THE law relating to public libraries in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State is contained in 16 Public Libraries Acts. There are 19 other Acts of Parliament in force which contain provisions directly affecting public libraries and, in addition, several Acts relating to public health, local government and other matters, apply indirectly. To add to this accumulation of statute law, Statutory Rules and Orders have been made, and several local Acts of Parliament passed under which public libraries have been established and are still maintained. From time to time additional borrowing powers have been secured by means of local Acts and, before the removal of the rate limitation in England, localities were able to obtain parliamentary sanction to increase the library rate in the same manner. The difficulty of ascertaining the source of the law increases as time goes on. The Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1929, created an anomalous position with regard to county and burgh library rates and, in 1933, the Local Government Act amended the law in England in many respects. The draft of a Public Health Bill, issued in January by the Local Government and Public Health Consolidation Committee, recommends still another alteration affecting public libraries.
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