1902 Encyclopedia > Libraries > Library Management

(Part 14)


Library Buildings – The conditions of no two libraries being precisely alike, it is impossible to lay down rules to suit all, but certain principles of general application may be stated. In the first place the internal arrangements ought to be devised by a person thoroughly acquainted with the practical working of such a library as the building is intended to accommodate. The reading-rooms, book-rooms, work-rooms, and offices should be made to fall into the most convenient relations one to the other. And as libraries grow with wonderful rapidity the plan ought to admit of easy Development. The site should be dry and airy, and permit isolation of the fabric, which should be constructed of fire-proof materials, iron being preferable to stone, and brick to either, every floor should be laid upon rolled iron beams, supported by lattice girders, the space between the beams being fitted in with porous terra cotta, and the beams covered with concrete. To protect them against fire, girders and pillars must be covered with terra cotta. Iron doors (or, better still, stout wooden door plated with thin iron) should separate the different rooms. The safety and convenient disposal of the books must never be sacrificed to outside show. The old form of library, the museum-like room with alcoves and a large block of vacant space in the center, or the series of apartments with books on the walls only, is no longer in favor. The reading-room, commodious, well lighted, and supplied with works of reference, should be away from the main collection, and the lending department should be kept apart from the reference library. It is convenient to have separate rooms for ladies and for readers to whom special facilities may be granted; and let ample provision be made for work-rooms, librarians’ offices, cataloguing rooms, and a bindery if necessary. The chief portion of the books (at any rate those in most demand) should be on the ground floor, and more than two stories are to be avoided. Plenty of light and good ventilation are two conditions of great importance. The basement should be vaulted. As the store-room, or that in which the main collection is deposited, is one to which readers have seldom the right of access, the greatest economy as to shelvage and passage way may be effected. Bookcases may be placed against the walls, but not too close to them, and double presses, about 3 feet apart, arranged across the floor. To prevent the objectionable use of high ladders, no shelf should stand more than 8 feet above the ground. If the room be sufficiently lofty it may contain one or more perforated iron floors, sustained by the upright portion of the presses, also of iron. Spiral staircases are to be avoided. Lifts may be introduced with advantage. In many college libraries in America (e.g. at Princeton) the circular form, with cases radiating from the center, has been adopted successfully. The specious rotundas of the British Museum and that of the Liverpool Free Public Library are good examples of the circular reading-room.

Mr Justin Winsor has devised an excellent plan for a library of one million volumes capacity (see "Library Buildings," in Report on Public Libraries of U.S., p. 465), and the same system might be applied to one much less extensive. Another distinguished American librarian, Mr. W.F. Poole of Chicago, has made some novel suggestions on library architecture which have met with considerable approval. He objects to the waste of space in the central portions of most large library rooms, to be difficulty of ventilating and heating them, to shelving books in galleries on the walls, to the destruction of bindings from gas and heat ("books cannot live where man cannot live") to the excessive labour of procuring books from long distances, the insucerity from fire, the inconvenience of keeping many volumes (other than those of reference) in the public reading-room, and the unnecessary cost of the present system. To remedy these defects a plot of land is required 200 feet square, and surrounded, with open spaces. At the middle of the principal side may be placed the main building, 60 feet front and 75 feet deep, devoted to administrative and working purposes. The books will be stored, not in one central repository, but in a series of rooms thrown out in wings from the central edifice, and extending round the four sides of the quadrangle with a vacant space in the middle. Each room is 50 feet wide, 15 feet high, and as long as convenient. Ten of these rooms will occupy the ground floor, so that, carrying the same construction four stories high, there will be forty different rooms in the whole structure. Each will be devoted to one large, or two or more small, classes of books. Alcoves and galleries are not to be permitted, but the books will be shelved on the walls or on double presses within reach. Every room will receive light on two sides, will be furnished with tables and chairs for readers, and provided with an attendant; no general reading-room will therefore be wanted. As a protection against fire, each room will be cut off by means of brick-fire-walls extending to the roof, and access from one room to the other will be by a light iron corridor on the inside of the quadrangle. At the rear of the central building will be a lift for readers, and there will be staircases as well. In this way, on one story there will be about 25,250 square feet in the different wings, which, after deducting sufficient space for readers’ tables, &c. will give about 20,200 square feet for books. As each square foot will shelve 25 volumes , each story will hold 505,000 volumes, or on the four stories 2,020,000 volumes. One of the front rooms (to hold 67,500 volumes) might serve as a circulating library. Mr Poole estimates the cost of such a building in America at $530,000 or complete with shelving and furniture $640,000 (See Library Jounral, vi. 69 sq.). In the same volume, p. 77 sq. is a description of the proposed plant for a new national library building at Washington. In this scheme the architect has in view the centralization towards a circular reading-room good light, the possible expansion of the library for one hundred years, accessibility to all parts, economical administration, and division into different fire-proof compartments.

