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H.M. CASHMORE

For over a hundred years the development of “public libraries” (that is libraries administered by local authorities, not the equally “public” libraries such as the British…

Abstract

For over a hundred years the development of “public libraries” (that is libraries administered by local authorities, not the equally “public” libraries such as the British Museum) has been hesitating, blind, clumsy and uneven; but it is refreshing to remember that all along there have been people who have made a legend of the first librarian of Manchester. Dr. Munford has now done librarianship and history a great service by his latest book recently published by the Library Association. Edwards was not a good librarian, but had a vision of the desirable and possible future of libraries which only now is shown to be valid. The vision and the failures justified the publication of the new life of him, which completely supersedes Thomas Greenwood's book of 1902. Probably no other librarian has left behind him such a mass of letters and diaries as Edwards provided and no previous biographer of a librarian has so methodically and meticulously struggled with a mass of manuscripts such as those which confronted Dr Munford. It is hard to imagine that any other book of similar size has given so many footnotes (all assembled at the end of the book, to the amazing number of 1,564) as references to the material on which Dr. Munford has based his statements. This “portrait”, complete—“warts and all”—would not have been possible if the British Museum and the Manchester Public Libraries had not religiously preserved the great collection of Edwards's diaries and correspondence.

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Library Review, vol. 19 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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THE STAFFING SITUATION IF after the absence of a year or two we return to a familiar library, we are apt to find that most of the librarians known to us have gone, or so…

Abstract

THE STAFFING SITUATION IF after the absence of a year or two we return to a familiar library, we are apt to find that most of the librarians known to us have gone, or so many of them that the familiarity seems to have departed. Indeed the turn‐over in the visible staffs is so great as to suggest that library service, fascinating as some think it to be, we amongst them, is not sufficiently so to hold its beginnners. The impression that this applies only to libraries should not be adopted until we know that most other occupations are not afflicted with the same transience in their servants. We have to assure ourselves that this is not a national condition that is itself transient, in which every professional, industrial, and commercial concern is fighting for a share in the limited supply of young workers and is offering wages or salaries against the others in a boom time which may pass. Are we able to tell juniors that the “never‐had‐it‐so‐good” age is unlikely to endure and that library service will and they should stay in it? If we could, would the immediate cash of the outside world prevail and the credit of the future be foregone?

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New Library World, vol. 61 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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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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I HAVE sometimes been asked whether I am conscious, as the present editor of THE LIBRARY WORLD, of the spirit and influence of its founder, James Duff Brown, and of his…

Abstract

I HAVE sometimes been asked whether I am conscious, as the present editor of THE LIBRARY WORLD, of the spirit and influence of its founder, James Duff Brown, and of his editorial successors, who included J. D. Stewart and W. C. Berwick Sayers. The answer is that of course I am—how could it be otherwise?

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New Library World, vol. 68 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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IN The verdict of you all, Rupert Croft‐Cooke has some uncomplimentary things to say about novel readers as a class, which is at least an unusual look at his public by a

Abstract

IN The verdict of you all, Rupert Croft‐Cooke has some uncomplimentary things to say about novel readers as a class, which is at least an unusual look at his public by a practitioner whose income for many years was provided by those he denigrates.

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New Library World, vol. 65 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article

Bookings for the Conference at Edinburgh from 4th to 8th June promise to be heavy, and librarians and other delegates who have not yet made their bookings for…

