THIS is the month when the public librarian again faces his annual estimates. Things are rarely exactly easy for him. This year may be no exception, as there will be in some places an effort to lop off the nonessential works of local authorities. It is at this time that some librarians wish the service ceased to be local, because town councillors as a whole believe so much in the local character of government and do not realize that if they reduce on such things as libraries they are placing their own people at a disadvantage in relation to other towns. That is the soundest reason, and one that cannot too often be stressed, for some sort of imposed standard of service, which cannot be varied too greatly because of some temporary condition of local or national finance. We do not anticipate crippling reductions anywhere, but the signs for advance are not more propitious than in the bad old days. We shall be interested to hear of special cases this year, but hope that they will be few. We know that salaries cannot, at present, be greatly affected, but even librarians do not live for paycheques alone they want books, light, heat and many more things to revive, if not to improve, their service.
New Library World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 1948