Of the various systems for heating libraries open fire-places have the best appearances, are very safe, and best convey heat; close stoves are the cheapest at first hand. Perhaps steam heating is the safest and most economical for large buildings. Unprotected gas jets are very injurious to the books. If gas be used at all, the sun-light system or the Benham light is the best means of conveying away the fumes and heated air. the electric light is used with great success at Liverpool and in the British Museum.

Bookcases and Shelves, Furnitures, and Appliances – For presses and shelves, should would be preferred, English oak or the cheaper deal(well seasoned) is the best material; or the presses may be made of iron and the shelves of slate or galvanized iron. At the British Museum the presses are all on one scale and all of the same model,- the standards being of galvanized iron, with holes for brass pins, which are so shaped that the space is altered by merely turning them half-way round. The shelves are also of galvanized iron, covered with leather, on wooden frames; movable pads covered with leather protect the books at either end from being rubbed, and there are leather falls to keep the dust out. In the Radcliffe iron bookcase, invented by Dr Acland, the framework is of iron, and the shelves of wood, faced with leather. It is 7 feet high, and stands on any floor-space 48 inches by 18 inches; books are placed on both sides to the number of 500 octavos. Danner’s revolving bookcase is useful for reference books; it is square, stands about 5 feet high, occupies no more space than a chair, and holds about 250 volumes. Economy of space is also a feature in Mr Virgo’s bookcase, in the front of which is a door, itself shelved, behind. The Eastlake portable bookcase can be taken to pieces, and is made to stand against a wall. In providing for shelf from it is usually allow about 110 square feet of shelving to 1000 volumes; and in giving directions for presses and shelves it is well to have them planned upon a uniform scale. Perhaps the best supports for the shelves are Tonk’s movable shelf-fittings, consisting of two rows of metal strips, with oblong perforations at intervals of _ inch, in which are inserted small metal plates. The tops of reading tables, trays and barrows for carrying books, and such shelves as may be intended for heavy or choice books, should be padded. Very large volumes had better be kept flat in sliding trays. There is much diversity of opinion as to whether the fronts of the presses should be glazed or not, or whether they should be protected by wooden doors, curtains, or wire screen; many librarians object to glass doors as harboring dry rot, and to any opaque screen as concealing the books.

The arrangement of the reading-room of the British Museum furnishes a good example of perfect supervision combined with every consideration for the comfort of readers. The tables are here arranged as the spokes of a wheel, with smaller square tables between them for large volumes. Each reader at the radiating tables has a separate place 4 feet 3 inches long, and is screened from his opposite neighbor by a division running along from one end to the other; in front is a hinged desk, with racks, inkstand, and a folding shelf for books. The framework of each table is of iron, forming channels by which air is conveyed through screen at the top of the longitudinal divisions. A tubular-foot-rail affords facility for warning the feet in cold weather. The catalogue-stand (with presses of special bibliohraphies near them) are placed in two concentric circles around the enclosure of the superintendent, who can thus observe every reader in the room.

