LIBRARY Association elections occur shortly and this impels us to repeat the somewhat musty axiom that men, and women now, get the government they deserve. Such axioms, however, apply perhaps more to political and other public elections in a democracy than to those of professional bodies, or semiprofessional ones like our own. Libraries should have their policies framed and pursued by the best minds available to them. It may be that these come to us through the Branches and Sections for, clearly, the candidates who leap to the mind as having national status, and compel our votes, must be a limited number. Our voting is not much assisted in many cases by the bare list of candidates' names and those of their nominatorseven when the latter are known nameswhich are issued officially but it is not clear how this can be bettered. The A.A.L. usually issues a sort of Who's Who of its candidates and other sections might well do the same. There is still a danger that one type of librarianship may dominate the L.A. merely because it attracts a large number of the votes of junior members. It is not so great as it was the University and Research Section, for example, commands about one thousand votes we are told, enough, if cast for their chosen candidates, to make their election probable. The Section, we note, invites its members to consider individually whether he or she could be a candidate and adds, It is not compulsory to cast all the votes available members who do not know enough candidates may still make effective use of their votes by supporting the candidates they do know. In any case what is rather depressing in past experience is that not more than 12 of voters use their votes for any candidate no elected candidate for some years past has represented the L.A. at large. We hope librarians will alter this state of affairs.
New Library World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 1953