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Che Cibrary Assistant: 


The Offictal Journal of the Library Assistants’ Association 


No. 229. MARCH, 1917. Published Monthly. 








PRINCIPAL CONTENTS. 


Editorial tee ees ae ioe sia was ~ 25 
Training of the Library Assistant; by Miss FLorA YoRK oe 27 
The L.A.A. Roll of Honour (continued) re ae ‘ai 31 
National Free Library for the Blind oa 3 ie do 32 
Proceedings ... se Peo oe nee — aes 2 
Our Library ... 35 


ANNOUNCEMENTS. 


On Wednesday, March 14th, the Association will again 
join the Members of the Library Association in the re-union so 
kindly arranged by Mr. MacAlister at the Royal Society of Medi- 
cine, 1, Wimpole Street, W. Light refreshments will be served 
at 7.30 p.m. As on previous occasions the proceedings will be 
entirely informal. 

The Council of the L.A.A. again urges all who possibly can to attend this 
gathering, as these meetings afford very valuabie opportunities for discussing 
the many difficulties and problems which beset us daily now. Whilst aware 
that leisure is limited and travelling not easy, the Council is convinced that 
there is greater necessity than ever for library workers to gather together 
periodically in order to talk over matters of moment; and the Council is 
equally sure that all those who do make an effort to attend are amply repaid 
in many ways, not least in the mental stimulus received 


EDITORIAL. 


The Monthly Re-unions.—The idea of a club for librarians 
is by no means a new one, but for various reasons the idea has 
never materialised. The nearest approximation we have yet seen 
to it was at the re-union last month, which was of an 
entirely different character from its predecessors. Everything 
was quite informal. Professional friends chatted together over a 
cup of coffee or a cigarette amid the most congenial surroundings, 
and one or two matters of current interest were discussed in the 
same free and easy manner. Altogether we think that, continued 
on similar lines, these re-unions will provide us with just the 
opportunity that we need for meeting one another for friendly 
intercourse, and for the discussion of such problems as we are 
confronted with from time to time in these difficult days. Weare 
greatly indebted to Mr. MacAlister in the matter. 











26 


A Memorial to Library Workers.—Our readers will be 
glad to hear that at the last re-union the question of providing a 
memorial to all library workers who fall in the War was again 
brought forward. The forms which seem to find general favour 
are two: a printed record, and a mural tablet to be erected in 
some public building, preferably the British Museum. For our 
own part we should like to see both forms adopted. In the event 
of a printed record being prepared, we think that it should con- 
tain the names of all those who have served their King and 
Country at this time. We understand that the matter is to be 
brought before the notice of the Council of the Library Associa- 
tion, which body will, we feel sure, give the matter its careful 
and sympathetic consideration. If any of our readers have any 
ideas on the subject we should be glad to hear of them. 


Our Album of Honour.—We wish to thank the librarians 
and relatives of our colleagues on active service who have sent 
us portraits during the past month. The collection is now 
becoming very interesting and has reached a total of about 80 
photographs. May we again request the co-operation of all our 
friends in making this record as complete as possible. Several 
librarians and assistants have already helped us considerably, and 
we know of others who are doing their best to procure photo- 
graphs for the Album. May we urge upon everyone the urgent 
necessity for procuring these records as quickly as possible, in 
order that no time may be lost in getting the volumes bound. 


The Spirit of “ Carrying On.”’—We have been much 
encouraged lately by the increased activity which is becoming 
evident in the ranks of our Association. Not only is the Central 
Association determined to “ carry-on,” but we learn with pleasure 
that the same spirit is abroad in several of the Branches. We 
have referred before to the virility of the West of Scotland 
Branch, which is fortunate enough to be in a position to arrange 
a definite programme of meetings. At the Annual Meeting of 
the Yorkshire | Branch the other day the same determined spirit 
to “carry-on ” was in evidence, while the North Western Branch, 
by organizing a meeting at Blackburn, has given expression to a 
similar spirit. 

A Training College for Librarians.—\Ve are in entire 
agreement with the writer in the current issue of the “ Library 
World” who asks if it is not high time to found a real training 
college for librarians? Its high time, and we trust that some 
definite steps towards securing such a college will be taken in the 
immediate future. Asa start may we suggest that a small com- 
mittee be appointed consisting of members of the two profes- 
sional associations instructed to go into the whole question, and to 








27 


report in, say, three months’ time. Of course we cannot do 
more than make the suggestion, but we may have something 
further to say in regard to the matter next month. 


