AT this time of the year librarians take their holidays. They will need the break this year as much as in any year since the end of the war. There are many problems to be faced in the autumn and winter, among them the continuous rising prices of everything, and the diversion of public funds to rearmament, which must have some repercussions upon the library service. Whether it is yet a fact that the pound is worth little more than five shillings in real money, we are not prepared to say, but it is certain that every cost has increased, and is continuing to increase. Especially is this so in connection with book production and bookselling; even, as our correspondent on another page suggests, in some cases the royalties of authors are in jeopardy. How far this will go it is impossible to say. At the same time the rates everywhere promise to increase still further, and in spite of the advances, it is unlikely that libraries will be exempt from the stringencies of the time. Such predictions have, however, been frequently contradicted by our past experience. Some of the real advances libraries have made have seemed to be the direct result of bad times. This is hardly a holiday meditation, but we think our readers will need all the physical and mental refreshment they can get before they face the possibilities that may follow.
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