Che Cibrary Assistant:

The Official Organ of the Library Assistants’ Association,

No. 119. NOVEMBER, 1907.

Published Monthly


By kind invitation of the Committee and the Chief Librarian and Curator, the next meeting of the Association will be held at the Southwark Central Library and Cuming Museum, Walworth Road, S.E., on Wednes- day evening, November 13th.

6.15. Tea by the hospitality of the Chief Librarian, to be followed by an inspection of the Library and Museum.

7.15. Senior Paper: ‘‘ Local Literature and its Collection.’”?’ By H. RuTHER- FORD PURNELL, Librarian-in-Charge, Croydon Central Reference Library.

8.15. The Chairman of the Libraries Committee invites the members to to attend a GRAND PERFORMANCE OF MENDELSSOHN'’S * ELIJAH,” taking place in the Public Hall under the auspices of the Southwark Borough Council. There will be Band and Chorus of upwards of 200 members of four or five leading choral societies, including the Handel Festival Choir and the Royal Choral Society; and an excellent list of solo artistes.

The paper by Mr. Thomas on Information Hunting ”’ will be read at a later meeting in the Session to permit of the innovation of the members attending a concert together. We hope the attendance will be large. As, in addition to the concert, it is some years since the Association last met at Southwark, and recently the library system there has been reorganised, the visit will present many features of interest.

Afternoon Visit to St. Bride Institute. F On the afternoon of November 13th a special visit will be made to the St. Bride Foundation Institute, Bride Lane, E.C. The Manager, Mr. Charles Harrap, has kindly undertaken to make the occasion as interesting as possible, and Mr. R. A. Peddie has been good enough to promise a s display of some of the bibliographical treasures in the Technical Library

- for which St. Bride is justly noted. The Printing Schools, as well as n other departments, will be inspected, and visitors will have an opportunity e of making themselves acquainted with the mechanism of the Linotype 3, machine. Members and friends will please assemble at the Institute at

8.30 p.m. After the visit tea will be easily procurable in the neighbour- hood, and the Southwark Library, where the evening meeting is to be held, is not far distant.

ANNUAL DINNER. This important event takes place at Anderton’s Hotel, Fleet Street, E.C., on Wednesday evening, November 20th, at 7 for 7.30 o’clock.

= “< Se gia MR a tas

of Tickets, price 3/6 each, may be obtained of Mr. W. Geo. Chambers, Public

d- Library, Plumstead. Vegetarian courses will be served to those desiring them.

An effort is being made to secure an attendance of not less than 100,

g- as a fitting way of celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Dinner.

Ladies, and other friends of the L.A.A., are cordially invited. Morning

~~ dress will be worn.




The next meeting of the Association of Assistant Librarians of Ireland will be held at the Carnegie Branch Library, Falls Road, Belfast, on Wednesday, November 18th, at 3.30 p.m.

Papers will be contributed by Messrs. R. J. Gourley and J. Scott, and an opportunity will be afforded of viewing this new Library.


The Annual Meeting of the Yorkshire Branch of the L.A.A. will be held at Leeds on Thursday, November 28th. Particulars will be sent to each member in due course.

Several members of the Branch have expressed their willingness to entertain any London members who can attend the meeting. Any who desire this hospitality are requested to communicate with Mr. J. B. Ellison, 2, Edinburgh Grove, Armley, Leeds.

[It will be remembered that the Chairman of the L.A.A. has already been delegated by the Committee to attend. It is also expected that the Hon. Sec. of the Association will be present. Any other members who can make it convenient to attend the meeting are assured of a hearty Yorkshire welcome.—Ep.]


The opening meeting of the Thirteenth Session of the Library Assistants’ Association was held in the handsome Lecture Theatre of the London Institution, by kind permission of the Governors, on Wednesday evening, October 16th. Mr. Frank Pacy, Chief Librarian, City of Westminster Public Libraries, presided, and the inaugural address was delivered by Professor Israel Gollancz, M.A., Litt.D., of King’s College, London University.

In addition to a good attendance of members, the company included many chief librarians and others, among whom were noticed Messrs. R. W. Frazer, LL.B. (London Institution), E. Wyndham Hulme (Patent Office Library), E. M. Borrajo and B. Kettle (Guildhall Library), E. A. Baker (Woolwich), J. H. Quinn (Chelsea), Z. Moon (Leyton), H. Bond (St. Pancras), R. A. Peddie (St. Bride Institute), and W. R. B. Prideaux (Reform Club).

