PUBLISHED MONTHLY. JANUARY, 1915.

Che Library Assistant

THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF

THE LIBRARY ASSISTANTS' ASSOCIATION,

eee XII. EDITED BY Hanee G. ST. NOs. 1.

As 48 to 99:

So it has been proved is the value of the old- time method of Library book purchase compared with the Chivers’ methods of supplying books specially re-inforced and bound for Public Library service.

We foretold a saving of 25% to 30%, but the result is a saving of 50%. One of the largest Public Libraries prints in its report

that its books now give—

MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH SERVICE

than they did before the reformation in bookbinding a few years ago.”

We made the inference—which has been confirmed— that the “reformation” referred to in the Public Library Report was the introduction of Chivers’ bindings. £100 now buys more books than £200 formerly bought. And we are constantly improving our materials and methods.

CEDRIC CHIVERS,

BOOKBINDERS,

PORTWAY, BATH.

Annual Subscription, tucluding postage to any witli esther at he or abroad 4s. Entered at Stationers’ Hall and at New York Post Office as Second Class Matter, Ne. 204

Cibrary Bookbinding.

B. RILEY & CO., Ltd.,

Library Binders and Specialists, SUPPLY TO PUBLIC LIBRARIES

THE BEST VALUE OBTAINABLE IN LIBRARY BINDING

New Books and Re-placements supplied, bound direct from the Publisher’s Sheets, in Pigskin, Pegamoid, or Washable Cloth. 334 per cent. allowed off Published Price of New Books.

Our flexible Pigskin Binding is in use in upwards of 100 Public Libraries in the Country.

New Catalogue of Standard Fiction. Price Lists for Re-bind- ing and Samples to be had free on application to

B. RILEY & CO., Ltd., Bookbinders, FOX STREET, HUDDERSFIELD.

London Office: 376, Strand, W.C.

Che Cibrary Assistant :

The Official Journal of the Library Assistants’ Association.

JANUARY, 1915. Published Monthly.

PRINCIPAL CONTENTS.

Editorial Libraries and Industry, by ROBERT W. PARSONS Proceedings : December General Meeting

Work of the Council ... Our Library ... bes ar The L.A.A. Roll of Honour (continued) Changes and Appointments

ANNOUNCEMENTS.

The next meeting will be held at the Fulham Central Library, 598, FULHAM ROAD, S.W., on Wednesday, 6th January, at 7.30 p.m. Mr. Water S. C. Rae, Borough Librarian, has kindly consented to preside, and Mr. W. C. BERWICK SAYERS will read a paper on ‘‘THE Easter SCHOOL oF 1914, wiTH A NOTE ON LIBRARIES IN War TiME,”’ which will be illustrated with lantern slides. Members will please note the early date of this meeting, and it is hoped that as many as pos- sible will be present, especially those who took part in the Easter School, to proceed once more over the incidents of that interest- ing period, as well as to reflect on the International work of the Association.

SOUTH COAST BRANCH.

The next meeting will be held at the BRIGHTON PUBLIC LIBRARY on Wepnespay, 20TH January, 1915.

Members and friends are invited to assemble at the Library at 3 p.m. and passes will then be available for those who wish to attend the concert by the Municipal Orchestra at the Aquarium.

Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Roserts will entertain the party to tea in the Art Gallery, at 5.15 p.m.

The Committee will meet at 6.0 p.m. and the ordinary meeting will commence at 6.30 p.m.

Miss M. BARNETT (Brighton) will read a paper on, The FEMININE ELEMENT IN Literature, and Mr. R. E. SMITHER (Brighton) will also read a paper on, A PLEA FOR BUSINESS METHODS IN LIBRARY PRACTICE.

Nominations are invited for the office of Chairman, and for a Member of Committee. ERNEST MALE, Hon. Secretary.

>

YORKSHIRE BRANCH. Notice OF ANNUAL MEETING.

It has been decided to hold the ANNUAL MEETING in Leeds, on Tuurspay, January 2Ist, 1915. An endeavour will be made to place full particulars in the hands of members at an early date. To facilitate the work of the committee, members are earnestly requested to give their serious attention to the question of nominations.

Nominations for OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE should be delivered to the undersigned not later than the first post, January 6th, 1915.

Rosert W. Parsons, Hon. Secretary.

EDITORIAL.

