WHEN librarians meet and talk “shop,” it isn't usually long before someone is trying to argue about the provision of lighter material— the ephemeral novels, travel, and biography, the stocking of which none of us is prepared to justify on their merits, but for which there is steady, and heavy, public demand. It is, perhaps, a pity that “shop” is much less often concerned with the old than the new. The omission may be due to the fact that many librarians have become unduly obsessed with new books. We are told that a public library is judged by its service of new books. It might be better, I think, to judge it by its service of books.
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