Che Cibrary Assistant :
The Official Organ of the Library Assistants’ Association.
No. 162 JULY, 1911. Published Monthly.
Editorial «. 139
Diary of an E aster Pilgrimage (continued). Miss O. E. Clarke oe ©6141
Proceedings: May Meeti: 1g ae oes eo
Annual Meeting... one aa as woe 145
Midland Branch pees me ree a ooo ee
Yorkshire Branch , - ne was «oo Ia
Modern Prices and Ancient L ibraries aaa = oo. 154
Notable Professional Literature ae a oa wee ar
Correspondence Ene oe ae oe 158
Appointments and Changes es ase wae we §=158
MIDLAND BRANCH.—SUMMER MEETING AT GREAT MALVERN.
A warm invitation is given to all members of the Association to the
Summer Meeting at Malvern, on Thursday, 13th July. The following
programme has kindly been arranged by Mr. F. C. Morgan, Librarian,
Malvern Public Library :—
3 p.m. Leave Malvern Link Station and walk to top of Worcester-
shire Beacon. Those not wishing to climb the hill may find their
way to St. Ann's Well and there await the main party.
5 Visit Public Library.
5 Tea, by special invitation.
Visit to Davenham Gardens by kind permission of C. W. Dyson
Drive round the hills—fare 1s.
Members travelling from North of Malvern should book to Great
Malvern, but alight at Malvern Link. Those coming from the south should
book to Malvern Link and alight there.
Friends of members are cordially invited.
Those who intend being present should inform Mr. W. E. Owen,
Coventry Public Library, not later than 10th July.
The Next Number of “The Library Assistant” will,
as in former years, be combined with the September number
and issued on September Ist. We take this opportunity of
wishing to all our readers a most enjoyable holiday season.
The Annual Meeting.—There was not a single hitch in
the arrangement for the Annual Meeting, and to all who
were present it proved to be not only an interesting event
and important from the point of view of librarianship, but also
a most enjoyable social gathering. The visit to the British
and Foreign Bible Society’s Depot took up more time than
had been anticipated on account of the general interest of
the Society’s establishment, so that the alternative
arrangements had to be curtailed. Sion College was well
worthy of the anticipatory comments in our last number.
Indeed it surpassed the expectations of those who had not
previously seen the College. After tea, kindly provided by
the Governors, there was every opportunity to examine the
library, and Mr. C. H. Limbrick’s exhibition of rarities. As
will be seen from the account published in this number, there
was no lack of speakers at the subsequent Conference; the
Annual Report was accepted unanimously ; and the Special
Report on conditions of library service was also accepted
unanimously after a valuable discussion. Thus has
concluded a year of work which, in yielding more than an
ordinary amount of good to library assistants and to
librarianship, has added greatly to the power of the
Association. We look forward to the next session with the
pleasurable anticipation of a continuance of these activities,
and have every confidence in an increase in membership
and in a consequent enlargement of the scope of work.
The next Sessional Programme.—The preparation of
the programme for the coming session is well advanced, and
there is every promise of an interesting year. But as the
list of subjects for discussions is not yet full, the Council
will welcome suggestions from Members as to papers to be
read or as to any activity that may tend to forward the work
of the Association.
The L.A.A. Library.—The Library of the Association
has been enriched by a donation from Miss E. Hetherington,
of Hammersmith, of volumes of “ The Library,” “The Library
Association Record,” “The Library World,” “The Library
Journal,” and “ Public Libraries,” with the addition of some
volumes and parts of “The Library Assistant.” The best
thanks of the Association are due to Miss Hetherington,
because by her donation many lacunae in the sets of
magazines belonging to the Library have been filled, and
volumes of valuable journals such as “ The Library Journal”
have been added which have never before been represented.
Postal Reform.— Among other business reported in “The
Work of the Council” paragraph in May, will be noticed a
report from the Editor on his attendance at a meeting of
Editors to discuss the question of the rates of postage on
periodicals other than daily and weekly newspapers. It has
rE ete NER
long been a cause for grievancethat the chargeson such printed
matter bythe British Post Office are excessive. It was clearly
demonstrated at the meeting convened by the Editor of the
“ Agricultural Economist” that they are the highest in the
world. How absurd and unequal are the charges can best be
illustrated by the fact that whereas such a magazine as
“ The Field,” which often weighs three or four pounds, can
be sent for one half-penny, our own journal last month,
because it weighed over two ounces, was charged one
penny. It has been only with great difficulty (by using light
paper, and the thinnest envelopes) that we have been able to
keep the weight of the ordinary numbers within the two ounces,
and the earnest wish to enlarge the scope and increase the
usefulness of “The Library Assistant” cannot be satisfied
because of the heavy increase in the cost of postage which
would result. The meeting was a most representative one, and
the unanimity of opinion on the question resulted in the passage
of four vigorous resolutions condemning the attitude of the
Post Office, which cripples the work of an extremely im-
portant branch of literature, demanding as fair treatment as
is afforded to publishers in America, Canada, etc., and form-
ing a Committee to carry on the work of pressing the
necessity of reform. The Council of the Association whole-
heartedly supports the movement, and will do all in its power
to add weight to the campaign.
THE DIARY OF AN EASTER PILGRIMAGE (continued).
By Ouive E. CLARKE.