Chairman’s Address.

The Chairman said that when the Committee did him the honour to propose that he should occupy the chair that evening he was induced by two reasons to accept the invitation: first, the anticipation of hearing an address from one so highly dis- tinguished in the literary world as Professor Gollancz; second, the interest and sympathy he had from the beginning felt in the Library Assistants’ Association. The work and policy of their body must always command the interest of library authorities and librarians, on account of its undoubted influence upon the future of librarianship.



For some years past very full opportunity had been afforded to all library assistants, by the facilities offered in the shape of the many lectures and classes given under the auspices of the Education Committee of the Library Association. No librarian could feel anything but satisfaction at this, and it was gratifying to note how largely these opportunities had been availed of, with excellent results—excellent not merely from the standpoint of the examiner, but, what was far better, as showing the spirit and the sacrifice of limited leisure which was the real evidence of a spontaneous and strong desire for self- improvement. This zeal and keenness brought the Library Assistants’ Association into being, and had carried it on with increasing vitality, into the commencement of a_ thirteenth session.

They would perhaps bear with him while he took that opportunity of making a few remarks to express his own personal impression of the general educational work of the Library Association. A review of the various syllabuses of the last few years led one to the conclusion that the work, admirable as far as it went, had hitherto been somewhat ill- balanced. There were two sides to the education of a librarian: first, his technical training, and second, his general literary knowledge. The educative policy, if he might so term it, of the Library Association, would seem to have magnified the first of these objects, and to have relegated the second to comparative obscurity. His personal predilection would be to reverse the relative positions of these requirements. He would not, however, in the slightest degree, cast doubt upon the desirability—nay the absolute necessity—of the study of classi- fication, cataloguing, and the innumerable details of library work. They had many admirable text-books, the productions of earnest and able librarians, and deep should be their grati- tude to the authors for their helpful labours and invaluable guidance. Yet he felt, and thought they all felt equally strongly, that no proficiency in these difficult and thorny subjects would compensate for a deficiency in knowledge of that vast but pleasant subject English literature. Though they had these text-books at their finger-ends and had not a real and a true knowledge of the great literature of our language, it would profit them nothing.

The natural reaction from the conservative and academic methods of their predecessors the earlier librarians had, he thought, often been carried to excess, and had led to a worship, for its own sake, of the technical and esoteric side of the librarian’s craft. Imposing and showy methods might, for a period, secure a quicker reward and appreciation. A very thin


veneer of technicalities would suffice to impress the public and might even impose upon the average library committee. In certain Transatlantic quarters this misdirected energy had reached its apotheosis and had even earned renown among some English librarians. All library assistants, whether they aspired to the diploma of the Library Association or not, should read and take to heart the remarks made at the recent Annual Meeting of the Library Association by Mr. Henry R. Tedder, whose high place in literature and librarianship was recognized both without and within the ranks of librarians. Coming from one so prominent in the councils of the Library Association his utterances probably voiced also the general opinion held in that body. Mr. Tedder had said, much better than he could say, what he felt in this matter. He (Mr. Tedder) complained that all these theories of advanced librarianship tended not so much to bring the librarian into closer contact with books, but rather to take him away from them, in fact, the ideal librarian of this school would be equipped with so many technical appliances and guides that, with a little care on his part, he might never need to see a book. When Mr. Tedder’s paper was fully reported they would be able to read his views, and the ideal librarian as delineated by him was the ideal that he preferred to set before them.

Books themselves were such human things that it was an offence against humanity to regard them as so many call numbers, to be set in motion by the senseless cogs of a library machine. Anything that would temper the arid waste of tech- nicalities with the living waters of a true love and true knowledge of books was deserving of the support and sympathy of all who would prevent librarianship from degenerating into a dreary and repelling custodianship, and such an address as they might confidently expect from Dr. Gollancz that night, and such lectures as he and his coadjutors would deliver at King’s College in the coming winter, led him to hope that in the future the just balance between the two sides of a librarian’s educa- tion would be restored. Thus might we better fit ourselves to serve as priests ‘‘ at the shrines where all the relics of ancient saints, full of true virtue, are preserved and reposed.”’

