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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1930

WILLIAM McFEE

HOW it may be now I do not know, but in England in the first years of this century a youth with a desire to accumulate knowledge was left pretty much to his own devices…

Abstract

HOW it may be now I do not know, but in England in the first years of this century a youth with a desire to accumulate knowledge was left pretty much to his own devices. His approach to learning was influenced largely by his social status, and to a smaller degree by the nature of his occupation. There was nothing inherently snobbish about this, because what I call his social status was in itself determined by the school his parents had been able to provide. Those of us who struggled through adolescence in middle‐class homes, and received what was known as “tuition” in middle‐class secondary schools, emerged into a world admirably furnished with continuation classes, polytechnics, evening colleges and technological institutes. We were spared those elaborately paternal schemes now designed to make the acquisition of learning almost painless and entirely impermanent. We had to work I To learn a language the teachers insisted upon our memorising words, conjugations and rules, to say nothing of the exceptions. I can remember a vigorous Gallic oration by a French teacher in reply to an egregious student who had asked why, when he wanted merely to learn French “for commercial purposes,” he had to read Molière, Racine, and things like Telemaque and Voltaire's ironical fictions. The student's theory, so far as I can remember it now, was that the only Frenchmen he was likely to meet in business would be illiterates unable to appreciate a correct rendering of their own tongue. And to those who were in the way of being engineers, as I was, the doctrine was preached that only steady, grinding labour in a large number of co‐ordinated sciences would get us anywhere at all.

Details

Library Review, vol. 2 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1929

WILLIAM McFEE

IT was one of the minor distractions of participants in the late great war in Europe to observe the fantastic evolutions of marine nomenclature. As an immediate example it…

Abstract

IT was one of the minor distractions of participants in the late great war in Europe to observe the fantastic evolutions of marine nomenclature. As an immediate example it was my own destiny to sail, first, in a ship named after a West African village, transferring a little later to one called after a Costa Rica river. A year or two later an elderly vessel, City of Oxford, became my home, only to be exchanged, at the armistice, for a fuel ship immortalising an ancient city of Asia Minor. And the return journey from Anatolia was achieved in a trim modern sloop‐of‐war bearing the attractive but unsuitable soubriquet of Delphinium. We were lucky. Some of our brothers‐in‐arms were serving or travelling on ships whose names they could barely pronounce.

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Library Review, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1930

ARNOLD ZWEIG

IT was not until two years after the War had finished that I felt the inner compulsion to set down my experiences of it. Two years had to pass for me to recuperate from…

Abstract

IT was not until two years after the War had finished that I felt the inner compulsion to set down my experiences of it. Two years had to pass for me to recuperate from the horrors of those three‐and‐a‐half years. But it was not enough for me merely to write an account because, contrary to the opinion of some literary circles, I believe the value of an account lies in its form. The form creates the characters, and I regard these characters as having a symbolical meaning.

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Library Review, vol. 2 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1930

The Library Association of Ireland issued last month the first number of An Leabharlann, their new official journal. The title, for those of us who do not speak the…

Abstract

The Library Association of Ireland issued last month the first number of An Leabharlann, their new official journal. The title, for those of us who do not speak the language of Erin, means The Library. It is an extremely interesting venture which will be followed by librarians on the mainland with sympathetic curiosity. In particular our readers would be interested in the first of a series of articles by Father Stephen J. Brown, S.J., on Book Selection. The worthy Father lectures on this subject at University College, Dublin, in the Library School. It is mainly concerned with what should not be selected, and deals in vigorous fashion with the menace of much of current published stuff. No doubt Father Brown will follow with something more constructive. Mr. T. E. Gay, Chairman of the Association, discusses the need for a survey of Irish libraries and their resources. We agree that it is necessary. The Net Books Agreement, the Council, Notes from the Provinces, and an article in Erse—which we honestly believe that most of our Irish friends can read—and an excellent broadcast talk on the Library and the Student by Miss Christina Keogh, the accomplished Librarian of the Irish Central Library, make up a quite attractive first number. A list of broadcast talks given by members of the Association is included.

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New Library World, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1929

MORLEY ROBERTS

THERE are rooms with books in them, there are book‐rooms, and there are libraries. Every book‐lover will recognise these statements as solemnly true. It seems to me that…

Abstract

THERE are rooms with books in them, there are book‐rooms, and there are libraries. Every book‐lover will recognise these statements as solemnly true. It seems to me that the real library might be known by a blind man: for it smells like a library: it speaks at once of old leather and ancient glue and calf and morocco binding and has in it the very fume of history and the passage of time. Blessed are those who possess one and the capacity of enjoying its odorous sanctity. This is not given to many. I am not of that high order. True that I have some rooms with books in them, but such can satisfy none but meagre souls. As I was brought up among books I have over and above these a book‐room in which nothing really counts but books at which good people hasten to peer, while the unitiated merely wonder.

