Why Do We Need a Public Library?
LIBRARY TRACT. No. 10
Revised Edition of
Tract No. 1
WHY DO WE NEED A PUBUC
MATERIAL FOR A LIBltARY CAMPAIGN
Sec'y American Library Association
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION PUBLISmNG BOARD
1 WASHINGTON STREET, CHICAGO
PUBLICATIONS OF THE
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION
Pottage on hook pubHc<lH<Ma e.vira
Guide to reference books, by Alice B. Kroeger.
New and enlarged edition. Cloth, $1.50.
Literature of American history; edited by J. N.
Larned. Cloth, $6.00. Supplements for 1902,
1903, paper, each $1; for 1904, 25c.
A. L. A. Index to general literature. Cloth, $10.
A. L. A. Index to portraits. $3.
A. L. A. Catalog. Paper, $1.
A. L. A. Catalog rules. Cloth, 60c.
A. L. A. Booklist (monthly, 10 numbers) $1 a year
List of subject headings for use in dictionary cat-
alogs. Cloth, $2.
Books for girls and women and their clubs.
Paper, 25c. Also issued in five parts, small
size, 5c. each.
Reading for the young, with supplement. Sheets,
Books for boys and girls, by Caroline M. Hewins.
Paper, 15c. $5 per 100.
Children's reading. Paper, 25c.
Small library buildings. Paper, $1.25.
Library buildings, by W. R. Eastman. Paper, 10c.
(Continued on Brd cover page)
LIBRARY TRACT. No. lO
Revised Edition of
Tract No. 1
WHY DO WE NEED A PUBLIC
MATERIAL FOR A LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
Sec*y American Library Association
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION PrBLISHING BOARD
1 WASIIIN(iTON STRKKT. CHICA(iO
Compiled from articles and addresses by
Sir Walter Besaiu 7
E. A. Birge, dean University of Wisconsin, Madison,
William J. Bryan 38
John P. Buckley 32
Waller Irene Bullock, chief loan librarian Carnegie Li-
brary, Pittsburg, Pa 43
James II. Canfield, late librarian Columbia University
Library, New York 40 -
Andrew Carnegie -25, 41
Winston Churchill 16
Frederick M. Crundcn, ex-librarian Public Library, St.
Louis, Mo 4, 28, 47
J. C. Dana, librarian Free Public Library, Newark, N. J.
10, 12, 37, 42
Melvil Dewey, ex-director N. Y. State Library, Albany 21
William R. Eastman, chief Division of Educational Ex-
tension, State Lilirary, Albany, N. Y 22, 45
Mrs. S. C. Faircliild, ex-vice director New York State
Library School, Albany, N. Y 10
W. L Fletcher, librarian Amherst College Library, Am-
herst, Mass. 6
W. E. Foster, librarian Public Library, Providence, R. I. 44
Chalmers Hadley, secretary American Library Associa-
tion, Chicago, 111. .•••••. .• 3' ~9
Joseph Le Roy Harrison, librarian Providence Athe-
naeum, Providence, R. 1 27
Caroline M. Hewins, librarian Public Library, Hartford,
F. A. Hutchins, University Extension Department, Uni-
versity of Wisconsin. Madison, Wis 13, 19, 26, 36
J. N. Earned, ex-librarian Pul)lic Library, Buffalo, N. Y.
•.•••-. •■ • 20, 22, 34
Henry E. Legler, librarian Public Library, Chicago, 111.
James Russell Lowell 18
William McKinley 30
Theodore Roosevelt 37
C. C. Thach, president Alaljama Polytechnic Institute.. . .9, 39
Alice S. Tyler, secretary Iowa Lilirary Commission,
Des Moines, Iowa 47
Irene Van Kleeck 36
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY
One of the most eflfective means of conducting a library
campaign, especially in its early stage, is through the
press. Not only will the reading and thinking part of the
people thereby be reached, but any library editorial ap-
pearing in a newspaper, will, because of the public notice
given it, receive greater consideration than if printed else-
where. Library Commission workers and library support-
ers in general, have felt the need of printed material
which could be m.ade immediately available in a library
campaign. Most library addresses and articles are too
long, too scholarly in treatment or have lacked that crisp
style necessary for use in the press.
Editors of newspapers are slow to accept for printing,
signed editorials which have seen service elsewhere. It
is suggested tliat tlic material here compiled be made as
local as possible in its application to individual commu-
nities, and that the editorials be sent to newspapers un-
signed by the original writers. The same editorials should
not be sent to neighboring communities, at least in their
original form. Every attempt should be made to have
them appear as fresh and spontaneous as possible. Differ-
ent editorials should always be sent the several papers in
the same city.
The material here compiled is suggestive and sufficient-
ly comprehensive to meet ordinary conditions. Much val-
uable material has been taken from circulars sent out by
the Library Commissions of Oregon, Wisconsin and Iowa.
No better advice could be given in opening a public li-
l)rary campaign through the public pfcss than the follow-
ing, in the- Wisconsin I-'rce Library Commission Circular
of Information, Xo. 5:
I Citizens of believe in free public
libraries. They need organization and courage to attack
•I MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
local problems rather than icing homilies on the value of
2 Public sentiment needs time to ripen. Frequent
short articles running througli tlic issues of a few weeks
are better tlian a few long ones.
3 Make the articles breezy, optimistic, with local ap-
plication. You can get a library if you are in earnest.
4 Appeal to local pride. Civic patriotism is tlie basis
of civic improvement. Give the names of familiar towns
of similar size which have good libraries.
5 Do not rely solely on editorials. Get brief comtnu-
nications from citizens, but have each letter make only
one point, and that crisply.
6 Do not waste space rebutting trivial arguments. Re-
fute tlieni by affirmative statements.
7 Get brief interviews with visitors from towns where
they have good libraries, and witli your own townsmen
who have visited neighboring liliraries.
8 Keep this fact in mind — Your people want a librarj-
and only need pluck and a leader.
9 Remember that the worst enemy of the movement is
the talker who wants a library very much, in the "sweet bye
and bye," when all other public improvements are completed.
10 Wlien it is time to strike strike hard. Apologies
and faint hearts never won any kind of a contest.
Secretary American Lilirary Association.
WHAT A PUBLIC LIBRARY DOES FOR A
1 It doubles the value of tlie education the child re-
ceives in school, and, best of all, imparts a desire for
knowledge which serves as an incentive to continue his
education after leaving school; and, having furnislied the
incentive, it further supplies the means for a life-long con-
tinuance of education.
2 It provides for the education of adults who have
lacked, or failed to make use of, early opportunities.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGX '>
3 It furnishes information to teachers, ministers, jour-
nalists, plijsicians, legislators, all persons upon whose
work depend the intellectual, moral, sanitary and politi-
cal welfare and advancement of the people.
4 It furnishes books and periodicals for the technical
instruction and information of mechanics, artisans, manu-
facturers, engineers and all others whose work requires
technical knowledge — of all persons upon whom depends
the industrial progress of the cit}-.
5 It is of incalculable benefit to the city by affording
to thousands the highest and purest entertainment, and
thus lessening crime and disorder.
6 It makes the citj' a more desirable place of resi-
dence, and thus retains the best citizens and attracts oth-
ers of the same character.
7 More than any other agency, it elevates the general
standard of intelligence throughout the great body of the
community, upon which its material prosperity, as well as
its moral and political well-being, must depend.
Finall}-, the public library includes potentiall}- all otlier
means of- social betterment. A librar}' is a living organ-
ism, having within itself the capacity of infinite growth
and reproduction. It may found a dozen museums and
hospitals, kindle the train of thought that produces benefi-
cent inventions, and inspire to noble deeds of every kind,
all the while imparting intelligence and inculcating in-
dustry, thrift, morality, public spirit and all those qualities
that constitute the wealth and well-being of a community.
F. M. CRUNDEN.
WHAT A FREE LIBRARY DOES FOR A COUNTRY
1 It keeps boys at home in the evening by giving them
well-written stories of adventure.
2 It gives teachers and pui)ils interesting books to aid
their school work in history and geograiihy. and makes
better citizens of them by enlarging tin ir knowledge of
their crumtry and its growth.
G MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
3 It provides l)Ooks on the care of children and ani-
mals, cookcrj' and liousckeeping, l)uilding and gardening,
and teaclios joung readers how to make simple dj-namos,
telepiiones and other machine.--.
4 It lielps cluh> tliat are studying history, literature
or life in other countries, and throws liglit upon Sunday-
5 It furnishes books of selections for reading aloud,
suggestions for entertainments ;ind home amusements, and
hints on correct speech and good manners.
6 It teaches the names and habits of the plants, birds
and insects of the neighborhood, and the differences in soil
7 It tells the story of the town from its settlement, and
keeps a record of all important events in its history.
8 It oflfers pleasant and wholesome stories to readers
of all ages. CAROLINE M. HEWINS.
Let tlie bo\'s find in the free library wholesome books
of adventure, and tales such as a I)oy likes; let the girls
find the stories which delight them and give their fancy
and imagination exercise; let the tired housewife find the
novels which will transport her to an ideal realm of love
and happiness; let the liard worked man, instead of being
expected always to read "improving" books of history or
politics, choose that which will give him relaxation of
mind and nerve — perhaps the "Innocents Abroad." or Josh
Billings's "Allminax," or "Samanthy at Saratoga."
W. I. FLETCHER.
WHY WE NEED A LIBRARY
A public library in our community would be an influence
for good every day in the week.
It would make the town more attractive to the class
of people we want as residents and neighbors.
It would mould the characters of tlie children in our
A good library would get gifts from wealthy citizens.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 7
Xo other public institution offers so fitting an opportunity
for a public-spirited citizen to help his neighbors and win
their approval and affection.
A library in would be the center of our
intellectual life and would stimulate the growth of all
kinds of clubs for study and debating.
