FROM everywhere there are reports of increased issues of books from libraries. The famine in copies no doubt accounts in part for it and, probably, there is also what is almost a resurgence of effort after knowledge amongst young men and women who are endeavouring in many fields of work to recover some of the losses of the war years. We cannot recall at any time when so much hard grinding study was being done as now. Pessimists about youth and juvenile delinquency (which however is incidental to a much younger age than that we are contemplating) would do well to reflect upon this fact. Whatever the cause, the immediate prospects for libraries in universities, works, and social institutions of every sort were never brighter. We know that certain types of “economist” of the faded “retrenchment and reform” type say the situation is temporary and artificial but, even if it is, and we are by no means acquiescent in this opinion, much ground may be won and held from any temporary good period. We think librarianship, under the present leadership of the Library Association, may be able to consolidate the position both for public and for other kinds of libraries. The Association was never better led than since the war; it has had remarkably statesmenlike presidents, an active council and an Honorary Secretary who for constructive capacity, vision, literary skill and fearlessness, combined with an energy and industry that leaves most of his contemporaries breathless, has not been surpassed; and he is backed by a Staff that rises to the ever‐increasing demands of the service. We are glad to write this last sentence, for Secretary Welsford has to cover many duties and serve many causes: receive and entertain the Association's guests from overseas; look after meetings; the educational services which now are very great; attend to the troubles of librarians everywhere and advise in them about matters ranging from salaries to ethics; our publications, accounts, catering, interviewing, negotiating with public departments and other bodies. As for the meetings of the Council and its committees, we are told, not by Mr. Welsford who knows nothing of this note, that its reports and papers ran in March alone to 200 foolscap typed pages! Of course Mr. Welsford has an excellent staff which assists him with real live interest. The time has come, however, as our readers now know, when special senior officers to deal with Membership and Education respectively are to be appointed to work side by side with the Librarian, the excellent Mr. Henrik Jones (who never fails the searcher, even the youngest, and seems to know what we are all doing) to carry “at a high level” some of the burdens. Annual Reports are not always read but we were drawn to these reflections by the recently issued Report of the Library Association for the year. We commend it to those who are inclined to leave it unread.
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 1948, MCB UP Limited