THE recently published Report of the Departmental Committee on libraries is a work of profound significance to British librarianship. Notwithstanding existing national differences—affecting authorities, administrative committees, financial provisions, and so forth,—the policy and purpose of Scottish libraries are in the main identical with those of England and Wales. The two systems operate on so nearly parallel lines, that where variation in statutory provision has resulted in slightly different practice, it has developed only very minor change in the character of library activities. This similarity suggests that in all essentials the Report of the Departmental Committee will be almost as useful to Scottish as to English and Welsh libraries. In my view, however, helpful as this may be, exact information regarding the public libraries of Scotland is urgently required. They have been subject to the same vicissitudes as have affected other British libraries; those in urban areas have suffered from financial restrictions which, since 1919, have not applied in cither county or urban areas in England and Wales. Then the recent elevation of the Advocates' Library to the status of a national institution adds to the libraries administered in the public interest one capable of rendering much helpful assistance to the service generally. A review of the possibilities of improved library provision is therefore very important. Such a review should contain precise information regarding library resources, the conditions under which they are used, how far co‐operation with other libraries has been developed, and how, by co‐ordination, economies can be effected and greater efficiency obtained.
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