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REGINALD HOWARTH

A public library service is part ot adult education, but it is not the whole of it. This perfectly simple fact is so often overlooked by the extreme protagonists of two…

Abstract

A public library service is part ot adult education, but it is not the whole of it. This perfectly simple fact is so often overlooked by the extreme protagonists of two schools of thought in modern librarianship. The one, in its enthusiasm, embracing in its library policy everything from providing a book service to organising lectures, discussion groups, plays, cinema shows, musical recitals, and even the inevitable and unfortunate “brains trusts”; the other rigorously excluding everything but an efficient book service. That the former often works its extension wonders with a woefully inadequate book stock, hoping, no doubt, to whip up interest and support locally; and that the other often consciously narrows its definition of book “service” to conserve resources for its primary function, we can readily appreciate. But, after allowing for local conditions, which have a strong influence on the formulation of any intelligent library policy, we often feel that on either side there is a surprising failure to appreciate clear, simple fundamentals.

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Library Review, vol. 11 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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REGINALD HOWARTH

It is good that librarians are most critical of their better work. Complacency is insidious. But it is always necessary to approach closely to efficiency to become really…

Abstract

It is good that librarians are most critical of their better work. Complacency is insidious. But it is always necessary to approach closely to efficiency to become really aware of deficiency. Probably in no other activity has the average public library reached so acceptable a standard as in the provision of books for children, yet in the eyes of the honest librarian, that standard is, on the whole, no more than one of comparative mediocrity. Even so, we tend too much to underestimate the good influence of our children's libraries over the last half century, for no other agency has accomplished anything like so much in encouraging reading habits in the formative years. In spite of modern developments in education, which so often appear to forget the individual in the building of an impressive administrative structure, no other agency, even today, has quite the same potentiality. The alert librarian, however, has noticed that the changing pattern of elementary education is beginning to call for some modification of traditional library policy, and he is not a little disturbed by some of the implications.

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Library Review, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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REGINALD HOWARTH

Librarianship abounds in theor‐ies. Financial stringency has held back many a would‐be progressive practitioner and turned him into a somewhat wistful thinker. It is so…

Abstract

Librarianship abounds in theor‐ies. Financial stringency has held back many a would‐be progressive practitioner and turned him into a somewhat wistful thinker. It is so gratifying to offset a mundane achievement by contemplating what might have been under betterconditions. Occasionally a few pro‐gressive practitioners, able or fortun‐ate enough to loosen the bonds a little and avoid repressions, emerge as lucid thinkers, and a Jast or a Savage or a McColvin shakes the library world. The lucidity of an able mind, which sees where it wants to go and why, often brings unexpected and undesirable reper‐cussions. The easy exposition of a difficult theory is disarming, and the lesser mind, lethargic after a ‐losing battle against conditions, lulled into a pleasant day‐dream around once fondly imagined ideals now lost in the battle for survival, sees in the more imaginative ap‐proach of the greater mind a heaven‐sent solution to its problems.

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

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In our Winter number we published an article with the above title by Mr. Howarth, Chief Librarian, Folkestone, and we indicated that we would be pleased to publish the…

Abstract

In our Winter number we published an article with the above title by Mr. Howarth, Chief Librarian, Folkestone, and we indicated that we would be pleased to publish the views of readers on the opinions expressed in the article, which seemed to be a timely one in view of common interest in the subject. The following comments are the result of our suggestion.—Editor L.R.

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Library Review, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

F.M. Gardner

It was said recently, apropos of a Library Association Conference, that the one thing that librarians never talk about when gathered together, is literature. I am not only…

Abstract

It was said recently, apropos of a Library Association Conference, that the one thing that librarians never talk about when gathered together, is literature. I am not only going to talk about literature, but about an aspect of literature which is almost tabu in western society today, and which has significance only in Soviet Russia,—namely, the relationship of litera‐ture to society.

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Library Review, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

THE most important personal news of the month is the appointment of Mr. J. D. Cowley M.A., the County Librarian of Lancashire, as Director of the University of London…