Which is it to be ?—In a recent Editorial we upheld the prin- ciple of competition for appointments, and while we do not recede one iota from continuing to uphold that principle, yet there is a phase of the question which is at once a natural con- comitant to it.

Recently an appointment was made in which slight public library experience plus academic attainments, was preferred to considerable professional experience combined with that pro- ficiency which L.A. examination certificates imply. This incident is only important in that it gives rise to considerable speculation as to the outcome: were the principle of preference for academic honours to become in any way general, or even partially so. The natural conclusion at once makes itself felt ; why study for L.A. certificates when other attainments are pre- ferred, even although regarded as only equivalent ? Armed with the proficiency demanded by the Library Association and with practical experience to back it up, disappointment is but the natural outcome to candidates who find that their labour has been but a labour in vain and their reward to be that of being passed over in favour of those whose training has taken academic rather than specialised lines. One of the things in recent years that has been most conducive to healthy emulation in library work, has been contained in the assertion that L.A. certificates were to be passports to advancement to an increased degree in the future. If such expectations are to be falsified by results, the effect must react on the profession at large. The Library Association by giving facilities and encour- aging examinations has given a moral pledge to recognise the products of its efforts, and we hope that collectively and individually it will recognise its obligations.

Assistants and the War.—The current issue of our journal contains the fourth instalment of the L.A.A. Roll of Honour, from which instructive particulars interesting to the members of our Association may be gathered. Simple enumeration

3

elucidates the fact that something over 60 of our members are actually serving their King and Country, but obviously this does not include a good many—the Editor has personal knowledge of several—who have been rejected by the military authorities. Bearing in mind that the L.A.A. contains a large percentage of juniors under age and a goodly sprinkling of those who are over age, the result is eminently satisfactory, and reflects the greatest possible credit on the Association. The only disturbing element is the strain on the financial resources consequent upon the loss of subscriptions, but that is a small matter compared with the fact that liberty and freedom are threatened. Amongst those with the colours to whom the L.A.A. is especially indebted we may be excused for mentioning our Sub-Editor, Mr. Geo. R. Bolton, who is with the R.A.M.C. at the military hospital, Colchester. Mr. R. M. Daniel, Honorary Secretary of our North Eastern Branch is now in the fighting line at the front, and Mr. F, J. Patrick, Honorary Secretary of the Midland Branch, is in training. Mr. Checketts, our ex-Vice-President, is another to whom the Association is indebted. We have a keen recollec- tion of the work accomplished by Mr. J. D. Stewart, of the Islington Public Libraries—also in training—in connection with the work of tabulating the material for the Report on Hours and Conditions of Service in Public Libraries (L.A.A. Series No. 4), and also for his work as Chairman of the Educational Committee of the L.A.A. If we single out these for mention it is only because they come under our immediate notice; but it is a pleasing reflection that so many of our members are following such excellent example, however much we may deplore the cause.

LIBRARIES AND INDUSTRIES.*

By Rospert W. Parsons, Bradford Public Libraries, Honorary Secretary of the Yorkshire Branch.

It has been said that we are not a nation of readers, a fact which is accounted for by our tremendous business activities and enterprise. To a large extent we must accept this, as also the dictum that ‘‘the end of education is to enable a man to earn a living, and then to make life worth living.’’ I think it was ex-President Roosevelt who said that ‘‘no other learning is as important for the average man as the learning which will teach him to earn his own living’’; and, ‘‘no other learning is as important for the average woman as that which will make her

*Paper read at a meeting of the Library Assistants’ Association at the Hornsey Central Library, on Wednesday, December 9th, 1914.

a good housewife and mother.’’ After several years’ experience in public library work, more years than I dare mention, I feel that there is great deal of the truth in those sayings just quoted ; and the public library, as an agent in the dissemination of that knowledge which enables men and women to earn their own living, and to become good citizens, must be accounted a potent factor in the enlightenment and uplifting of the people.

