Libraries in converted shops, in village halls, in mobile vans, are common enough on both sides of the Atlantic—and from America we even hear the majestic news of a library on a peanut handcart. But libraries in tube shelters are something new under the sun—or moon. Who could have foreseen such things ? Yet they had to come. When Londoners, undergoing the heaviest bombardment in history, defied all laws and rules by taking possession of the tube platforms and stairs—not by storm, but by the mildest of infiltrations—it was quickly evident that a new social situation was in being. People spending from eight to fourteen hours a night on a station far below ground had to have food, sleeping facilities, medical attention, recreation both physical and mental. A new organisation had to be created, and created it was, partly by central planning and partly—it is our English way—by brilliant improvisation.
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