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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1953

JOHN MAKIN

Having worked in India for the last three years where I have met and talked to many Indian librarians, taken part in their discussions, and visited 100 or more libraries…

Abstract

Having worked in India for the last three years where I have met and talked to many Indian librarians, taken part in their discussions, and visited 100 or more libraries of all types and sizes, Frank M. Gardner's article in the Summer, 1953, issue of the LIBRARY REVIEW had a particular interest for me. The problems touched upon by Mr. Gardner are problems that I see and talk about almost every working day, and it is because of my up‐bringing in the earthy, matter‐of‐fact school of public librarianship no less than the dictates of my official capacity that I ally myself to my Indian colleague in his search for a solution to the complex problem that faces him in his fight to provide a reasonable and efficient library service for his countryman; to gain a suitable recognition for his profession and so obtain for himself adequate salary and good working conditions.

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Library Review, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1951

THE London and Home Counties Branch is fortunate in having close at hand watering places which can house its Autumn or other Conferences conveniently. Hove in fair weather…

Abstract

THE London and Home Counties Branch is fortunate in having close at hand watering places which can house its Autumn or other Conferences conveniently. Hove in fair weather in October is a place of considerable charm; it has many varieties of hotel, from the very expensive to the modest; it is used to conferences and the hospitality of the Town Hall is widely known. This year's conference was focused in the main on problems of book‐selection which, as one writer truly says, is the main purpose of the librarian because all his possibilities hang upon it. The papers read are valuable because they appear to be quite unvarnished accounts of the individual practice of their writers. Of its kind that of Mr. Frank M. Gardner is a model and a careful study of it by the library worker who is in actual contact with the public might be useful. For his methods the paper must be read; they are a clever up‐to‐minute expansion of those laid down in Brown's Manual with several local checks and variations. Their defects are explained most usefully; there is no examination of actual books before purchase and bookshops are not visited, both of which defects are due to the absence in Luton of well‐stocked bookshops; a defect which many sizeable towns share. We find this remark significant: “The librarian of Luton in 1911 had a book‐fund of £280 a year for 30,000 people. I have nearly £9,000 for 110,000. But the Librarian in 1911 was a better book‐selector than we are. He had to be, to give a library service at all. Every possible purchase had to be looked at, every doubt eliminated.” We deprecate the word “better”; in 1911 book‐selection was not always well done, but Brown's methods could be carried out if it was thought expedient to do the work as well as it could be done. The modern librarian and his employers seem to have determined that the whole of the people shall be served by the library; that books shall be made available hot from the press, with as few exclusions as possible. No librarian willingly buys rubbish; but only in the largest libraries can a completely comprehensive selection practice be maintained. Few librarians can be quite satisfied to acquire their books from lists made by other people although they may use them for suggestions. How difficult is the problem Mr. Gardner demonstrates in connexion with books on Bridge; a shelf of apparently authoritative books might possibly contain not one that actually met the conditions of today. If this could be so in one very small subject, what might be the condition of a collection covering, or intended to cover, all subjects? Librarians have to be realists; orthodox methods do not always avail to deal with the cataract of modern books; but gradually, by cooperative methods, mechanical aids and an ever‐increasing staff devoted to this, the principal library job, much more may be done than is now possible.

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New Library World, vol. 53 no. 15
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1945

THE annual election of the Library Association Council for 1946 is over. Of course, only a small part of the Council has been before the electors. The results follow an…

Abstract

THE annual election of the Library Association Council for 1946 is over. Of course, only a small part of the Council has been before the electors. The results follow an old‐established precedent, but are nevertheless curious. Why is it that country members seem not to be interested in their selection of candidates who come from the metropolitan area? There were two to be elected for London and those successful were Frank M. Gardner with 572 and Captain Richard Wright with 501 votes; there were five Country Councillors required and Miss M. F. Austin (854) and Messrs. W. A. Munford (831), F. G. B. Hutchings (817), E. Wisker (716) and E. Osborne (601) were elected. Besides the London candidates who were successful by ballot, Mr. W. B. Stevenson (447) and Mr. E. Sydney (360) will serve on the Council for shorter periods in the room of Mr. J. D. Stewart and S/Ldr. J. D. Cowley. It will therefore be seen that there is considerable disparity in the voting for the two parts of the Council. As we say, this is rather curious as it follows a long established tradition. The new members are Mr. Gardner, Mr. Stevenson, Miss Austin, Mr. Munford and Mr. Wisker; this appears to us to be a very interesting and useful team. They have already shown by definite work, mostly in the A.A.L., that they are qualified leaders amongst the younger librarians. We wish them good fortune in the carrying out of their part in the reconstruction period ahead.

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New Library World, vol. 48 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1951

IT is too early to examine what the change of Government may portend for libraries sustained attract malign attention from any party. We are aware enough, however, that a…

Abstract

IT is too early to examine what the change of Government may portend for libraries sustained attract malign attention from any party. We are aware enough, however, that a time of financial stringency lies ahead for every public activity. In book production, the restrictions on imports may worsen a position which is bad enough as it is. There may not be a sinister intention in the gesture of cutting the salaries of Cabinet Ministers by a sum which for several of them represents about £25 or about a half crown a week on such salaries as librarians earn. We hope there is not. Although all good Britons will make necessary sacrifices; but they want to be sure that they are necessary and not, as usually is the case, merely attacks on public servants. We are told that there will be no Geddes axe this time, but experience shows that the politician can always find a way of reversing a statement in what he imagines to be the public interest. Fortunately those likely to be affected are better organized than they were in the early twenties.

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New Library World, vol. 53 no. 16
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1980

James G Ollé, James Tank, George Jefferson, David Liddle, David Reid and Colin Steele

IF YOU should ever have a mind to experience the flavour of life in the British public library service during the early decades of this century, you could not do better…

Abstract

IF YOU should ever have a mind to experience the flavour of life in the British public library service during the early decades of this century, you could not do better than turn to the contemporary files of the periodicals of librarianship. Apart from its beastlier aspects, to which only a George Orwell could have done justice, the library journals reflected pretty well the public library world as it used to be: impoverished and imperfect, but optimistic and resilient.

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New Library World, vol. 81 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1958

FRANK M. GARDNER

I was born, for good or ill, into a reading family. Not an intellectual family, for we did not read for profit, but a family that counted the act of reading one of the…

Abstract

I was born, for good or ill, into a reading family. Not an intellectual family, for we did not read for profit, but a family that counted the act of reading one of the major pleasures of life. At a time when not every household took one newspaper, we always had three, and five Sunday newspapers, so that there was one for everyone and one over. The house was also full of books, and though my father was a man of simple literary tastes, I owe it to him that I had an early introduction to War in the Air, David Copperfield, Three Musketeers and She. We went in for quantity, one might say, rather than quality, and from the age of nine to fourteen, my major Christmas present was the enormous bound volume of Chums, with which I could shut myself up for a week for a positive orgy of reading.

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Library Review, vol. 16 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1979

Wilfred Ashworth, John Byon, Frank M Gardner, Tony Preston and Steve Kirby

AFTER 17 years continuous service as a LA Council member it seemed strange to me to attend the first council meeting of 1979 as NLW'S reporter.

Abstract

AFTER 17 years continuous service as a LA Council member it seemed strange to me to attend the first council meeting of 1979 as NLW'S reporter.

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New Library World, vol. 80 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1969

THE greatly increased interest in historical studies since the second world war has been, I hope, a welcome challenge to librarians, but it has been very difficult to meet…

Abstract

THE greatly increased interest in historical studies since the second world war has been, I hope, a welcome challenge to librarians, but it has been very difficult to meet it. That the librarians of our new universities should have had little research material to offer was only to be expected. Unfortunately, research scholars have discovered that our older libraries were also deficient, that source materials had either not been purchased, in the years when they were readily available, or had been acquired only to be discarded at a later date. Recently, therefore, both old libraries and new have found themselves in competition for a small and dwindling supply of out‐of‐print publications.

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New Library World, vol. 70 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1946

FRANK M. GARDNER

One aspect of the British character that has been changed fundamentally in this war has been the habit of mental and physical insularity. The phrase “The Englishman's home…

Abstract

One aspect of the British character that has been changed fundamentally in this war has been the habit of mental and physical insularity. The phrase “The Englishman's home is his castle” expressed something more than a simple desire for privacy; it expressed an attitude of the individual towards the world at large. The aeroplane, with its train of effects in evacuation, incendiary bombs, air raid shelters, destroyed the lesser conception of privacy, and the aeroplane too, with its destruction of all our 19th century conceptions of space, has made our slightly remote attitude towards other nations out of date for ever. However much we may recoil from our wartime community spirit, however quickly our street savings groups wither, the W.V.S. uniforms gather dust in the wardrobe, and the fireguard reunions be held at ever greater intervals, there will never be again the utter disregard of our neighbours that was typical of town life before 1940. And in international relations though we may not, after the war is over, evince the same interest in the reconstruction of the Chinese cabinet or the latest utterance of an Anglophobe senator, we shall never again class all lands beyond the English Channel as inhabited by foreigners, with a small exception made for the Empire and the U.S. as peopled by remote cousins.

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Library Review, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1951

FRANK M. GARDNER

We have just celebrated the bicentenary of the public library movement in this country. In preparing these notes on our achievement of the last hundred years, as a guide…

Abstract

We have just celebrated the bicentenary of the public library movement in this country. In preparing these notes on our achievement of the last hundred years, as a guide to the historical side of your studies for the next year, I naturally turned to the accounts of the first centenary as a starting point. It is always interesting to see how our ancestors viewed history, and how far wide of the mark were their predictions of the future.

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Library Review, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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