THE SHALLOW END THE INSTINCTIVE British reaction to a this brief, precious period, people are accommodate it. If the 'new book' crisis is to form a queue. Telling our questioning the inevitability of 'tech pressure were lifted, even for a little selves that lesser breeds would tear nological advance' and the validity of while, the benefits would be consider around in all directions, crying mother its concomitant Access philosophy. able. (Not the least of these might be an mine in their strange lingos, we quietly (Offering to 'take the waiting out of increase in the number of people read line up in twos and wait for things. wanting' is, if not immoral, at least ing Middlemarch.) For every one per unnatural—a peddling of the myth At the present time we are queuing son who wants the world stopped in of instant harvests.) During this fleet almost everywhere for just about order to get off, there must be dozens ing risorgimento, we see secondhand everything—including the services of whose feeling is 'stop the world, I want bicycles in greater demand than motor a printer. Which is why, during this to catch up' . cars and hear radio announcers offer warm, wet, last weekend before Christ Even when this present emergency ing a special comforting welcome to mas 1973, copy is required for the is over, it is unlikely that we shall ever the tellyless millions at 10.30 pm. February 1974 issue of this journal. again be as profligate with our re I had already drafted a rollicking The possibility of further restric sources as we have been over the last pantomime—Babes up the beanstalk— tions promises more good things: less few decades. There will surely be some featuring some of the most popular and less petrol and even less television curtailment of the destruction and the characters from the columns of NEW —spawning happy revivals such as the obsolescence-producing industries. We LIBRARY WORLD. In the lead, the LA safe Sunday walk, quiet skies, sex at may then be allowed to preserve, Council (Nobody loves us) Babes: home, and the reading habit. If libra appreciate and use a greater propor ries retain their present high-priority, tion of what we already have. 'Our task is hard, our purse is thin; entertainment rating for lighting, then We sit and cry as the bills roll in.' Reverting for a moment to the the issues problem may disappear for Supported by the lovable Baron world of pantomime: we should remem just long enough to postpone the (Stick close to your civil service desks ber that new lamps for old can be a latest threatened mind-searching for like me, and you all may be rulers of very bad bargain. 'a role for the public library today'. the British Libree) Hookway who comforts them: It is also likely, if the crisis contin Fuel restrictions ues (is a 'chronic crisis' possible?), that To r those few books so worn and Librarians have received letters from old, the three-day week may become a no- bookbinders and booksellers regarding Each year I'll give a bag of gold.' day week for less-essential activities van services. They suggest that collec And Educated (Record breaking) Ed and industries. In which case, it is tion and delivery be made at one Cudleigh in an hilarious sketch en difficult to see how publishing would central point and that local transport escape the chop—or, indeed why it titled 'The ship should go down with be used to and from there. Possibly should. On the one hand, scientific and its captain'. only a marginal fuel saving will result, technological publications, the indus But I've put all that to one side; this but that is not the point. It's the try's most vaunted sector when we is no time for simple fun. The latest spirit that counts. were supposed to be programmed to national emergency was initially re In like spirit, NEW LIBRARY WORLD wards a computerised Shangri-la, must ferred to in all government communi suggests a reverse method of energy- now take its share of responsibility for ques, and by the press and broadcast conservation. Whereas at present one the present chaotic reality. A complete ing services, as a 'fuel crisis'. This was copy of this journal is sent to the cen shutdown there is more than justified. quickly changed, at one unanimous tral point of some library systems, and On the other hand, a stay in the pro stroke, to 'the energy crisis'—perhaps is later—often much later—transpor duction of recreational books would an official intimation that it is not only ted to numerous other points, we are put a stop to the watering of the wine. the motive power of fuels which the prepared to send a copy direct to every For many years now librarians have nation lacks. Be that as it may, this is separate point! deplored the standard of current fic developing into one of our more in tion and other entertainment litera Each extra copy will be supplied at teresting crises. The positive pro ture, whilst acquiring it in great quan normal subscription rates. NO ADDI nouncements and prognostications of tities for their readers. TIONAL CHARGE WILL BE MADE FOR economists and planners are daily THIS SERVICE. being proved ninety nine per cent less Even more wasteful than the hous reliable than tea-cup reading. ing and disseminating of rubbish is the withdrawing and destroying of We shall all, of course, be as gullible ROBERT SHALLOW as ever once the crisis is passed; but for more worthwhile material in order to
New Library World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1974
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