Easter Day dawned clear and bright, and several
members of the party rose early and made their way to a
little English church, fragrant with the scent of lilies,
wherein that sense of peace surrounded them which comes
to those who meet with dear, familiar experiences in places
where all things else are strange. The morning was devoted
by some to a visit to the Hétel de Ville, but practically the
whole party attended High Mass in St. Gudule, that
impressive building which appears to keep watch and ward
over the city: a special choir and orchestra had been
obtained for the Easter Festival services, and the music,
particularly the “Gloria in Excelsis,” was _ peculiarly
beautiful. A stroll through a Parc bathed in golden
sunshine followed the service; a hasty luncheon and a
valiant, but unsuccessful attempt to catch an express train
to Antwerp was made, however, the party invaded one
which stopped at every station and gained their first
experience of third-class travelling on the Continent. A
somewhat protracted journey was whiled away by
inconsequent jokes, the inscribing of autographs on picture
postcards, dramatic recitations, and—alas that it should
have to be recorded, by one in sweet sleep. Having arrived
at Antwerp, the party followed the man with the guidebook
down fine wide streets to the quiet square in which stands
that Mecca of book-lovers, the Musée Plantin. Time did
not permit of more than a cursory glance at the treasures to
be found there, but the visitors noted the portraits of the
printer and his family painted by Rubens, an unknown
painter’s picture of “The Disciples at Emmaeus”; some
delightful MSS. whose beautiful script and wonderful
ornamentation bear witness to the pride taken by the scribes
and illuminators in their work; some fine specimens of early
printing, including a copy of the 36-line Bible and some
Aldines’ and Elzevirs’ were also to be seen. Crossing the
picturesque mediaeval courtyard, with one of its walls
covered by the vine said to have been planted by Christopher
Plantin, the visitors found themselves in the printing-offices:
in them everything is so arranged that work could be
resumed at any time; the presses, the types, and ornaments
and some loose sheets of corrected proof being especially
Then, by way of quaint old streets watched over by
statues of Our Blessed Lady, the party came to the
Cathedral, which is the largest and finest example of Gothic
architecture in the Netherlands. In addition to one or two
very beautiful chapels, the Cathedral contains some of the
best examples of Ruben’s art, amongst them being the great
“ Descent from the Cross,” and “The Assumption.” The
tower of the Cathedral, four hundred and three feet high,
was next ascended; from this coin of vantage a magnificent
panoramic view of the Netherlandish plain, with the Scheldt
winding in and out like a huge serpent, and a bird’s-eye view
of Antwerp itself was obtained. Not only were the
chimes heard, but the bells were also seen, and the
mechanism of the great clock inspected ere the descent to
earth was made. Tea was then sought at “The Rubens’
Restaurant,” and, owing to the fact that it was Easter Day,
the proprietor gave his customers a delicious cake which
was greatly appreciated. Purchases of picture postcards,
and a walk back through the town completed the visit to
Antwerp; a fast train was caught back to Brussels, where
the party separated and went in various directions for walks,
in order to study “la vie continentale.”
In accordance with instructions received, and awakened
by the sound of song, the members of the party, with but
few exceptions, arose betimes on Monday to partake of an
* : : ~ : ,
early ~ petit dejeuner.” This last meal was not without
° . 6 ” ’
diversion, for “Madame” presented the bill, and accounts
had therefore to be settled. However, all was accomplished
at last; signatures and other details were inscribed in the
official visitors’ register as required by Government,
compliments were exchanged with “ Madame,” luggage was
shouldered, and away went the party to the Gard du Nord
to deposit the baggage in the cloak-room. The remainder
of the morning was spent by some in a visit to the weird
Wiertz Museum, by others in flying visits to favourite haunts,
from which some of the ladies reappeared laden with boxes of
cigars, and by a final lecture by Monsieur Otlet.
This last lecture was delivered in the building—a disused
Chapel—in which is stored the classified collection of
documents on all present-day questions. M. Otlet first drew
attention to a notice of the school in the current issue of
L’Etoile Belge,” and the members read the following
paragraphs with considerable gusto :—
Une ‘* Summer School" a Bruxelles.
Le ‘*summer school,’? comme lentendent les Anglo-Américains,
consiste a utiliser une vacance pour faire une excursion agréable en plein
air, visiter des institutions scientifiques, suivre un cours sur un sujet
d’actualité et nouer des relations personnelles. Une vingtaine de biblio-
thécaires anglais réalisent actuellement un tel programme. Le cours a lieu
a VInstitut International de Bibliographie et porte sur les méthodes
bibliographiques et l’organisation de la documentation ; les visites sont faites
dans les musées, les bibliothéques, les batiments d’enseignement et les
grandes monuments; l’excursion se poursuit a travers la forét de Soignes,
Tervueren, Waterloo et a Bruges, sur la route du retour via Ostende.
Partis de Londres jeudi soir, au début des ‘ holidays,”’ les grands écoliers
seront de nouveau a leur travail mardi matin. Les organisateurs comptent
developper 4a l’avenir de telles visites internationales.”’
M. Otlet then dealt at some length with the question of
Documentation. He explained that the term document was
the general one used to designate all the several and official
forms of records, writing, letters, figures of all kinds; in
fact, all publications, ranging from the broadside to the book.
It became necessary for the Institut International to collect
all publications, so as to create collections of documents: it
therefore makes a systematic collection of cuttings from
newspapers which give contemporary information and are
helpful in bibliographical research; of small pamphlets,
prospectuses, etc., and of the publications of several societies.
> “e , 4
Each “document” is cut and pasted on a large card on
which is given the name of the author, or source of the
article, together with its classification. These cards are
stored in large trays on the same principle as those in the
smaller ones: in this way a vast universal and perpetual
encyclopzedia is being formed. Some idea of the magnitude
of this work is gained when one learns that 200,000 documents
were collected within the space of three years. A
photographic record of these documents is also kept, so that
if perchance they were destroyed, their contents would not
be lost to the world.
At the conclusion of the lecture, the President (Mr.