Professor Gollancz then delivered an eloquent address, dealing with the importance to librarians of the study of litera- ture and of a real love for books. A summary appears on another page.


The Chairman in declaring the meeting open for discussion said that after the excellent address to which they had listened he could not help thinking that Professor Gollancz would make a librarian of their highest ideal. He agreed especially with what had been said about bibliography. Probably most of those present were making the acquaintance of Prof.



Gollancz for the first time, but he thought many, after hearing him, would wish to attend his course at King’s College.

Mr. Baker said that however high are the ambitions or the ideals of librarianship, the basis must be technical and concerned with the business side of the profession. As they went on they might be able to attain to the ideals so eloquently put forward in the lecture, which was a splendid panegyric on the high ideals of librarianship. The L.A.A. as well as the L.A. were deeply indebted to Prof. Gollancz, because it was mainly owing to his sympathy and support that library students in literary history had been allowed admission to the courses at King’s College.

Mr. Kettle humorously expressed surprise at being called upon, in view of the statement in the printed programme of the meeting that the address was only to be supplemented by remarks from prominent members of the profession. He was extremely pleased to have heard the address. It had been one of the best of tonics.

Mr. Thorne (Chairman, L.A.A.) proposed a vote of thanks to Prof. Gollancz, who was another of those eminent scholars—and the list was quite a long one now—who had come forward to address their inaugural meetings. He recalled the fact that they had been favoured with addresses from such well-known men as Mr. Sidney Webb, Mr. Sidney Lee, Dr. Macnamara and Dr. Edmund Gosse. That evening they had had their attention drawn, for all too short a time, to some of the privileges of their calling, and they were grateful to Prof. Gollancz.

Mr. Sayers (Hon. Sec., L.A.A.) in seconding, said that year by year they had the ball set rolling for them by a great teacher of great ideals. It was good to have these ideals set before them, because it helped to strengthen their belief in their profession. He was one of those who believed that however important the technical side of the profession might be, the literary side was still more important.

The vote of thanks was carried by acclamation, and Prof. Gollancz briefly acknowledged it. He thanked them for their generous recognition of his efforts. After all, they and he were closely bound together, because the library was an important adjunct to the class room. If at any time he could be of service to the Association, or to any member of it, he would be pleased.

Votes of thanks to the Governors of the London Institution and Mr. Frazer (the Secretary) for the privilege of meeting there, proposed by Mr. Rees, and seconded by Mr. Coutts, and to Mr. Frank Pacy for presiding, proposed by Mr. Peddie, seconded by Mr. Young, were carried unanimously.

Mr. Pacy, in his acknowledgment, said he had been more than repaid for coming by the pleasure in hearing Dr. Gollancz’s address. The demands upon a municipal librarian’s time, under present conditions, made such rare glimpses into a brighter and more attractive world things to be anticipated with interest and long pleasantly remembered. Library assis- tants perhaps did not all realise what advantages they had over their chiefs in this respect. The librarian of to-day was often little more than a clerk to his committee. His time was so fully occupied with soul-destroying office routine that, for any benefit his connection with the service of literature brought him, he might just as well be in a counting office or warehouse. The library assistant had a magnificent field for gaining knowledge; by tact and courtesy he might come to a broad understanding of human nature, and by careful and persistent thought—even though his actual hours for study were but small—he might arrive at an understanding, not only of books, but of himself in relation to books on the one hand, and the public upon the other.

The meeting then terminated, and the members adjourned to visit the magnificent Library of the Institution which was thrown open to them. For this courtesy, as well as for his cordial welcome, the members are much indebted to Mr. Frazer.



Summary of the address delivered by Proressor ISRAEL Gotiancz, M.A., Litt.D., at the Inaugural Meeting of the Library Assistants’ Association, Session 1907-8.

So many experts have of late been giving advice to librarians that I have thought it advisable to select some general topic of interest instead of speaking on any subject connected with a technical theme. It has been suggested that I should take as my subject the relation of literary study to librarian- ship. On these lines, therefore, I propose to say a few words on how those should study literature who have the privilege of dealing with books in relation to readers. I would at once say that I presume no young man or young woman ever thinks of entering the library profession without being full of an intense love for books ; I consider that a person who takes up librarian- ship merely as a means of livelihood is practically a traitor to his noble calling, which should always be closely connected with the greatest enthusiasm for literature.

