A LEAN year faces many librarians and, of course, their Staffs as a result of the sudden but not unexpected bound in the cost of public services. It creates, as one well‐known librarian remarked in our hearing, not a crisis but an administrative problem. It is difficult to suggest a condition in which such circumstances may not occur from time to time; the former Stability of local government and its officers has been considerably weakened in recent years: a fact which may have unfortunate effects on the recruitment to this service. Most towns, however reluctantly, have accepted the fact that if municipal or other local services are to continue they must be paid for and, this is the essential, at current rates. The butcher, baker, and perhaps most obviously the builder, decorator, farmer and miner, will not serve them in their homes on any other terms. The proverb of cutting the coat according to the cloth means, of course, according to the weave and certainly has not the silly meaning given popularly to it for, if there is insufficient cloth, there can be no coat at all. It seems then that libraries have not all been deprived in the manner that has been the case in a few towns. As we write the national and international atmosphere has a touch of spring and therefore of promise in it and, while there is as yet no cause for jubilations, some optimism may be felt. Nevertheless, it takes a large library a long time to recover from a temporary mutilation of its services.
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