A speedy supply of books is ensured by the use of the automatic book-delivery contrived for the Harvard bookstore (of six stories) by Mr Justin Winsor. At the delivery-desk a keyboard shows the digits which combine the various shelf-marks; and the number of the book wanted, being struck upon it, is repeated at the floor in which the work is located, where it is sought for by an attendant and placed in a box attached to an endless belt, which carefully deposits it on a cushioned receptacle close by the delivery-desk.

Many English lending libraries find that a great saving of time and trouble both to officials and readers is made by the use of the indicator for public reference. There are many varieties of this invention, but the main principle is a frame containing a series of small pigeon-holes, each numbers and referring by that number to a book; when a volume is lent out, the borrower’s card, &c., are placed in the pigeon-hole and signify that it is absent. This roughly describes the Birmingham indicator (Mr Morgan’s); in that of Mr Elliot, the title of the book is pasted against each pigeon-hole; Mr W.H.K. Wright uses at Plymouth a system which serves as a catalogue and register of books lent as well; and Mr. A Coltgreave has improved the original idea by his indicator-book, a sort of ledger of the persons to whom each volume is lent, which is placed in the small pigeon-hole previously spoken of. The card ledger of Mr G. Parr, used at the London Institution, is for the use f the librarians alone and not for the readers; it is applied to a borrowing system which permits several volumes to be taken away by the same person, and also acts as a register of borrowers.

For the purpose of stamping the name of the library on the books, &c., some persons prefer the embossing stamp, and some the ink stamp now very conveniently made in India-rubber. Props, either to screw upon the shelves, or made of thick blocks of wood, or of tin folded at right angles, are useful for preventing books falling about in a slovenly manner. Reading cases are necessary for periodicals and choice bindings; periodical cases are made conveniently of wood with strong leather backs. In order to keep the consecutive number of current periodicals and newspapers clean and in perfect order, some kind of temporary binder is required. The contents of the different shelves or recesses may be printed on labels made of leather or cloth. The "Van Everen" printed numbers and letters for the marks on the shelves and the backs of the books are to be purchased at a small cost.

Classification and Shelf-Arrangement – The defect of most classificatory systems, especially of those with profess to be particularly philosophical and logical, is that they are better adapted for a systematic review of human knowledge than for the arrangement of a miscellaneous collection of books. A small library will not require so extensive a scheme as a larger one, and a popular library needs less minute classification than one for reference or for the use of more learned readers. Again, the classes which are best represented in the library, and its special or local collection, deserve more elaborate treatment than the classes in which it possesses but few volumes. The same system cannot invariably be used in all respects both for the shelves and for the catalogue, as a book can have but one position in the presses, but the title may appear under any number of headings in different parts of the catalogue. For these reasons, the natural order should be followed as far as possible. That is to say, the books should suggest their own classification, which should be made to harmonize with the requirements of the library, and the various classes should not be strained to fit some arbitrary method, however logical in theory. As the title of a book is often an unsafe guide to its contents, on one should attempt classification by the help o the title alone. In vol. ii. of Edward’s Memoirs of Libraries, he gives a number of schemes both on philosophical and on natural or practical principles; and Petzholdt, in his Bibliotheca Bibliographica (Leipsic, 1866), has drawn up an account of no less than one hundred and seventeen different methods of classification, a number which could now be largely increased, as the practical ingenuity of American librarian alone has added many to the roll. Some of these schemes have been elaborated with great care, but, however interesting on account of the useful hints they may now and then supply, most of them are useless either for the catalogue or the shelves. All these are systems to classify the whole range of literature, but there are many classified bibliographies and other guides useful for the scientific arrangement of special departments.