The world of books is a mighty world with towering peaks, high hills, and lowly dales; and the problem for us is how to get some knowledge of this great world; at best we can hope to understand only a small region. As _ librarians it is primarily our duty to think of ourselves in relation to others, that is, we must remember that all our enthusiasm for books is to be devoted to the common cause of library readers. In fact, our literary study must be stamped, even as were the books of a great book-lover, ‘‘ Io. Grolierii et amicorum’’; love of books must unite book-lovers in the great bond of friendship. I recall the old book-lover of the fourteenth century who made almost a religion of his love of books; he rightly declared that when all is said we must remember that books are first and foremost to be cherished as the shrines of wisdom. Therefore in trying to understand something of the great realm of litera- ture we must first try to discern the wisdom contained in some of the world’s greatest treasures.

It would be the duty of one mapping out a scheme of literary study, first of all to point to the great books each in its period. To show how in spite of all troubles, in spite of sordid conditions, in spite of the enemies of literature, in every age some man arises and leaves as a bequest to succeeding ages some imperishable book. One would pass through the ages of the world and point to these epoch books, books not of interest merely to the pedant, but fraught with lessons




teaching men at all times how best to live. This study of great books may perhaps be best achieved if we start from the known to the unknown. Those placed in a class by themselves —the classics—have a special claim. The classics, modern and ancient, should be understood in their relation to the ages in which they were written, and an attempt should always be made to recognise the abiding elements which have placed them in their exalted position as a ‘‘class’’ by themselves. And this study will show us that no one country and no one age can claim the exclusive privilege of producing the world’s greatest minds. ‘* Slowly the Bible of the race is writ, and not in marble nor in blocks of stone; each age, each nation, adds a page to it.”’

The monumental books stand as it were for ever; they seem to be protected by some special Providence. Accustomed ourselves to the best and highest, we shall naturally come to understand the test of true literature, and applying the test to the great mass of books that pour forth from the modern press, we shall be able instinctively to differentiate the good from the bad.

We try to discern aright the great peaks of literature, their heads towering up into the very heavens; but we cannot always limit ourselves to the study of what is highest and most exalted. We should endeavour to know something of the valleys, and the lowly dales. These help us better to under- stand the mountain heights. So the student must make a sort of survey of the whole world of book-lore. We cannot hope to make a full but we can make a rapid survey and know some- thing of the lowlier forms of literature; this knowledge brings with it a quickening apprehension of what is best. More and more we feel when studying literature that the great revelation of the last century in the world of science must be applied to matters of thought. No great man springs suddenly into being as a sort of inspired barbarian or savage. The greatest men of the world who have given their thoughts in imperishable literature, have been the result of long processes, and the student finds delight in seeing how slowly, how deliberately, nature works.

If we have the antiquarian spirit—and the antiquarian spirit in a book-lover is no mean gift—then our joy in books as books will be of very great help in literary study. It will be of benefit in two or three ways. First, we shall discover the great truth to which I have just referred, that serves us so nobly in our lives, viz., that nature does not work spasmodi- cally, and that even as man himself may work back his history and find kinship with the humble earthworm, so the greatest


genius of the world must claim kinship with the humblest craftsman in book-lore.

A second result that may come from this antiquarian spirit is that we may the better understand the relation of a ‘‘ great ”’ book to its particular epoch. We see the great book or books of an age emerging from the mass of previous experiments and efforts, unsuccessful and sometimes seemingly futile. We shall also feel that every piece of writing may be regarded as a valuable document for those who know the right interpretation. Young students sometimes ask, what is the good of troubling about this or that fifth-rate play of the Elizabethan period when one has Hamlet or King Lear? The fifth-rate play may perhaps prove to be a link in the chain that slowly led up to Shakespeare, and for a student this discovery tends to quicken and not lessen the understanding of the masterpieces.

There is a third good of peculiar value for librarians that will probably come to us. Whatever may be said against exaggerating the importance of what is called the technical side of librarianship, bibliography cannot be included in the denun- ciation, and we would rightly resent it being stigmatised as **the antiquarian’s foible.’’ Of course we know that it is a matter of prime importance. The right study of bibliography must be in close connection with the study of literary history: only thus can it become living. Too often bibliography seems a dead thing. If bibliography were understood as an essential accompaniment of the right study of literature, it would become sanctified, and an ennobling part of the librarian’s vocation. Here the antiquarian spirit has a great field for activity.

