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LIBRARIES have come impressively into the public picture in the past year or two, and seldom with more effect than when Their Majesties the King and Queen opened the new…
LIBRARIES have come impressively into the public picture in the past year or two, and seldom with more effect than when Their Majesties the King and Queen opened the new Central Reference Library at Manchester on July 17th. In a time, which is nearly the end of a great depression, that the city which probably felt the depression more than any in the Kingdom should have proceeded with the building of a vast store‐house of learning is a fact of great social significance and a happy augury for libraries as a whole. His Majesty the King has been most felicitous in providing what we may call “slogans” for libraries. It will be remembered that in connection with the opening of the National Central Library, he suggested that it was a “University which all may join and which none need ever leave” —words which should be written in imperishable letters upon that library and be printed upon its stationery for ever. As Mr. J. D. Stewart said at the annual meeting of the National Central Library, it was a slogan which every public library would like to appropriate. At Manchester, His Majesty gave us another. He said: “To our urban population open libraries are as essential to health of mind, as open spaces to health of body.” This will be at the disposal of all of us for use. It is a wonderful thing that Manchester in these times has been able to provide a building costing £450,000 embodying all that is modern and all that is attractive in the design of libraries. The architect, Mr. Vincent Harris, and the successive librarians, Mr. Jast and Mr. Nowell, are to be congratulated upon the crown of their work.