For Provincial Assistants.—Although most of our 
Branches are still in a position to carry on their affairs, in one 
or two cases, owing to the enlistment of all the officers and many 
of the members, the organization is, of necessity, for the time 
being in abeyance. We should like to point out to members in 
the areas concerned, that their subscriptions should be sent direct 
to the Honorary Treasurer, Mr. W. G. Chambers, Public 
Library, Plumstead, S.E. 


THE TRAINING OF THE LIBRARY ASSISTANT.* 
By Miss FLora York, Greenock Public Library. 


We know many professions whose devotees ‘‘ train.’ 
The teacher and other members of professional bodies go 
through certain courses of study to fit them for the special 
spheres of work to which life and inclination have called them. 
Now, and for many years back, the Library Assistant has 
ceased to be, in the eyes of the world, a sort of ‘* Glorified Coun- 
terhand.’? The cry has arisen, ‘‘ We must have qualified 
Assistants.’’ To misuse a quotation, ‘** The Public and 
Librarians demand it.’’ 

Why not? School teachers, we know, are trained. The 
Librarian ranks himself on the same, if not a higher plane; 
therefore, the assistant, as the Librarian of to-morrow should 
have all the advantages and chances of knowledge. The 
arguments that teachers are trained because they must instruct, 
that there have been great teachers all through the ages, Plato, 
Socrates and so on, we can meet with equally good weapons. 

The teacher has the care of the children; to a certain extent 
the Librarian and his assistants have the care of the Reading 
Public. Their wards are drawn from the fathers and mothers 
of the tiny tots whom the teacher instructs, and these have wider 
experience and knowledge gained in the great school and play- 
evening before our classes; we must be trained and keep so. 
ground of life. We assistants cannot prepare our lessons the 

Our profession is ancient also. We rank among our 
brothers who tended the friends we know so well and love, 
Richard de Bury, and before him, Gerbert, Pope Sylvester II. 
Listen to what Bury wrote, 700 years ago, on the treatment of 


*A Paper read before the West of Scotland Branch, 15th Feb., 1917. 











28 


books. *‘ Let there be mature decorum in opening and closing of 
volumes, that they may neither be unclasped with precipitous 
haste, nor thrown aside after inspection without being duly 
closed.” Again: ‘It is altogether befitting the decency of a 
scholar that washing should without fail precede reading, as 
often as he returns from his meals to study, before his fingers, 
besmeared with grease, loosen a clasp or turn over the leaf of 
book.’’ 

That man was a true Librarian. Take this as a strong 
argument. We walk in the footprints of the wise, and, come 
what may, let us be heartened in our work or disheartened, let 
us, when we serve these grown-up children, when a most ordinary 
borrower apparently sees in us most | ordinary assistants, 
remember this. Remember that some day in sume other sphere 
we may meet and call that Richard ‘‘ Brother”; rejoice, put 
on the garment of the dignity of our office and | train! 

Reading over the Library periodicals, I find that much ink 
has been spilt over this very ‘‘ training.” The gods of our 
profession have thought much, written much, spoken much. 
How shall a novice approach the subject ? 

There is a proverb, ‘‘ One man may bring a horse to the 
water, but ten men cannot make him drink.”’ Ten Librarians 
cannot make an efficient Library Assistant if the assistant treats 
his work as ‘* Work,”’ without the word ‘‘ Life’ before it. 
Therefore the beginning of this Library Recipe is—‘‘ Take a 
willing assistant.”* 








Nevertheless, from one standpoint, ideals are hard things 
to keep up in a Library, where the assistant happens to be the 
only junior int erested in the routine, beyond the ** my business ”’ 


point of-view. He is isolated from alli the life and comradeship 
which the assistants in the cities enjoy. Often the other junior 
members are boys, who in the course cf a year contemplate 
entering the workshop; girls who drag the work to the level of 
mere clerking—that profession which is akin to a High Priest's 
Office—‘* Keepers of King’s Treasuries.”’ Have you met this 
individual? He is called, may I say, ‘‘ The Assistant in the 
Backwater.’’ What would you do with him? The solution 
seems very easy from my vantage ground—the idea may not 
appeal to you—or even to practical minds be workable, yet here 
it is. 