It is quite in accordance with economic laws to state that “the greater the efficiency and intelligence of the people the greater will be its powers of production. Higher wages will have to be paid for these increased abilities, and higher wages means better standards of living and citizenship.’’ Hence, I favour public library specialisation in scientific and technical literature with the object of assisting the poor workman to become a good workman, and a good workman to become a master of his craft, of promoting the efficiency and intelligence of the people, and thereby becoming instrumental in the moulding of citizenship. To accomplish this, we have to convince the members of an industrial community that the public library can serve them to an important extent in their business necessities and everyday needs ; and we must make it our duty to familiarise the workers with the literature of their trades and occupations, to let men and women know that all that our books and periodi- cals can tell them they are entitled to, and in addition, to show by our conduct and disposition towards them, that we are only too pleased to be of service to them. Of course, if our public libraries do not possess the means wherewith to meet these needs, we cannot hope for much success in our mission of convincing the public ; and, if the public taste in literature cannot be gratified by the public library its attitude towards that insti- tution will be one of apathy and disinterestedness.

I am going to ask your acquiescence in the view that all public libraries should specialise in scientific and technical literature for the benefit of the workers; in the literature of the industries or trades peculiar to their respective localities, sub- ordinating, but not neglecting, the collection of literature relating to the more general trades, such as building, engineer- ing, etc., and I shall endeavour to indicate a few of the directions in which the public library authority, under which I have the pleasure to serve, has tried to do its duty to the industrial classes of the city of Bradford.

Bradford being the centre of the textile industry, the library authority has specialised in the literature relating to every branch of that industry. Works on every conceivable aspect of the textile industry have been added to the libraries, the larger collection being in the central reference library, and representa-

sv

we

~~ = =

5

tive selections of the more important works being in the central lending and branch libraries. This specialisation on the part of the Bradford library authority has been greatly appreciated by the public generally. A host of testimonies could be given to the value of our textile library, of which we are justifiably proud ; but the two following, which were absolutely unsolicited, will be sufficient to convey some indication of the appreciation of our work. Commenting upon the suggested establishment of a textile library as an adjunct to the Huddersfield Technical College, a writer in a recent number of The Textile Mercury (1912), stated ‘‘In all that concerns the woollen industry the Bradford Public Library may serve as an example of what can be done in public libraries by a persevering and catholic choice.’ Upon the same subject, The Dyer and Calico Printer for November 20th, 1912, stated, *‘The reference department of the Bradford Public Library has shown itself not unmindful of its duty to the history and technology of fibres and of dying, but otherwise it cannot be professed that the libraries of the woollen and worsted area are too well stored.”

What Bradford has done for the textile industry many other cities and towns have done for the industries peculiar to their respective localities. We must remember that even small towns often have very important manufactures, and should certainly possess all available literature relating to those manufactures.

In specialising after this manner, we must not neglect the literature of the more general trades, such as building, joinery, engineering, etc. These trades are not bound by local restric- tions; they are trades which fluctuate, necessitating the migra- tion of workers from place to place, according as the conditions of their particular trades are good o1 bad. A workman accus- tomed to the use of the public library in his native town, must inevitably have recourse to the publi: library in the particular locality in which he is temporarily engaged; and to be denied at that critical time, will not only lead to a lack of faith in the institution, but also to a lack of support, personally and financially. Yes, there is a financial aspect to this question. The indebtedness of the public library to the working classes is a fact that should merit reciprocation on the part of the workers; but circumstances often prevent this, because the workers as a class cannot truly say that they are indebted to the public library. Let us look at the matter from another point of view. ‘The efficiency and intelligence of the working classes means an increase in the production of material values ; therefore, the artisan class contributes in no small degree to the increase of the rateable value of a locality. It is common knowledge that in the same proportion as the rateable value increases, the library

6

income also increases. So by helping the workers we promoting our own welfare.

It may be taken for granted, then, that the public librar may claim to be of great service in an industrial communit, therefore, libraries should be administered on those lines b which the needs of a community will be most easily and succes fully met. It will do more harm than good to invite to libraries those who are accustomed to business routine

ar

Ou and precision, on the ground that we are able to help them, and whe they come to us to find all manner of inconveniences, and experience great difficulty in getting exactly what they wan I shall say more on this point later, however. If we are to meet with the success hoped for, the public library must increase it popularity and usefulness by the employment of those means an methods to which our would-be clients are accustomed; an some of the means or methods by which the public library car appeal to the community, by which the resources of the publi: library can be advertised are as follows :— 1. Open access. 2. Classification Co-operation with local societies, edu onal horities, 1 press, etc. Co-operation with universities, technical schools 1. It is unnecessary for me to say very much regarding th merits of open access in public libraries; the one point I desire to emphasise is the special appeal of this system to the business man, the tradesman, the operative. Business men and tradesmen

gencrally, are realising more and more that it pays them t display goods in such a manner that the prospective custome may sce and inspect what they are buying. Small traders an

shop-keepers are adopting this open access or bazaar methos with beneficial results.

