THE RECENT SQUEEZE on local government expenditure has highlighted the dissarray that exists in the public library service in England and Wales, and the extraordinary measures being adopted by some authorities. Some of this disorder can perhaps be attributed to widely‐held attitudes prior to local government reorganisation. As a profession we have never been particularly good at co‐ordinating our approach to library services. Traditionally, many chief librarians looked upon their systems as their own unique empire. There was a deep‐rooted reluctance, perhaps even a fear, of pursuing common policies and practices with a neighbouring authority. The reason for those attitudes is not altogether clear, but they reflected an alarming narrowness of vision within our profession.
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