As regards the relation of this study to oneself, on the one hand, and to ‘‘ the reader ’’ on the other, to oneself comes the joy of the pursuit of knowledge, and therewith the joy of feeling that we are devoting ourselves to a noble task; such joy is after all the consummation of human happiness. And to our readers we become the guide, philosopher, and friend. It is for librarians to feel, and to make others recognise, that theirs is one of the highest of professions. To be a true librarian one must be fed on the greatest books, and assimilate something of their glory and distinction.

I have spoken mainly of English literature, but remember that English literature, through the medium of translation, embraces the literature of all nations and all peoples.

Finally, remember what book-lovers of old have said in praise of books; their words should appeal to us very strongly. In the course of the ages inspired book-lovers have spoken lovingly of the care of books, have spoken lovingly of the place of books in our lives; these books should be cherished by us almost as our daily companions.





Professor Gollancz concluded by reading some extracts from ‘‘ the noblest of all books written in praise of books, that imperishable little book,’’ Philobiblon, written by Richard De Bury.

THE ORGANISATION OF A LIBRARY SERVICE.* By Joun Barr, The Mitchell Library, Glasgow. (Concluded).

Finance.—As the whole subject of finance practically depends on the number, size, and stock of the buildings it has been thought desirable to deal with that part of the subject first. It will, of course, be apparent that around the question of buildings the whole problem of finance revolves. It deter- mines, aS has been demonstrated, the stock of books to be provided. The staff required is also indicated, while from the same source, an approximation may be assigned to such items as bindings and establishment charges.

The following table of expenditure has been «rawn up with care, and should prove workable :—

Buildings ...... 13 per cent.— £780 Periodicals ...... 6 per cent.— £360 Establishment Newspapers... 1 ins 60

Charges 6 = 360 Bindings ....... 5 * 3800 BNR: ics souacases 10 a 600 Salaries, etc. ... 39 me 2,340 BE “cksconunsies 20 » —1,200

The loans item is explained at the heading Buildings (sites and furnishings). As it is intended to operate a ‘‘ home”’ repairing department, 5 per cent. only is allowed for outside work. The other items are either self-explanatory, or are described under the headings to which they relate.

Staff.—A good and reliable staff is of primary importance, and realising that the only way to attract the best men is by offering salaries commensurate to their abilities, special attention has been given to this subject.

It is recommended that the staff should be composed as outlined below; the salaries suggested should attract com- petent candidates.

CentraL Lisrary. Borough Librarian, £250 per annum, rising by annual increments of £25 to £300; Sub-Librarian, £130 by £10 to £170; Chief Assistant, £70 by £10 to £100; five assistants, each £20 by £5 to £50; Bookbinder, £52; Janitor, £78; two cleaners, each £26. Total of maximum, £1,002.

Branco Lisraries. Three Branch Librarians, £120 per annum, rising by annual increments of £10 to £150; three Chief Assistants, £70 by £10 to £100; twelve Assistants, £20 by £5 to £50; three cleaners, each £26. Total of maximum, £1,428.

Grand Total of Maximum, £2,430.

* An essay submitted in Section V. of the Library Association Examina- tion, 1907.


For all senior positions experienced men only should be eligible for appointment ; for the others local candidates would be suitable.

With such a staff, each member would not require to work more than 44 hours per week. Lack of space forbids the inclusion of a time sheet showing that this is possible.

It would be our aim to enlist the sympathy of the staff in the subject of their profession. Library Councils like those common in the United States, and recently initiated at the Croydon Libraries, would be introduced for the benefit of the senior officers. The Library Assistants’ Association would be brought to the notice of all, and the Library Asso- ciation Education Syllabus, as the most comprehensive scheme of professional education, would receive our support. In connection with the latter a scheme similar to that introduced at the Woolwich Libraries would enhance the practical utility of the certificates.

Selection of Literature.—This, although the last part of our subject which calls for consideration is, in point of import- ance, subordinate to no other. The limitations imposed on this essay, however, forbid our entering into detail, and we shall only briefly describe our policy in this connection.

