Reported The Director said that three main periods could be distinguished in Aslib's development so far. The first, lasting from its foundation in 1924 to about 1940, had been the period of enthusiasms and ideals struggling for recognition—a precious period for Aslib as for all new movements, but one whose intrinsic value should not be over‐estimated and whose passing should not be regretted, as some sentimentalists were apt to regret it. The second period had lasted for the duration of the war and a year or so thereafter. In normal times, this would presumably have been the occasion for long‐range planning of Aslib's future, but the demands of war and Aslib's precarious finances had both prohibited almost everything but the most urgent tasks. These had been miraculously well done on a shoe‐string. The third period had now all but ended. It had been dominated by the need for reorganization and rapid expansion. It had been urgently necessary to ascertain what services members needed; to plan them, finance them and recruit and train staff to provide them; to gain self‐confidence and the confidence of H.M. Government and of a demanding industrial public, by ensuring that both new and existing services were run at the highest possible level of efficiency; and, most of all—such are the yardsticks of this material age—to build up a substantial membership, leading to greater income, increased Government grant and, finally, financial stability backed by growing reserves.
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