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Bookings for the Conference at Edinburgh from 4th to 8th June promise to be heavy, and librarians and other delegates who have not yet made their bookings for accommodation are advised to lose no time in completing their arrangements, as accommodation is already tight. The Conference Programme promises well for a week of much interest, and it has been varied so that it should appeal to librarians not only in the town and county service but also in specialist libraries. The general sessions, and the more important of the Section meetings will be held in the Music Hall. Monday afternoon and evening will be devoted to the registration of delegates and to the opening of the exhibition at which publishers, booksellers and library specialists will show a wide range of their stocks and equipment. The Opening Session will be held on the morning of 5th June, under the Chairmanship of the President, Mr. James Wilkie. A welcome to the City and Royal Burgh of Edinburgh will be extended by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, and this will be acknowledged by the President. The award of the Carnegie Medal will be made to Mrs. E. Vipont Foulds for her story The Lark on the Wing. This will be followed by the Presidential Address, which members will look forward with particular interest to hearing, and the Association's vote of thanks will be given by Mr. Robert Butchart, Principal Librarian, Edinburgh Public Libraries. In the afternoon members are invited to a Garden Party at Lauriston Castle, by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Provost. In the evening the Annual Lecture will be given by Mr. J. Murray Watson, Editor of the Scotsman, whose subject will be “The Book and the Newspaper”, followed by votes of thanks expressed by Mr. Charles Nowell, City Librarian, Manchester, and Dr. W. King Gillies of the Edinburgh Public Libraries Sub‐Committee on Books. On Wednesday, 6th June, the morning session will be addressed by Mr. J. W. Forsyth of Ayr on “The Scottish Public Library Service”, with Mr. Wilkie in the Chair; and it is greatly hoped that the Report of the Advisory Council for Education in Scotland, dealing with the Scottish public library service, may by that date be available for consideration. The afternoon and evening will be devoted to section meetings, at which the speakers will be Mr. F. A. Sharr of Manchester, Mrs. Naomi Mitchison, Dr. L. W. Sharp, Mr. W. B. Paton of Lanarkshire County Library, Mr. W. Pearson, Ministry of Town and Country Planning, Mr. E. Hargreaves of Leeds Public Libraries, Dr. A. J. Walford, and others. On the morning of Thursday, 7th June, the Annual General Meeting will be held, to be followed by an address by Mr. W. A. Munford of Cambridge Public Libraries entitled “New World Symphony”, which will deal with aspects of the library position in the United States. In the afternoon the University and Research Section will hear a paper by Mr. W. Beattie of the National Library of Scotland entitled “An Outline of Scottish Printing”. The Annual General Meeting of the County Libraries Section will be held at the same time, to be followed by a symposium under the title of “Looking Forward” to be contributed to by Mrs. Mary G. Brown, County Librarian of the Stewartry, Miss G. Jones, Buckinghamshire County Librarian, and Mr. G. Davies, Montgomeryshire County Librarian. This symposium should be one of much interest as county library policy is still unsettled in some regards. On the morning of Friday, 8th June, there will be a general session devoted to library service to industry and this will be a symposium with contributions by the Rt. Hon. the Earl of Elgin and Kincardine on “National Problems”, by Mr. F. C. Francis, Librarian of the British Museum, on “The Scientific Bibliographical Aspect”, and by Mr. L. R. McColvin, City Librarian, Westminister, on “The Public Library Aspect”. There will also be round table discussions for those interested in special aspects: these will be held on the afternoon of the Friday. The social side has been given due attention. Reference has already been made to the Garden Party at Lauriston Castle. The Annual Dinner of the Library Association will be held on the evening of Thursday, 7th June, under the Chairmanship of the President, and the Toast List is an attractive one, including Ald. Robertson, Chairman of St. Pancras Public Libraries, who will propose the Toast of the City and Royal Burgh of Edinburgh, to be responded to by the Rt. Hon. the Lord Provost. Other speakers will include Sir Alexander Gray, Miss J. A. Downton, Chief Librarian, Preston, and Mr. Eric Linklater. From this record it will be gathered that the members are going to be kept as busy as possible at the sessions; but the social occasions arranged for will provide opportunities for relaxation, and it may be that a large number of the delegates will want to avail themselves of the arrangements being carried through in connexion with the Festival, and to see shows and to visit the libraries and art galleries which in range are not equalled by any other city in Great Britain, apart from London. Had times been normal, the Association might have looked forward to having a large number of foreign delegates in attendance, as there are many of our colleagues across the world who may yet remember the banner year of 1927 when Edinburgh drew the library limelight of the world to the Conference scene.

