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Subject Branches

Subject Branches Once upon a time an evil spirit made a librarian invent an indicator, blue in, red out. No artist in statistic hyperbole could chart the mischief that jigsaw did, and only a politician crafty in knotted rigmarole would try to explain it away. In my youth most homereading dens and many public library boxes were built round that fetish of primitive librarianship the staff played runrabbitrun between skyscraper stacks, a tin curtain, and a washandbrushup hole. An old story but the bad results are with us yet. We developed den and box mentality. When stock outgrew indicator, many books got out of the printed catalogue into reference or cellar, much the same fate thenand now. The process thinned stock for the few and fattened that for the many the holy issue was kept from falling, and more of the uneducated were miseducated. Old redblue presided over the burial of the founders' ideals, and long after it was thrown to scrap they remained interred. A few have been exhumed lately, just when our bitter war heritage stays their realization or makes it impossible. Den and box are still with us, to astonish the sun. Not many centrals, like those at Manchester and Sheffield, were so bad that even between the wars they had to be replaced. Elsewhere centrals not quite so inimical to good workhad to be put up with never worthy of the people's deserts, they should now pass to the housebreakers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Review Emerald Publishing

Subject Branches

Library Review , Volume 12 (6): 9 – Jun 1, 1950

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0024-2535
DOI
10.1108/eb012143
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Once upon a time an evil spirit made a librarian invent an indicator, blue in, red out. No artist in statistic hyperbole could chart the mischief that jigsaw did, and only a politician crafty in knotted rigmarole would try to explain it away. In my youth most homereading dens and many public library boxes were built round that fetish of primitive librarianship the staff played runrabbitrun between skyscraper stacks, a tin curtain, and a washandbrushup hole. An old story but the bad results are with us yet. We developed den and box mentality. When stock outgrew indicator, many books got out of the printed catalogue into reference or cellar, much the same fate thenand now. The process thinned stock for the few and fattened that for the many the holy issue was kept from falling, and more of the uneducated were miseducated. Old redblue presided over the burial of the founders' ideals, and long after it was thrown to scrap they remained interred. A few have been exhumed lately, just when our bitter war heritage stays their realization or makes it impossible. Den and box are still with us, to astonish the sun. Not many centrals, like those at Manchester and Sheffield, were so bad that even between the wars they had to be replaced. Elsewhere centrals not quite so inimical to good workhad to be put up with never worthy of the people's deserts, they should now pass to the housebreakers.

Journal

Library ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 1, 1950

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