W. C. Berwick Sayers) voiced the thanks of the party to
M. Otlet for his hospitable and courteous reception, and for
his kindness in delivering the lectures in English; the
Chairman of the Midland Branch (Mr. H. W. Checketts)
seconded this vote in a few well-chosen words, and it was
carried unanimously and enthusiastically. After some final
words of farewell, the party adjourned to lunch, and in the
afternoon they journeyed to Bruges. A very thorough
exploration of this ancient and historical town was made:
visits were paid to the Cathedral, to the Grand Place with
its picturesque Guildhall and the Chapel of the Holy Blood;
to the quays whose old-world charm evoked great admira-
tion, and whose canals recalled, to a certain extent, one’s
dreams of Venice; to the Hospice de St. Jean, within
whose walls are the famous pictures by Memling, and the
shrine, decorated with scenes from the legend of St. Ursula,
which is said to have been painted by him in return for the
kindness shewn him by the sisters; and then, at last, to
“the belfry, old and brown” which has kept guard over the
city for so many long years: in the deserted courtyard, the
sound of the chimes rang clearly and sweetly out, calling
one to linger and give the imagination free rein. But time
pressed, and trains will not linger, so the way to the station
was taken, and the journey to Ostende made. Ostende
proved to be dreary and deserted, the streets and digue
were illumined by lamps at far distant intervals, and, after
dinner, there was no inducement to remain ashore, and the
party embarked on board the “Princess Elisabeth.” A
marconigram was sent to Mr. H. Vaux Hopwood, the
originator of the excursion, to tell of its success, and the
coast of Belgium was left near midnight. There had been
rumours of a fog in the Channel, but they were but rumours,
and the moon soon rose in all her glory; the spirit of song
descended upon various members, and the return home was
enlivened by strains, ranging from “Who killed Cock
Robin?” to extracts from the Wagnerian operas. London
ON EE ae
was reached about 6 a.m.,when, after exchanging hopes that
other excursions would be possible in the future, the members
scattered to all parts of the kingdom.
MAY MEETING AT HAMPSTEAD.
For the first time in its existence the Association on
May 10th held a meeting at Hampstead in the lecture room
of the Central Library. A few Members met in the after-
noon, and after a tramp over the Heath paid a visit to the
Branch Libraries and then had tea together. The meeting
commenced at 8 o’clock, and in taking the Chair, Mr. W. E.
Doubleday extended a very cordial welcome to the L.A.A.
on behalf of the Hampstead Libraries’ Committee and of
himself. He congratulated the Association on the way it
carried out its business, emphasizing the amount it did for
the assistant. After the reading of the minutes of the
previous meeting, Mr. R. Cooper (Battersea) was elected a
Member of Council, and Messrs B. Crook (Leyton) and
J. Warner (Croydon) auditors, there being no other nomin-
ations. The Chairman called upon Mr. R. F. Bullen to
read his paper on Financial Loans: Methods of Borrowing
and Repayment which, with the valuable discussion that
took place afterwards, in which Mr. Bursill (Woolwich), the
President, Messrs. Thorne (Poplar), Stewart (Islington),
Chambers (Woolwich), Purnell (Croydon), Coutts (Islington),
and the Chairman took part, will be printed in “ The Library
Assistant”? as soon as possible. Votes of thanks to Mr.
Bullen, to the Chairman and to the Libraries’ Committee of
Hampstead, concluded an interesting meeting. The Mem-
bers present were enabled, both before and after the meet-
ing to see the working of the library.
ANNUAL MEETING, 1911.
THE SIXTEENTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE LIBRARY
ASSISTANTS’ ASSOCIATION, now an event of the past, can give
place to none in point of interest and importance, and
‘formed a fitting conclusion to a Session distinguished for
the amount of work accomplished towards the forwarding of
the Library movement, as well as for a series of events of
particular value to the library assistant. The weather was
ideal; the programme was full to over-flowing, and a better
meeting place could not have been chosen. If there can be
any cause for regret it is that more people did not avail
themselves of the opportunity of partaking of the hospitality
of Sion College and joining in discussions of the greatest
import to library assistants and the library profession.
VisIT TO THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE Society's
The proceedings started when, at three o'clock, on
Wednesday, June 4th, about twenty members met to view
the depot of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Queen
Victoria Street. Here a warm welcome was extended to
the party by the Rev. Arthur Taylor who was present
to show the Society’s wonderful library of about 30,000
Bibles and its various portions in more than 500 languages.
In the room was an exhibition of early Bibles arranged to
show the history of the version in present use. From
the Library the party proceeded to the warehouse and were
shown the stores ready and being prepared to be sent out
into all parts of the world, including the printing presses
from which are issued books in out of the way languages
for which types have to be specially prepared.
MEETING AT SION COLLEGE.
There was no time left for the projected visit by the main
party to Messrs. Cassell’s publishing house, nor to the St.
Bride Foundation Institute, the visit to the B.F.B.S. having
proved so interesting as to take up all the time available,
until at 5 o’clock the Members, with others who had in the
meantime visited Cassell’s or whose engagements had
prevented from attending the previous event, met at Sion
College. Here tea had been provided by the kindness of the
Governors of the College, after partaking of which a visit
of inspection was made to the Library in which Mr. C. H.
Limbrick had prepared a most interesting exhibition of
early printed books and other treasures of the College.
At 6.30 p.m. the Rev. J. F. Marr, Vicar of St. Botolph,
Aldgate, E.C., President of the Court of Governors of the
College, took the Chair in the Hall, in which had gathered
about sixty members and friends. In opening the
proceedings he said it gave him very great pleasure indeed
to preside over a gathering of librarians in the College to
which had been attached a library for about 300 years, and
on behalf of the Court of Governors he welcomed the
Association to Sion College. In describing the institution
in which for the first time he was taking his place as President,
he said that though not part of the original scheme of the
founder, Dr. White, a library had been found a necessity
and was very soon added. Like all institutions with so
lengthy a history, the College had suffered from the Great
Fire, and a large number of books were destroyed. In the
rebuilding the library became the most important feature
for consideration. The College was primarily for the Clergy
and the library was accordingly built up with special regard
to their needs, but books were also added very largely in
general subjects, history and literature. Formerly it was
one of the libraries in receipt of books under the Copyright
Act; but this has been changed into a Treasury grant of
£365 per annum. The speaker then referred to the
centenary of George Wallace whose advocacy of free
libraries did so much towards their foundation, and to the
bi-centenary of the publication of “ The Spectator,” in which
he had lately come across an attempt by Addison at the
compilation of a list of “ Best Books” specially suitable for
a lady’s library. As there were ladies as well as gentleman
present, he read a portion of the article to show what sort
of books were prevalent at the time, and as a reminder of
the swift mortality of famous writers. He concluded his
remarks with a hope that the conference would prove
The Chairman then called on Mr. W. BENSON THORNE
(Poplar) to open the Conference with a paper on “The
Policy of the Library Assistants’ Association in Its Relation
to the Public Library Movement.” Mr. Thorne dwelt
particularly on the need for enthusiasm in carrying forward
the work of the Association. It was recognised that
Libraries were engaged in a great work. By uniting
together it was possible for Assistants to help greatly in
forwarding their objects. Recent events such as the
advertisements for librarians at ridiculously low salaries
were apt to be discouraging, but the L.A.A. was doing
everything possible towards putting a stop to such insults
to the profession, by obtaining publicity in the districts
concerned, by writing to the respective library authorities,
and by similar means. By enthusiastic work library assist-
ants could, through the Association, do an immense amount
of work in obtaining the recognition due to libraries. Mr.