Here, then, lies one of the reasons for the success of oper access in libraries, the borrowers being treated in much the sam way as if they were in a shop or warehouse making purchases This success points the moral that the safeguarded open acces system should be adopted wherever possible ; and where it is ou of the question for the time being, partial open access should br

granted to books of the quick reference type. On this subject the late J. D. Brown in his ‘‘Manual of Library Economy”’ states, ‘‘that no business man can afford to use reference librari for business or other purposes to the extent that he would becaus of these mechanical hindrances.’’ A. E. Bostwick, in his bool ‘*The American Public Library,”’ states that ‘‘it is obviously well

to place as little hindrance as may be in the way of the business man who runs in for a moment to glance at a directory or gazet- teer, or to consult a time-table. To stop such a man in orde

7

that he may sign his name to something, or account for himself in any way, is little short of an outrage.’’ Both Brown and Bostwick make very strong, and may be, questionable state- ments. I shall not pretend to discuss these statements, but use them for support to my inference that it will be well for library authorities to err on the side of leniency.

2. The subject of classification is one that has a special appeal to the industrial classes. It is a ‘‘time-worn”’ illustration, but worthy of repetition, that the grocer, the butcher, the draper, etc., all use some system of classification in the storing and in the display of their goods. What is true of shops, warehouses, ete., is equally true of other branches of commercial enter- prise; and you will easily see that both masters and men, trader and customer, are all accustomed to some system of classification, however crude that classification may be. To these, then, the appeal of the classified library, with books treat- ing of the same and related topics in close proximity to each other, is irresistible. Let us do all we can, therefore, to hasten that glad day when all public libraries shall be in line in respect of this desirable feature of administration.

3. “‘Unity is strength.’’ Co-operation which unites the efforts of men and women, of societies and institutions, lends strength and fruition to those efforts which would otherwise have been lacking. For this reason the establishment of a system of co-operation between the public library and local scientific, his- torical, or trade societies, must lead to the accomplishment of much useful and effective educational work, and increased appreciation of the public library. For the same reason the Bradford Public Libraries Authority has availed itself of every opportunity of co-operation with societies and classes of students; and I may be pardoned if I give you one or two examples of our activities in these directions.

The Workers’ Educational Association established a course of lectures in conjunction with Leeds University. The syllabus of the lectures was sent to the library, and a special point was made of seeing that all books on the syllabus were in the libraries, both reference and lending. Then, lists of all the books, giving authors’ names, titles and numbers, were duplicated, and copies displayed on the notice boards in the libraries, and in the Association’s classroom. The facilities thus offered were appre- ciated to such an extent that extra copies of the books were added to the libraries in order to meet the demand, a demand which has proved to be not of a temporary nature. Furthermore, a collection of these books was sent from the University and housed in the Central Lending Library in order to centralise and facilitate the loan of books to the students.

8

This is a branch of work which all library authorities ought to undertake; there is no need to wait for the various societies to take the initiative. Libraries may send out a circular, as many do, asking for the publications of the society, such as annual reports and _ syllabuses. ‘he response is sure to be encouraging ; and the libraries, in return, should supply lists of books as here suggested.

Again, the masters of factories, shops and warehouses, should be approached with a view to the display of bulletins, and hand-lists on their notice boards. Some two or three j ago, we in bradford issued a ‘‘Hand-list of works relating to the Textile Industries,’’ and copies of these lists were sent gratis to all the leading mill-owners, shop-keepers, and warehouse with a note requesting them to display the lists in some suitable position, for the benefit of their workpeople. ‘This they complied with, and numerous readers came to use the both in our reference and lending libraries, who had never done so before.

The issuing of lists of books, or select bibliographies in local

en,

readily I ooks,

newspapers, or even in the trade union journal, is another legitimate method of bringing the resources of the library before the notice of the people. As a rule the editors of local papers are exceedingly willing to print lists of recent additions to the libraries, select bibliographies of works on any special subject, or even short articles explanatory of the working and resources of the libraries.