Get a Correspondence Column in our Library Assistant, or 
even better, keep a record of our members outside ity. 
Then some of the Assistants in the Libraries here might write, 
say one letter in a month to those stranded ones. Let them 
be friendly letters or learned 





letters; letters in connection with 








29 


our work or the Association—but remember one thing—your 


first letters are to rouse a person who is ‘* I 


7 7 ’” 
half-dead. 


fraining means an all-round instruction in Library work. 
From the working knowledge of an indicator or open-access 
system, to Classification and Cataloguing ; learning to deal with 
fines, the keeping of binding books, the making up of statistics, 
stock sheet entering, specifications—all this should be learnt by 
the assistant. The subject which I think requires more thought 
ifter Specifications—which one does not learn as a junior—is 
classification. 

The beginner generally manages to find most books when 
at work in the Lending Department, because the numbers are 
printed plainly on their backs. Usually, a_ senior 
explains that the letters A, B, C, and so on, are class letters, 
but do the words convey much meaning to the timid, new 
person? I think not. The boy grasps the easier idea that the 
numbers will aid, goes blindly, mechanically on, until one day, 
asked for a book, whose subject is to him unfamiliar, he looks 
blank and fails the borrower. This may, or may not happen 
in city libraries. In libraries where the chief has much to do, 
and very young assistants compose the staff, it does happen. 

Now, why not train the junior by means of books from the 
reserve stock? A short exercise every day, say of five minutes, 
would surely not put the Library machinery very much out of 
gear. Classification, as we know, is a bone of contention; at 
the earliest opportunity the assistant should see a little piece of 
that bone. 

Its study, apart from the knowledge of the different rules, 
goes on for all time. The law of world progress governs it. 
rhere are subjects written of now, about which, years before, 
no one thought of writing. The assistant should learn his rules, 
the rules which govern his own Library’s classification scheme ; 
the rules which other Libraries adopt, and also be taught to 
remember, that recent inventions and many other factors result 
in new classification lands to conquer. It even has a place in 
cataloguing, for it comes uppermost after the author slip is 
finished and the subject slip commenced. 

Now come the difficulties of some Library Assistants, The 
Assistant in the small town meets with many set backs, in 
this ‘‘ all-round training.’’ The staff is small, time cannot be 
devoted to the teaching of one, because the Librarian has many 
duties. The problem faced, grows darker; if one member is 
withdrawn from either counter or department, the others 
grumble, and the experiment, having been tried, is never re- 
peated. There is no London School of Economics for this 


+ ¢ 











3 


individual, and if, as here, you have classes for Library work, 
trains or hours do not always suit, and the young student gropes 
about with text-books, until some evening he “‘ learns, learns in 
a dream.’’ 

I am not experienced enough to dare to suggest a remedy. 
A fertile imagination conjures up a Library Utopia. A 
*‘ Library Board of Control ’’; every junior assistant furnished 
with a number and changed from Library to Library, so that 
he or she may have no opportunity to become, ‘‘ one in a back- 
water.”’ 

The date of this Utopian Library World, is the year of the 
abolition of our present rate system. When the State shall 
realise, that to educate its children is not enough; that the gift 
of the knowledge of reading, once bestowed, must be fostered, 
by easy access to those palaces, wherein all may walk and think 
with the great men who lived long, long ago. Then there 
shall be Government Libraries, as well as. Government Schools ; 
then Librarians and their assistants shall have their chance. 
The training of each assistant shall be assured, our chiefs will 
have more time to devote to the extension of that training, 
because our Institutions shall be better staffed. 

There is one subject, however, in which we can make our- 
selves more proficient every day, without depending much on 
anyone. That is Literary History. In my own study, I lay 
down no rules, I read for pleasure and leave the results alone. 
I never bother whether every little detail is gathered in, after- 
wards—the little points are sure to come back to the memory. 
In reading, at any rate, the phrase ‘‘ A brain like a sieve ’’ seems 
quite all right—almost a compliment—your brain should be, 
so that all the things that don’t matter, which creep in with 
the ones that do, can go through. But I keep a ‘* Year-book,”’ 
mark down all the books I read in a year, then when the start 
of a New Year comes, I can review my reading. If I read too 
much Biography and not much Poetry, I correct this. Thus 
I do not lose my pleasure in Poetry, or risk,like Darwin, when 
he buried himself in Science, my love of Shakespeare. If you 
read something like this, you have a better chance of passing 
an examination, than a mere cram. 

