The two situations which make the work of the British National Book Centre necessary are only too well known to most of you, and have been described in their setting by Mr. Vickery. The first is that of congested shelf space. All libraries outgrow their accommodation, good libraries more quickly than the others, and librarians are hard pressed to dispose of their surplus journals in a manner which will bring them some return and at the same time square with their professional reluctance to waste useful material. The second situation which makes our work fruitful is that faced by even the best librarians—gaps in runs of journals, some gaps serious, some small, but all at least irritating.
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