The aim of every municipal library in regard to the selection of literature should be to provide its frequenters with what is best and representative in the literature of knowledge and imagination. It should not be entirely educational, as some suggest; mor purely recreative (using the term in its highest interpretation); but should embrace a wise and discriminate combination of both.

The question just indicated involves another—that of pro- portionate representation, and without entering into the raison d’étre we shall outline what we consider a proportionate repre- sentation in the literature relating to the trades and industries compiled after a comparison of the more important British and American codes. It refers to the Lending Department only :-—

General Works ............ Spercent. Useful Arts ............... 8 per cent.

Philosoplty ..2....eccecese 2 a x ee

MIN Ghetandesssecesnsce 4 im History, Geography, Tra-

WOCIONOT sccssccsecsccctaes 8 ws ED. - disvicuasitechtenieccdes 15 ag

Language and Philo- Smee Sabi vennenernese 9 I cvnacescsseenancessacesa 2 a BAUUIIG cecccessicovsvecce 11 a

DEE | Stttakcnmntaee 10 WEE ececwnisrieuanets 20

Local conditions will, ‘of course, play a prominent part in the selection and apportioning of books, etc. Each branch will contain, in addition to its regular stock, stronger repre- sentation in the literature relating to the trades and industries of the district. A system of differentiation would be observed throughout the whole scheme of libraries, and by making


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borrowers’ tickets available at any library the maximum of use- fulness would be obtained.

To turn to the financial aspect. An initial stock is neces- sary and the following appears a suitable and useful amount with which to commence operations :—

CENTRAL LIBRARY. Lending Department (including Juvenile) ............... 13,000 vols. PUNE UUNIEE ccsncccnsccscceccnsesvesanccssosanstsessas 2,000 ,,


Lending Department (including Juvenile), 6,000 volumes ME WEE: ccscncceccinecstenopniniyacnmrasdatessewaudvoursestconss 18,000 Reference Department, 400 volumes at each

ema 1,200

TD kc ann 84,200 ,,

Allowing 3s. as an average price per volume for Lending Department books, and 5s. for Reference Department books, the cost of the initial stock would be £5,450.

We do not propose to raise a loan to cover the cost of these books, but to adopt a more rational method, namely, that of spreading the account over a period of years. This method has the great advantage of escaping the exorbitant interest levied on loans.

In the selection of periodicals and newspapers it would be our special desire to strengthen the magazine department, and only provide newspapers to the extent which their value entitles them. To bolster up this latter compels the limiting, both in number and quality, of the magazines, and this every librarian with the public welfare at heart does not wish. We intend, therefore, that the magazine will form the principle reading material at the branches, and that only one newspaper depart- ment—located at the Central Library—be equipped. Between forty and fifty newspapers would be provided, representing the best in daily journalism.

Regarding the magazines we would try to represent all the most important subjects covered by the modern periodical, thereby forming a closer relationship between the book and the periodical. A satisfactory and inclusive selection could be made from 450 periodicals; 150 at the Central Library and 100 at each branch, leaving out of the question, in the mean- time, donations which might make a total of 500. The average price per periodical allowed at Glasgow Branch Libraries (where a good and representative class of magazine is pro- cured) is 15s. per annum. Basing our calculations on this we could provide the 450 periodicals at a total cost of £337, leaving a balance of £23 for emergencies.

From these outlines (necessarily brief and fragmentary) we have attempted to demonstrate the general principles upon


which we would organise a library service. Nothing novel, we are conscious, has been propounded. An attempt only to deal on practical lines has been our aim.


The inaugural meeting of the Association of Assistant Librarians of Ireland was held at the Central Public Library, Belfast, on Wednesday, October 9th. Alderman Sir James Henderson, M.A., D.L., Chairman of the Library and Technical Instruction Committee, presided, and among those present were the President of the Branch, Mr. G. H. Elliott (Chief Librarian, Belfast), Prof. Gregory Smith, M.A., Mr. F. C. Forth (Prin- cipal, Municipal Technical Institute), and Mr. F. J. P. Burgoyne (Linen Hall Library). There was a good attendance of members.

The Chairman congyatulated his hearers on having started what he hoped would be a very useful and instructive Association for library assis- tants. He also took the opportunity of complimenting the staff of the Central Public Library and branches, and of the Linen Hall Library, upon their invariable courtesy to readers, and for the intelligent help they were at all times willing to render. He concluded by calling upon Mr. G. H. Elliott to deliver the inaugural address.