‘* Sire, why are you so wise ? ’’ questioned an Eastern youth 
of a Philosopher. ‘‘ My son, I was not afraid to ask,’’ was the 
reply. So must it be with Library Assistants. We should not 
fear to ask concerning the difficulties we meet in our profession, 
and when one of us, perhaps, reaches the Mecca of every Library 
Assistant’s dream—‘‘ A Chief’s position ’’—let us not be afraid 
‘* to instruct.”’ 








The Bedford Binding. 


OUR BINDING for Public Libraries is acknowledged to be 
the best. 


OUR METHOD is NOT one of uniformity of treatment. 


OUR PROCESS for strengthening the broken folds of sections 


is the latest and improved style without over= 
sewing. 


OUR WORK AND MATERIALS are essentially 
the best. 





THE BEDFORD BINDERY, 


19,CRAWFORD oe ge 9 ga ROAD 
LONDON, W. 


For STUDY & RECREATION 
Including— 

LITERARY, EDUCATIONAL 

SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL 

and all other subjects. 


Over naa volumes in Stock. SECOND HAND at HALF PRICES. New at 





Discount Prices. Catalogue No. 943 Free. State Wants. 


Library Replacements a Speciality. We devote a Special Department for Fiction and 
have thousands of Volumes in strictly classified order. Send us your List. al 
Terms to Libraries. Books sent on approval BOOKS BOUGHT. 


W. & G. FOYLE, 121-123, Charing Cross Road 


Telegrams: “ Foylibra,” London. London W.C. 





Library Association. 


LITERARY HISTORY. 


The Special Period in English Literary History set 
for the Examination to be held in May, 1918, is 1840-1870. 

















East Ham Bookbinding Works, 





) 
4 
RR ° RIND 


5 ‘ N 











f ®OOKS BOUND ~ 6 


ie 
i c) 
‘] 
-* 


yee bi 
as) geo 
bem 





Plashet Lana and Elizabeth Read, East Ham, Essex. 




















ALBUM OF HONOUR. 


PHOTOGRAPHS 


(Preferably carbon or platinotype prints) 


Of all Library Workers on Active Service. Also 


NEWSPAPER AND OTHER CUTTINGS, 
PHOTOGRAPHS OF MEMORIALS, 


And any other material which can be incorporated in the Album of 
Honour, now being compiled. 








Please send all material to: 
My. H. A. SHARP, 
Central Library, 
Town Hall, 
Croydon. 








MONTHLY RE-UNION. 





The NEXT RE-UNION 


For Library Workers, 


WILL BE HELD AT 


THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE 





1, WIMPOLE STREET, W., 


On WEDNESDAY, 14th MARCH, 1917. 





‘ Light Refreshments will be served at 7.50 p.m. 
>; 





of 


This Meeting will take the place of the ordinary Monthly Meeting 


of the Library Assistants’ Association. 





ALL LIBRARY WORKERS ARE CORDIALLY INVITED. 











**T hold every man a debtor to his profession, 
from the which, as men do of course seek to 
receive countenance and profit, so ought they 

of duty to endeavour themselves by way of 

amends to be a help and an ornament there- 
unto."’"—Francis Bacon, Baron VERULAM. 


ARE YOU HELPING? 





The Library Assistants’ Association 


has done much good work for its Members and _ for 
LIBRARIANSHIP GENERALLY in the past. It has 
stimulated individual effort towards increased efficiency; it has 
always urged the further development of the Public Library 
Movement; it has stood for better conditions and _ has 
claimed a STANDING FOR THE PROFESSION. At the 
moment the Association is extending its influences and work, and 
needs the support and co-operation of all who are qualified for 
Membership; difficult problems lie ahead which can only be faced 
effectually by a strong Association. 


YOU CAN DO SOMETHING. 


You can quicken interest in your own vicinity. You can get 
new Members, or secure subscribers to ‘‘ THE LIBRARY 
ASSISTANT.” Perhaps you can obtain advertisements for ‘‘ The 
Library Assistant.”’ 


WILL YOU TRY TO DO SOMETHING 


for your Association? And will you try now? Remember that the 
L.A.A. was established TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO, and holds 
a recognized position. It is no new venture with its way to make. 


