WE look before and after at the beginning of 1951. The three cardinal dates in the history of the public library movement—which is only the larger part of the national library service—were 1850 which saw the legal origin of the movement; 1919 when it was set free from the enforced poverty of sixty‐nine years, and 1950 when it reached what until today was its veritable apotheosis. General recognition, such as authority from the Crown to the humblest journal gave to public libraries, was something undreamed of not more than thirty years ago. Perhaps, now that some of the splendour of the commemoration has taken more sober colours, it is well to consider what was gained by it. First, the recognition is there and can scarcely be belittled by anyone hereafter; we stand on a somewhat different platform now. We have the extremely valued recognition of our colleagues from libraries overseas. From these advantages all libraries and not only public libraries will in their own way profit.
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