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British library progress in war‐time: Some comments

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 February 1943



Readers will remember the very full accounts published in this magazine dealing with the position of library service in areas that had been bombed. Our reports on damage done and on conditions generally were the most complete available on this side. Their publication created considerable interest among librarians overseas, and particularly in the United States. It has since been clear, however, that our American colleagues continue to wonder at the success librarians on this side are making of their services in view of continued difficulties. Our friend Mr. Raymond Gram Swing,—whose objectivity in reporting has given him the highest position in American journalism,—has told us feelingly about the mistake which the British are making in withholding from America and from the world what he calls the magnificent facts as to the British achievement in the war. What Mr. Swing says has been expressed in many letters from librarians abroad. The latest expression of interest comes from Miss Helen E. Vogleson, Librarian of the County Public Library of Los Angeles, who writes: “English librarians are a seven‐day wonder to their American cousins in their capacity to carry on in spite of amazing difficulties. While our libraries are being less used, your folks seem to be reading even while they run. They set a grand example for us, indeed, and I wish some one would tell us whether or not your public library privileges have been extended. Are readers permitted to borrow more books for a longer time, and how much forgiveness is being allowed for delinquencies ? Perhaps we need to be bombed out of some ruts.”


(1943), "British library progress in war‐time: Some comments", Library Review, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 34-38.




Copyright © 1943, MCB UP Limited

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