Any information you may need will be gladly supplied by the 
Hon. Secretary, BROMLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY, BRUNSWICK 
ROAD, POPLAR, LONDON, E. 








31 


L.A.A. ROLL OF HONOUR (continued). 


Sheffield: B. BELCH (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry) ; 
F. BROADHURST (York and Lancaster Regiment); F. 
GOMERSALL (Army Veterinary Corps); “H. W. MARR 
(Duke of Wellington’s Regiment) ; “EDGAR OSBORNE (Lon- 
don Scottish); S. PoLLarD (Army Service Corps); J. W. 
SHIRT (Bedfordshire Regiment); J. W. STEELE (R.F.A.) 
H. VALANTINE (York and Lancaster Regiment). 


Wandsworth (Past and Present Members of the Staff): R. G. 
AusTIN (10th Batt., East Surrey Regiment); S. BASsTIN 
(R.A.M.C.); J. A. BRIGHT (3rd Batt., East Surrey Regiment) ; 
W. J. CLARK (12th County of London); R. COOPER (Dorset 
Yeomanry); L. H. Cousins (R.A.M.C.); R. CRUTTENDEN 
(2nd Lieut., Machine Gun Corps); C. P. P. Davis (R.F.A.) ; 
H. Davis (13th Batt., East Surrey Regiment); T. Davis 
(Royal Fusiliers); A. FREEMAN (A.S.C.); G. R. GATLAND 
(R.A.M.C.); R. C. GoLDsworTHy (King’s Royal Rifles) ; 
A. L. HIDER ( ); H. E. ILotr (R.A.M.C.); 
F. MARRIOTT ( ); E. MENDHAM (23rd Batt., 
East Surrey Regiment); S. C. Norman (A.S.C.); A. V. 
PANKHURST (King’s Royal Rifles); F. H. WHITELAND 
(Royal Navy). 

Woolwich: D. D. NicHots (Royal Horse Artillery); P. W. 
RAINBOW (A.S.C.). 


PROMOTIONS. 
A. Burton, of the Sheffield Public Libraries, has been promoted to the 
rank of sergeant. King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. 


*R. W. Lynn, of the Sunderland Public Libraries, has been promoted 
to the rank of lance-corporal, Machine Gun Corps, Heavy Section 
(‘‘ Tanks’’). 


A. Middleton, of the Sheffield Public Libraries, has been promoted to 
the rank of lance-corporal, Royal Scots Fusiliers. 


MISSING. 


We regret to announce that *Sergeant R. E. Smither, of the Brighton 
Public Library, has been reported ‘‘ missing."’ 


KILLED IN ACTION. 


We are sorry to learn that Private R. T. Mayrick (9th Batt., E. 
Surrey Regiment), of the Wandsworth Public Libraries, was reported 
killed in action in September, 1915. 


* Member, L.A.A. 











32 


NATIONAL FREE LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND. 


One of the chief events of the past year in the World of 
the blind is the attainment of a National Free Library of em- 
bossed literature and music. For years past the Committee 
of the National Library for the Blind (18, Tufton Street, 
Westminster, London), have been working towards this ideal, 
but they felt that, until they could combine the privileges of 
free reading with an adequate provision of books, the moment 
for the final step had not come. 

This fine library of over 27,000 volumes of literature 
and 5,000 volumes of music has now been declared free of 
all charge save that of carriage to every blind reader in the 
United Kingdom. It includes sections of Moon Type books, 
Esperanto and Grade III books are obtained on loan from 
Paris. This development has been made possible partly by 
the generous help of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust in 
providing fine and ample premises for the work (though this 
grant has not increased the income of the Library) and partly 
by the greater interest taken by the general public. 

It is hoped that Institutions and Societies for the Blind 
as well as Public Libraries will continue to co-operate with 
and support financially the National Library, as without such 
help from all parts of the country it will be impossible to 
maintain the Library at its present high level of efficiency. 

To quote from the circular sent to readers announcing 
that the Library is free the Committee only beg “for three 
things on behalf of your National Library : 

1. That you will help us to maintain an efficient free service by the 
prompt return of the books, the clear statement of your wishes, and a ready 
compliance with our few rules, which are made only for the greatest good 
of our readers, and never to save trouble at the Library. 