W. E. Owen, who had come specially from Coventry for
the Meeting, followed with a paper on “The Policy of the
L.A.A. in Its Relation to the Individual Assistant.” He
showed how, as in the example of the Midland Branch,
assistants could obtain from their Association abundance
of good both in the advantages obtainable from the
discussions of professional matters, and in gaining for them-
selves education in professional subjects. The more widely
the Association could operate the better would be the results.
He urged the arrangement of Meetings, if possible on
one of the Bank Holidays in each year, at centres
most convenient for members all over England, so
that, by reason of the libraries being closed and the cheapness
of fares at such times, the largest number could attend.
Mr. J. D. Stewart (Islington) in opening the discussion,
welcomed Mr. Owen to London. He thought Mr. Thorne
had been rather pessimistic in his references to examples
of library parsimony ; such cases as those boroughs in
which libraries had not yet been established, left room for
progress. Mr. Owen had contrasted the conditions in the
Provinces with those in London; but it was a difficulty
which was met with in every Association. There must be
a headquarters, and London was naturally the head and
must be the best centre for educational facilities. Such
questions had been brought up inthe Report to be presented
later, in which it was pointed out how, by the co-operation of
librarians and principal assistants, educational facilities
could be provided in any districts. With reference to the
proposition that the Association should take action in cases
of grievance against the Library Association registration
decisions, he considered it to be possible only after the
individual Assistant has taken every step towards proving
his case. He thought that if the Association tried to do too
much, there was a danger of getting little accomplished.
The Association had great influence throughout the country
and they should work through their members in the country.
Mr. R. A. Psppie thought Mr. Thorne’s paper was most
interesting and stimulating and an apt expression of the
enthusiasm that he had urged. He believed that more
attention should be paid to specializing in the different
departments of library work. In America a man
could start in a small library and develop on certain
lines, say in cataloguing or classification. From this he
could go to another library taking up his special work, and
ultimately gain a headship of a department in one of the
great libraries. He would like to see a similar arrangement
in England. They must convince library authorities that
better service will be obtainable from men who are properly
trained. He agreed with Mr. Thorne that they needed
enthusiasm and believed that the Council of the Association
were enthusiastic. But the spirit must extend throughout
the whole of the Members. Mr. J. F. Hocc (Battersea)
thought that more enthusiasm was needed in the Library
Association to get them to take action in such cases as had
been pointed out. It would be well also if Library Com-
mittees could be made to take more interest in the work of
their libraries. The work required of assistants was of a
very high order and yet they were paid worse than street
sweepers. He thought it would be a good thing if libraries
were to be placed under the educational authority.
Mr. H. R. Peters expressed his belief in the value of meet-
ings in the provinces, and hoped they would become more
frequent. The Hon. Epiror (Mr. H. R. Purnell) moved
and Miss O. E.CuiarkE, (Islington) seconded a vote of thanks
to the readers of the papers which was carried enthusiasti-
cally. In reply, Mr. W. E. Owesw said he agreed with
Mr. Stewart that London should be the centre, but thought
more attention should be paid to the Branches. There
were difficulties in the Provinces which did not exist for
the London assistant, such as the lack of opportunities for
meeting together. Until the Midland Branch was formed
the Northampton library had not been visited by an associa-
tion for over 40 years. Many assistants would lose interest
because of these difficulties. With regard to registration he
had heard it said that there were cases in which provincial
assistants had not been treated the same as those in London.
The L.A.A. had a duty to perform to those assistants. THE
PRESIDENT (Mr. W.C. Berwick Sayers) then moved a vote of
thanks to the Rev. J. F. Marr for presiding, to the Court of
Governors for their reception and hospitality, and to the
Sub-Librarian for his trouble in arranging the exhibition.
THE Honorary SECRETARY (Mr. H. T. Coutts) seconded, and
the vote was carried unanimously with applause. The
Chairman replied in a few well chosen words, in which he
expressed his pleasure and interest in the debate.
Shortly after 8 o’clock the President took the Chair,
and, after the reading of the Minutes of the previous
meeting, called upon the HoNoRARY SECRETARY to move the
Sixteenth Annual Report. In doing so Mr. Coutts drew
attention to the increase in income in spite of a slight falling
off in membership, and said that there was need for
missionary work on the part of members to gain increased
support for the Association. Sometimes members had left
the Association, because the Council did not take particular
lines of action. That was not the way to improve matters.
It rested with anyone who wished reform in any matter to
try and get it carried out. He referred to the new feature in
the report which concerned the recently established Conti-
nental meeting, and said he hoped it was only the beginning
of many such meetings. Mr. W. BENSon THORNE seconded
the Report, and putting it to the Meeting the PrEsIDENT
remarked on the recent success of Mr. G. A. Stephen in
being appointed City Librarian of Norwich, and on behalf of
the Conference offered him heartiest congratulations. The
Report was thereupon adopted unanimously without further
THE PrResSIDENT then moved the adoption of the “ Report
on the Hours, Salaries, Training, etc., of assistantsin British
Municipal Libraries,” and in support of it outlined the
history of its inception and the way it had been carried out.
He pointed out the importance to the library profession of
the Report, and said that with the conclusion of compilation
it was not to be thought that the Council’s work had ended.
Much remained to be done and the Report could not be
regarded as complete until details had been obtained of the
working of libraries other than those under Municipal
control. Mr. J. D. Stewart seconded the adoption of the
Special Report. In reply to a question from Mr. Owen the
President said that in cases where house, etc., were provided
for chief librarians £50 had been added to the salaries. Mr.