Once more, readers known to be interested in | subjects might have posted to them at regular intervals, lists of books likely to be of interest that have been recently added.

Still another way in which the contents of a library may be brought to the people’s notice is by word of mouth, t.c., lectures

~ 1 - articular

and short talks. We may take a leaf out of the Y.M.C.A. book, and indulge in dinner hour talks to workmen outside their own workshops. Notice how we carry out this idea in respect of other sections of the community. The curriculum of many

public libraries includes story-hours for children, lectures on literature, travel, etc. Then why not story-hours, talks, or lectures for workers about their work, and how the public library may benefit them? It will not be necessary for the librarian or his assistants to do this themselves; we can often secure the help of the masters, of those who have specialised in social work, and so forth.

4. The suggestions which have been made regarding local societies, hold good in our desire for co-operation with universities and technical schools. By the establishment of a system of co-operation between the public library and pr«

»fessors

9

and teachers in universities and technical schools, by the supply of lists of books according to any specified syllabus or course of lectures, the resources of the library are brought to the imme- diate notice of masters and students ; and I venture to think that any time or efforts expended in these directions will be justified by the increased use of the library.

While most universities and technical schools possess their own private libraries for the use of masters and students, and to a certain extent these will get their needs supplied there, the public library will always find scope for work amongst students, who will soon learn that the public library can serve them at points where the private library fails. Proof of this is found in the fact that professors, lecturers, teachers, are using our public libraries more now than ever before, and recommending their students to follow their example. These are a few of the directions in which the public library may be proved to be of utility to the industrial classes, as well as to other sections of a community.

This subject of specialisation in libraries cannot be dismissed without some reference to the questions of book selection and finance. The pathway of book selection through the fields of scientific and technical literature is one beset by many difficulties. The more important may be given a brief consideration, not with a view to offering absolute solution to these difficulties, but rather indicating the lines on which the solutions are to be sought. Now, the collection of special literature on the lines previously suggested may be treated under three headings—Books, Periodi- cals, Trade Catalogues.

One of the greatest difficulties we have to contend with in this book selection is the rapidity with which the technical library becomes out-of-date. In a collection devoted to science and industries it is of the utmost importance that the information supplied should be accurate, and representative of modern or current thought. The out of date book in the hands of readers is about as useful as a worn-out tool ; and the issue of such books will do considerably more harm than good. This necessitates the constant purchase of new books, and of new editions of old standard authors, and the books should be purchased when they are new, and not left until they appear in second-hand or remainder catalogues.

Another difficulty will be experienced in the selection of technical works treated in an elementary or popular style. Undoubtedly, books of an elementary or rudimentary character should be added to the libraries. There are many workers who have had little or no education, and whose practical knowledge of a subject is very limited; there are also those whose know- ledge of a subject is only that which has been acquired by follow- ing their employment or occupation. Learned and abstruse

10

treatises are of little or no use to this class of reader, and to place such books before them would prevent them, or make them shy about, coming again to the library. The elementary book meets the needs of those readers as no other books can do. In addition, many theoretical works give much useful, practical information ; and while to the expert the elementary treatise may be superficial, it is the simplified treatment and avoidance of technicalities which renders such a book so valuable to the average workman. And, if such books do no more than form a taste for reading in the inexperienced and untutored,if they only serve to give encour- agement to those who are backward in the use of the public library, a very useful object has been achieved.

In the actual selection of these books the safest plan will be to have books submitted for approval, as reviews are scanty, and publishers’ announcements are not to be relied upon. For the more advanced and learned treatises the reviews in various technical journals may be taken as a good guide, as in the majority of cases the reviews are written by critics possessing some special knowledge.

The supply of technical or trade journals is a most essential feature of this problem of specialisation. These journals expound the various sciences to which they are devoted, they fill up that appreciable gap between the most modern book and present-day thought; and, as in the case of books, there are journals that appeal more to the average man er woman, to the less advanced imagination, and therefore will be more serviceable than the more intricate, technological journal or society publication. To be quite efficient, then, the ‘‘popular’’ journal should be taken as well as the scientific and technical; and while current num- bers meet the demand for the latest, a file of back volumes will be of exceptional value in cases of research work.

