The Library World Volume 54 Issue 11
Article publication date: 1 June 1953
DR. S. C. ROBERT'S Presidential Address which is printed in the L.A. Record for May and reprinted in the usual separate Proceedings, will be read by all manner of librarians not only for its individual charm but also for a suggestion here and there which may have lasting effects. His major conclusion is that “the spiritual harmony and the intellectual Stability of mankind will Still be largely determined by the reading and writing of books,” whatever may be the triumphs of cinema, wireless and television. This was well worth repeating at a time when we are occupied by visual methods, quite justly, indeed ; if only again to Stress that these must not become an obsession which prevents our seeing that our real purpose is the book. So, too, we may ponder his gentle caveat: “in our laudable efforts towards a perfection of order and classification, there is inevitably a tendency to mistake means for ends, to make our systems our masters rather than our servants.” We know that there is a growing revolt against the intricate simplicities that are being introduced in cataloguing and classification; so intricate, indeed, that except to those who have done careful preparatory reading, writers upon them are completely unreadable. Not the least interesting part of Dr. Roberts's address was his account of early encounters with a library indicator and its attendant difficulties. These may be read as a warning, seeing that most of us have never seen an indicator, and some, because of the losses open access involves, would like to return to what is stupidly called “closed‐access,” a term as sensible as hot ice or dry wet.
(1953), "The Library World Volume 54 Issue 11", New Library World, Vol. 54 No. 11, pp. 205-224. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb009369
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