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

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Article

K.C. Harrison

This year the Library Association Record is 100 years old. The author, who has been a regular recipient of the journal for two‐thirds of that time, and who has contributed…

Abstract

This year the Library Association Record is 100 years old. The author, who has been a regular recipient of the journal for two‐thirds of that time, and who has contributed articles, book reviews, obituaries and letters to it, surveys its progress over the period. He comments on the different approaches of its editors, from Henry Guppy in the 1890s, through such outstanding figures as Esdaile and Walford, to the present day. The journal has survived many difficulties such as financial constraints, shortages of paper in two world wars, accusations of dullness and changes of editorial approach. In this historical sketch the author also mentions alterations in its design, and praises the way the editorial board and its staff have coped with producing a journal for 600 members in the 1890s to one for over 26,000 in the 1990s.

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Library Review, vol. 47 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

W.A. Munford

I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY KIND OF AMBITION to become a sort of biographer general to the library profession. But then, as in other parts of my experience, delightfully…

Abstract

I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY KIND OF AMBITION to become a sort of biographer general to the library profession. But then, as in other parts of my experience, delightfully unexpected things have happened, praise be! Penny Rate has been the only one of my books which has sold even tolerably well: I even fear that there may be something in the assertion made by one member of my staff when, soon after the formation of the Library Association's Library History Group, she said to me: ‘Whether you like it or not, I am afraid that you will go down in library history as the author of Penny Rate.’ Yet I never intended to write the wretched book at all; I only did it because the L. A. asked me to find someone else to do it for the municipal library centenary of 1950.

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Library Review, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

PENNY COWELL

In our media‐orientated, image‐conscious contemporary society the librarian may very well seem particularly unfortunate, reflected in the imagination of the general public…

Abstract

In our media‐orientated, image‐conscious contemporary society the librarian may very well seem particularly unfortunate, reflected in the imagination of the general public as a fussy old woman of either sex, myopic and repressed, brandishing or perhaps cowering behind a date‐stamp and surrounded by an array of notices which forbid virtually every human activity. The media, for whom the librarian is frustration personified, have reinforced this stereotype, hitherto transmitted solely by superstition and hearsay; its greatest impact has no doubt fallen on the two‐thirds of the population who never use the library. One of its effects will be to ensure that they never do so in the future. As Frank Hatt has pointed out: “The controllers of the new media of communication … have shown a tendency to limit choices by using the considerable power of the media to limit their audience's established attitudes, simply because such limitation is good business.” The popular BBC television series, The last of the summer wine, portrayed a librarian whose vicarious sex‐life through the pages of D. H. Lawrence led to inevitably frustrated attempts to act out his fantasies in occasional under‐the‐counter forays with his similarly repressed female assistant. A Daily mail leader on an appeal against unfair dismissal made by a London Deputy Borough Librarian reiterates this concept:

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Library Review, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

W A Munford

A thousand is a good old age; even Methuselah failed to achieve it. It is even a good age for a journal. I have spent many a happy hour in the Cambridge University…

Abstract

A thousand is a good old age; even Methuselah failed to achieve it. It is even a good age for a journal. I have spent many a happy hour in the Cambridge University Library's department of dead periodicals and I know that those that have failed to achieve the present magic number are indeed many. James Duff Brown did better than he knew when, in July 1898, his new sixpenny monthly found its way into the libraries. Its pre‐history also is not without interest but as I discussed this in fair detail in LW 800 (February 1967) and subsequently in James Duff Brown (pp 51–58) a few sentences of summary may now suffice. JDB founded LW primarily to assure himself of a continuing and regular journalistic medium on the justified assumption that MacAlister's Library was unlikely to remain the LA ‘organ’ after 1898 and that Henry Guppy (1861–1948) as volunteer editor of the projected new LAR was most unlikely to offer him comparable scope. For by 1894 JDB had become MacAlister's right‐hand man for the public library side of the Library; after 1894, when the open access revolution began in Clerkenwell, he had also become a very controversial one. It is far from easy now to visualise a state of affairs in which public library readers were not themselves admitted to the shelves. Nevertheless, the early libraries issued books only on request and after they had been found by members of the staff. Civil wars frequently follow revolutions and the open access one was no exception; until his death in 1914 JDB faced much well‐entrenched opposition.

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New Library World, vol. 84 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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