Owen then continued the discussion by remarking on the
section relating to time sheets. He did not think they were
so easily adjustable as was suggested, especially where a lot
of back work had to be done. At Coventry he thought it
would be impossible to do the work on the time sheet
suggested. Mr. H. G. Suretisgs did not think Coventry was
an isolated case. It was largely a matter of L.S.D. They
were all looking forward to the Report to mitigate many of
the evils in the library profession. THE Honorary EpITor
(Mr. H. R. Purnell) said that the great value of the Report
lay in its suggestiveness. Probably there were few, if any,
libraries in which the recommendations could be adopted as
a whole ; but every library could find a basis for alteration.
In the matter of time sheets, although it had formerly been
thought impossible at Croydon with the present staff to effect
alteration, a careful consideration involving much thought
and even several headaches had shown that a revision was
practicable, and a time sheet had been in working order for
more than a year which resembled in many respects the one
in the report. The benefit to the staff had been enormous.
The suggested time sheet was not to give hard and fast rules,
butto provide suggestions. One value of the enquiry had
shown itself in the fact that already some Libraries, without
doubt awakened by the receipt of the form, had begun some
changes. He then drew a picture of an assistant studying
the report, making recommendations to his chief and the
latter bringing the recommendations before the Committee.
Mr. H. W. PouLter (Walthamstow) said the working of a
time sheet depended very much on the planning of the
building. If there were several departments on different
floors the supervision was difficult. Mr. G. V. Haywarp
(Watford) moved the deletion of Appendix II. from the
proposed reprint of the report in view of the danger of
Library Committees adopting the low scale as a basis of
payment of salaries. Mr. H. W. Poulter seconded, but after
the discussion by Messrs. Thorne, Hawkins, Peters and
Purnell, the motion was lost. The Special Report was then
RESULT OF THE BALLOT.
The Honorary Secretary next announced the result of
the Ballot for Council as follows :—
W. C. Berwick Sayers, Croydon.
Joseph Walton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Honorary Treasurer :
W. Geo. Chambers, Plumstead, Woolwich.
Honorary Secretary :
Henry T. Coutts, North Islington.
William A. Peplow, Wood Green.
Hugh Smith, Bishopsgate Institute.
London Representatives : Non-London Representatives :
J. D. Stewart, Islington wee ©=143 G. W. Strother, Leeds ee. 125
W. B. Thorne, Poplar oo. 190 H. R. Purnell, Croydon oe 118
J. D. Young, Greenwich << W. E. Owen, Coventry we Lie
Miss O. t. Clarke, Islington... 122 H.W Checketts, Birmingham
W. G. Hawkins, Fulham vo. oe University... coe «1008
G. R. Bolton, Stoke ini R. Wright, ‘Sunderland. ne Se
—_ - ‘ « 2 1 SS ‘oulson, Belfast on ae
J. ? Hogg, Ba stters ca. --- 103° | W. Morgan, Cardiff... .. 84
R. F.! 3ullen, Poplar ... --» 98 | J. Ross, Liverpool .. ~~ -
H. R. Peters, Lewisham... = 95 |_-s 0. C. Handby, Bra udford oe
R. Cooper, Battersea ... eek 93 H. G. Sureties, Hornsey “ee 74
Not Elected :
Miss H. A. Funnell, Hampstead 83 W. Law, Brighton on i a
O. J. Sutton, Manchester... 71
W. Wilson, Gateshead as 69
H. W. Poulter, Walthamstow 55
C. F. Tessier, Walthamstow 50
Chas. Blackmore )
G. V. R. Hayward een
O. W. Stone f Scrutineers
W. H. Sunley |
THE PresIDENT having declared the Officers and
Council duly elected, Mr. C. H. Peacu (Gray’s Inn) moved,
and Mr. B. E. Sumner (Hampstead) seconded, a vote of
thanks to the retiring Officers and Council,which was carried.
The President’s reply on their behalf concluded the meeting
at 10.15 p.m.
A meeting was held at Northampton on Thursday, April 6th. The
visitors were met at the Castle Station shortly after two, and were taken
to inspect Queen Eleanor’s Cross, the history of which was explained by Mr.
George. They proceeded to the Town Hall, where, in the Council Chamber,
the Association were the honoured guests of the Mayor and Mayoress (Mr.
and Mrs. S. Yarde), to tea.
Those present besides the Mayor and Mayoress included Alderman John
Brown, Mr. T. J. George (Librarian), Mr. Reginald Brown (Sub-Librarian),
Mr. W. E. Owen, of Coventry (Hon. Secretary of the Association), and
members from Birmingham, Kettering, Northampton, Rushden, and other
Mr. T. J. George, in proposing thanks to the Mayor, said that was the
first time any Library Association had visited Northampton, and it was his
desire to make the occasion a memorable one. The Mayor, in responding,
said he was happy to extend to them a welcome to Northampton. He was
very proud of the Library and its staff. They would agree that the
building was one of the best in the Midlands. It was true they wanted more
books, but they had to ‘cut their clothes according to their cloth.’’
He wished to say a word as to the books which ought to be thrown out
of Libraries. Those suggestive books, which were only written for people
of depraved taste, deserved to be publicly burned. That kind of book ought
never to be provided by public authorities ; if people were anxious for them
they should buy them for themselves. Another point was the letting out of
books to people who returned them in a filthy condition. He had seen
plenty of books in Northampton which were not fit to go into a decent house.
They were read by people while dressing their hair, and were found to be
full of hair and hairpins; and at meal times. More assistance should be
provided in the Library so that the books could be inspected when returned,
and the people who dirtied them be made to pay for new ones. In concluding,
Mr. Yarde trusted that the Library Assistants’ Association would visit
Northampton again in the future.
At six o'clock the members adjourned to the New Library, Abington
Street, which was thoroughly inspected. A meeting of the Association
followed, Mr. H. Grindle, of Birmingham, presiding. Mr. Hunt, Mr. Owen,
and the Chairman aptly voiced the thanks of the visitors to Mr. George for
the most excellent and kind arrangements he had made for their visit.
