AT the close of the year it seems to be an impossible task to indicate the manyphased activities it has shown in librarianship. There is the overall proof that despite all competitors the reading of books continues to increase. Statistics, for what they are worthwe believe them to be in the main quite honest and unmanipulatedare available for public libraries, town and county, only. The lending libraries of these put out nearly 385 million volumes, a figure difficult to grasp. That, however, is only one part, if the largest, of the reading of our people commercial, technical, university, collegiate, learned society and school libraries play an enormous part in the reading of our people and what the individual reader buys in the way of books the returns of booksellers might show but, even here, there are so many overlappings that any figures would be incomplete. Statistics which have no clear method and are subject to varying interpretations are valueless. What we do know is that we are a reading nation and there is the accompanying mystery that so many men and women seem never to have read a worthwhile book.
New Library World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 1955