It is a great part of our education to know how to find
facts. Xo man knows everything, but the man who knows
how to find an indispensable fact quickly has the best sub-
>titute for such knowledge. We need a librarj' to carry
forward in a better manner the education of the children
who leave school: to give them a better chance for self-
education. We need it to give thoughts and inspiration
to the teachers of the people, those who in the schoolroom
or pulpit, on tlie rostrum, or with the pen attempt to in-
struct or lead their fellow citizens. We need it to help our
mechanics in their employments, to give them the best
thoughts of the best workers in their lines, whether these
thoughts come in books or papers or magazines.
WISCOXSIX FREE LIBRARY COMMISSIOX.
Tiie public library is an adult school; it is a perpetual
and life-long continuation class: it is the greatest educa-
tional factor that we have: and the librarian is i)ecoming
our most important teacher and guide.
SIR WALTER BESANT.
WHAT A LIBRARY DOES FOR A TOWN
1 Completes its educational equipment, carrying on
and giving permanent value to the work of the schools.
2 Gives the children of all classes a chance to know
and love the best in literature. Without the public library
such a chance is limitid to the very few.
.3 Minimizes the sale and reading of vicious literature
in the community, thus promoting mental and moral
4 Effects a great saving in money to every reader in
the community. The library is tlic ai)plication of common
S MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
sense to the problem of supply and demand. Through it
every reader in the town can secure at a given cost from
lOO to looo times the material for reading or study that
he could secure by acting individually.
5 Appealing to all classes, sects and degrees of intel-
ligence, it is a strong unifying factor in the life of^ town.
6 The library is the one thing in which every town,
however poor or isolated, can have something as good and
in>piring as the greatest city can offer. Neither Boston
nor New York can provide better books to its readers
than the humblest town library can easily own and supply.
7 Slowly but inevitably raises the intellectual tone of
8 Adds to the material value of property. Real estate
agents in the suburbs of large cities never fail to adver-
tise the presence of a library, if there be one, as giving
added value to the lots or houses they have for sale.
A. W. in NEW YORK LIBRARIES.
HELPFUL THINGS DONE BY LIBRARIES FOR
TEACHERS AND CHILDREN
1 Graded lists (sometimes annotated) of books suitable
for children are printed as part of the library's finding
2 Bulletins of books for special days are printed.
3 Lists of books on special subjects are printed.
4 Topics being studied in the schools are illustrated
by special exhibits at the libraries.
5 Study rooms in the libraries are maintained for the
pupils of the high schools and the higher grammar grades.
6 Children's or young people's rooms are maintained
at the libraries, where the children may come into person-
al contact with a trained children's librarian and with hun-
dreds of books on open shelves.
7 Story hours or readings for children are conducted
at the libraries.
8 Training in reference work, in the use of books
and libraries, in the use of finding lists, card catalogs.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 9
indexes, etc., is given bj- Hbrarj^ assistants: (a) to teachers
at the librarj-; (b) at the librarj- to individual pupils and
classes that come there^ (c) at the schools to the pupils
in their rooms.
9 Lectures on classification, bibliographies, and cata-
logs are given by members of the library staff for teach-
ers and normal school students.
10 Special stud}' rooms for teachers are provided.
11 Special educational collections are shelved for use
by the teachers.
12 Cases of about 50 books (traveling libraries as it
were) are prepared by libraries and sent to schoolrooms
to remain for a year or less, teachers to issue books for
13 Branch reading — and delivery — rooms are opened in
schools, in charge of library assistants, with supply of
books on hand for circulation and facilities for drawing
others from the main library.
14 Assistant librarians are placed in charge of work
15 In large cities complete branch libraries are estab-
lished in schools on the outskirts of the cities.
16 Special collections of books arc furnished to vaca-
17 Special cards are issued to teachers on wliich they
may draw more than tlic usual number of volumes at a time.
18 Teachers and principals are allowed to draw a num-
ber of volumes for (a) reading by children at school; (b)
reading by children at home.
LIBRARIES, A PUBLIC BENEFACTION
A library is not a luxury; it is not for the cultured few:
it is not merely for the scientific; it is not for any intel-
lectual cult or exclusive literary set. It is a great, broad,
universal public benefactir)n. It lifts the entire communi-
ty; it is the rinht arm of the intellectual development of
the people, ministering to the wants of those who arc
10 MATERIAL 1-OR A J'L ISLIC LIBKAKV CAMPAIGN
already educated and spreading a universal desire for edu-
cation. It is the upper story of the public school system,
while it is a broad field wherein ripe scholars may find a
fuller training fur tlicir already highly developed faculties.
It is above all a splendid instrument for the education and
culture of those vast masses of boys and girls that are
denied the high privileges of the systematic training of
the schools. C. C. THACH.
The function of tlic library as an institution of socictj',
is the development and enrichment of human life in tlic
entire community by bringing to all the people the books
that belong to them.
SALOME CUTLER FAIRCHILD.
MEANING OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Cities and towns are now for the first time, and chiefiy
in this country, erecting altars to the gods of good fel-
lowship, joy and learning. These altars are our public
libraries. We had long ago our buildings of city and
state, our halls of legislation, our courts of justice. But
these all speak more or less of wrongdoing, of justice and
injustice, of repression. Most of them touch on partisan-
ship and bitterness of feeling. We have had, since many
centuries, in all our cities, the many meeting places of re-
ligious sects — our chapels, cliurclies and cathedrals. The^'
stand for so much that is good, but they have not brought
together the communities in which they are placed. A
church is not always the center of the best life of all who
live within the shadow of its spire.
For several generations we have been building temples
to the gods of learning and good citizenship — our schools.
And they have come nearer to bringing together for the
highest purpose the best impulses of all of us than have
any other institutions. P.ut they are all not yet, as some
day they will be, for both old and young. Then they
speak of discipline, of master and pupil, instead only of
pure and simple fellowship in studies.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 11
And so we are for the first time in all history, building,
in our public libraries, temples of happiness and wisdom
common to us all. No other institution which society has
brought forth is so wide in its scope; so universal in its
appeal; so near to every one of us; so inviting to both
young and old: so fit to teach, without arrogance, the
ignorant and. without faltering, the wisest.
The public library is to be the center of all the activi-
ties that make for social etificiency. It is to do more to
bind into one civic whole and to develop the feeling that
you are citizens of no mean cit\% than any other institu-
tion you have yet established or tlian we can as yet con-
ceive. J. C. DANA.
PUBLIC LIBRARIES. A WORLD-WIDE MOVE-
The world-wide library movement of the past few years
is an important factor in the educational world. The pub-
lic library is now recognized as one of the most effective
of the preventive measures advocated by modern social
students. It is considered an essential part of any system
of public education, affording opportunity for self-educa-
tion, and supplementing the average five years of school
life. Educators now realize that the school offers but the
beginning of education, and that the library is its necessary
complement and supplement. Tliis increase of library fa-
cilities has greatly influenced school work, in bringing
home to teachers the fact that it is as important to teach
what to read as to give chiUlren the ability to read. Tlie
library of to-day is not wholly for recreation, but it is tiie
people's university. It is entitled to the same considera-
tion which is given to the public schools, and to the same
sort of support. Tlie wliole conception <if tlu- lilir.iry has
changed ;is practic.il nun of affairs Iiave come to llie re.tli-
/ation of the fact that tliey must liave accessi!)lc the rec-
ords of past experience and experiments.
OREGON LiiJR.XKV COMMISSION.
12 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
We all believe in public libraries. We frequently dis-
cuss the library we are to get "bye and bye." We do not
find tbat it is lielping tlie boys and girls who arc growing
up in our town now. Will the next generation need it
more than this? Will the children of the next generation
be dearer to us than tiie boys and girls that now cheer
our firesides? Will tliey use a lil)rary better because their
parents have not had sucli privileges?
We all want a library, for ourselves, for our neighbors,
for the good name of our village. Why not get it now
and be getting the good out of it?
It is only a question of mctliod.
The library when built ^lumld l)enetit all the people, and
therefore it should be built by all the people. Give us all
a chance to help, and then tlie library will belong to all
WISCONSIxX FREE LIBRARY COMMISSION.
LIBRARIES AND HAPPINESS
The great purpose of a public library is to promote and
unite intelligence. It brings together the products of the
wise minds of the world. It holds within its walls a col-
lection of all the wise and witty things ever said: these it
marks and indexes and ofifers to its friends.
It is in its community a sort of intellectual minuteman,
always ready to supply to every comer something of inter-
est and pleasure. It puts good books, and no others, into
the hands of children. It tells about Cinderella and in-
forms you on riots in Moscow. It offers you a novel of
modern Japan and a history of Venice of the past. It
knows about the milk in the cocoanut, the floods of the
river Xile. the advantages of education, the evils of legis-
lation, how to plan a home, why bread won't rise, and can
tell more about the mental failings that give Jamaica and
Venezuela trouble than most of our congressmen ever
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 13
Reading is the short cut into the heart of life. If you
are talking with a group of friends about, for example,
different parts of the United States, and some one hap-
pens to mention a city or town in which you have lived,
note how your interest quickens, and how eager you are
to hear news of the place or to tell of your experience
in it. This is a simple every-day fact. The same thing
you have observed a thousand times about any subject or
talk with which you may be familiar. We learn about
many things just by keeping alive and moving round!
Those things we have learned about we can't help being
interested in. That is the way we are made. If we knew
about more things our interests would be greater in num-
ber, keener, more satisfying; we would talk more, ask
more questions, be more alert, get more pleasure.
The lesson from this is plain enough: if you wish to
have a good time, learn something. You like to meet old
friends. Your brain, also, likes to come across things it
knows already, to renew acquaintance with the knowledge
it has stored away and half forgotten. The pleasures of
recognition and association; the delights of renewing your
friendships with your own ideas are many, easy to get.
never failing. But if you wish to have interests and de-
lights in good plenty you must know of many things. If
you wish to be happy, learn something.