Mr. George then gave a talk on ‘‘The History and Inception of the
Library Movement in Northampton.’’ At the outset the speaker said the
Library Act was adopted in Northampton in 1860, but the rate only brought
in £200, which was insufficient, and a start was not actually made until 1865.
The Museum was then adopted, and the first Museum was opened in 1865,
and held in the upper and lower assembly-rooms of the building, formerly
the old Gaol in Guildhall Road. The penny rate was then used for this as
well as the Library. The Museum and Library were at once a great
success, and in 1867 Mr. Taylor was appointed keeper at £75 a year. In
1876, said Mr. George, the lower Museum was given up for a Reading Room,
but it was found to be too small, and the Council were compelled to make
structural alterations. It was in 1882 that he took over the position of
Curator and Librarian. The Library was then so badly arranged that in
giving out 60 books on Theology the assistants had to walk three miles. In
1882 they lent 46,000 books, and in 1906 230,000, while he expected during
the present year the number would not fall short of 270,000. Mr. Owen,
in thanking Mr. George for his address, said the history of Libraries all over
the country, and particularly of Northampton Library, was very interesting,
but it was a great shame that they should have to exist on a penny rate.
Mr. Reginald Brown followed with a paper on ‘‘ How to Enhance the
Usefulness of Public Libraries.’’ The first necessity, he said, was to get a
good collection of books and to study the requirements of a particular town,
and obtain everything useful upon that subject. Books should be in the
Libraries which led up to the more technical volumes, and be in the order
required by the student. Fiction, he said, might be educational as well as
recreative, but how many people read fiction as a study? Mr. Brown
spoke of the difficulty of selecting the right books, and said he would like to
see an advisory committee formed to assist the librarian in his task. Many
other useful suggestions were advanced by Mr. Brown. Miss Parnell next
spoke on the subject of scholars and the facilities they had for book study.
Each speaker was cordially thanked at the close.
The usual bi-monthly meeting of the Yorkshire Branch was held in the
Art Gallery, Huddersfield, on May 11th, by the kind invitation of the
Huddersfield Library Committee. The President of the Branch, Mr. J. C.
Handby, occupied the chair. The social feature of the proceedings was the
hospitality of His Worship the Mayor of Huddersfield (Councillor Thomson,
Chairman of the Library Committee), who entertained the members to tea.
Councillor Thomson extended a similar welcome on the occasion of a former
visit, and members have reason to be very grateful for his keen interest in
the Library Movement, and in the welfare of the assistant librarian
The meeting was divided into afternoon and evening sessions, the after-
noon being occupied by a paper from Mr. Norman Treliving (Leeds) entitled,
‘The Staff and the Reader: Some Suggestions.’’ He said he
believed the object of the library was to provide a liberal education
for the people. There were three factors in a library: the readers, the
stock, and the staff, and he was almost induced to add the greatest of
those was the staff. The reader was often ignorant of the contents of the
library, and his ideas of what he wanted were often ill-defined, and he was
at a loss as to how to satisfy himself. Even in fiction a reader often failed
to obtain what he wanted, and in other classes of books that occurred more
frequently. The staff should bridge the gulf between the stock and the
readers. The staff should be the readers’ aid. That might appear to be an
obvious sort of statement, but, when one considered the lack of interest
which some assistants put into their work, and how they handed out books
as though the books were metal polish, they would admit there was a good
ground for making it. To be of aid to the reader, the staff should know
what the books in the library were like. He did not mean that the assistant
should aim at having a knowledge of every book ; that would be impossible.
It was possible, however, for the assistant to acquire an amount of know-
ledge which, without being exhaustive, would be of considerable practical
value. Books of the non-fiction class generally possessed decided character-
istics which, with a little trouble and attention, the assistant would be able
to recognise without having read the book through. With that knowledge
they would know what to offer a reader. A little knowledge, far trom being
a danger to an assistant, was of great value. Within a few years a mass of
information could be obtained which would be of great practical use. A
little knowledge of ten different branches of learning was of more use than a
deep knowledge of one subject. The staff should have patience and courtesy.
It should be friendly with the readers, but not too friendly. While they
were public servants they were not public slaves, and offenders would have
to have that brought home to them.
Mr. Proctor commenced the discussion and recommended
assistants to take the subject of the paper seriously to heart. He thought
that if assistants would make of their library’s catalogue a kind of text-book,
if they would go through it intelligently noting the various subject-headings
and their scope, they would be able to relieve heads of departments of much
unnecessary interruption, and be able to guide the reader by immediate
personal knowledge. Incidentally by gaining a knowledge of books they
would also be fitting themselves for future work as chiefs. Mr. HAWKES
said that following on the lines of Mr. Treliving’s paper, a small library could
be made to do a handsome work. He pointed out that the smaller the
library, proportionally larger was the section generally labelled ‘* Miscellan-
eous,’’ and here a mass of ‘‘ wanted’ information was hidden away. He
strongly urged assistants to get a thorough knowledge of this section of their
library; if they did that, few would be the people who went their way
unsatisfied. Unfortunately, the open-access system and classified libraries
were not gaining ground so fast as it might have been hoped, for under this
system, the assistant, by coming into closer touch with the books,
generally gained a better knowledge of the resources at his disposal. Mr.
STROTHER said that the public had yet to learn that assistants were there
for any other purpose than to ‘ give out books.’’ It rested with the
assistant to dispel this idea, and by making themselves intimate with the
books, and seizing all opportunities of rendering an account of their know-
ledge to the borrower, they would go a long way towards it. Mr. JARRETT
generally supported what had been said, especially with regard to open-
access, as experience had forced it upon him that the assistant in such a
library took a more lively interest in his work, whilst the indicator
assistant tended to exhibit somewhat the mechanical attributes of the
instrument under his charge Mr HANppy agreed that the public took first
place in the library. No matter what duties a chief librarian gave an
assistant they should come second to helping the borrower. As to
acquaintances, it was a very bad plan for assistants to make friends over the
counter. If they did so, they perhaps allowed some little privileges, which,
if they did, would tend to grow until a blank refusal created an enemy for
the assistant instead of a friend
At the evening meeting, Mr. ArrHuR J. HAWKEs delivered a lecture on
the application of Dewey to open-access libraries, with ‘‘ Some suggestions
towards a Constructive Revision of the Dewey Classification.’ Mr.