A very useful source of information, and one that is too often neglected, is a collection of trade catalogues. Many, though not all trade catalogues, can be obtained free; there can be no objection on the ground of expense. At the same time, I hope to show that there will be justification for any expenditure incurred in keeping the collection up-to-date. These trade catalogues often give the very latest information on their par- ticular subjects, information that is not given in books or perio- dicals until the particular catalogue has been superseded by a later edition. Not only so, but the information given in these catalogues is often that for which the buyer or user of any particular device, tool, or machine, has some urgent need. And the information is such that is not often given in books. To the man using tools of every description, or working on different types of engines, the information thus gleaned would be invalu- able. Thus, by means of a good working collection of trade

11

catalogues the public library may render immense service to workers and students alike; and we should ‘‘make every effort to strengthen the literary side of suitable subjects by a judicious selection of the best illustrated trade catalogues.”’

These, in outline, are the main directions in which we are able to specialise in the literature which has direct bearing on the industries and trades of the people. ‘There are yet many aspects of this subject, such as matters of discrimination between books for reference work only, and those for loan purposes ; the selection of books for their historical value; collecting on academic or practical lines ; the centralisation of the stock in one department, or the duplication for branch libraries; the develop- ment of a co-operative system rather than competitive, between branches ; the establishment of a system of inter-change in order to bring the resources of the whole library system at the com- mand of any citizen. These are all very necessary aspects affecting this question of book selection, which must be elabo- rated on some future occasion.

One hardly dare dismiss this subject without some reference to the financial side of these suggestions. Like all other questions for the extension of public library work, or the more effective operation of present activities, it resolves itself into one of £. s. d. I mention this here, briefly, only by way of offering some little justification for the expense incurred in these proposals. Some may question whether the results will justify the expenditure, or not; for my part, | agree that ‘‘the usage of books is far too complex and too far-reaching for it to be possible to trace the ultimate influence.’’? At the same time there are many hopeful signs which show the wind to be blowing in the right direction, and which give one confidence in asserting that we shall be justified in a retrenchment of our expenses in other directions, especially in the direction of fiction, in a more rigid economy than has hitherto been exercised, and in the expenditure of an increased percentage of the library’s income on scientific and technical literature.

I am conscious of the fact that on account of the magnitude and cost of the various proposals I have outlined, the whole sub- ject may be relegated, as so many are, to the limbo of ‘‘very good as an ideal, but impracticable.’? However, I have not hesitated boldly to submit these ideas for your consideration. The ‘Old Book’ tells us that we shall not be ‘‘tempted above that we are able; but will with the temptation also have made a way of escape.’’ By adapting that passage, I say that no proposals are of so great a magnitude but what we are able to undertake them; consideration of these perplexing and difficult,

12

but desirable proposals for the extension and promotion of public library utility, may afford some way of escape, some solution to what on first thoughts may be considered impracticable.

PROCEEDINGS. DECEMBER GENERAL MEETING.

The December meeting, held at the Hornsey Central Library, on Wednesday, December Sth, proved no exception to the rule that has prevailed from the beginning of the session in that the weather was bad, with the result that only about 20 members were present when the meeting was opened by the Chairman of the Hornsey Libraries’ Committee, Councillor G. D. Marcuam, who presided. Prior to this, however, those present had _ par- taken of some excellent refreshments, served by the Libraries’ staff, which were particularly welcome after the wet journey.

At the outset the Chairman expressed his pleasure at occupy- ing that position, and cordially welcomed the Association to Hornsey, at the same time expressing his approval of such meetings for their educational helpfulness. He admitted that he knew little of defaulters, but it was on record that King James was one, as he at one time borrowed a book from the Lambeth Library, which he neglected to return, and the work ultimately found its way into the British Museum.

Miss DumeniIL (Hackney) was then called upon to read her paper on “‘DerauLTers.’’ After an apology for reading a paper on such a well-known subject, she compared the conditi which would exist in an ideal State, where the folk would need no laws or regulations to control them, with that in our own time, where people gloried in defrauding cither the State, local authorities, or railway companies. She then classified library defaulters under the three heads of Forgetfulness, Deliberation, and Indifference, and went on to outline the steps taken to ensure the return of a book and the collection of the fine accrued. Some borrowers regarded the notice as a sign of business ability ; some were utterly indifferent to it; while others were exceedingly humble when they acknowledged their liabilities. In the United States, after the lapse of a certain time, the police were requisitioned to make personal calls upon offenders. Demands for books and fines were much more peremptory in that country. It was her experience that a messenger often got the book, but seldom the fine; such messengers were of value where hardened sinners were concerned. Where resource was had to the County Court, the value of the book might be obtained, but it depended on the magistrate whether fines or costs could be

13

extorted. With regard to guarantees, according to the Stamp Act, vouchers ought really to be stamped where no limit as to liability was mentioned. Miss Dumenil then touched briefly upon the sending out of post cards to guarantors for the detection of forgeries.