This sounds like advice to a student. It is not, it is a
suggestion to the wayfarer. For this learning process may
be as delightful as it is to gather flowers by the roadside
in a summer walk. J. C. DANA.
LIBRARY WORTH SELF-DENIAL
An inexhaustible mine of pleasure is open for the boy
or girl who loves good books and has access to tluin.
Without effort on the part of the parent they are ki'i)t
off the street and fr<jni the company of the iillc and vi-
cious and are storing tlieir minds witli useful knowleilge,
or are being taught high ideals and n<)I)Ic purpose'^. Thu^
they rjevclop into men and women who are an Imnur ti>
their pan-iits and worthy citizens of our great re public.
14 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
Such is the product of a Free Public Library. Is it not
worth the small pittance it will cost? Many a laboring
man spends more money in a week for tobacco than the
maintenance of a library would cost him in a year. Is
not the education and the development of our bright boys
and girls worth a little self-denial?
We all desire that our children shall have better oppor-
tunities than we have had, and not have to work as we
have worked. Here is an opportunity to help them help
themselves, which is the very best help that can be given
any one. Let 's be "boosters" and help ourselves, help our
town, and help our boys and girls by unitedly supporting
the library proposition.
IOWA LIBRARY COMMISSION.
REASONS FOR HAVING A FREE PUBLIC
Public libraries have without delay become an essential
part of a public education system and are as clearly useful
as the public schools. They are not only classed witli
schools, but have generally become influential adjuncts of
the public schools. The number of readers is rapidly in-
creasing and the character of the books is constantly im-
Xot infrequently the objection is heard that the public
libraries arc opening the doors to light and useless books;
that reading can be. and often is, carried to a vicious and
enervating excess, and therefore tliat the libraries' influ-
ence is doubtful and on the whole not good. This argu-
ment does not need elaborate exposure.
The main purpose of the library is to counteract and
check the circulation and influence of the empty and not
infrequently vicious books that are so rife. A visit to any
nev.s-stand will disclose a world of low and demoralizing
■■penny dreadfuls" and other trash. These are bought by
boys and girls because they want to read and can nowhere
else obtain reading material. This deluge of worthless
periodicals and books can Ije counteracted only by gratui-
tous supplies from the public library.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGX 15
Whether these counteracting books be fiction or not,
the}- maj' be pure and harmless, and often of intellectual
merit and moral excellence. The question is not whether
people shall read fiction — for read it they will — but
whether they are to have good fiction instead of worthless
and harmful trash.
The tendency to read inferior books can soon be checked
by a good library. If the attention of the children in
school is directed to good books, and the free library con-
tains such books, there will be no thought of the news-
stand as the place for finding reading matter.
The economical reason for establishing free public li-
braries is the fact that public officers and public taxation
manage and support them efficiently and make them avail-
able to the largest number of readers. By means of a free
library there is the best utilization of effort and of re-
sources at a small cost to individuals.
While a private library may greatly delight and improve
the owner and his immediate circle of friends, it is a lux-
ury to which he and they only can resort.
A library charging a fee may bring comfort to a re-
spectable board of directors by ministering to a small and
financially independent circle of book-takers, by its free-
dom from the rush of numerous and eager readers, and
by strict conformity to the notions and vagaries of the
managers. But such a library never realizes the highest
utility. The greater part of the books lie untouched upon
the shelves, and compared with the free library it is a
lame and impotent aff^air.
The books of a public library actively pervade the com-
munity; they reach and are influential with very large
numbers and the utility of the common possession — books
— is multiiilicd without limit. Before several of our towns
lies the question of opening to all what is now limited to
those who pay a fee. This is not merely a limitation — it
is practically a prohibition.
Whether right or wrong, human beings as at present
constituted will not frequent in large numbers libraries
tliat charge a lee. The spirit of the age and the tendency
l(j MATERIAL I'OK A Pini.lC LIDKARY IWMIWICN
of liberal coiniminilics arr entirely in favor of furnishing
tills means of education and amusement without charge.
Certainly towns which can maintain by taxation, paupers,
parks, higlnvays and schools have no reasonable ground
for denying free reading to tluir inhabitants.
These towns spend vast sums of money in providing
education, and yet omit the small extra expenditure which
would enable young men and women to continue their
The experience of Library Commissions of various
states has amply demonstrated that libraries and literature
are sought for and appreciated quite as mucli by rural
communities as by tlie larger towns, and not infre(iuently
the appreciation is apparently keener, because of the ab-
sence of interests and amusements other than those pro-
vided by the library. There is now no real reason why
every part of this state may not enjoy tlie advantages and
pleasures of book distribution, for concentration of effort
in the small towns elsewhere has provided efficient, at-
tractive and economical libraries, and could as well do so
liere. F. A. HUTCHINS.
MISSION OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
It is our business in tliis country to get at tlie best meth-
ods to govern ourselves. How many of our ])cst people
have paused to reflect on what that means, and on all it
means? It means that now we have about 80,000,000 of
sovereigns. It was all very well when wc were a little
confederation of homogeneous stock stretching along the
Atlantic sea-board. We had our dissensions then, but our
population was permeated with the principles of our gov-
ernment. In one hundred years wc have swelled from a
handful to 80,000,000, and a large part of them made up of
additions from the nations of the earth, and not the self-
governing nations. .And the problem is to educate the
children of these, as well as our own cliildrcn, in tlie prin-
ciples of that government of which they arc an essentia)
and vital part.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 17
This is the first problem, and if it is not attended to,
our gOAernment will crumble away and decay from neg-
lect. We do not want denizens in this state and this na-
tion, we want citizens. We do not want ward politics,
but we do want government as our forefathers understood
it. And it is the duty of every right-minded citizen to
work unfalteringly for this end. The question is one of
We want citizens. And the public school and the pub-
lic library are the places where citizens are made. There-
fore we must labor for and support these institutions
first and foremost. To a very great extent, the librarian
is the custodian of public morals and the moulder of pub-
The librarian must, and he usually does, feel his re-
sponsibility. The word "responsibility" should be given
e(|ual weight with the word 'iibertj'" and emblazoned be-
side it, and it is these two things that the public libra-
rian through his knowledge of good literature must im-
press upon our coming generations — "liberty and respon-
sibility." WINSTON CHURCHILL.
Our public scliools arc doing a great work, but, after
all, "the older generation remains untouched, and the as-
similation of the younger can hardly be complete or cer-
tain as long as the homes of the parents remain compara-
tively unaffected." For those whose early education has
been neglected either by reason of family circumstances
or because of wayward disposition, and who realize tluir
need before it is too late, there are night schools, busi-
ness courses and correspondence sciiool courses, with tlic
minor advantages and stimulus offered l)y public lecture
rrturses. Volunteer study clubs and societies for research
arc being organized in great numbers. And, more potent
and more forceful, more universal in its application tlian
all these because better organized, better equipped ;ind
readier to avail itself of all existing afiiliating agencies, is
IS MM ERIAL 1-OR A PLBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
tluit national movement wliicli lias become known for want
ul' a better term as library extension.
Library extension aims to supply to every man, woman
and child, cither through its own resources or by co-oper-
ation with other affiliated agencies, what each community,
or anj- group in any community, or any individual in the
community may require for mental stimulus, intellectual
recreation or practical knowledge and information useful
in one's daily occupation.
HENRY E. LEGLER.
The opening of a free puljlic library is a most important
event in the history of any town. A college training is
an excellent thing; but, after all, the better part of every
man's education is that which he gives himself, and it is
for this that a good lil)rary should furnish the opportun-
ity and the means. All that is primarily needful in order
to use a library is tlie ability to read; primarily, for there
must also be the inclination, and after that, some guidance
in reading well.
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
THE LIBRARY— PLEASURE AND PROFIT
We cannot remind ourselves too frcciuently that a fun-
damental i)urposc of good books, and so of the library
which possesses them, is to give pleasure, and that the li-
brary ought to be more closely and peculiarly associated
with pleasure than any other institution supported by the
Life for most of us is suf^ciently dull and colorless.
The workday aspect of the world is always with us and
oppresses us. For the average man and woman, whose ed-
ucation has been limited, whose imagination has lacked
all wider opportunity for cultivation, the easiest escape
from the cares of daily life, from the depressing monot-
ony of daily routine, will be through the avenue opened
by the story, the people's road out of a care-filled life,
ever since the days of "Arabian Nights." Such readers
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBR.iRY CAMFAIGX 19
as these desire fiction and ought to have it. If their
imagination can be cultivated to the point of reaching
similar freedom from care through poetry-, througli tlie
drama, or through any of the higher forms of literature,
so much the better. The librarj-'s message is to men and
women cramped b}' toil and narrowed by routine, ever
seeking some way out of this troublesome world into that
larger realm which is more trulj- ours because it is our
creation and that of our fellows. This wider world, in
its friendliness and homelikencss, the library must repre-
The library is where the readers are introduced to the
friendship of authors and their books. There they are at
home and there we too may be at home. Old and young,
rich and poor, wise and simple, men and women and chil-
dren, there we may meet new friends on kindly and famil-
iar terms and widen our thoughts as we learn of their
wisdom and their wit. Still better, there we may renew
our acquaintance with old friends and feel the contracted
horizon of our lives again enlarge as we meet them once
more. New friends and old, they all greet us with an
assured welcome and yield to us the best which they can
give, or we receive. We come to them not to learn les-
sons but to be with them for a little while and to live
with them that larger and truer life which their presence
creates for us.
Thus the library performs its high and noble duty of
helping men to live, "not by bread alone, but by every
word of God," who, through good books, has been speak-
ing to the generations of mtn not only for their instruc-
tion but even more for their delight. E. .'\. RTRGE.