Hawkes confined himself to the sections 800 and 900 as exhibiting the most
pressing need of reform. By the aid of a blackboard, he showed how the
usual lending library sections of ‘* Literature’’ (7.e., the literature of
Literature), Poetry, Fiction, Essays, etc., would be set up as independent
sections, yet the beauty of the Dewey notation be preserved. In regard to
History and Travel, Mr. Hawkes was for ‘‘ One country, one place,’ and
suggested arriving at the desired classification by the introduction of a
double notation. The scheme aroused considerable interest, a number of
flattering observations being passed upon it by members present; Mr.
Hawkes hopes to prepare the whole scheme for publication shortly. After a
series of questions and a brief discussion, a very successful meeting was
brought to a close with the usual votes of thanks.
The connexion between these two subjects is, as far as
this notice is concerned, accidental. And yet there is a
*GIBSON, STRICKLAND. Oxford Libraries. Jn Book-Auction Records, Vol.
8, Pt. 1 pp. i-xix. Karslake and Co., Hampstead.
connexion—and generally a distressing one—between the
two, for what old library is there, no matter how small, that
does not contain a sufficient number of rare books to make
its Librarian long for more? Time after time he is out-
bidden by wealthy buyers of books, and as he scans the
pages of “ Book-Auction Records,” he sighs for the days
when he might have bought his desirable /acunae at prices
within his means. This useful work has now reached its
eighth volume, the first part of which contains an article by
Mr. Strickland Gibson on Oxford Libraries. This is the
accidental connexion between book prices and old libraries.
The earlier volumes contain portraits and other plates,
which serve to break the monotony of page after page of
book entries, while volume 7, in addition, contains articles
on the libraries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Lincolnshire, etc.
Another feature of the work is the inclusion of a list of
second-hand booksellers’ catalogues, which cannot fail to be
of service to librarians, especially as it enumerates the main
features of each. The treatment strikes one as being some-
what unequal, too much space being allotted tosome second-
rate catalogues at the expense of better ones. These, how-
ever, are matters of secondary importance. The object of
the work is to give the record of all the prices which books
sold at auction have realised during the yzar. In this it
differs from “ Book Prices Current,’ which only records
amounts of £1 and upwards. The librarian is often at a
loss to estimate the value of the more ordinary books, and
here he will get much assistance. At the same time he
must take care, for many are the causes which may have
affected the price of any particular book. For instance, a
reader has borrowed the 21 volumes (if that be allowed) of
La Harpe’s “ Hist des Voyages.” He loses them (if that be
possible) and the librarian wishes to charge him for the
same. He turns the work up in Book-Auction Records and
finds that a copy was sold for 2s.! He will probably find
it difticult to pick up a copy at that price and had better
multiply the amount considerably in his charge for replace-
Mr. Karslake could not have chosen a better man to
write a brief account of Oxford libraries. With his affec-
tions deeply rooted in the walls of Bodley’s Library, Mr.
Gibson’s description could not be other than enthusiastic,
while his extensive knowledge of all its traditions makes him
an unfailing guide. The story of the vicissitudes of the
University Library is an interesting one, and not least
during the centuries that preceded the munificent gifts of
Sir Thomas Bodley. Librarians of newer libraries pining
for greater things can take courage from the story of the
beginning of a great institution, while assistant librarians,
groaning on account of the smallness of their salaries, may
take what comfort they can from the fact that in 1412 the
University librarian received £5 a year, for which, in
addition to his library duties, he had to say masses for the
souls of benefactors. If modern readers were made to take
the oath which was required in the 15th century, they
might perhaps treat the books in a more worthy manner.
“You shall swear . . . to treat ina reasonable and quiet
manner, all the books . . . and to injure no book maliciously
by erasing, or by detaching sections and leaves.” If Mr.
Gibson had also given the curse which is inscribed in some
old MSS. against any who should steal the book, the
dishonest reader might even be frightened into straight ways.
Sir Thomas Bodley would have made a fine librarian, and
his interest in, and care for the smallest details in the fit-
ting up and organisation of the library which was to be
called after his own name is extraordinary.
The college libraries also have much interest for librar-
ians, and the photograph alone of Merton College Library—
the oldest existing library in England—is enough to make
one journey to Oxford to see the original. Mr. Gibson, in the
short space at his command, has provided much to entertain
and instruct, and if librarians do not wish to buy the back
volumes of this useful “ tool,’ they cannot do better than
begin with volume 8. The article concludes with a most
valuable bibliography of the subject.
THE Home University Lisrary. Volumes 1-10. Williams
and Norgate. One Shilling net each.
There is ample room for such a series as is being produced by the
enterprise of Messrs. Williams and Norgate. In the present state of
knowledge it is often difficult to know how to begin the study of any
particular subject, on account of the vast amount of literature that has
grown up around almost every topic. The aim in each of these handy
volumes is to present the broad outlines of knowledge in its various depart-
ments in order to provide the necessary starting point. They are intended
to be not so much comprehensive as suggestive and stimulating. The ten
volumes before us, the first of a hundred or more that are projected, show,
by the diversity of the subjects dealt with, and the treatment of each, how
valuable will be the set when completed. It is not claiming too much to
say that the series is providing a long felt want. Under the editorship of
Herbert Fisher, the historian, and Professors Gilbert Murray and J. Arthur
Thomson, the books so worthily introduced will be likely to justify the name
given to the series. To librarians, whose knowledge is supposed to be
encyclopaedic they will be a most useful asset, and their value is increased
by the provision of annotated, and in some cases classified bibliographies.
To library assistants the volumes dealing with English Literature will
be most valuable, as aids in preparing for the Library Association examina-
tion. The first volume under this head is John Masefield’s ‘* William
Shakespeare,’’ which contains introductory chapters on the life of Shakes-
peare and the theatre of his day, followed by a treatment of the plays.