Books are usually arranged upon the shelves either in order of (1) their sizes, (2) authors’ names (3) subjects, or sometimes (4) of accession, or by a modification of two or more of these systems. The arrangement by subjects is that which displays most conveniently the richness or poverty of the collection. Although a library may possess the most complete of subject catalogues, it cannot be considered in perfect order without classification on the shelves. In carrying out shelf-arrangement ample space should be left for additions, and in fixing upon the places of the bookcases those containing the works in most demand should be nearest the point of delivery. In some libraries the books are located without any classification, and the shelf marks are all in all. At Munich and many other Continental libraries there are thirty or forty classes, designated by single or double letters, and the books are arranged in sets of octavo, quarto, and folio in the different classers under the names of their authors, so that Mcaulay’s History of England would be found in the octavo alphabet under M of the class "history." Mr Richard Garnet supplies in interesting description of the system of classifying books on the shelves followed at the British Museum in the Trans. of Conf. Of Libs. (London, 1878, pp. 108, 188). There are tend classes; - (1) theology, (2) jurisprudence, (3) natural history and medicine, (4) archaeology and arts, (5) philosophy, (6) history (7) geography, (8) biography, (9) belles letters, (10 philology; and the classes have five hundred and fifteen divisions. Periodicals, academicals publications, state papers, the Oriental departments, the Grenville Library, and the reference library are all distinct, but the principle of classification is practically identical. By allowing intervals in the numbering of the presses space is allowed for new ones to contain additions, and as the different presses are alike in size, they may be shifted at will and no alteration of press-marks is wanted. Mr Edwards (Mem of Libs. Ii. 814) proposes a system for a public free library of upwards of thirty thousand volumes to be arranged under (1) theology, (2) philosophy, (3) history, (4) politics and commerce, (50 sciences and arts, (6) literature and polygraphy. A novel scheme, marked with many practical advantages, is the Amherst or Dewey system, according to which the library is divided into ten classes, eh first being a zero or general class, including bibliography, polygraphy, general periodicals, &c., while the others are philosophy, which is numbered 100; theology; 200; sociology, 300; philology, 400; natural science, 500; useful arts, 600; fine arts, 700; literature, 800; and history, 900. These classes are then separated again into nine special divisions of the main subject, preceded by a zero or general division. Each of these divisions again has nine sections (preceded by a zero). Thus 513 is the third section (Geometry) of the first division (mathematics) of the fifth class (natural science). This is the classification or class number, and is affixed to every book and pamphlet belonging to the library. He zero is a class number has its normal power, and signifies a general treatise, so that 500 is a book on natural science in general. The system was devised in the first instance for classifying and indexing, but it can also be used for numbering and arranging books and pamphlets on the shelves. For this purpose the absolute location by shelf and bookmarks is wholly abandoned, an the relative location by class and book-number used instead. Accompanying the class-number is the book-number, which prevents confusion of different books on the same subject. Thus the first geometry catalogued is marked 513.1, the second 513.2, and so on. The books of each section are all together, arranged by book-numbers, and these sections are also arranged in simple numerical order throughout the library. The number 513.11 will therefore mean the eleventh book in subject 513. or the eleventh geometry belonging to the library. A representative specimen of the philosophical method is that devised by Dr W.J. Harris for the catalogue of the Public School Library of St Louis, which is classed in a modified form of the Baconnian plan. The main classes are (1) science, including philosophy, theology, social and political sciences, and natural science and the useful arts, (2) art, (3) history, (4) appendix, including polygraphy, cyclopaedias, and periodicals. These main classes are again divided into one hundred subclasses, many of which are divided still further. Thus, under natural history, class 50 is zoology; 50a, vertebrates; 50a I, mammals, &c. – The divisions Medicine and Histoire de France in the great printed catalogue of the Bibliotheque Nationale are excellent examples of classification.

Every volume upon the shelves should have a mark to indicate its position. one system is to designate each press by a number, each shelf by a letter, and if necessary, each volume on the shelf by another consecutive number, so that 13 D 16 is the sixteenth volume on the fourth shelf of the thirteenth press. The principles underlying numbering systems as well as shelf-arrangement are discussed by Mr Melvil Dewey (see Library Journal, iv 7, 75, 117, 191), and the combined system of numbering and arranging of Mr J. Schwartz, as well as his mnemonic system of classification (ib. iii, 6; iv. 3), are also well worth attention. the new scheme of classification devised for the use of the Boston Athenaeum by Mr Cutter is alsodescribed in the Library Journal, iv. 243. A catalogue for the Winschester Library (1879) was prepared by Mr Cutter on the principles there detailed.