President’s Address.

We have formed ourselves into a Branch of the Library Assistants’ Association which has its headquarters in London. I have to thank you for electing me president of this new Branch. By regular monthly or quarterly meetings we hope to encourage one another in the study of library topics, and thus raise the public interest in our local libraries as well as point out new avenues of instruction for the betterment of library assistants. No doubt the Irish Channel debars you from taking as much advantage as you would like of the aids which are so freely offered by the Library Association in London and the principal provincial library centres in England, where important lectures for the training of assistants are given and Summer Schools for librarianship are held. But in this new Association of ours it shall be our aim to inaugurate such lectures and schools. We have now in Belfast some valuable material which must be organised. For instance, some of our own staff have already made a good beginning. We have great hopes of the Wednesday afternoon class con- ducted by Mr. Coulson. Then there are the Technical Institute and Queen’s College, with their staffs of professors, who will, I am sure, give us a helping hand in our endeavours to ascend the higher rungs of the edu- cational ladder. For practical demonstrations we have at our doors some famed printing establishments and book binderies where the art of book production is carried on in all its branches. ‘*‘ Heaven helps those who help themselves.’’ Let us then break the fallow ground and advance on our upward march.

At the outset I assume that you already know some of your deficiencies in the calling which you are taking up as your life work. Knowing these things you should not allow a single day to go by without overcoming one or more of them, and thus the better fit yourselves for obtaining not one or two merely, but all the certificates of the Library Association. Depend upon it, these certificates are becoming increasingly necessary to the library assistant, for without them there is not so much certainty as to his professional fitness, despite the fact that he may have served some years in a public fibrary. They are as necessary to the new librarian as is the diplama of his professional brother, in any of the learned professions.


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The library curriculum is plainly set out in the Association’s syllabus of examination, and appended thereto are lists of the various text books. Every assistant should possess a copy of this vade-mecum, and not rest content until he has gained all the laurels offered to the successful com- petitor. The Education Committee of the Library Association is so actively alive as to the educational fitness of .the assistant that it is circularising library committees throughout the United Kingdom on the importance of these subjects. It is possible, therefore, that committees will make the possession of these ceruncates a sine qua non in future appointments of librarians, and thus bar the way to those candidates whose only so-called qualifications have too often been their love of books and the local influence of their friends to secure them the appointments to which they have proved so flagrantly unfitted.

As an earnest of the new era in local library education is it too much to expect to see a dozen new candidates enter for the examinations in May next? If the results of your first examinations prove satisfactory, some substantial rewards as prizes will be offered to those who undertake their second course of examinations, and who are successful in passing them creditably. Here are two sentences culled from Professor Vambery’s autobiography—a man of whom it may truly be said that he was the architect of his own fortune—which may serve as an incentive to you at this stage of your career: ‘‘ With a determined will, a young man in the vigour of youth can do almost anything.”? ‘* Work has kept me in good health, it has made me happy and therefore rich, and work is consequently to my mind the greatest blessing in the world.”

Now I need not dwell further on the importance of the education of the assistant; you must yourselves see the necessity of forming habits of study for the mastering of the subjects set forth in the Association syllabus. Your goal is to become a branch or a chief librarian. The proverb, ‘*There is plenty of room at the top,”’ is still true. Librarians, like other mortals, must die, although as a rule they are fairly long-lived folk. Their lives are lived not far from the madding crowd, but the crowd is mostly a silent one, browsing in the Elysian fields or bent on discovering their genealogical trees, or searching for the elements of radium, or the latest tabulated improvements in the electric light or the steam engine.

While looking at the goal of your ambition, pray do not confine your outlook to the expected dropping off of a chief here and there, nor likewise to two or three heads of branches, but rather widen your horizon by the fact that the public library movement is but a youthful one comparatively, some fifty years old, while so far only about 1,000 public libraries have been established. The President of the Library Association pointed out in his address at Glasgow the other day that ‘‘ while the urban population was now to a considerable degree possessed of libraries of greater or less extent and efficiency, the more difficult problem of the extension of these facilities by the rural populations had barely been entered upon.’’ He instanced the State of Massachusetts, which with a population little over three millions possessed 700 public libraries. In the United Kingdom with its population of more than forty millions the number of libraries was not much more than 1,000. Therefore the outlook to-day for you future librarians is a vastly brighter one than it was when your president was serving his apprenticeship. Then there were no professional examinations, nor were there any of the numerous text books or manuals of library economy that now prevail. Then the provincial and metropolitan towns did not feel the necessity of the public library as they now do. Their utility has become so paramount to the people’s life that no town of any importance can long remain without one.