2. That you will always let me know of any failure on our part, and 
never keep any criticism from us. 

3. That you will regard the Library as your own possession, and help 
it financially if you can, or by interesting your friends if you cannot, as we 
must depend in future entirely on voluntary subscriptions and donations. 

With this co-operation on the part of our readers, and a ready 
exchange of views between them and us, we can face the future 
without fear, and rejoice in the full development of the National 
Library for the Blind.” 


PROCEEDINGS. 
THE FEBRUARY RE-UNION. 


By kind invitation of Mr. J. Y. W. MacAlister, a re-union for library 
workers was held at the Royal Society of Medicine on Wednesday, 14th 
February. Light refreshments were provided, and the first part of the 








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a> => Gb. om oe 


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33 


evening was pleasantly spent in conversation with professional friends. 
Later, there was an informal discussion on several library questions of the 
moment. Mr. Carter (Kingston) explained briefly his Roll of Honour for 
the town, which is limited to those who actually fall in the war. The 
particulars are contained on specially printed forms, which are obtainable 
at the library. In the course of the discussion we learned that at least two 
other such Rolls are being prepared by Library Authorities. The most 
ambitious scheme is at Blackburn, where it is proposed to enrol all who 
serve with the colours. At Croydon a Roll had just been started in which 
it is proposed to include: (a) those who fall, (b) the wounded, (c) those who 
gain military honours. 

The question of providing a permanent memorial to those library 
workers who may fall was again discussed. In addition to the Album of 
Honour now being compiled by the L.A.A., Mr. Tedder hoped that it would 
be possible to have some complete printed record of all those who have 
served their country in the Great War. The idea of providing a mural 
tablet to the memory of the fallen, to be erected in some large public 
building such as the British Museum, was again brought forward, and seemed 
to find general favour. 

The desirability of adopting a standard system of keeping library 
statistics was also introduced. 


WEST OF SCOTLAND BRANCH. 


The third meeting of the second session was held in the (¢ 
High School on Thursday, 18th January, 1917, when Mr. A. 
Glasgow University Library, delivered a lecture on ‘‘ Paper, Pens 
an Historical Sketch.’’ The President of the branch, Mr. W. Jno. 
presided. After briefly introducing his subject, the Lecturer said 





called papu by the Egyptians and biblos by the Greeks, and from th 
names we get our English words, paper and bible. The papyrus paper was 
made from the interior of the stalk of the plant, which was cut into thin 
slices. This kind of paper continued in use till the 12th cer 
parchment and paper made of rags were introduced. But the first paper- 
maker was an insect. The wasp had been busy thousands of years before 
this, making its nest from dry wood, and it still continues to saw, masticate, 
and work into paste the woody fibres it selects. 
keep to their 


when 






Like the wasp, the Chinese 
antiquated methods of making paper from the bamboo, 
mulberry, elm and rice-paper plants. In modern paper-making, however, 
rags are the chief ingredient. The different ways of making paper were then 
graphically described by the lecturer. The instruments used for writing were 
adapted to the material on which they were to be employed. The stile made 
of iron, brass, ivory, bone or wood, was found more convenient for writing on 
waxed tablets. The Babylonians and Assyrians used a stile w 

end, which 





ith a square 
made the well-known cuneiform characters. After reeds had 
been in common use, the goose quill became fashionable. Its invention 
dates from the 4th century, and it remained in use till the second half of the 
19th century. The ink used by the ancients was generally black. It was 
obtained from the ink sac of the sepia or cuttle-fish. The making of modern 
ink was then fully described. The lecture was a highly instructive one. 
Diagrams and examples of quills, and the early methods of cutting these, 
besides some interesting and amusing experiments with various kinds of 
sympathetic ink, were a few of the striking features. In addition, the lecture 
was illustrated by a large number of beautiful slides, Dr. Milligan, Professor 
of Biblical Criticism, lending a number illustrating the papyrus and ancient 











34 


writings, and Messrs. Macniven and Cameron supplied lantern illustrations 
of their pen factory. On the motion of the President, Mr. Henderson was 
cordially thanked for his interesting lecture. The Secretary, Mr. H. Cohen, 
moved a vote of thanks to Glasgow School Board and the High School 
authorities for so kindly putting the hal] and lantern at the disposal of the 
branch. 


YORKSHIRE BRANCH. 
TENTH ANNUAL REPORT. 