Many authorities strongly recommend that, instead of a fixed mark for the shelves, the location of books should be indicated by a running number or combination of letters and numbers; so that, although the books should not always remain in the same place, their relative position would be unaltered, and, while they could be found just as readily by means of the number, any quantity of additions could be introduced without affecting the whole scheme.

In a circulating library it may be found convenient to designate each press by letter, and to omit to number the shelves from top to bottom, but number each volume consecutively. The shelf-notation may be placed inside each volume or on a label upon the back.

Binding – The best binding is the cheapest in the end, since it lasts longer under all circumstances, and is always better treated by readers. Morocco resists wear and tear and the action of gas and heated air better than any other leather. Vellum is the most durable material, but it is not suitable for all purposes. Then follow in order of merit calf, Russia, basil, roan, buckman, and cloth. Morocco should be used as much and Russia as little as possible. Buckman, linoleum, cretonne, leatherette, &c., have met with favor from time to time, but are not recommend. Olive, light brown, and red are said to be the most lasting colors; then come dark blue and green, light blue and green. Black is a lasting color. Some persons assign a particular color to each class of literature, but, as there are more classes than color to suit them, such an arrangement consistently carried out can only lead to confusion; besides, a want of variety on the shelves destroys at once the individual appearance which it is always desirable to give to each set of books in order to make them easily distinguishable. The council of the Library Association have suggested as a pattern for ordinary library binding that the volumes should be sewn all along with the first and last sheets overcast, on strong cords, the slips to be drawn in all along, and the backs made close (flexible); half-bound, with corners of same material; smooth cloth sides; edges cut, sprinkled, and burnished, or, if so directed, top edge only cut, &c., the other trimmed and left with proof; end-papers of stout Cobb’s paper, with cloth joints in quartos and folios; lettered with anuthor’s name, short title, and date gilt fillets, but no other tooling; two-page plates to be guarded so as to open out flat; all materials of the best quality, and the work to be done carefully. In making contracts some such specification as that suggested by the Library Association should be decided upon. Full instructions should always accompany work sent out, and a copy must be kept in a binding register. Rare and valuable books demand special treatment and a special binder. The British Museum authorities have adopted a style of binding in half-morocco, with the leather, coming only just over the back to act as a hinge, the sides whole cloth, the corners tipped with vellum.

How to deal with pamphlets is a troublesome question. At the British Museum each was formerly done up separately in slight binding. This is certainly the best system, but out of the reach of most libraries from its cost. Failing this, the pamphlets can be arranged in solander cases as they come in, and afterwards bound up in volumes according to size and subject, with the contents marked on the fly leaf of each. The rebinding of a MS. is to be avoided; it is better to preserve the old cover and place the book in a case. Drawings and prints are best preserved in sunk mounts, and maps, charts, &c., should be backed with thin linen.

Practical Hints – Collate every volume when it comes in, so as to prevent binder’s imperfections; remove plate-paper when the book is quite dry; strings and silk registers are to be avoided, as they tear the leaves; preserve old binding as far as possible, and do not permit book-plates, the names of former owners, and MS. notes of any kind to be destroyed; be careful with metal clasps and corners; let gliding be used sparingly; do not hurry the binder overmuch, as he may retaliate by returning his work insufficiently dried and pressed; be careful with letterings; index dictionaries and works of reference on the fore edges; bind up paper wrappers; never let a binder exercise his fatal proclivity to cut away full margins.

