WHEN Miss Ditmas sent me a copy of the proceedings of the conference convened by the Royal Society in June last to consider the improvement of documentation service for scientific workers, I was very pleased to read the resolution regarding the library profession. I took it as an S O S from those engaged on research calling for help from those engaged on library work. The downpour of literature has become so heavy, specialization among scientific workers so intense, and coverage of publications is becoming so narrow in extension and so deep in intension that a worker is in danger of missing much nascent thought, so essential for economic pursuit of research. Unless there is proper reference service in libraries the work of the specialists will suffer, and unless there is proper documentation the reference service will suffer—they say. Unless a powerful scheme of classification is brought into use and unless cataloguing is intimately integrated with such a classification, proper documentation will not be possible, we say. Unless some of the best brains of the day are spared for the library profession and the library profession itself is made attractive enough in status and salary to retain them, those necessary library techniques, that have the modern alternative name of documentation technique, will not be forged and kept continuously sharpened, we say. It is gratifying that the conference has by a resolution conceded our demand about status and emoluments. I welcome this opportunity to expound along what lines we should proceed to improve our technique to the necessary level of efficiency. The table on p. 224 gives a synopsis of what I propose to say.
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