The Library World Volume 21 Issue 5
Article publication date: 1 November 1918
Events are moving so rapidly that we feel breathless in our attempt to keep pace with the changing fortunes of the day and of the hour. If we believe, however, as we do, that libraries are one of the primary factors in human evolution, and that books form the indispensable factor of all evolution in knowledge, there is no period in the world's history when those of us who are associated with the library movement have more reason to pause and enquire, “Watchman, what of the night?” It will be a difficult and sudden transition with which we are to be faced. We are accustomed to talk glibly of war and of peace. We have had four years of education in the former, but are we in any real sense in a position to deal with the problems of peace and of reconstruction? Peace has to so many meant merely a state or condition in which actual warfare has been absent. A breathing space in which the nations have been more or less preparing for the next inevitable clash of arms. If there is anything that emerges clearly as a result of this war it is that the large majority of those who have been engaged in it are determined that as far as humanly possible this shall have been a war to end all war. We must educate ourselves and the great mass of our people to take a long and a sane view of the situation and work towards a lasting and permanent reconciliation among the peoples of the world. Call it a “League of Nations,” or what you will, it has to come, and the public library will in our judgment form a very potent instrument to attain the desired end.
(1918), "The Library World Volume 21 Issue 5", New Library World, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 101-116. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb037987
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