The Library World Volume 20 Issue 7
New Library World
The LIBRARY WORLD EDITORIAL The year opens with omens good, and foreboding, for librarians. Of the first kind is the re-opening after two years of the Science Museum at South Kensington. The second was the astounding proposal of the Air Ministry to commandeer the British Museum for its administrative work. After three years of a war which has shown the devastating results of the neglect of things educational and spiritual the rulers of this country had apparently acqui sced in a proposal which,
... n a proposal which, in the words of the President of the British Association, would "cause a shudder to run through all civilised countries. Were it carried out it would cover the British nation with lasting obliquy." As we go to press, however, it is announced that the proposed outrage is not considered to be necessary and will therefore not take place. We rejoice over the repentance of the Government; but the fact that the proposal was made seriously, and for a time upheld, is so significant that it behoves all who value the treasures of the nation to be upon their guard. The war, also, is not over yet. * * * We do not, as our readers are aware, associate ourselves with the opinions and criticisms made by the writers of "Letters on Our Affairs," which have been a feature of THE LIBRARY WORLD for the past four years and more. This month, however, we may draw attention to the suggestion which has been made in all gravity to the Manchester City Council that municipalities have powers, older than the Library Acts, to establish and to spend such sums as seem to them good on public libraries. As our correspondent remarks, this, if it can be proven, is a discovery of great importance to the library movement. We are unable to make that proof ourselves, and it can probably only be made by the appropriating by some local body of more than the penny rate to its libraries. An action might follow, in which the matter could be tested. The principal difficulty will probably be the average Town Clerk, who is very chary indeed in sanctioning any proposal which is not written expressly in some legal document. We shall await the outcome of the suggestion with profound interest, and meanwhile we commend it to the consideration of our readers.