IT is heartening to librarians who begin a winter's work to read more personally a few recent conference utterances. In the changing pattern of contemporary life the library has become an indispensable ingredient and not merely an ornament or an amenity, although it may also be that. Such a phrase, uttered fifty years ago, would have been met with a curl of contempt upon the lip of most hearers—so we are told. But that was the effect of Sir Philip Morris's conference address, to which we have turned again with profit. Yet before our complacency grows we may also note his view that, while modern life without libraries is impossible, our tendencies hitherto have been unplanned and this is a source of strength not without its dangers. When such statements are made there seems a certain vagueness about them. We recall that young librarians were not admitted to the special abbreviated matriculation that was available to others after the first World War because they “were not an organized profession.” With our Association, Charter, Examinations, and Diplomas, which such a decision then ignored, many were left wondering what the word organized meant. If we are unplanned, or have been, in what way are we so? Every year, indeed, increases the appropriateness of our training and testing systems, and their difficulty. Every year sees the recognition of the unity in librarianship in spite of the superficial differences we deal with below; every year sees the development of library research, intercommunication and almost universal co‐operation. As for differences, Mr. F. C. Francis in his eloquent address stressed the need for a flexible, genial individualism in libraries. Probably our President was leading us to contemplate the views the Council advanced in its motion to the Annual General Meeting which, in the interests of efficiency, would transfer the responsibility for libraries to larger local government authorities. The postal ballot on the Council resolution demanded at Southport has now been declared. 8,502 members were entitled to vote, about 3,340 were excluded for non‐payment of their current subscriptions, and 3,538 returned correct ballot papers. The majority for the Council was 1,150. Such ballots are necessarily secret and no inferences can be drawn from the figures, except that the Council has a modest mandate to go ahead. We are sure that discretion will be observed in the choice of time and manner of doing that.
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