For many years librarians have regarded the collection and preservation of local material as part of their responsibility to their communities. Most public libraries boast a local collection, from the odd shelf or two in the librarian's office to ambitious and elaborate departments. The small collections should not be despised, for the preservation of local material is of itself an important practice, but merely to preserve this material where there exists neither the will nor the means to exploit it, is a meaningless exercise. Those librarians who have amassed considerable and commendable local collections seek also to attract an enthusiastic clientele, usually successfully, because of the very nature of the subject and the curiosity towards its own history which is inbred in a community.
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