VALUE OF FREE LIBRARIES
The best proof of the value of public libraries lies in the
cordial support given them by all the i)c'0])lc, when they
are manage*! on broad, sensible lines. Sudi institutions
contribute to the fund of wholesome recreation tliat
sweetens life and to the wider knowledge that broadens it.
20 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
They give ambition, knowledge and inspiration to boys and
girls from sordid liomcs, and win them from various
forms of dissipation. Tlioy form a central home where
citizens of all creeds and conditions find a common ground
of useful endeavor.
Libraries are needed to furnisli tlie pupils of our schools
the incentive and tlic opportunity for wider study; to
teach tlu-m "tlie art and science of reading for a purpose,"
to give to boys and girls with a hidden talent the chance
to discover and develop it: to give to mechanics and arti-
sans a chance to know what their ambitious fellows are
doing; to give men and women, weary and worn from
treading a narrow round, excursions in fresh and delightful
fields; to give to clubs for study and recreation, material
for better work, and, last but not least, to give wholesome
employment to all classes for those idle hours that wreck
more lives tlian any other cause. F. A. HUTCHINS.
"Even now many wise men are agreed that the love of
books, as mere things of sentiment, and the reading of
good books, as mere habit, are incomparably better re-
sults of schooling than any of the definite knowledge
which the best of teachers can store into pupils' minds.
Teaching how to read is of less importance in the intelli-
gence of a generation than the teaching what to read."
THE BOOKLESS MAN
The bookless man does not understand his own loss.
He does not know the leanness in which his mind is kept
Ijy want of the food which he rejects. He does not
know what starving of imagination and of thought he has
inflicted upon himself. He has suffered his interest in
the things which make up God's knowable universe to
shrink until it reaches no farther than his eyes can see
and his ears can hear. The books which he scorns are
the telescopes and reflectors and reverberators of our in-
tellectual life, holding in themselves a hundred magical
powers for the overcoming of space and time, and for
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAICX 21
giving the range of knowledge which belongs to a really
cultivated mind. There is no equal substitute for them.
There is nothing else which will so break for us the poor
hobble of everyday sights and sounds and habits and
tasks, bj- which our thinking and feeling are naturally
tethered to a little worn round. J. N. LARNED.
THE LIBRARY'S EDUCATIONAL MISSION
To the great mass of boys and girls the school can
barely give the tools with which to get an education be-
fore they are forced to begin their life work as breadwin-
ners. Few are optimistic enough to hope that we can
change this condition very rapidly. The great problem
of the day is, therefore, to carry on the education after
the elementary steps have been taken in the free public
schools. There are numerous agencies at work in this di-
rection — reading rooms, reference and lending libraries,
museums, summer, vacation and night schools, corre-
spondence and other forms of extension teaching: l)ut I)y
far the greatest agent is good reading. An educational
system which contents itself with teaching to read and
then fails to see that the best reading is provided, when
undesirable reading is so cheap and plentiful as to be
a constant menace to the public good, is as inconsistent
and absurd as to teach our children the expert use of tlie
knife, fork and spoon, and then provide them witli no
food. The most important movement before the profes-
sional educators to-day, is the broadening going on so
rapidly in tlieir duties to their profession and to the pub-
lic. Too many have thought of their work as limited
to schools for the young during a short period of tuition.
The true conception is that we should be responsible for
higher as well as elementary education, for adults as well
as for children, for educational work in the homes as well
as in the schoolhouses, and during life as well as for a
limited course. In a nutshell, tlie motto of the extended
work should l)e "higher education for adults, at home,
during life." MELVIL DEWEY.
22 MATERIAL FOR A Pl'HLIC LIBRARY CAMl'AlUX
THE FREEDOM OF BOOKS
The free town library is wholly a product of the last
half century. It is the crowning creature of democracy for
its own higher culture. There is nothing conceivable to
surpass it as an agency in popular education. Schools,
colleges, lectures, classes, clubs and societies, scientific and
literary, are tributaries to it — primaries, feeders. It takes
up the work of all of them to utilize it, to carry it on,
and make more of it. Future time will perfect it, and
will perfect the institutions out of which and over which
it has grown; but it is not possible for the future to bring
any new gift of enlightenment to men that will be greater,
in kind, than the free diffusion of thought and knowledge
as stored in the better literature of the world.
The true literature that we garner in our libraries is
the deathless thought, the immortal trutli, the imperish-
able quickenings and revelations which genius — the rare
gift to now and then one of the human race — has been
frugally, steadily planting in the fertile soil of written
speech, from the generations of the hymn writers of the
F.uphrates and the Indus to the generations now alive.
There is nothing save the air we breathe that we have
common rights in so sacred and so clear, and there is no
other public treasure which so reasonably demands to be
kept and cared for and distributed for common enjoy-
ment at common cost.
Free corn in old Rome bribed a mob and kept it pas-
sive. By free books and what goes with them in modern
America we mean to erase the mob from existence. There
lies the cardinal difference between a civilization which
perished and a civilization tliat will endure.
J. N. LARNED.
The library offers the advantages of good society to
many who could not otherwise enjoy them. This is one
of the most important influences that tells on individual
character. A man is not only known by the company he
MATERIAL l=OR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 23
keeps, but to a great extent he is made or unmade by
his associates. A great part of what we learn and much
of what we are is absorbed unconsciously from our en-
Now books are written — at least the good books — by
men and women of the better sort. They are people of
marked intelligence and refinement. They have just
views of truth and duty and are able to reveal to us
many secrets respecting the life that is being lived around
us. They are interpreters and guides in all lines of human
activity and service. To be intimate with them is good
society. If then we can bring all these choice spirits
by their books into our village and introduce them to our
children and our neighbors, even to the poorest, and let
them talk to all who will listen, we have done something,
we have done much to raise the tone of general intelli-
gence and refinement.
Here is tlic great opportunity to reach the homes of the
poor and the careless and even of the baser sort with new
light. The books will interest and meet the craving for
knowledge which everybody has, and then will come into
confidential relations with many a reader, starting new
trains of thought, suggesting new ideas, offering sympa-
thy and kindling faith. The friendless will gain friends
and these friends wdl do tlicm good.
In such ways, this institution, the public library, is cal-
culated to enlarge and enrich the community's life.
WILLIAM R. EASTMAN.
PLACE AND PURPOSE OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY
The place now assigned the public lilMary. by very gen-
eral con.scnt, is tiiat of an integral part of our system of
public and free education. On no other theory lias it sure
and lasting foundation; on no other theory may it be su])-
])orted by general taxation; on no other theory can it be
wisely and consistently administered. A public tax can
be levied for tli' maintenanc*' <>f a ])ublic library only
upon tlie principle wliich underlies all righteous public
21 MATERIAL FOR A rVBUC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
taxation, not tliat tlic taxpayer wants something and will
receive it in proportion to the amount of his contrihntion,
hut tliat the puhlic wants something of such general in-
terest and value tiiat all property-owners may be asked
and required to contribute towards its cost.
The demand for intelligent and eflfective citizenship is
increasing daily, for two reasons: First — The problems
of public life and of public service, of communal exist-
ence, are daily becoming more complex, inore difficult of
satisfactory solution. Second — We are recognizing more
clearly than ever before that our present success and pres-
tige are due to the fact that more tlian any other people
in the world's history have we succeeded in securing that
active participation and practical co-operation of the whole
people in all public affairs. In the whole people are we
finding and are we to find wholesomeness and strength.
But coincident witli this discovery, this keen realization
of the place and value of all in advancing the common in-
terests of all, has come the feeling: First — That the com-
mon public schools must be made good enough for all;
and. Second — That even at their best they are insufficient.
The five school years (average) of the American child
constitute a very narrow portal through which to enter
upon the privileges and duties of life, as we desire life
to be to every child born under the flag. There is need
of far more information, instruction, inspiration and up-
lift than can possibly be secured in that limited time.
Casting about for a satisfactory supplement and com-
plement for the public schools, we find the public library
ready to render exactly this service; to make it possible
for the adult to continue through life the growth begun
in childhood in the public school. Only in this way and
by this means can we hope to continue the common
.\merican people as the most uncommon people which the
world has yet known.
Henceforth, then, these two must go hand in hand,
neither trenching upon the field of the other, neither bur-
dening or hampering the other, each helping the other.
The public school must take the initiative, determini"ng
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 25
lines of thought and work, developing in each child the
power to act and the tendency to act. making full use of
the public library as an effective ally in all its current
work, and making such use of it as to create in each pu-
pil the library habit, to last through life. The public li-
brary must respond by every possible supplementary ef-
fort, by most intelligent co-operation, by most sympathetic
and effective assistance, and by giving pupils a wel-
come which they will feel holds good till waning physical
powers make further use of the library impossible.
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASS'N REPORT, 1906.
The most imperative duty of the state is the univer-
sal education of the masses. No money which can be
usefully spent for this indispensable end should be denied.
Public sentiment should, on the contrary, approve the
doctrine that the more that can be judiciously spent, the
better for the country. There is no insurance of nations
so cheap as the enlightenment of the people.
PUBLIC LIBRARY IS PUBLIC CO-OPERATION
A public library is the flower of the modern forms of
co-operation, which secures for the individual, luxuries
which he could not afford otherwise.
Instead of buying so many books and magazines which
wear out on the shelves after one reading, let us "pool our
issues" and put the multitude of small sums in one fund,
buy the best at the lowest prices, and then use the vol-
umes so bought for the good of all. We need spend no
more money each year for literature, but we need to save
the wastage due to unused books, foolish purcliases, book
agents, commissions, and needless profits — and we can
have a public library without otlicr cost.
