Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

My father, Ephraim Neville, who died February, 1890, was the first public librarian, and at a very tender age I was appointed assistant librarian, hours 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., six days per week, the stipendiary emoluments being £10 per annum, or 3s. 10d. per week, and I often think that the money was well earned.

“I have a distinct recollection of the fine June morning when I fetched the newspapers and periodicals from the shop of John Wardley, at the corner of Arch-street, and the library and newsroom being opened without any ceremony. We had close upon eighty members on the first day, Mr. F. G. Hindle being No. 1 and my mother No. 19. For many years the library was sup ported by a rate of ld. in the £ on the town, which realised about £400, and the rate had to be collected separately by my father, the librarian. This collection necessitated a visit to every house, farm, shop, and factory in Darwen, and took four or five months to collect. My father received a commission of 5 per cent., or £20 for the job. Ye gods! ! !

“ To relieve the deadly monotony of the library my father would sometimes give me a

round' to cover. I easily induced several cliums to play truant from Blackburn Grammar School and James Hargreaves's school, and off we went over the moor to Old Lyons, Boggart Holes, Dickinson Barn, Bullcracker Hall, etc.

The day's takings, if I had any luck, averaged about 2s. 6d., but what times we had bird-nesting, bathing, etc!

“At ' New Meadows Gap. I had a warm reception one day, the farmer's wife ordering me peremptorily off the premises, threatening to expedite my departure by the use of a clog. woman, objected to pay to an institution where gentlemen sat in easy chairs drinking brandy and smoking cigars !"

Darwen was the first Local Board (i.e., the first town not incorporated) to adopt the Libraries Act, and the first library was housed in the Local Board Rooms, which had been erected in 1853, by voluntary contributions, at a cost of £1,300. At the opening the property and books of the Mechanics’ Institution were handed over to the library. About twenty-five years after the library was transferred to a portion of the newly erected Technical School, and 1908 the present “ Carnegie " building was opened. access system had been adopted in 1895--Darwen was one of the very first of our open access libraries—and library lectures were introduced in 1901, and are now a firmly established and popular feature of the winter work. School libraries are deposited in twenty-two school departments. No trace can be found of the issues for the first years, but in 1875 the daily average issue was about 60 now it is over 400.

The history of the library reflects great credit upon those responsible for its growth. Throughout the fifty years the public has shown a keen interest in its working, and it is not difficult to account for this support.

PERSONAL. Mr. J. W. LAMBERT. Librarian of Gainsborough, has been appointed librarian, Eccles.

She, poor

The open LIBRARY ASSOCIATIONS. JOINT CONFERENCE OF LIBRARY ASSOCIATION BRANCHES

the Joint Conference of various Branch Associations, held at Didieri Yorks., was in every way a success. The uniting bodies were the North-Central, North-Western, North-Midland, and Northern Counties Library Associations, and the meetings took place on June 3rd and 4th. The visitors were officially welcomed, and everything was done by local effort to make the Conference successful

“Some wider aspects of reading was the subject to the name of Mr. Ald. Abbott, which in his unavoidable absence was admirably treated by Mr. Stanley Jast (Manchester). Mr. Shaw (Liverpool) dealt with “ The value of Branch Associations and suggestions for their greater use by the L.A.," and Mr. Walter Briscoe (Nottingham) advanced the cause of “ Public Libraries and Publicity.” All these papers created most useful and interesting discussions. “ The Yorkshire Moorlands in recent Fiction” was contributed by Mr. Hudson (Middlesborough). The visitors made excursions to Bolton Abbey, and various rambles on the moors were enjoyed during the week-end.

The conference proper opened with a discussion on Some wider aspects of public reading. Ald. T. C. Abbott, of Manchester, had been announced to give a paper on that subject, but, as he was unable to be present, Mr. L. Stanley Jast opened the discussion.

" It is a part of living,” he said, “and I think to the vast majority of us it is the greater part of living. I take it you only get great qualities and character by great experiences.”

There was one thing which librarians did stand for, he added, and one thing which made them essential to the life of the community, and that was that they stood for the culture and vivifying of the national imagination by means of books.

The need for a definite campaign for the education in the value and work of public libraries formed the principal subject of discussion at the second day's proceedings, when a paper on “ Public Libraries and Publicity was read by Mr. W. A. Briscoe, the chief librarian of Nottingham. Modesty, said Mr. Briscoe, might be a virtue, but it did not pay in this modern age. If an institution justified its existence, it was justified in proclaiming its existence. People as yet did not appreciate the value of public libraries.