Your Committee, in submitting the tenth Annual Report, have to regret 
another lean year, due entirely to the war, and its restrictions upon our 
various activities. Two meetings only have been held since last January. 

On March 30th a Meeting was held in Bradford and attended by over 
thirty members and friends. The arrangements included a visit to the Boll- 
ing Hall Museum, when, under the guidance of Mr. Butler Wood, Chief 
Librarian of Bradford, an inspection was made of the historical building and 
its contents. Afterwards Miss Hummerston gave a lecture on her work as 
Story-Teller at the Leeds Public Libraries, which brought forth an interesting 
discussion. 

On June 21st the Summer Meeting took the form of a ramble among 
Bronte associations, thirty-two members and friends taking part. It wasa 
highly successful outing and embraced a visit to the birthplace of the 
Brontes, at Thornton, a pleasant walk over Ogden Moors, a visit to Haworth 
Church, the Bronte Museum, and various places intimately associated with 
the Bronte family, and Bronte writings. 


MEMBERSHIP. 


We commenced the year with a membership of 84, but during the last 
twelve months 9 members have either resigned or left the service, conse- 
quently at the present moment there is a membership of 75. Of these, 22 
have joined His Majesty's Forces, leaving a working membership of 53. 


TREASURER'S REPORT. 


Perhaps the most satisfactory feature of the report is the financial state- 
ment. Thanks to the wise husbanding of our resources by the Treasurer, 
Mr. Proctor, there is a balance in hand of £2 5s. 9d. 


PERSONAL. 


During the year our President, Mr. G. W. Strother was nominated for 
the Presidency of the parent association, an honour already long overdue, 
but he generously withdrew his name to save an election. 

We have to deplore the loss of one of our members who has given his 
life in the great war. David Strachan brought honour to the branch, and 
to the library service generally by his rapid rise to the rank of Captain in 
the West Yorkshire Regiment. As a member of the L.A.A. he took an active 
part in the affairs of our Branch : was at one time on the Committee, and has 
given papers on various phases of his work. His point of view in a discus- 
sion was always novel and interesting. As a consequence of being blown up 
in a trench he developed brain fever, which proved fatal, and he died in 
Leeds hcspita]. His loss will be keenly felt by ail those who came under the 
influence of his almost boyish enthusiasm, and his sunny disposition. And in 
the words of our President ‘* There is a yreat sadness in the cutting off of a 
career which seemed to have so many possibilities in it.”’ 








35 
OUR LIBRARY. 


Lance, F.W.T. Books on THE Great War: an annotated bib- 
liography of literature issued during the European conflict. 
Pref.; by R. A. Peddie. Vol. 4. 8+199 pp. 94 in. x 6 in. 
1916. Grafton & Co. 7s. 6d. net. Cloth. 


Mr. Lange is to be congratulated upon the result of his labours in the 
volume of this invaluable bibliography just published, and the thanks of all 
librarians and historians are due to him for his efforts. The present volume 
is an attempt to list all printed literature not previously recorded, in any way 
relative to the War which has appeared in this country and in America down 
to the end of April, 1916. All the important foreign publications are also 
included. 

The literature recorded is of a rather different nature from that contained 
in the earlier volumes. The long months of trench warfare ‘‘ has resulted in 
a crop of personal reminiscences from professional and amateur journalists. 

Discussions of the Dardanelles and Gallipoli operations are 
beginning, and we may expect to see this section very considerably enlarged 
in the near future.’'"—(Pref.) ‘* The discussion on the causes of the War is 
beginning todiedown, . . . and the tendency of the later works is rather 
an attempt to analyse the motives of the statesmen and monarchs concerned 
from a study of their respective diplomatic notes. The topics on which 
literature of the greatest importance is appearing are the possible terms of 
peace, and the economic reconstruction of Europe.'’—(/bid). 

The entries are arranged in a classified order, and are accompanied by 
explanatory notes when necessary. Particulars of pagination, publishers, 
and prices are also given. There is an extensive subject index at the com- 
mencement of the volume, and at the end is a very full author index. As the 
war draws nearer to an end, it seems to us more than ever necessary that 
every Reference Library should possess a copy of this important work, which 
will form a record of the mass of material that has poured forth from the 
world's printing pr@sses, but much of which will be lost in a few years’ time. 