A good public library in this town may help our neigh-
boring farmers as well as our townspeople. They cannot
support public libraries in their small communities. Their
small school libraries give the children a taste for read-
2ti MATERIAL I-OK A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
ing, but give tluin nutliing to gralif}- tliat taste when tliey
leave school. Let us join our forces for nuitual advantage
and get a better librar}- and a wider eonmiunit}' of inter-
WISCONSIN FREE LIBRARY COMMISSION.
USE OF LIBRARIES FOR REFERENCE
An ability to glean information quickly and accurately
from books and periodicals, to catch a fact when it is
needed and useful, is an indispensable factor in that self-
education which all citizens should add to the education
obtained in the schools. The schools cannot give a wide
range of knowledge, but they can give the desire for
knowledge, and tlie library can give the opportunity to
Nearly every branch tauglit in the schools may be liglit-
ened and made more interesting l)y supplementary infor-
mation gained from a good library. The pupil who is
studying the life of Washington should find many inter-
esting facts concerning him and his time and associates,
not given in any of the formal biographies. lie will find
an article on Washington in the "Young Folks' Cyclopedia
of Persons and Places," but if he knows how to use the in-
dex he can find fourteen other articles in the same vol-
ume in which Washington is mentioned. A large ency-
clopedia will give scores of facts wanted, under various
articles treating of important events in the latter colo-
nial and earlier national history of our country; in articles
on places, customs, epochs, battles, and soldiers and
statesmen who were Washington's contemporaries.
A teacher cannot train a large number of young people
to habits of thorough investigation in a brief time, but
she can easily train a few, one or two at a time, and they
will help to train others.
F. A. HUTCmXS.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 27
THE MODERN LIBRARY MOVEMENT
The modern library movement is a movement to in-
crease by every possible means the accessibility of books,
to stimulate their reading and to create a demand for the
best. Its motive is helpfulness; its scope, instruction and
recreation; its purpose, tlie enlightenment of all; its as-
pirations, still greater usefulness. It is a distinctive
movement, because it recognizes, as never before, the in-
finite possibilities of the public library, and because it has
done everything witliin its power to develop those possi-
Among the peculiar relations that a library sustains to
a community, which the movement has made clear and
greatly advanced, are its relations to the school and uni-
versity extension. The education of an individual is co-
incident with the life of that individual. It is carried on
by the influences and appliances of the family, vocation,
government, the church, the press, the school and the li-
brary. The library is unsectarian, and hence occupies a
field independent of tlie church. It furnishes a founda-
tion for an intelligent reading of paper and magazine. It
is the complement and supplement of the school, co-op-
erating with the teacher in the work of educating the
child, and furnisliing the means for continuing that edu-
cation after the cliild has gone out from the scliool. Tliose
are important relations. From the l)eginning the child
is taught the value of books. In the kindergarten period
he learns that they contain beautiful pictures: in the gram-
mar grades they do much to make history and geogra-
phy attractive: in the liigli school they are indispensable
as works of reference.
Were it not for the liljrary, liie education of tlie masses
would, in most cases, cease when the doors of the school
swung in after them for the last time: l)Ut it keeps those
doors wide open, and is, in the truest sense of the word.
the university of the people, 'ihe library is as much a
part of the educational system of a community as the
public school, and is coming more and more to be regard-
28 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
ed witli tlic same respect and supported in the same gen-
The public library of to-day is an active, potential force,
serving the present, and silently helping to develop the
civilization of the future. The spirit of the modern li-
brary movement whicli surrounds it is thoroughly pro-
gressive, and tlioroughly in sympathy with the people. It
believes that the true function of the library is to serve
the people, and that the only test of success is usefulness.
JOSEPH LEROY HARRISON.
THE PEOPLE'S UNIVERSITY
There is no institution so intimately, so universally, so
constantly connected with the life of the whole people
as tlie free public library — no instrumentality that can do
so much to civilize society. The public schools alone can-
not accomplish the task of elevating mankind to even the
most modest ideal of a well ordered society.
Our public schools have been the chief source of the
greater general intelligence and licnce the industrial su-
periority of our citizens over those of other countries. But
the public schools cannot accomplish impossibilities. They
are not to blame for the fact that they can reach the great
majority during only six or eight years, or that only one
and one half per cent of tlie children in the United States
go through the high school. But wherever there is a
public library, the teachers are to blame if they do not
graduate all their pupils, at whatever age they may leave
school, into the People's University.
General intelligence is the necessary foundation of pros-
perity and social order.
The public library is one of the chief agencies, if not the
most potent and far-reaching agency, for promoting gen-
Therefore, money devoted to the maintenance of a pub-
lic library is money well invested by a community.
F. M. CRUXDEN.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBR.IRY CAMPAIGN 29
PUBLIC LIBRARY, A PUBLIC NECESSITY
Any consideration of a public library project is compli-
mentary to a community, sbowing, as it does, a sense of
civic responsibility and a desire for future progress which
are commendable. No town can hope to live up to its
greatest possibilities without a public library, and none
with a sincere desire need be denied the blessings which
result from such an institution.
There are few communities which would not provide for
a public library, if its advantages were appreciated, for it
is a remedy for many ills and is all-embracing in its
scope. It vitalizes school work, and receiving the pupil
from the school, the library continues his education
throughout life. It is a home missionary, sending its
messengers, the books, into every shop and home. With
true missionary zeal, it not only sends help, but opens its
doors to every man, woman and child. In most towns,
there are scores of j^oung men and boys whose evenings
are spent in loafing about the streets, and to these the
library offers an attractive meeting place, where the time
may be spent with jolly, wise friends in the books. The
library substitutes better for poorer reading, and pro-
vides story hours for the children who are eager to hear
l)cfore they are able to read. It also increases the earn-
ing capacity of people, by supplying information and ad-
vice on the work they are doing.
Increased taxation is one of tlic greatest hindrances to
the opening of a public library, l)ut any institution which
cnriciies and uplifts tlie lives of the people, is tlie great-
est economy. Any attempt to conduct civic affairs with-
out a reasonable expenditure of money for such int1u-
rnces is the grossest extravagance. No economy results
from ignorance and vice, and the public library has long
since established its claim as one of the most potent reme-
dies for such conditions.
It is no exaggeration to state tliat every dollar expend-
ed for library purposes is returned to the community ten-
fold, \V)\. necessarily in dollars and cents, but in the more
■M) MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
permanent, more valuable assets of greater happiness,
eomfort and progress of the people. A city is llie express-
ion of every life within its borders, and every increase
in progress and efficiency in the individual citizen, is prog-
ress for the whole.
Tlie most valuable things usually are obtained at some
sacrilke, and the many advantages from a public library
are certainly worth paying for. Hundreds of small cities
and towns tax themselves for electric plants and count
themselves fortunate. Xo one seems to regret this taxa-
tion for electric liuhts which illuminate the citizen's way
at night. Should there not be an equal or greater readiness
on the part of a community to establish a library and so
illuminate the mental horizon of every citizen?
A public library is a necessity, not a luxury. Every
community which realizes this and establishes a library,
proclaims itself an intelligent, progressive town and one
worth living in. CH ALGIERS HADLEY.
The opening of a free public library is a most impor-
tant event in any town. Tliere is no way in which a com-
munity can more benefit itself than in the establishment
of a library which shall be free to all citizens.
PUBLIC LIBRARY, A PUBLIC OPPORTUNITY
Modern industrialism exacts from the artisan and the
worker in every branch, skill and knowledge not dreamed
of years ago. He who would not be trampled under foot
needs to keep pace with the onward sweep in his particu-
lar craft. The public library furnishes to the ambitious
artisan the opportunity to rise. Upon its shelves he may
find the latest and the best in invention and in method
and in knowledge. Never in the history of the country
has there been such a desire manifested among the adult
population for continued education as may be noted to-
day. Does it not speak eloquently of ambition to rise
above circumstances — that same spirit that we have ad-
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 31
mired in our Franklins and our Lincolns and the long
roll of self-made men whose lives we are proud to recall?
And so library extension takes note of adult education,
and combining its forces with university extension, realizes
that broader movement variously termed home education,
popular education and the people's college.
The library gives heed to the future, and thus does not
neglect tla- child. The intelligent work of the children's
librarian, supplementing the related work of the teacher,
aims to develop the individual talent or dormant resource
which finds no chance for expression where children are
necessarily treated as masses. And we may never know
what society has lost by failure to quicken into life this
dormant talent for invention, for art, for literature, for
philosophy. "The loss to society of the unearned incre-
ment is trivial compared to the loss of the undiscovered
resource." Had retarding influences affected half a dozen
men whom we could readily name — Morse, Fulton, Steph-
enson, Edison, Bell, Marconi — we might to-day be without
the locomotive, the steamship, the telegraph, the tele-
phone — the myriad marvels of electricity that to-day seem
commonplaces. What we have actually lost during this
great century of scientific development we can never know.
Xor must we forget that invention is the result of cumu-
lated knowledge which the fertile brain of man utilizes in
new directions, and that the preservation of the knowl-
edge and experience of the centuries is the province of
the public library, where all alike may have access to its
riches. The ideal democracy is the democracy of knowl-
edge and of learning.
The library endeavors, by applying the traveling library
I)rinciple to collections of pictures, by means of the illus-
trated lecture and otherwise, to cultivate among tiie peo-
ple an appreciation of the beautiful and artistic tiiat shall
ultimately find expression in the home and its surround-
The library believes, too, tliat recreative reading is a
legitimate function. We hold, with William Morton
Payne, that a sparkling and sprightly story, which may
32 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
be read in an hour and wliich will leave the reader with a
good conscience and a sense of cheerfulness, has its
merits. In this work-a-day world of ours we need a bit
of cheer for the hours which ought to be restful as well
as resting liours. Lil)rary extension is imbued with op-
timism; its broadening field is educational, sociological,
recreative. Unblindcd to the evils of the day, its promot-
ers realize inability to amend them except by educational
processes affecting all tlio people. They do not preach
the gospel of discontent, but seek realization of condi-
tions which shall bring about contentment and happiness.