For the removal of grease and ink-spots, and the restoration of old bindings, prints, &c., consult L’art de restaurer les estampes et les livres (Paris, 1858) and La reparation des vieilles reliures (ib., 1858), both by A. Bonnardot, and Rouveyre, Connaissance necessaries a un Bibliophile (Paris, 1880). To restore calf-bindings which have become impoverished, it has been recommended that they should be lightly washed with a soft sponge dipped in a preparation consisting of _ oz . of the best glue, dissolved in a pint of warm water, to which add a teaspoonful of glycerin and a little flour paste. Should the state of the leather by very bad, a second dressing may be found necessary. The volumes must be rubbed with chamois leather when dry. Neat’s foot or olive oil has been suggested for the same purpose, but it ought to be used with a sparing hand. Much has been written about the effect of gas and heat upon binding. The question is still undecided, but it seems likely that the deterioration of the leather is caused more directly by the over-heated air, so that thorough ventilation, especially as regards the upper shelves, is most important for the well-being of a library. Morocco, vellum, and buckman resist this action best, and calf, Russia, and roan worst. Professor H.A. hagen has studied the various kinds of bookworms and other insect pests of librarians. Most libraries of the first class bind on the premises, and M. Hipp Gariel of the Bibliotheque de Grenoble is persuaded, after a very careful inquiry, that any library which binds as many as nine hundred volumes a year will save largely by keeping up a binding establishment of its own.

Catalogues and Cataloguing – A library is useless without a proper equipment of good catalogues, which to be thoroughly efficient should be compiled upon a well-considered plan, carefully kept up to date, and made accessible to every reader. The variety of different catalogues is very great, and no one form can be adopted alike by libraries for study and those for popular reading, nor yet by those which combine the two functions in whatever proportions. As regards the amount of information necessary to be given, the titles of the books may be either short, or not more than a single line to each, as in the London Library Catalogue (1875); medium or several lines to each, as in the Royal Academy Library Catalogue (1877); or full, as in the Catalogue of the Huth Library, 5 vols. large 8vo (1880), where the title is copied in extenso and a quantity of bibliographical details are added.

The chief questions to be answered by a catalogue are: - 1. Has the library a certain work by a certain author? 2. What has it by any given author? 3. Has it a certain book of which the title only is known to the inquirer? 4. Has it a certain book of which the subject only is known to the inquirer? 5. What has it on a given subject? 6. What works in certain classes or languages has it? To supply this information, catalogues are arranged sometimes under the names of the authors in alphabetical order (1 and 2); or under the first words of the titles (3); or classified under subjects, whether in alphabetical or systematic order (4 and 5); or by a combination of two or more of these methods. A dictionary-catalogue answers all six questions under the names authors, the titles of books, the subjects and forms of literature (i.e., essays, or French, German, &c), which are arranged in one alphabet and connected one with the other by a complete system of cross-references. A modified form of short-title dictionary-catalogue, with the names of authors, titles of books, and subjects in one alphabet, is a useful type for a popular library to adopt. No author-catalogue can be considered complete without an index of subjects, and every classified catalogue requires an index of authors, if alphabetical, and of both authors and classes if systematic. An ideal catalogue would furnish references under each name and subject to every work, part of work, or even magazine article contained in the library which illustrated it. This can rarely be attempted, but a near approach to perfection is shown by the new catalogues of the Boston Atheneaum and the Brooklyn Mercantile Library; the last is a model of thoroughness. It is becoming a laudable practice to give the contents of collected works and periodicals in catalogues; and good examples of the value of annotations are the catalogues of the classes of history, biography, travel, and historical fiction in the Boston Public Library.

In making choice of a form of catalogue the way is sufficiently plain should the alphabetical system under authors be adopted, neither can there be much causer for discussion in fixing upon an alphabetical subject-catalogue; but, should it be decided to compile a systematic subject-catalogue, the question becomes a much more serious one. A subject-index of some sort is an indispensable supplement to any catalogue merely arranged under authors. The references had better be strictly alphabetical in form; for instance, a work on ants should be indexed under that word and not under the general heading of insects or entomology; but there is no reason why there should not be cross references under the larger to the smaller headings. In an appendix to Mr Cutter’s article on "Library Catalogues" there is a descriptive list of more than a thousand printed catalogues of American libraries, among which many useful types might be selected. All the printed catalogues of European libraries which were published before 1840 are mentioned in Vogel’s Literatur europ. Off. U. Corporations-Bibliotheken (Leipsic, 1840).