The discussion was opened by Mr. THOMAS JOHNSTON (Hornsey), who read some amusing letters for overdue books written by boys undergoing entrance examinations for Junior Assistantships in his libraries. He mentioned that he had had only two Court cases in connection with defaulting borrowers during sixteen years. At this stage the HONORARY SECRETARY asked several pertinent questions. He was anxious, he said, that definite information might be had from the discussion. What, for instance, were you to do with a borrower who habitually returned his books, undamaged, it was true, but literally reeking with some form or other of offensive smell? Or again, how were we to treat a defaulting guarantor; one who refused to meet his liability? He agreed that it was dangerous to take cases into the Court. He recommended that a limit of £2 should be stated on all vouchers, and thought the post card idea for detecting forgeries rather a good one. Mr. J. E. WALKER (Tottenham) stated that he had had experience of the post card method, and did not think it worth while, when you considered that perhaps one forgery might be discovered through the send- ing out of perhaps 1,500 cards annually. As for visiting for overdues, he thought that it were best to send out a uniformed messenger. Miss M. GiLpert (Fulham) thanked Miss Dumenil for her admirable paper. She, however, regretted that the ques- tion of Juvenile offenders had not been dealt with. At Fulham they did not cancel children’s tickets for unpaid fines until the third offence ; this was for the sake of those who were genuinely poor. In her opinion the Janitor was by far the best person to send out for overdues. The Honorary Epiror agreed with Miss Gilbert in regard to children and fines. At Hornsey they had no guarantee for school children, but a recommendation from the headmaster.

Miss Dumenil having replied, the Chairman then asked Mr. W. H. Parker (Hackney) to read Mr. R. W. Parsons’ paper on ‘‘LIBRARIES AND INDusTRY,”’ which appears in an abbreviated form, elsewhere in our pages.

The Honorary Epitor expressed himself as grateful to Mr. Parsons for so ably presenting the industrial as against the residential side of library work, but he protested against the idea that the English people were not a reading people. English literary history cried aloud in refutation of a statement which was the outcome of the English tendency to belittle English

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things. He also spoke of the desirability for a system of inter- change of tickets among London libraries, and for different libraries to specialise in certain subjects. He doubted whether dinner-hour talks would be appreciated by workmen who were not so enthusiastic as Mr. Parsons himself. The CHarRMAN disagreed with Mr. Sureties ; he had spent a good deal of time in the North, where the people were altogether different from those in suburban London. In Manchester, for example, you could go to a place for a cup of tea, and hear entertaining dis- cussions. The usual votes of thanks to the readers of the papers were moved by Mr. H. G. Sureties (Hornsey), and seconded by Miss O. E. CLarke (Islington) ; to the Chairman and Com- mittee of the Hornsey Public Libraries ; to Mr. Thomas Johnston and Staff; and to Mr. W. H. Parker for reading Mr. Parsons’ paper, by the Honorary SECRETARY. Suitable replies were given, and the meeting terminated.

WORK OF THE COUNCIL.

A Meeting Extraordinary of the Council was held at the Shoreditch Central Library on 11th November, when there were present: Mr. H. G. Sureties (in the chair); Miss Gilbert; Messrs. Chambers, Hawkins, Thorne, Walker, Warner and Young.

It was resolved to form a register of Belgian refugee librarians, and to advertise for them through the English-published Belgian papers; also to invite hospitality for them from the members through the journal

The Sixth Council Mecting was held at the Bishopsgate Institute on Wednesday, 16th December. Present : Mr. H. G. Sureties (in the chair); Miss Clarke; Messrs. Chambers, Hawkins, Hogg, Sayers, Smith, Thorne, Walker and Young.