That, after all, for tiie welfare of the people, wants need
be but few and easily supplied. He who has food, rai-
ment and slielter in reasonable degree, access to the in-
tellectual wealth of the world in public libraries, to the
riches created by the master painters and sculptors, found
in public galleries and museums, to the untrammeled use
of public parks and drives, and the many other universal
advantages which are now so increasingly many, need not
envy the richest men on cartli. Many a millionaire is
poorer than the most humble of his employees, for ex-
cessive wealth brings its own train of evils to torment its
possessor. Commercial success is a legitimate endeavor
among men, and thrift is to be commended, but when
these degenerate into greed, pity and not envy should be
the meed of the man seized with the money disease.
HEXRY E. LEGLER.
THE LIBRARY AND THE WORKERS
My opinion of the public lilirary from a workingman's
standpoint is, that it is the greatest boon that could pos-
sibly be conferred upon him. It places him at once upon
the level with the millionaire, the student and the philoso-
pher. It opens for him (whose poverty would otherwise
debar him) the vast fields of literature. Here he may wan-
der at will with the master minds of humanity, hand in
hand with the great thinkers of the ages, open his mind
and heart to the lessons taught by those great leaders of
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 33
men who have conquered nations and shaped the desti-
nies of the human race. Here he may associate with the
greatest, the wisest and the best. There is no limit to the
possibilities of possessing knowledge which is power, with-
out money and without price. The public library should
be managed in the best interests of the workingman, and
the books should be purchased mainly with his welfare in
view. The capitalist can buy and own his own books. The
workingman cannot do this. Tlie children of the work-
ingman must get from the pu1)lic library the general
books of reference which the business man has in his
home. The children of the workingman must have these
books in order properly to do their school work and thor-
oughly understand it. Their teachers require this. The
children of the workingman have their schools as well as
the library. Their work in tlie schools and the work in
the library go hand in hand, but the workingman himself
has onl)^ the library for his school and must, of necessitj%
go there. His schoolroom is the reference room, for tlie
knowledge he gains in that department lie can at once
put into practical use in any capacity in which he may be
The question arises, having presented those opportuni-
ties to the workingman, will lie take advantage of tluni?
I answer, he surely will. It is now more than twenty
years since I joined a labor organization, tlie "Stone-cut-
ters' Union" of Minneapolis. Since that time I Iiavc al-
waj's been affiliated with organized workingmcn. Dur-
ing all these years the workingman lias taken advantage
of every opportunity to better tlie condition of liimsclf,
his fellow workman and his employer. He has learned
to be more patient, more conservative and more trust-
worthy. His hours of labor have been shortened, his
wages are liighcr, and labor-saving machinery l).is made
his work lightir. lie lives in a better luniic, his family
is better provided for and, best of all. his children are bet-
ter educated. What has wrought those great changes in
the conditions of the workingman? What lias enabh d liini
to keep up with the swift march uf progress during tliese
34 MATERIAL FOR A J'lBIJC L/HKAKV CAMPAIGN
many years? 1 will ;in.s\vi.r in one word, Education. Just
such inslitution.s as the puljlic library have made this pos-
sible, and the public library has given the largest share.
JOHN P. BUCKLEY.
A WORLD WITHOUT BOOKS
What if there were no letters and no books? Think
what your state would be in a situation like that! Think
what it would be to know nothing, for example, of the
way in wliich American independence iiad been won, and
the fedora! repul)lic of tlic United States constructed;
nothing of IJunkcr Hill; nothing of George Washington;
except the little, half true and half mistaken, that your
fathers could remember, of what their fathers had repeat-
ed, of wliat tlieir fathers had told to tiiem. Tliink what
it would be to have nothing but shadowy traditions of
the voyage of Columbus, of the coming of the Mayliower
pilgrims, and of all the planting of life in the New World
from Old World stocks, like Greek legends of the Argo-
nauts and of the Heraclidae! Think what it would be to
know no more of the origins of the English people, their
rise and their growtli in greatness, than the Romans knew
of their Latin beginnings; and to know no more of Rome
herself than we might guess from the ruins she has left!
Think what it would be to have the whole story of Athens
and Greece dropped out of our knowledge, and to i)e una-
ware that Marathon was ever fought, or that one like Soc-
rates had ever lived! Think what it would be to have no
line from Homer, no thought from Plato, no message from
Isaiah, no Sermon on the Mount, nor any parable from the
lips of Jesus!
Can you imagine a world intellectually famine-smitten
like that — a bookless world — and not shrink with horror
from the thought of being condemned to it?
Yet the men and women who take nothing from letters
and books are choosing to live as thougli mankind did
actually wallow in the awful darkness of tliat state from
which writing and books have rescued us. For them, it
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 35
is as if no ship had ever come from the far shores of old
Time where their ancestry dwelt; and the interest of ex-
istence to them is huddled in the pett}- space of their own
few years, between walls of mist which thicken as impen-
etrabl}' behind them as before. How can life be worth
living on such terms as that? How can man or woman
be content with so little, when so much is ofifcred?
J. N. LARNED.
The bookless homes of the well-to-do people are famil-
iar to all. Inside those walls no books are to be found
but a few gift books, chosen for their bindings rather
than their contents, and perhaps others which some agent
has pressed upon them. What can be done to stimulate
reading in these homes? Ten-cent magazines and ciicap
stories are devoured by mother and daughters to the de-
struction of sane thoughts and connected ideas. The man
of the house each day reads his newspaper, containing ac-
counts of crimes, accidents and the funny paper. Happily,
it also contains articles of travel, invention and discovery,
otherwise his brain would be weakened.
Young people come from iliesc ])Ookless homes to col-
lege each year, showing great confusion of ideas, vacuity
of mind and utter lack of information. They need us,
need libraries, need the force of the state to help them.
Ninety-four per cent of our young people never get into
college. Xincty per cent, it is said, never go to school
after they have passed the age of fourteen years.
The contribution of tlu- library is to elevate the stand-
ard of the town. Books depicting noble, earnest, well-
meaning lives will cause the social standard to jirogress,
and otlier standards with it.
ORKGON lJi',R.\RV COM .M LS.SIQN.
36 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
NEED OF FREE LIBRARIES
A library is an essential part of a broad system of edu-
cation, and a community sliould tliink it as discreditable
to be witiiout a well-conducted free public library as to
be without a good school, if it is the duty of the state
to give each future citizen an opportunity to learn to
road, it is equally its dutj' to give eacli citizen an op-
portunity to use that power wisely for himself and the
state. Wholesome literature can be furnished to all the
readers in a community at a fraction of the cost neces-
sarj' to teach them to read, and the power to read may
then become a means to a life-long education.
The books tliat a boy reads for pleasure do more to
determine his ideals and shape his character than the
text-books he studies in the schools. Bad and indifferent
literature is now so common that the boys will have some
sort of reading. If they have a good public library they
will read wholesome books and learn to admire Washing-
ton, Lincoln and other great men. Without a library
many of them will gloat over the exploits of depraved
men and women, and their earliest ambitions will be
Each town needs a library to furnish more practice in
reading for the little folks in school; it needs it to give
the boys and girls who have learned to read a taste for
wholesome literature that informs and inspires; it needs
it as a center for an intellectual and spiritual activity that
shall leaven the whole community and make healthful
and inspiring themes the burden of the common thought
— substituting, by natural methods, clean conversation and
literature for petty gossip, scandal and oral anrl printed
teachings in vice. F. A. HUTCIIIXS.
THE LIBRARY AND BOYS
"In Madison, N. J., a bird club of boys met twice a
week, once for study and once for an expedition, and
found the library's resources on this topic to be of inter-
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 37
est and value. How to utilize profitably the activities of
a 'gang' of boys is wortli much planning. One librarian
is reported to have started a chair-caning class to inter-
est restless boys; another had a museum of flowers and in-
sects, another conducted a branch of the flower mission.
Not less interesting, and perhaps more instructive, is a
series of talks on Indian legends accompanied by hunt-
ing expeditions for the half-buried implements and relics
found in almost every meadow in some parts of the coun-
try. Boys are eager to learn about natural history and
natural science, and thej' will be encouraged at the pub-
lic library." IRENE VAN KLEECK.
Get good books; give them a home attractive to readers
of good books; name a friend of good books as mistress
of this home — and you have a library; all share in its
support and all get pleasure and profit from it if they
will; without divisions religious, politic or social, it unites
all in the pursuit of high pleasure and sound learning, and
gives that common interest in a common concern which
is the basis of all local pride.
If you have rightly read a book, that book is yours.
You cannot always choose your companions; you can
always choose your books. You can, if you will, spend
a few minutes every day with the best and wisest men
and women the world has ever known.
The i)coplc you have known, the things you have said
and done, and the books you have read, all these arc now
a part of you.
You like yourself better when you arc with people who
are well-l)red and clever; you respect yourself more wlien
you are reading a briglit and wholesome book, for you
arc tlien in llic company of the wise. J. C. DANA.
After tlie cluircli and llie school, the free pui)lic library
is tl'.e most effective inlluencc for good in America. I "he
moral, mental and material benefits to be derived from a
38 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
carefully selected collection of good books, free for the
use of all the people, cannot be overestimated. No com-
munity can afford to be without a library.
SHALL WE BE LOYAL TO THE CITY OF OUR
The opportunity is at luuid to answer this question. A
generous gift is offered, shall we accept it? We can have
dollars for a public use, if we will promise to
support the use to which this money is dedicated- Shall
have a free public library? It is up to us, her
We have passed the stage of a country town and are
ranked and cataloged as a modern, progressive city, en-
joying many of the advantages of the larger cities. Why
is this true? Because tlie progressive spirit and sentiment
have always triumphed in her onward march. Because,
inspired by a public spirit, her people have*joined hands,
and shoulder to shoulder labored for all that pertains to
religious, moral, social, industrial, educational and mate-
rial development. Let us keep marching on.