Abstract

THE most important personal news of the month is the appointment of Mr. J. D. Cowley M.A., the County Librarian of Lancashire, as Director of the University of London School of Librarianship. This had been expected for some considerable time, but we were unable to comment until it had been confirmed in the middle of May by the Senate of the University. Mr. Cowley will bring to the office the culture which we know him to possess, experience in the library of a learned society, and the much wider public experience which he has gained in Lancashire. A quiet enthusiast, with a sympathetic and friendly manner, his achievements in librarianship have already been such as to make our hopes for his future most sanguine. We all like him, which is one of the best foundations for his success. The Library Association Record has expressed the general hope that he will be able to make such arrangements in the School that its students may be more acceptable than they have been hitherto in public libraries. One of the methods by which this can be accomplished is extremely simple in statement, although it may be somewhat difficult of realisation. The larger libraries should be induced to recruit their assistants in the ordinary manner, to retain them on the staff for two years with ample opportunities for gaining practical experience in more than merely mechanical operations, and should then send the best of them for two years to the School of Librarianship. During their absence the libraries would of course recruit other assistants to supply their place, who in turn, if satisfactory, should be sent to the School of Librarian‐ship, and those who have been at the School should return in their places. There would, of course, have to be two vacancies to start from, but in a large system that is a very small matter. In the way suggested the libraries would be acquiring staffs which were practically trained in the first place and would understand everything that was being taught at the School, and who, in addition, would have university training and the status which undoubtedly belongs to that. If it could only be made clear to the assistant librarians of the present day that university school pupils would not displace them, we think one of the objections to the School would have passed. At present, of course, the objection is deeper; it is the chief librarian who seems to avoid the school diplomate. On the other hand, there is the suggestion that anyone who has passed through the School is ipso facto a librarian and should have a high position; that, of course, is not so. Ultimately he may have, but school training is only preliminary to library experience, and more is required before a librarian can have a responsible post in a library of any consequence. We hope the point we have raised will have the consideration which we believe it deserves.

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New Library World, vol. 36 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article

C.B. FREEMAN

As an undergraduate I thought that I knew something about Shakespeare, and no doubt I saw myself a partner in that licensed company of scholars and schoolmasters who had…

Abstract

As an undergraduate I thought that I knew something about Shakespeare, and no doubt I saw myself a partner in that licensed company of scholars and schoolmasters who had acquired the monopoly to purvey him retail to the nation. My education took a new turn, however, when I met a manual worker who could quote copiously from all the plays, including those I had never read. While I was poring over footnotes, he had taken Shakespeare into the fields with him during long spells of unemployment, until now he knew whole plays almost by heart.

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

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Article

AT intervals the rules and regulations of libraries should be scrutinized. They are not in themselves sacrosanct as is the constitution of the Realm, but many exist which…

Abstract

AT intervals the rules and regulations of libraries should be scrutinized. They are not in themselves sacrosanct as is the constitution of the Realm, but many exist which no longer have serviceable qualities. Nevertheless, so long as a rule remains in force it should be operative and its application be general and impartial amongst readers; otherwise, favouritism and other ills will be charged against the library that makes variations. This being so, it is imperative that now and then revision should take place. There is to‐day a great dislike of discipline, which leads to attacks on all rules, but a few rules are necessary in order that books may be made to give the fullest service, be preserved as far as that is compatible with real use, and that equality of opportunity shall be given to all readers. What is wanted is not “no rules at all,” but good ones so constructed that they adapt themselves to the needs of readers. Anachronisms such as: the rule that in lending libraries forbids the exchange of a book on the day it is borrowed; the illegal charge for vouchers; insistence that readers shall return books for renewal; the rigid limiting of the number of readers' tickets; or a procrustean period of loan for books irrespective of their character—here are some which have gone in many places and should go in all. Our point, however, is that rules should be altered by the authority, not that the application of rules should be altered by staffs. The latter is sometimes done, and trouble usually ensues.

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New Library World, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article

H.M. TOMLINSON

I was not in the library seeking help on the subject of Art, but the long row of books about pictures stopped me; and, not in the hope that I might learn to paint, I…

Abstract

I was not in the library seeking help on the subject of Art, but the long row of books about pictures stopped me; and, not in the hope that I might learn to paint, I dipped into the volumes, and wondered. Would an artist who attended earnestly to the experts on the mortal parts of truth and beauty ever go near an easel? I think he might be in danger of paralysis through doubt. Perhaps he would turn to criticism. Of course the man who can do it, and knows he can, the fellow whose child‐like innocence is favoured now and then with what has been called the instant apprehension of totality (let nobody, please, ask what that means), that man, presumably, attends to the experts only on wet and blank days when he needs cheering up.

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Library Review, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

W.B. READY

T. S. Eliot in London, Louis Gottschalk in Chicago, both re‐cently have voiced in public meet‐ings their concern at the decay of the private and the personal libraries…

Abstract

T. S. Eliot in London, Louis Gottschalk in Chicago, both re‐cently have voiced in public meet‐ings their concern at the decay of the private and the personal libraries—mortmain is setting in—the dead hand that libraries are placing upon the free flow of books. Libraries are often more concerned with the acquiring of books than they are with the books themselves. Too many libraries have too many books.

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Library Review, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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