This takes the form in each case of an outline of the plot and a critical note
on the source, structure, etc. If the work has suffered from the author’s
attempt to do too much in the space at his disposal, and thus curtailed the
critical portion, it will none the less provide a suggestive basis for the study
of Shakespeare. It is impossible in the space at our disposal to do more
than mention the separate works that make up this series. One of the best
is M. I. Newbiggin’s ‘‘ Modern Geography.’’ In connection with it may be
mentioned W. S. Bruce’s ‘*‘ Polar Exploration,’’ which is largely based on
the author’s personal experience. Hilaire Belloc’s ‘‘ The French Kevolu-
tion’’ might have been made more interesting, but is a valuable introduction
to the subject. ‘*‘A Short History of War and Peace’’ has long been a
desideratum, and is here ably done by G. H. Perris. Other works are
Mrs. J. R. Green’s “ Irish Nationality’’; Sir C. P. Ilbert’s ‘‘ Parliament "’ ;
J. R. Macdonald's ‘‘ The Socialist Movement ’’; and F. W. Hirst’s ‘‘ The
Stock Exchange.’’ In the department of science D. H. Scott’s ‘' The
Evolution of Plants”? is the first published.
These are the first ten volumes, and already ten others have been
published, including works on Liberalism; Health and Disease; Mathe-
mathics ; Evolution ; Mediaeval Europe, etc. A further ten are promised for
the autumn publishing season, including one on Modern English Literature,
which will be invaluable to L. A. students.
NOTABLE PROFESSIONAL LITERATURE.
ENGLISH CATALOGUE OF Books, 1910. 327 pp. 6% X 10-in.
1911. Sampson Low. 6s. net.
Once again we are indebted to Messrs. Sampson Low for their prompt
publication of this invaluable annual. No doubt many librarians heave a
sigh of relief each March as they receive their ‘‘ English Catalogue,’’ and
feel thankful that, for a time at least, they will not be under the necessity of
submitting to the bookseller’s frequent reply of ‘‘Cannot trace.’ The
number of books recorded as published during 1910 is 10,804, an increase of
79 as compared with the figures for 1909. The year’s output includes 8,468
New Books and 2,336 New Editions. The largest class increase on the
previous year's figures is in Poetry and Drama—115 volumes. Another
increase is in the class of Voyages and Travels, 71 volumes. Wonderful to
relate, there were 48 volumes less of Fiction published last year than in 1909.
Other classes showing decreases were History and Biography, 53; Year
30oks, etc., 29 ; Belles Lettres, 32; and Miscellaneous (pamphlets, etc.), 190.
The analytical table of statistics is given in the usual form. Commencing
with 1911, however, the statistics of book production will be tabulated
according to a scheme adopted by the International Conference of
Librarians at Brussels in August, 1910.
LIST OF MEMBERS.
The name of Mr. G. F. Vale, of Stepney, was inadvertently omitted from
the list of members published last month, and that of Miss A. C. M.
Richmond, a member, was erroneously included in the list of associates.
To the Editor of ** The Library Assistant.’
In view of your note, in the April issue of The Libravy Assitant, upon the
prospective reprint in facsimile of the Mazarin Bible by M. H. Welter, of
Paris, the following notice from The Times of Monday, 17 April, 1911, may
prove interesting :—
‘*Facsimiles of the Mazarin Bible.—On October 14, 1910, it was
announced in The Times that two rival editions of the famous Mazarin Bible
were projected,one by M.H.Welter, the Paris bookseller,and the other by the
Insel-Verlag, Leipzig. The rivalry was exceedingly unfortunate, and had it
been carried to the bitter end probably both schemes would have been
financial failures. A correspondent now writes pointing out that, from a
notice in the Borsenblatt, and in consequence of the intermediary of Herr
Nauhardt, an arrangement has been concluded between the rival firms.
M. Welter has abandoned his intention of publishing a facsimile of the
42-line Gutenberg or Mazarin Bible, and has transferred the subscriptions
already obtained by him to the Insel-Verlag, which will carry out the work
as already planned. M. Welter, in announcing to his subscribers the above
arrangement, points out that the Insel-Verlag have agreed not to interfere
with a proposal he has in view to publish the so called 36-line Bible of
Gutenberg. He is, however, not to issue this second work earlier than one
year after the completion of the German facsimile, nor is any public
announcement of the same to be made until six months after that date
M. Welter also states that he has the intention of publishing, in conjunction
with a German firm, a facsimile of the Psalterium Latinum of 1457."’
There are good facsimile pages both of the Gutenberg Bible and Fust
and Schoeffer’s Psalter of 1457 in Humphrey’s History of the Art of Printing, a
work worthy of perusal by all students of the early history of printing, and
especially interesting on account of its numerous (100) photo-lithographic
Literary and Scientific institution, Yours, etc.,
Saffron Walden, Tuomas Wo. Huck.
APPOINTMENTS AND CHANGES.
ARUNDEL, Miss E. D., has been appointed Librarian of the L.C.C.
Education Office Library.
Barry, Mr. James, Senior Assistant, Capel Street Library, Dublin, has
been appointed Librarian of the Brunswick Street Library.
Dyson, Mr. A. W., Assistant, Bromley House Library, Nottingham, has
been appointed Librarian of the People’s Hall Library, Nottingham.
Gapbney, Miss MARGARET S., has been appointed assistant in the Leeds
University Library. e
Roy, Mr. Joun., Librarian of the Bridgetown District Library, Glasgow,
formerly Senior Assistant in the Belfast Public Library, has been appointed
Librarian of the Rathmines and Rathgar Public Library, Co. Dublin.
*STEPHEN, Mr. GeorGe A., City Librarian of Norwich, lately Chief
Assistant in the St. Pancras Public Libraries, has been awarded a Silver
Medal by the Council of the Royal Society of Arts for the illustrated paper
on ** Modern Machine Bookbinding,"’ which he read before the Society in
February last. The presentation of the medal will take place at the opening
meeting of the session in November next.