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By Baker, Ernest Albert, 1869-1941

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Cratic idea. was a consequence It of the In earlier times a library simply provided books to be read on the spot. ing libraries, such as began to be eighteenth its new demo- century, Circulat- common in the were shops that lent out books, chiefly light literature, to subscribers of the leisured classes. The literary and scientific insti- tutions allowed their books to be borrowed, with- out troubling to divide their stock into distinct collections, or worrying themselves with the standing puzzle of the modern librarian, should which is neither a novel nor an encyclopaedia, go on the lending or the reference this book, shelves ?

J. Ogle, a public librarian and a secretary of education, who, in The Free Library (1897), easily disposed of the argument that State inspection and State grants would mean uniformity of method. " Thus the ideas of close interaction promoted HISTORICAL SKETCH 30 b}^ central control and of intimate correlation of and the other instruments of public education had been well-debated, long before they were taken over, along with the more pressing libraries question of the rate limit, as obvious items for the agenda of the Adult Education Committee, which was appointed in July 1917 as a sub-committee of the Reconstruction Committee, to be merged presently in the IMinistry of Reconstruction.

Narrow-minded Otherwise, the lending library should develop on the most catholic lines. The light literature that old-fashioned circulating was the staple library will, of the with the WHAT IS A LIBRARY SERVICE 35 ? rubbish sternly and drastically sifted out, form a proportion considerable of the stock-in-trade. In the minds of some short-sighted people, indeed, the public library is identified with over-thumbed and dog-eared novels, and supposed to be a purveyor chiefly of books for private amusement at the public expense.

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