Many towns in the state, nearly all those in the counties
surrounding us, are accepting Carnegie gifts for libraries.
\\ ill it not humiliate and degrade us in the eyes of the
jieople of the state if we decree against a public library?
Let us not detract from our well deserved and established
reputation for progressiveness by such a mistake. We ap-
l)eal to public spirit; to pride of city; to pride of home,
and urge you to register your vote in favor of this enter-
prise. IOWA LIBRARY COMMISSION.
The system of free public libraries now being estab-
li^iied in this country is the most important development
of modern times. The library is a center from which
radiates an ever widening influence for the enlightenment,
the uplift, the advancement of the community.
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 39
THE SCHOOL'S GREATEST BOON
The greatest boon that the system of public schools, or
the college, or the university, can confer upon any boy or
girl is to teach him or her to use a great collection of lit-
erature, to teach them how to read; and to plant within
their hearts an irresistible impulse and an indestructible
delight in so doing. What profits it a man to learn how
to read if he does not read? For what purpose is the
mind trained and developed by the process of systematic
study in the schools if it is not inspired to go farther into
the realms of knowledge? Is it a rational procedure for
one, upon the completion of his course of training, to
discontinue all further investigation and to lay aside what
little love for learning and literature and philosophy and
science that may have 1)ecn aroused in his bosom by
school or college inspirations? And how is this advan-
cing and widening of one's horizon by means of the accu-
mulated stores of knowledge gathered by the previous
generations of the world's strong thinkers and beautiful
writers to be secured, other than by a collection of good
books, by a library? C. C. THACH.
BOOKS AND STUDY WORK
Have our missionary societies access to Bliss's "En-
cyclopedia of Missions." or to Dennis's great "Missions
and Christian Progress"? Do our Bible students know
Moulton's "Literary Study of the Bil)le"? — a book so il-
luminating as to seem almost itself inspired. How many
of the members of the young people's societies of our
churches have access to a standard concordance, Bible
dictionary, or a dictionary of sects and doctrines? Has tlic
W. C. T. U. the reports of the Committee of Fifty, that
great committee of master minds, wlio made exhaustive
investigation and authoritative reports on the various as-
pects of the liquor question? Have the Masons a history
of free-masonry? Has tlie Shakespeare Club books on
Shakespeare, and is the Political Ecjuality Club actjuainted
U) MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
with standard works on political science and the fran-
chise? Who has a good "Cyclopedia of Quotations," or
a "Reader's Handbook," where we can satisfy our curi-
osity regarding allusions to "Fair Rosamond," "Apples of
Hesperia," "Atlantis" and "Captain Cuttle"?
If we were to see a farmer laboriously cutting his wheat
witli a scythe, tying it into bundles by hand, and then
carrying the bundles on his back to the barn, we would
think lie was crazy. Is it not as foolish, however, for us
in our study work to do without the suitable tools and
helps which we might have in a public library?
IIOLLEY (X. Y.) STANDARD.
WHY CITIES SUPPORT PUBLIC LIBRARIES
The proposition that only an enlightened and an intelli-
gent people can make self-government a success is so self-
evident as to make argument but a vain repetition of
empty words. And yet we know tliat the public school
side of our system of free public education is as yet only
able to secure five years' schooling for the average child
in tliis country — an all too narrow portal through which
to enter upon successful citizenship. There is an impera-
tive demand, then, for the establishment and the develop-
ment and for the wise administration of that otlu-r brancli
of our system of free public education which we know as
the public library.
We must understand clearly that the l)eneficent result
of this system of education is just as possible to the son
of the peasant as to the son of the president, is just as
helpful to the blacksmith as to the barrister, to the farmer
as to the philosopher: and in its possibilities and in its
helpfulness is a constant blessing to all and througii all,
and is needed by all alike.
The most worthy mind, that which is of most value to
the world, is the well-informed mind wliich is i)uMic and
large. Only through the development of such, both as
leaders and as followers, can all classes be brought into
an understanding of each other, can we preserve true re-
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 41
publican equality, can we avoid that insulation and seclu-
sion which are unwholesome and unworthy of true Ameri-
can manhood. The state has no resources at all compar-
able with its citizens. A man is worth to himself just
what he is capable of enjoying, and he is worth to the
state just what he is capable of imparting. These form an
exact and true measure of every man. The greatest pos-
itive strength and value, therefore, must alwaj's be asso-
ciated with the greatest positive and practical develop-
ment of every faculty and power.
This, then, is the true basis of taxation for public li-
braries. Such a tax is subject to all the canons of usual
taxation, and may be defended and must be defended upon
precisel}' the same grounds as we defend the tax for the
public schools. JAMES HULME CANFIELD.
WHY MR. CARNEGIE ESTABLISHES LIBRARIES
I choose free libraries as the best agencies for improv-
ing the masses of the people, because they give nothing
for nothing. They only help those who help themselves.
They never pauperize. They reach the aspiring, and open
to these the chief treasures of the world — those stored up
in books. A taste for reading drives out lower tastes.
Besides this, I believe good fiction one of the most
beneficial reliefs to the monotonous lives of the poor. For
these and other reasons I prefer the free public library
to most if not any other agencies for the happiness and
improvement of a community.
Libraries are established that they may gather together
the best of the fruits of the tree of human speech, spread
them before men in all liberality and invite all to enjoy
them. The schools arc in part established that they may
tell the young how to enjoy this feast. They do tliis.
They teach the young to read. They imt tluin in tourji
42 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
with wonls and phrases; they point out to them the de-
lectahlo mountains of liuman tliouglit and action, and
then let them go. It is to be himented that they go so
soon. At twelve, at thirteen, at fourteen at the most,
these young men and women, wliose lives could be so
broadened, sweetened, mellowed, humanized by a few
%-ears" daily contact with the wisest, noblest, wittiest of
our kind as their own words portray them — at this early
age, when reading has iiardly begun, they leave school,
and tliey leave almost all of the best reading at the same
time. If, now, you can bring these young citizens into
sympatlij' with the books the libraries would persuade
them to read: if you can impress upon them the reading
habit; then the libraries can supplement your good work;
will rejoice in empty shelves; will feel tliat they are not
in vain; and the coming generations will delight, one
and all, in that which good books can give; will speak
more plainly; will think more clearly; will be less often
led astray by false prophets of every kind; will see that
all men are of the one country of humanity; and will — to
sum it all — be better citizens of a good state.
I believe you will find there is something yet to do in
reading in which the library can be of help. Reading
comes by practice. The practice which a pupil gets dur-
ing school hours does not make him a quick and .skilful
reader. There is not enough of it. If you encourage the
reading habit, and lead that habit, as you easily can, along
good lines, your pupils will gain much, simply in knowl-
edge of words, in ability to get the meaning out of print,
even though we say nothing of the help their reading will
give them in other ways. J. C. DANA.
RIGHT USE OF BOOKS
When we consider how much tlic education that is con-
tinued after schooltime depends upon tlic right use of
Ijooks, we can hardlj' be too emphatic in asserting that
something of that use should be learned in the school.
Yet almost nothing of the sort really is learned. The
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGX 43
average student in high school does not know the dif-
ference between a table of contents and an index, does
not know what a concordance is, does not know how to
find what he wants in an encyclopedia, does not even
know that a dictionary has many other uses besides that
of supplying definitions. Still more pitiful is his naive
assumption that a book is a book, and that what book
it is does not particularly matter. It is tlie commonest
of all experiences to hear a student say that he has got a
given statement from a book, and to find him quite in-
capable of naming the book. That the source of informa-
tion, as long as that information is printed somewhere,
should be of any consequence, is quite surprising to him,
and still more the suggestion that it is also his dutj' to
have some sort of an opinion concerning the value and
credibility of the authority lie thus blindly quotes. If the
school library, and the instruction given in connection with
it, should do no more than impress these two elementary
principles upon the minds of the whole student body, it
would go far towards accounting for itself as an educa-
tional means. That it may, and should, do much more
than this is the proposition that we have sought to main-
tain, and wc do not see how its essential reasonableness
may be gainsaid. DIAL, Feb. i, 1906.
THE TRUE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY
The library supplies information for mcclianics and
workingmen of every class. Just as the system of ap-
prenticeship declines and employers require trained help-
ers, must tlie usefulness of tlic library increase.
Library work offers great opportunity for philanthropy,
and philantliropy of the higlur form, because its work
is preventive, rather than positive. It anticipates evil
by substituting tlie antidote l)eforehand. It fosters the
love of what is good and uplifting before low tastes have
become a chronic propensity. Pleasure in sucli books as
the library would furnish to young readers will interest
the mind and occupy tlie thoughts exclusive of those evil
44 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
practices invited by the open door of idleness. Tlic chil-
dren generally conie of their own free will; they are in-
fluenced silently, unconsciously to themselves; they feel
themselves welcome, loved, respected. Self-respect, the
mighty power to lift and keep erect, is fostered and de-
The work of the library is for civic education and the
making of good citizens, a form of patriotism made im-
perative for the millions of foreigners coming yearly to
The public library offers common ground to all. There
are no social lines to bar the entrance; the doors open at
every touch, if only the simple etiquette of quiet, earnest
bearing is observed. No creeds arc to be subscribed to,
the rich and poor meet together in absolute indepen-
dence. Even the aristocracy of intellect does not count in
the people's university. Tlic ideal public library realizes
the true spirit of democracy.
WALLER IRENE BULLOCK.