Details

Library Review, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1929

ARUNDELL ESDAILE

I. THE AMATEUR READER. MAKE no mistake: reading is an art, though it may seem as much an instinctive action as eating. It is by no means necessary to read every word of a…

Abstract

I. THE AMATEUR READER. MAKE no mistake: reading is an art, though it may seem as much an instinctive action as eating. It is by no means necessary to read every word of a book to have read it to the best advantage. Skipping and skimming are often condemned as vices of the desultory and idolent, and so indeed they often are, when they are involuntary. But the really expert reader skips and skims deliberately. Like Dr. Johnson, he “tears the heart out of a book.” He has not the time to waste on reading the unessential. Very likely only certain parts of a book are of service to him. Why should he do more than glance over the rest to see that he is missing nothing important to him? You will notice that as you read you take in, not single words at a glance, still less (as a child does) single letters, but whole sentences. That is, I believe, the common rate of reading. But Shelley could read, his eye and mind grasping at one glance an entire paragraph or even page. It does not matter how fast you read, so long as you read with your mind awake. As we all know, very much reading only half holds the attention, and is almost a vice. The morbid craving for printed matter, for any printed matter, no matter what, is not a help, but an active impediment to thinking.

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Library Review, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1929

PHILIP McDEVITT

THE regions we are to invade are not necessarily those of everyday routine administration. Of one thing I feel certain: that when we venture together in the quest I shall…

Abstract

THE regions we are to invade are not necessarily those of everyday routine administration. Of one thing I feel certain: that when we venture together in the quest I shall always be conscious of one unspoken question in your minds: the question that has damned more schemes at their inception than any other. It is this: “Where is the money to come from?”

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

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1929

ANTHONY TROLLOPE

WHERE is that tiresome tram? I'm late already, and yet I've been kept waiting for five minutes for the cursed conveyance. The crowd gathers, so there'll be a rush for it…

Abstract

WHERE is that tiresome tram? I'm late already, and yet I've been kept waiting for five minutes for the cursed conveyance. The crowd gathers, so there'll be a rush for it when it does come; and it will play with us that game so poignantly exhibited in Noel Coward's This Year of Grace, and pull up fifteen yards beyond the post. Ah! here it comes…

Details

Library Review, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1935

With this number the Library Review enters on its ninth year, and we send greetings to readers at home and abroad. Though the magazine was started just about the time when…

Abstract

With this number the Library Review enters on its ninth year, and we send greetings to readers at home and abroad. Though the magazine was started just about the time when the depression struck the world, its success was immediate, and we are glad to say that its circulation has increased steadily every year. This is an eminently satisfactory claim to be able to make considering the times through which we have passed.

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Library Review, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Article
Publication date: 1 October 1949

THE Library Association has begun the Centenary of the Public Libraries Acts' celebrations with an attractive booklet which, we suppose, is now in the hands of many, if…

Abstract

THE Library Association has begun the Centenary of the Public Libraries Acts' celebrations with an attractive booklet which, we suppose, is now in the hands of many, if not most, of our readers. We are to have, we understand, an official, documented history which should be worthy of the occasion; that may come later. The booklet, however, A Century of Public Library Service, should be made available in every library. To be effective it should go into every household—a manifest impossibility on any means at the command of the Library Association, since the booklet itself puts the registered borrowers alone at twelve millions, and if there are five people to a household, nearly two and a half million copies would be required. If it goes to every service point that will involve 23,000. These figures illustrate the difficulties of our publicity. The machine is too vast for all its parts to be reached. We suppose it will go to every librarian and every member of a library committee—about 6,000 copies—and that may be a good plan, although that would be sending it to those who are, we hope, converted. As for the book itself, it follows the lines of the paper read by Mr. L. R. McColvin at Eastbourne last year; it tells our history; shows by graph and figure the vast increase in supply to meet demand; deals successively with the various parts of the service; and surveys the future. Its value is as an assessment of book stock, staff and relative success and failure and the relation of these to the resources, financial and otherwise, of libraries. In 1949 we are spending £1,650,000 on books, if our calculation at 2s. 9d. per borrower is correct. This, for the whole population—say 45 millions—is not lavish. These and many other useful points are indicated. The work is for domestic consumption, to serve as a basis for self‐examination. On the physical side it is attractive, is printed on plate paper, which brings out brightly the twenty‐five illustrations and a graph, which show pleasant samples of libraries and readers. As a curious point we find no sign in any of the pictures that there are men librarians in public libraries.

Details

New Library World, vol. 52 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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