It was reported that the Branches were, in one or two cases, refrain- ing from meeting owing to the absence of members in the Imperial Forces; the Irish, Midland and South Coast Branches had met recently. The resig- nation of the Chairman of the North Western Branch, Mr. F. W. C. Pepper, on his appointment to Birmingham, and letters from members on active service, including one from Mr. G. R. Bolton, and a letter from Miss Miihlenfeld, of Hilversum, Holland, were also reported.

Reported that the paper by Mr. Sayers on ‘*‘Committee Work,”’ published in the November Library Assistant, would be reprinted as No. 6 of the L.A.A. Series, and would be ready in January. In order to supply new members, it was resolved to increase the issue of the Journal by fifty copies. The Finance and General Purposes Committee reported receipts £8; balance, £22 17s. 2d., and accounts, £24 10s. 8d. The subscriptions were being paid slowly, and were £20 less than the corresponding period of last year. There were, as far as reported, 56 members serving with the colours.

A preliminary consideration of the Twenty-First Annual Programme was made, and the Education Committee invited suggestions for the meetings.

The Librarian reported an issue during the quarter of fourteen volumes, a decrease of ten.

Five new members were elected, and much formal business was trans- acted. The next meeting was resolved for 20th January, 1915.

15

OUR LIBRARY.

LIBRARY ASSISTANTS’ ASSOCIATION.—An Album of Remin- iscences of the London International Easter School, 1914. Quarto. 4mor. 1914.

A pathetic interest must needs belong to any record of international work, and we turn over the leaves of this volume, with the reflection that many colleagues from the nation with which we are now at war were with us then, and that at least some of the members serve the colours of each country. To some it may seem that our international work has failed; but we do not believe this. Even if we regard the Easter Schools from the merely selfish point of view, we have gained in knowledge and in breadth of mind by contact with our neighbours; and on these and other grounds, although we cannot wish well to our enemies,we can yet hope that no personal harm may come to those who were with us in London. The volume consists of the accounts of the School by Messrs.Grindle, Pollitt, Sharp and Thorne,which have appeared in the professional journals; of manuscript reminiscences, irtistic jottings—amongst which a dainty double-page by Miss Gwendolen Rees may be noted—and the inevitable verses. There is what its writer calls “*A Lyttell Geste of London in Sixe Fyttes,”’ from which we extract stanzas which show that he did not visit Kew Gardens in vain:

i. Green growes the grasse under the trees, Under the trees atte Kewe; Lent-lilies brayve inne the breazes wayve, Gylding the yeere anewe; And the blackburd pypeth hys exstasies Under the trees atte Kewe. ii. Greene are the laynes under the boughes, Under the boughes atte Kewe; Mazes of sunne and shadowe y-runne Over the belles of blue; And the luvvers inne payres mayke manyfolde vowes Under the boughes atte Kewe. iii. Blue are the skyes onne the Aprille Eve, Over the trees atte Kewe; Sunbeames and songes and blossomes inne thronges Looke to the skyes of blue; And the lyghte is moste luvley, I muste beleeve Oute of the skyes of Kewe!

The volume is profusely illustrated by photographs from the camera of Messrs. Cashmore, Haxby and Sayers, picture postcards and other pictures. This, the fifth volume of this series of Albums, is another fascinating record of one of the most successful activities of the Association—an activity, which we hope will not be postponed for more than one year.

W.C.B.S.

NEW MEMBERS.

Associates: Ruth Edminson (London School of Medicine, Hunter Street, W.C.); Reginald C. Hyslop (St. George’s P.L., Stepney); Charles S. Dunham (Harlesden); James F. Hagarty (Highgate P.L., Hornsey).

North Eastern Branch: Associate: Elsie Marshall (Sunderland).

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L.A.A. ROLL OF HONOUR. FourtH List.

Brighton: J. Tarrant (Armourer, Royal Navy), W. GrLLaM

(2nd Royal Sussex Regt.), W. Ester (Border Regt.). Burnley: H. G. Bootnu (6th Battery R.F.A.—in Egypt). Camberwell: G. F. Gotp (21st Batt. County of London). Carlisle: *C Hore (4th East Lancs. R.F.A.).

Chelsea : *D. S. Younc (14th Batt. City of London Regt.—Lon- don Scottish). Croydon: *F. W. Cornwa.i (R.A.M.C.).

Exeter: *E. H. Matruews (4th Batt. Devon Regt.—in India).

Hartlepool: A. Cook (Royal Horse