STEPHEN, G. A. Three Centuries of a City Library: an his- 
torical and descriptive account of the Norwich Public Library 
Established in 1608, and the Present Public Library Opened 
in 1857. 4+ 86 pp. 6il. 10in. X 6in. Boards (cl. back). 
1917. Norwich. The Public Library Committee. 


In the Eastern counties the Public Library movement has never de- 
veloped so thoroughly as in the northern and midland districts, and it may 
therefore come asa surprise to many to learn that the earliest municipal 
libraries are to be found in East Anglia. A Town Library was founded in 
Ipswich in 1612, but Norwich possessed this luxury four years earlier. In 
addition to this honour the city claims to have been the first to adopt the 
Puplic Library Act, that known as Ewart’s Act of 1850. The rate-limit fixed 











36 


by this pioneer Act was 4d., hence several years elapsed before Norwich 
could reap material advantage from its public spirit. The foundation stone 
of the new building was laid in 1854 and the institution opened for public use 
in March, 1857. Thus the ‘*‘ Diamond Jubilee'’ will be celebrated this 
month, and in commemoration of this notable event, Mr. G. A. Stephen, 
F.L.A., the City Librarian, has written an interesting account of the old and 
the modern libraries, published by the Norwich Library Committee under 
the above title. The edition is limited to 300 copies and the published price is 
3s.; certainly a cheap book under present conditions. 

The library of 1608 was mainly a theological one ‘‘ for the use of the 
preachers,’’ and the share of the corporation was confined to the provision 
of accommodation in the porch of St. Andrew's Hall, and the making of 
regulations. The supply of books depended entirely upon voluntary con- 
tributions, Alderman Sir John Pettus starting with a donation of 15 volumes. 
In 1656 the Common Council ordained new articles for the administration 
of the library, and the earliest minute-book dates from that year. The sub- 
scription was fixed at ls. per quarter, plus a proportion of any extra necessary 
expenditure, and the collection was placed under the care of a ‘‘ Library 
keeper '’ elected by the subscribers, each subscriber serving in rotation and 
gratuitously. An ‘* Under-keeper''’ was appointed at a salary defrayed from 
the subscriptions: his income cannot have been lavish. The first printed 
catalogue was published in 1706 and consisted of 38 pp. The cost was 
£2 16s. 3d. and, like many catalogues to-day, it resulted in a loss to the 
library. In1709 there was still 14s. 3d. owing to the compiler, and to meet 
this a duplicate book was sold! The second edition, printed in 1732, was 
likewise an author-catalogue, enlarged to 54 pp. 

The library remained located at St. Andrew's Hall until 1801, and 
after many vicissitudes it returned to the control of the corporation in 1862; 
since that time it has been housed at the present Public Library. It is for- 
tunate in still possessing many literary treasures, such as 13th and 15th 
Century MSS., including a Wycliffe translation of the O. T. formerly owned 
by Sir James Boleyn. Theearly printed books include 28 incunabula, four 
from English presses and of great rarity. All these are fully described by 
Mr. Stephen. 

The history of the Public Library is given in the second part of the 
present book. As already stated, the Act was adopted in 1850 and the 
foundation stone laid in 1854. Many delays, financial and otherwise, 
followed, and the library was not ready for opening until March, 1857. The 
initial stock was about 3,000 vols., and ten years later had only increased to 
4,400. So the library struggled on, greatly hampered by loan repayments 
In 1888 the stock had advanced to 16,500, and in 1894 to over 30,000. But 
greater developments followed the appointment of Mr. Stephen in 1911, and 
to him is due the important position which Norwich now holds among the 
public libraries of this country. Mr. Stephen found the Norwich Library in 
a parlous state, owing to many years of indifferent management and lack of 
proper organisation. It must have meant many weary months of uphill 
fighting for him to bring his new command up to his high ideal of modern 
requirements, and every praise is due to him for his success. Since the 
spade-work was completed, Mr. Stephen has been busy with several biblio- 
graphical brochures and similar work, including the present volume. Most 
of us have felt the change of conditions during the last two years: the 
depleted staffs and the increased pressure for the few who remain at the post 
of duty. Norwich, like other libraries, has given its quota to the military 
machine, and we cannot but marvel how, in face of these great difficulties, 
Mr. Stephen has found time and opportunity to complete the interesting 
volume now added to our L.A.A. Library. BURIENSIS