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The Public Libraries and the Schools: an Experiment1

1897 Library  
HPHE relationship between public libraries and other educa- cational institutions has been discussed in numerous papers and addresses at the meetings of this Association. What strikes one most in looking over the literature on the question is the general acceptance of the theory that the public library ought to, and does, occupy an important place in a well-ordered scheme of education; but there seems to be no definite place assigned to the library in the educational ladder. Why is this ? Is it
more » ... Why is this ? Is it due to some defect in the organisation of the educational work, or to a misunderstanding of the library movement ? or to both these causes ? Library science is of such recent and rapid growth that it is almost impossible to view it historically as yet, but I am going to venture on a generalisation. From the London Conference of 1877 down to 1887 librarians were almost wholly engaged in discussing the technicalities of library administration. But in the succeeding ten years we have frequently listened to papers which indicate that having settled some kind of basis for the »ffir™nt administration of libraries, we are now free to consider the ways in which the libraries can best be made to serve the wants and the aspirations of the citizens. Let me enumerate some of the papers which deal with the subject now before us. In November, 1888," Mr. Axon' read a paper before the Manchester branch of the Teachers' Guild, in which he advocated a closer co-operation between teachers and librarians. He suggested that class parties should visit the libraries under the guidance of a teacher, and that a selected subject should be tracked out by means of catalogues, indices, and library guides." In the following year Mr. Melvil Dewey gave an address at
doi:10.1093/library/s1-9.1.239 fatcat:suqylbxcrrgn5hxw74n7qqim2i