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY AS THE CENTER OF THE
In more than one locality the local ])ul)lic library has
come to be recognized as the natural local center of the
community, around which revolve the local studies, the
local industries, and all the various local interests of
the town or village. Here, for instance, is the home of
the local historical society; here also is the home of the
local camera club; of the natural history society; of the
study club and debating societies. Why is this? It is
because those in charge of the library have so thoroughly
realized the fact that in a community the interests of all
are the interests of each, and that while this is true of
other institutions as related to each other, yet there is
no one of them on Avhich the lines of interest so invari-
ablj" converge from all the others — as "all roads lead to
Rome." W. E. FOSTER.
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMFAIUN 4.5
The very presence of a public library has a meaning
and exerts a power for good. Especially is this the case
when this presence is made evident by a separate and
worthy building. The building which stands for books, for
knowledge, for the records of human experience; a house
not just like other houses but with marks of perma-
nence, dignity and grace, and evidently so contrived as to
call the people in and to distribute freely to them these
wise and entertaining books, must be a positive influence
The children know- it for what it is. Old and young,
rich and poor, recognize its meaning. It embodies the great
idea of a man learning and growing by his association with
the wisdom and experience of other men. It is the great
clearing house of human intelligence where knowledge
is mutually exchanged and every one can learn what the
rest know. It tells the lowest and meanest and most ig-
norant that here is the opportunity open to everybody to
know, and therefore that books are a common concern of
the village, by which it sets great store.
If, on the other hand, the public library is neglected,
or starved with excessive thrift, or if it is crowded into
a corner, opened at rare intervals and approached with
difficulty, all this influence is lost.
The increase of reading tends to a general broadening
of life. Human nature is selfish so long as tlie man is
isolated, for he is controlled by his impulses and passions,
and guided by his own narrow ideas.
Our views of life are moulded by reading. The rec-
ords are here, describing lands and people we have never
seen, centuries in which we have not lived, men who passed
oflf the stage in past ages. The discoveries of science,
tlic developments of workmanship, the growth of civili-
zation; thought, wit, fancy, feeling, which has appealed to
the world, and that study, the study of man, is illustrated
in in finitely diverse forms of story and song; all these are
in books and they give us the advantage of wide hori-
10 MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
zons and enlarged acquaintance with life. A community
leavened with such intUiences, where people generally un-
derstand, where all grow up from their youth to know,
to think, to communicate and to have common acquaint-
ance with the past and the distance and with the secrets
of nature, and all the many ways of doing tilings, is a
stronger, happier and more prosperous community be-
cause of that very fact, and the books are plainly a means
to so desirable an end. W. R. EASTMAN.
HOW A LIBRARY HELPED THE BOYS
As the children have grown up since our library was
established, it is wonderful how their demands for books
have widened. A boy in his casual reading finds some
particular liranch of study, in science, mechanics, art or
politics, wliich arouses a sleeping instinct. Straightway
he forsakes his stories and his plays and goes to the li-
brary to satisfy his new desires. Year by year the de-
mand upon the library has broadened and books have
been added treating of electricity, the X-ray, wireless
telegraphy, mending bicycles, telephones, bee-keeping,
care of pet animals, political, social and economic ques-
tions, and still the books do not meet all demands. New
subjects arc called for and new books must be bought.
BEAVER DAM ARGUS.
Side by side in tlie wilderness, our forefathers planted
the church and the school; and on these two supports
the nation has stood firm and grown great. But a tripod
is necessary for stable equilibrium. As the country has
grown, its industrial, economic and political problems
have grown more numerous and more complex, and tlic
nation required a broader base of intelligence and moral-
ity for its security and perpetuity. The third support for
a wider and higher national life has been found in tlie
public library, which co-operating with the school, doubles
the value of the education the child receives in school and
further incites and furnishes him with facilities for doing
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGX 47
so. It also enables the adult to make up for the oppor-
tunities he neglected or, more often, did not have in
early life. It does this, too, at an expense to the com-
munity of not more than one tenth of the cost per capita
of school education. F. M. CRUXDEN.
THE LIBRARY SUPPORT
This is the fundamental matter after all — money.
Whence shall the funds come? The church plan, the clul)
plan — all are dependent on the spasmodic and irregular
support that results from the labors of a soliciting com-
mittee using persuasive arguments with business men and
others. There are certain expenses that are absolutely
essential — books first and most, a room for which, prob-
ably, rent must be paid (though some generous citizen
may give the use of it), periodicals to be subscribed for,
heat, light, table, chairs, etc., besides the most important
feature of the w^hole scheme — the librarian.
The wisest form of organization is the tax-supported
free public library. Is it desirable that the small town
shall in its beginning in library matters attempt at once
to secure a municipal tax to found and maintain a free
public library under the state law? There are those who
believe this is the onlj' way to make a beginning. Even-
tually, if not in the beginning, the free public library on
a rate or tax-supported basis is the most desirable form
of library organization. ALICE S. TYLER.
WHY THE FREE LIBRARY SHOULD BE
SUPPORTED BY TAXATION
1 Such a tax puts the library on tlic right basis as a
public institution. The purpose of the library is the same
as that of the school — public education, the enlargement
and enrichment of the intellectual life of the community —
and it should, therefore, be supported on tlie same grounds
and by the same methods as the school.
2 Tiie library supported Ijy local taxation ceases to
4S MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN
be a cliarity, contrilnucd by the lew to the many, and be-
comes tlie right aiul property of all. When 1 use a li-
brary supported by private gifts, I am accepting a favor;
wlion 1 use a library supported by public tax, I am using
what is mine by right. The tax tlius promotes a feeling
of independence and self-respect in the library's patrons.
3 Taxation is the easiest and fairest way to raise the
needed money. Five hundred dollars raised by entertain-
ments, subscriptions, sales, etc., means a great burden of
labor, care and expense to a few, and usually to net that
sum a very much larger sum must be expended, while
$500 spread on the tax rolls would hardly be felt even by
the largest taxpayer.
4 It adds dignity to the library and increases the re-
spect in whicli it is held. To be made each year an object
of charity for which private subscriptions are solicited
and rummage sales licld tends to bring it into contempt
and greatly lowers its influence in the community.
5 A stated tax, yielding a known and fixed income, en-
ables the trustees to pursue a consistent and stable plan
for library development, such as is impossible where the
income is dependent on fluctuating impulse or efifort.
6 There is no village tax levied from which the people
can get so large a return for so little money. A $500 tax
in a village of 3,000 people is e(iuivalent to about 16 cents
for each resident. For tliis insignificant sum each person
in the village is ofifered a pleasant reading room, as
good as that supplied by many a club, a dozen or more
of the best periodicals, a collection of books such as only
a very few of the more wealthy can possess as individuals,
and about $200 worth of new books to read every year.
NEW YORK LIBRARIES.
SOME ADVANTAGES OF MUNICIPAL CONTROL
First — A free public library under municipal control has
a regular, known income, wliicli increases witli tlie growth
of the municipality.
Second — It is not dependent >olcly upon .■subscriptions,
MATERIAL FOR A PUBLIC LIBRARY CAMPAIGN 49
contributions and the proceeds of entertainments arranged
for its benefit.
Third — With an income that is certain, the trustees are
able to make plans for the future, and more economically
adn\inister the affairs of the library.
Fourth — A municipally-controlled library is owned by
the people, and experience has demonstrated that they
take a much greater interest in an institution belonging
Fifth — Public libraries supplement the work of the pub-
lic schools. "Reading maketh a full man," wrote Lord
Bacon; and Thomas Carlyle thus expressed the same
idea: "Tlie true university of these daj's is a collection
of books." Libraries, like the schools, should be sup-
ported by the people.
Sixth — The library is not a charity; neitlicr should it
be regarded as a luxury, but rather as a necessity, and be
maintained in the same manner that the schools, parks,
fire departments and public roads are maintained — through
the tax levy.
Seventh — Where all contribute the burden is not felt;
each aiding according to liis ability.
Eighth — Permanency is acquired for the library, and
many valuable governmental, state and other publications
may be obtained without cost, a privilege that is often
denied to subscription libraries.
Ninth — The trustees and lilirarian arc not hampered in
their work by inability to collect subscriptions or the fail-
ure of an entertainment to return a profit.
Tenth — There is a more efficient and closer co-operation
uith tlie public school> and other municipal institutions
Flevcnth — Public ownership secures more democratic
ser\ice and I)roadness in administration.
i"inally— All are interested in a Free Public Library, and
in an emergency there will l)c a more generous response
to an appeal for financial a•^sistancc■.
NEW JERSEY PUBLIC LIBRARY COMMISSION.
ForelfEn Book Lists
List of selected German books. 50c.
List of Hungarian books. 15c.
List of French books. 25c.
List of French fiction. 5c.
List of Norwegian and Danish books. 25c.
Library Tracts (5c. each)
2 How to start a public library, by Dr. G. E. Wire.
3 Traveling libraries, by F. A. Hutchins.
\ Library rooms and buildings, by C. C. Soule.
5 Notes from the art section of a library, by C. A.
8 A village library, by Mary Anna Tarbell.
9 Training for librarianship.
10 Why do we need a public library? Material for
a library campaign, by Chalmers Hadley.
Library Handbooks (15c each)
1 Essentials in library administration, by L. E.
2 Cataloging for small libraries, by Theresa
3 Management of traveling libraries, by Edna D.
1 Aids in book selection, by Alice B. Kroeger.
5 Binding for small libraries.
() Mending and repair of books, by Margaret W.
I Catalog cards for current periodical publications.
-for various sets of periodicals and for books of
3 —for current books in English and American
history, with annotations.
I —for current bibliographical publications.
"> —for photo-reproductions of modern language
texts before 1600 in American college libraries.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below.
Form L'J-3Um-ll, '50(2554)444
GAYLORO BAOS. U<
Syrtcut*, N. Y.
UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY