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HERALDED by a leading article in The Times which appeared on the morning of its publication, the Report on the Public Libraries System of Great Britain by Mr. Lionel R

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HERALDED by a leading article in The Times which appeared on the morning of its publication, the Report on the Public Libraries System of Great Britain by Mr. Lionel R. McColvin is now available. It will, without doubt, be the most carefully read current work in its own field, and its suggestions will be subjected to the closest scrutiny. Our correspondent in “Letters on Our Affairs” makes the first step in our pages in this direction, although, as he indicates, his views are merely preliminary. Last month we suggested that if such a report were issued by the Library Association, it should be made quite clear that it is the pronouncement of an individual and not an official document in the strict sense. Already, of course, as The Times leader seems to suggest, the distinction between Mr. McColvin's work and the views of the Library Association have been confused in the public mind. That was inevitable. But we understand that the Association at a later time will issue its own considered statement of what it thinks to be necessary and practicable in the re‐construction of the library service—if, indeed, it is reconstructed—to meet after‐war needs. On the whole, the book is quite readable and betrays very little of the hurry in which it must have been written: its facts seem to be sound and marshalled with considerable skill; its general outlook is generous. With much of it there will not only be agreement; there will be enthusiastic agreement. In so far as it is a proposed system for post‐war organization, it follows the lines already suggested by the Regional Systems created for Civil Defence, involving larger library areas administered from what Mr. McColvin believes to be the central town or other focus of each area. The counties as such disappear, the smaller towns and villages merge into the central town, and so we get in one way or another a cohesive, self‐sufficient and mutually supporting set of libraries in each area. It is around the choice of area and all its implications that discussion will rage and upon which it will be most difficult to obtain general consent. These units, however, while essential to Mr. McColvin's scheme, cannot be regarded other than as proposals to be discussed. Librarians will be quick to see that many of them will become branch librarians if the scheme matures, but in every one of the many schemes we have seen for post‐war re‐construction, larger units than the present ones are invariably implied, and this of necessity means the disappearance as chief officers of many now holding office. This is only one item in a whole series of discussable proposals. We hope that every one or our readers will study the Report and will bring to the common discussions that must be forthcoming a complete and, we hope, impartial understanding of what is involved.

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New Library World, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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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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WE endorse with much pleasure the welcome that has greeted the election of the new President of the Library Association. When the Association, in what seems now a somewhat…

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WE endorse with much pleasure the welcome that has greeted the election of the new President of the Library Association. When the Association, in what seems now a somewhat remote past, determined to place the executive side of its business in the hands of a permanent Secretary, the question of the continuance of an Honorary Secretary was given careful consideration. It was resolved that he should continue and that his main function would be to represent the President at all times when the latter was not available. He had other duties, even if they were not clearly expressed, including a general overall initiative in committee and Council matters. The successive holders of the office since, Stanley Jast, Dr. E. A. Savage and Lionel R. McColvin proved so clearly the wisdom of that decision that the Association made each of them President; they have been heads of the profession in a real sense, inspiring and actively creative. The last of them, Mr. McColvin, is known everywhere librarians meet, here and overseas, and only the newest library recruits are unfamiliar with his reports, essays and many books, or have not heard of his home and other county surveys and his fearless, suggestive appraisals of what he has seen and thought. In a rather difficult time the Library Association is fortunate to have so statesmanlike a librarian to lead it.

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New Library World, vol. 53 no. 17
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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It will be remembered that in 1936–7 a survey of libraries abroad was made on the basis of funds provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, and in that connexion Mr. H. M…

Abstract

It will be remembered that in 1936–7 a survey of libraries abroad was made on the basis of funds provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, and in that connexion Mr. H. M. Cashmore visited Russia. Since then Moscow, like many of our British cities, has been badly plastered in the course of the war, and the libraries dis‐organised. It will be understood, therefore, that the conditions as viewed by Mr. Cashmore are probably considerably different to‐day; but, even so, the survey made by him indicates the salient features of the Moscow Library Service, and we recommend readers interested in the subject to refer to the Russian section in A Survey of Libraries published by the Library Association in 1938, and edited for it by Mr. Lionel R. McColvin.

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Library Review, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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THIS is the month when librarians and library workers everywhere, their holidays over, turn to their winter plans. There are, however, some interesting events to take…

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THIS is the month when librarians and library workers everywhere, their holidays over, turn to their winter plans. There are, however, some interesting events to take place before the darker and more active months come. The first is the meeting at Oxford on September 21st and subsequent days of the Federation International de Documentation. This will be followed by and merge into the ASLIB Conference, and there is in prospect an attendance of over three hundred. Our readers know that this organization produces and advocates the International Decimal Classification. It is not primarily a “library” society but rather one of abstractors and indexers of material, but it is closely akin, and we hope that English librarianship will be well represented. Then there is a quite important joint‐conference at Lincoln of the Northern Branches of the Library Association on September 30th— October 3rd, which we see is to be opened by the President of the Library Association. Finally the London and Home Counties Branch are to confer at Folkestone from October 14th to 16th, and here, the programme includes Messrs. Jast, Savage, McColvin, Wilks, Carter, and the President will also attend. There are other meetings, and if the question is asked: do not librarians have too many meetings ? we suppose the answer to be that the Association is now so large that local conferences become desirable. One suggestion, that has frequently been made, we repeat. The Library Association should delegate a certain definite problem to each of its branches, asking for a report. These reports should form the basis of the Annual Conference. It is worthy of more consideration.

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New Library World, vol. 41 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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SINCE the year 1940, there have appeared two major reports on the Public Library system in Great Britain. The first, “The public library system of Great Britain: a report…

Abstract

SINCE the year 1940, there have appeared two major reports on the Public Library system in Great Britain. The first, “The public library system of Great Britain: a report on its present condition, with proposals for post‐war re‐organisation” by Lionel R. McColvin, appeared in 1942. It suggested sweeping changes in the organisation of the public library system, more radical and far‐reaching than those embodied in the recent recommendations of the Library Association for local government reform. On library co‐operation, the report was equally radical, though certain similarities with the recommendations of the second report are apparent.

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New Library World, vol. 65 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article

LIONEL R. MCCOLVIN

ELSEWHERE I have said in effect that we have, at some centres, so “developed” our work with children that we have created a vested interest which is, maybe with the best…

Abstract

ELSEWHERE I have said in effect that we have, at some centres, so “developed” our work with children that we have created a vested interest which is, maybe with the best intentions in the world, often keeping children from real books rather than encouraging them to use them; and further, I would add that I have often wondered whether in our children's libraries we do not strive to inculcate in the young people precisely those reading habits that we deplore when they grow up. These two ideas require elaboration.

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Library Review, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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DECEMBER sees the close of the presidency of Lionel R. McColvin. Few men in the record of the Library Association have more deserved the eminence the office affords and…

Abstract

DECEMBER sees the close of the presidency of Lionel R. McColvin. Few men in the record of the Library Association have more deserved the eminence the office affords and the feeling is aroused that it is all too brief a tenure. None has used twelve months to more useful purpose. He presided over the Annual Conference with dignity and conducted the unfortunate Annual Business Meeting with a fairness that was scrupulous. He has given several public addresses, a notable one being that at the Manchester Public Library Centenary which may be read in The Manchester Review (Autumn, 1952); has served on at least one Government committee, has opened libraries, unveiled the L.C.C. tablet to William Ewart; has found time to address various branch and divisional meetings of librarians, to serve on the N.C.L. Executive Committee, to sign the Fellowship certificates of successful candidates and, of course, has presided over every meeting of the L.A. Council and, we understand, with such success that complete harmony ruled in that very miscellaneous body. He passes on his office with honour and with our gratitude.

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New Library World, vol. 54 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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ONE or two questions raised by the writer of “Letters on our Affairs” this month are of some urgency. The first, the physical condition of books, is one that is long…

Abstract

ONE or two questions raised by the writer of “Letters on our Affairs” this month are of some urgency. The first, the physical condition of books, is one that is long over‐due for full discussion with a view to complete revision of our method. The increased book fund of post‐war years, and the unexpected success of the twopenny library, have brought us to the point when we should concentrate upon beautiful and clean editions of good books, and encourage the public to use them. “Euripides” is quite right in his contention that there is too much dependence upon the outcasts of the circulating library for replenishing the stocks of public lending libraries. We say this gravely and advisedly. Many librarians depend almost entirely upon the off‐scourings of commercial libraries for their fiction. The result, of course, is contempt of that stock from all readers who are not without knowledge of books. It is the business of the public library now to scrap all books that are stained, unpleasant to the sight, in bad print, and otherwise unattractive. Of old, it was necessary for us to work hard, and by careful conservation of sometimes quite dirty books, in order to get enough books to serve our readers. To‐day this is no longer the case, except in quite backward areas. The average well‐supported public library—and there are many now in that category—should aim at a reduction of stock to proportions which are really useful, which are good and which are ultimately attractive if not beautiful. The time has arrived when a dirty book, or a poorly printed book, or a book which has no artistic appeal, should be regarded as a reproach to the library preserving it.

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New Library World, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article

LIONEL R. McCOLVIN

ONE evening, while in Virginia, I dined in very select company—for I was the only guest present, excepting the Secretary of the American Library Association, who had not…

Abstract

ONE evening, while in Virginia, I dined in very select company—for I was the only guest present, excepting the Secretary of the American Library Association, who had not been a president of that body. I was not, however, the only Englishman in the party,—and by Englishman in this paragraph 1 mean British born,—for Andrew Keogh, the Librarian of Yale University and President for 1929–30, sat opposite me. Keogh, like myself, was born in Newcastle‐on‐Tyne.

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Library Review, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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