Mr. L. Stanley Jast remarked that in many cases the town librarian did not welcome assistance from outside in conducting publicity campaigns in his town. It ought to be part of the publicity campaign to educate librarians, and then to educate councils. As soon as he came into the North he was struck by the fact that in many towns the citizens were far more appreciative of their libraries than were many public bodies. As to detail, he suggested the formation of a Press Club, the issuing of cheap pamphlets, and the presentation of addresses on library work at conferences other than those of librarians.

It was eventually decided to ask the Council of the Library Association to form a publicity Committee.

NEW BOOKS.
Briscoe, W. A.: CRICKET LOVE AND HUMOUR, cr. 8vo., coloured

boards, 2/6 net. A volume of Cricket Stories and Sketches by the

City Librarian of Nottingham. Zimand, S.: MODERN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, cr. 8vo., cl., 260 pp.

The H. W. Wilson Company (London : Grafton & Co.), 10/6 net.

This volume will be found extremely valuable by students of economic questior.s. The title of the work was originally announced as “ The Labour Movement," but the book has been issued under the above title, which gives a better idea of the wide scope of the contents. Various sections, each cortaining a descriptive summary and a biblography, deal with the many social movements of modern times, among these being Trade Unionism, the Co-operative Movement, Socialism, Syndicalism, etc. The volume is an addition to the “ Handbook series published by The H. W. Wilson Company, of

which the last issued volume was Vocational Education.” Power, Effie L.: LISTS OF STORIES AND PROGRAMS FOR STORY

HOURS,” wrappers, small 8vo., 110 pp. The H. W. Wilson

Company (London: Grafton & Co.). 2/6 net, A useful reading list for the Children's Library: A notice of this

volume will be found in another page of this issue. Dewey, Melvil: ABRIDGED DECIMAL CLASSIFICATION AND

RELATIVE INDEX, cl., large 8vo., 184 pp. The Forest Press (London : Grafton & Co.). 21/- ret.

The third revised edition of the abridged decimal classification has now been issued, and copies are in stock and may be obtained at this office.

BOOKS FOR SCHOOL LIBRARIANS.
Wilson, M.: SCHOOL LIBRARY MANAGEMENT, pp. 142, 5/- net. A

statement of the problems of the school library, with suggestions for

its equipment, organization, and administration. Powell, S.: CHILDREN'S LIBRARY, 460pp., 10/6 net. A discussion and

criticism of library work with children. Hazeltine, A.: LIBRARY WORK WITH CHILDREN, 396pp., 7/6 net. Bostwick, A. E.: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LIBRARY AND THE

PUBLIC SCHOOLS, 331pp. 7/6 net. Peacock, M.: A SCHOOL and CLUB LIBRARIAN'S HANDBOOK, 96pp.

5/- net. These are the most up-to-date and complete works published on the subject of Children's Libraries, and cannot fail to be of great service to those engaged in planning and organizing such libraries.

For a well-selected list from which to choose suitable volumes for inclusion in the new school libraries we recommend :

CHILDREN'S CATALOGUE. 1000 Titles, 163 pages, cloth

.10s. 6d. 2000 Titles, 332 pages, cloth

.25s. 3500 Titles, 527 pages, cloth

..35s. Supplement, 1916-1919, 700 titles, 108 pages, lined paper .3s. 6d.

GRAFTON & CO., Coptic House, 7 & 8 Coptic St., London, W.C. 1

NOTES. DISPLAY OF “PUBLICITY” LITERATURE. AXXUAL MEETING, MANCHESTER, SEPTEMBER, 1921.

Librarians are invited to send samples of any “publicity literature issued from their libraries (with the date of issue noted thereon.) Copies of posters, circulars, hand-books, leaflets, and other advertising matter will be displayed. A special committee (consisting of Messrs. W. A. Briscoe, Nottingham; E. Green, Halifax; and J. G. Singleton, Accrington) has been formed to organise the exhibition, in conjunction with the Local Committee, and enquiries may be addressed to any member named. ALL literature should be addressed to “ Publicity” Committee, Reference Library, Manchester; and should reach there not later than September ist.

Our next number will be a Double Number, dealing with the announcements relative to the Library Association Conference at Manchester, which is to be held during the week commencing 12th September. It will contain the Official Programme of the Conference, titles of papers to be read, social events, Brief Guide to Manchester, memo pages for notes, map of the surrounding districts of Manchester, plan of the Publishers' Exhibition, and nany other features. This, the “August-September ” number, will be published on the 1st of September, price 2s.6d. net. Orders for extra copies should reach us in advance, as the edition will be strictly limited.

