in late years should be used ; we have too many “good buildings” which are obsolescent—to say the least. It can be assumed now that readers do not need so much inducement to use public libraries as they did formerly, although some do and it is well to insist that temporary buildings are not necessarily unattractive inside or outside.


(1945), "The Library World Volume 47 Issue 11", New Library World, Vol. 47 No. 11, pp. 169-184.




Copyright © 1945, MCB UP Limited

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