WHAT were the circumstances that prompted the Carnegie Corporation of New York to send to South Africa last year its President and Secretary; to make subsequently a liberal grant to libraries here, and further to delegate Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Pitt to report on them? Did our silence forbode feverish activity or stagnation? In either case the matter should be investigated, and if accused of suspecting the latter state, the Corporation could plead its interest in the former only. However, without ascribing to the instigators of the present survey any but philanthropic motives, its inception was obviously not without reason. The most self‐satisfied amongst us would not imagine for one moment that current South African library practice reflects the professional Manual. Is our conservatism due entirely to financial impoverishment, or has the enervation of a South African summer produced a winter lassitude in would‐be reader and librarian alike? Let us hastily glance at existing conditions.
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