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The Library World Volume 51 Issue 1

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 1 July 1948



ALL journals move with the times if they are vital. We have always held that The Library World has been in touch with the currents of thought and practice and, as this is our jubilee number, we would stress these facts again. Fifty years ago, the pioneer public librarians of the closing nineteenth century found that they needed a means of expression and communication, and indeed of criticism, untrammelled by the necessary reticences of the official associations. That is not to say that they were not, as now, supporters of the Library Association; indeed, they were its most active members; but they realized that The Library Association Record is the property of the members. It is bound to refrain from undue praise or blame of any activity of any of those members. At least, that was the view then prevalent and we still think it is a fair one. Thence came THE LIBRARY WORLD with its open secret that the honorary Editor was James Duff Brown. It drew on a wide range of contributors, and was the voice of those who were fighting for open access, subject‐indexes, close‐classification, and the card catalogue, as well as the general liberation of libraries from indicators with all the restrictions those contraptions sustained. That echo of a dead controversy of long ago rings naturally in our jubilee hour. It was an influence from the start, and in its unbroken career almost every librarian of importance has written something for it; indeed, many young writers first saw themselves in print in it. That was and is a characteristic of our editorial effort—to furnish a forum for librarians of any age, in the belief that age needs the criticism and suggestions of youth as much as youth needs those of age. If, occasionally, an article has appeared which has betrayed the prentice hand, we have made no apology for it; there has always been something in it that repaid the publication. Generally, however, the methods which now prevail in public and other libraries, but perhaps especially in public libraries, were first expounded in our pages. Then we have writers who have written for nearly forty years in that remarkable correspondence, Letters on Our Affairs, which even today is probably the most‐read of all library writings. At least a dozen faithful correspondents have been involved in them.


(1948), "The Library World Volume 51 Issue 1", New Library World, Vol. 51 No. 1, pp. 1-24.




Copyright © 1948, MCB UP Limited

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