Looking at the fact that one thousand libraries have sprung into being during the last fifty years, is it not reasonable to expect that another thousand or two will be founded before the close of another half century ? In such a prognostication we are witnesses of the colossal munificence which Dr. Carnegie has bestowed upon the library movement during the past fifteen years or so. While so much has been bestowed for this purpose, hardly a week passes without a further witness of the fact that there is as much more to come from the same munificent donor. Will you be fully equipped mentally and physically, say five or six years hence, to take charge of some of these libraries? Having reached your goal as librarian, do not for a moment imagine that you can then fold your arms in your office chair and leave the working of the machine to your assistants. Your further education only now begins. Here you will put in practice your long cherished ideals of what you would do when you became a librarian. Practise them now to the full, and the public will soon test them, and you will be judged as Thomas Carlyle has expressed it: ‘‘ By your thought, not by your mode of delivering it, you must live or die.”’

Let me conclude these remarks by a quotation from a paper read at the Glasgow meeting of the Library Association by Mr. H. R. Tedder, as to the Ideal Librarian. ‘* The mental culture of the librarian must be extensive rather than intensive. He could not expect to be at home in any one large field of knowledge; but he must familiarise himself with the pathways and fingerposts of knowledge, he must train himself in rapid methods of knowing something of the subject matter and comparative value of a book without the labour of perusal, an art which could not be taught, but which might be acquired by long practice. None of the many treatises on reading dealt specially with the requirements of the librarian, whose object was not to make himself a scholar or man of letters, but a better servant of the public in his particular office. His reading must be wide rather than deep. The calling of the librarian did not lead to worldly wealth, but it opened out a prospect of attaining intellectual competency.”

Professor Gregory Smith, Mr. Forth, Mr. Burgoyne and Mr. Coulson (Hon. Sec. of the Association) briefly addressed the meeting, and the proceedings then terminated.


A meeting of the Yorkshire Branch of the L.A.A. was held at Hull on Thursday, September 25th, by kind permission of the Hull Public Libraries Committee. Upon arrival the members were received by the Chief Librarian, Mr. W. F. Lawton. Light refreshments were kindly provided by Miss Jackson, a member of the Hull Libraries Committee, who welcomed the members in a short speech. The members then pro- ceeded to the Bindery, where, under the guidance of ‘the foreman binder, they were shown books in every stage of binding.

At the business meeting which followed a paper was read by Mr. J. G. Sleight, of Hull, on the ‘‘ National Home Reading Union.’’ A short discussion followed, in which a strong feeling was expressed that library assistants do not take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Union.

The members were then kindly entertained to tea by the Chief Librarian, Mr. W. F. Lawton.

Hearty votes of thanks were accorded Miss Jackson and Mr. W. F. Lawton for their hospitality.


=o 00 tS O._


LIBRARY ASSOCIATION. Annual Presentation Day.

The certificates won by students at the examination held in May, 1907, will be distributed by H. J. Mackinder, Esq., M.A., at the London School of Economics, on Wednesday, December 4th. The Chair will be taken at 8 p.m. by R. Blair, Esq., M.A., B.Sc., Executive Officer, London County Council. It is hoped that there will be a good attendance of members of the Association. All library assistants and students of librarianship are cordially invifed to be present.


Liprary AssociaTION : CLass List oF Best Books AND ANNUAL OF BIBLIO-

GRAPHY, 1906—1907. (Library Supply Co., 1s. 6d. net.)

An accurately classified list of current books, selected by experts; the classification adopted being the Brussels extension of Dewey. The Library Association is rendering a useful service in compiling this annual biblio- graphy, and Mr. Hopwood (the general editor) is to be complimented upon many improvements in the present issue.

METALLURGICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY, 1901—1906. By R. A. Peppigz. (Library

Supply Co., Is.)

Reprinted from ‘‘ The Library World,” April and