REVIEWS.

PROFESSIONAL LITERATURE. POWER, EFFIE L., ED., Director of Work among Children, Cleve

land Public Library. “ Lists of Stories and Programs for Story hours," Revised Edition, ppr., small 8vo., 110 pp.

The W. Wilson Company (Grafton & Co.) 1921, 2/6 net. The story lists contained in this small volume were originally written for and used by the staff of the Children's Department of the St. Louis Public Library, but are now reprinted for the general use of children's librarians.

The lists are arranged in series-stories for little children, graded according to their degree of difficulty-stories for older chldren, planned to interest boys and girls in standard works of literature and to make them familiar with the historical and legendary tales of every age. In this section are included lists of stories from Greek and Northern mythology, legends of King Arthur, Charlemagne and the days of chivalry, stories from Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, tales of Robin Hood, etc. There is also given a list of poems and of prose selections suitable for reading aloud to boys and girls, and many suggestions and programmes for the Story Hour that is now becoming a feature of many Children's Libraries. WILLIAMSON (CHARLES CLARENCE). “Andrew Carnegie and his

contribution to the public library movement.” 14 pp., 8vo. Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, U.S.

This is the text of an address delivered at the University Library School on Founder's Day, by the chief of the Division of Economics, New York Public Library, and is a sane, moderate and sincere tribute to the work of one to whom librarianship owes much. It puts before us many aspects of the character of this hard-headed but not small-hearted man which it is well we should see; the story of the lad who could not help making a fortune (as Mr. Williamson points out, "under modern economic conditions. . ownership of machinery and materials in vitably results in bringing the capitalist wealth”-rather a questionable axiom) is made much more pleasing by this exposition of a character who so understood the value of humanist studies as to tell us to “be sure to read promiscuously”--for “just as on his farm, the farmer must first attend well to his wheat, he may spend his spare hours as a labour of love in cultivating the flowers that surround his home.'

REPORTS. NORWICH (City). Annual Report of the Public Library Com

mittee for the year ended 31st March, 1921.

City Librarian: Geo. A. STEPHEN, F.L.A. Income: £3,226, from rates £3,116. Expenditure: Salaries £1,683, books, binding and periodicals £645. Stock: Lending, 22,175; juvenile lending, 2,216; reference (over 20,000); local collection. 23,000 volumes, pamphlets and prints. Issues: Lending, 156,893; reference, 8,015; juvenile, 28,876.

In the good old bad old days, thirty or forty years ago, when a few pioneers were trying to convince people that open access was preferable to the closed Jibrary cum hieroglyphíc lucky puzzle catalogue method, how happy they would have been could they have seen this report. It is a most striking testimony of the advantages of a system which is now recognised as the sine qua non of efficiency. The open access system was put into operation at the beginning of the year under review, and during the year the issues from the lending library have increased by 43.4 per cent. Such development almost betrays me into a multiplication of adjectival epithets; and yet the whole truth is not shown, nor the finest moral expounded. It is that this increase is not in fiction, but in non-fiction; the issues from the geography and travel class was 127.7 per cent., from the religion section (rather surprising, this), 79.3; biography, 69.9; natural science, 64.4; and history, 56. I wish there remained in existence even one specimen of the extinct race of indicated advocates ! What a crow over him we open accessites would have. But this is not one of those diffuse impertinences labelled "Letters on Our Affairs," but a review, so I must desist, lest I succumb to the baneful influences of the unpronounceables.

The reference library has been completely classified, and the bulk is now arranged on the same system, so perhaps next year we shall be able to enjoy another gloat. Work with children is being developed, too, the librarian having got into close touch with the head teachers, the inevitable interest and co-operation resulting. Other paragraphs of the report are devoted to details of the lecture work of the libraries, books for blird readers (where a 90 per cent. increased issue is noted), the local collection, the thriving Norfolk and Norwich Photographic Survey, and the L.A. Conference.

It is very pleasing to find special mention of this good work of individual members of the staff, credit in such instances being as elsewhere more often deserved than awarded.

L. R. McC.

BULLETINS. The May issue of the Bulletin of the Islington Public Libraries is chiefly noteworthy for the lists-alphabetical and according to subject--of the periodicals taken--a fine selection, comprehensive and well selected; and the “ dictionary” list of additions is as

« AnteriorContinuar »