AFTER the last war the ever‐increasing flood of books and the even more rapidly increasing demands by readers, together with other factors, led to a remarkable development in many forms of library co‐operation—a movement crowned by the establishment of the National Central Library, with its regional offshoots, now an essential part of the British, and even the international, library world. Yet this development has done little more than reach the threshold of the possibilities inherent in such co‐operation. It is scarcely possible to doubt that this movement will be greatly extended during the re‐planning andreconstruction which must follow the present war. For instance, one of the most desirable forms of inter‐library co‐operation, hitherto almost entirely neglected, will certainly be stimulated by post‐war financial stringency—I refer to the regional purchasing programme. On such a programme, each library in a group buys only the books in constant demand, then specialising in some one department of lesser demand, the group as a whole thus covering the whole field of knowledge piecemeal.
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