THE note of the Conference at Harrogate was the question of unemployment in relation to libraries. The arguments advanced were intended for the wider public rather than for librarians, and reproduced a now fairly familiar argument that the issues of books from libraries have increased by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the depression. It is quite clear that many men who normally would not read quite so much have turned to books for consolation and guidance. The fact that branch libraries were closed at Glasgow as an economy measure, and were afterwards reopened under the force of public opinion, would emphasize the opinion generally held that in times of economic stress it may be an even greater economy to increase expenditure upon libraries than to curtail it. This argument is, of course, in a region which the average material mind of our governors cannot always reach. It is nevertheless true, and the Conference provided ample evidence of its truth.
New Library World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 1933
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