Librarians should take a share in the compilation of their catalogues at any sacrifice of time and trouble, for by no other means can they obtain so exact an acquaintance with their collections. No cataloguer should be allowed to prepare a title except from the very copy of the book which he is cataloguing.

In order to secure precision and uniformity in the descriptions of the books and in the headings under which they are placed, some well-considered code of rules is a absolutely necessary as a guide to catalogues. All such rules are founded more or less upon those of the British Museum, printed in 1841, which have been followed with modifications by Professor Jewett (in the Smithsonian Report on the Construction of Catalogues, 1852), by Mr. E Edwards (Memoirs of Libs., 1859, vol. ii.) by Mr F.B. Perkins (in the American Publisher, 1869), with many additions by Mr C.A. Cutter (in his Rules for a printed Dictionary-Catalogue, 1876), by the condensed rules of the American Library Association (Library Journal, iii 12), and by the Library Association of the United Kingdom (as finally agreed upon and printed in their Monthly Notes, ii. 81). The authorities of the Cambridge University Library have also printed their rules. In drawing up a set of rules the special wants of the library and the readers should be first considered, and then the most suitable rules chosen from one or other of the schemes mentioned above. But when rules are decided upon, no alteration should be permitted during the compilation of the catalogue, as bad rules uniformly followed are better than good rules without uniformity.

Among disputed questions, that of how best to describe the sizes of books is perhaps the most difficult. What is wanted is a system that can be understood by every one, and which is capable of being applied to old as well as to new books. For books printed before the introduction of machine-made paper about the beginning of the century, the correct bibliographical size may be derived from the fold of the sheet, that is, roughly speaking, a quarto is a sheet folded four times, an octavo eight times, &c. The great variety of modern papers (a different scale of sizes being used in each country) renders this method no longer available, and it seems generally admitted that some system of fixed measurements of heights to denote certain sizes is wanted for library purposes. A report on the subject, giving details of three rival schemes, including that of the American Library Association, an ingenious adaptation of the "demy" scale paper, and one following the ordinary binder’s scale, may be found in Trans, &c., of Manchester Meeting, 1880 (p. 11), of the Library Association. A committee of the same body subsequently devised a plan which endeavored to embrace the different merits of al three schemes, but it has not yet been generally adopted.

Printed catalogues are doubtless costly, and they soon become out of date, but they are much easier to consult than manuscript volumes, and possess the great advantage that they admit of being used away from the library. On the whole the balance of convenience is strongly in their favor, and few libraries of any importance fail to print as soon as they can. For free public libraries printed catalogues are absolutely necessary, and they are extremely useful in those of a more learned or special character.

As regards the form of catalogue most suitable for library reference, card-catalogues are used comparatively little in England, but are found to act satisfactorily in many American libraries. They possess many peculiar advantages, among others being the facility with which titles may be added, withdrawn, or rearranged. Readers do not object to turning over the cards, as the labor is shortened by indexes standing above the rows; and there are many contrivances to prevent the unauthorized removal of the titles.

It is obvious that, if a universal catalogue of printed literature existed, it would be only necessary for each library to mark in a copy the particular works it chanced to possess. Such a plan on a small scale has been adopted in many cathedral and college libraries, where a copy of the Bodleian printed catalogue is used for the purpose. A satisfactory step in the direction of co-operative cataloguing has been made by Mr Henry Stevens in his proposals for a bibliographical clearing-house, which shall supply exact copies of the title pages of rare (and eventually of more common) books by means of photography, Mr Stevens has now many thousands of these "photograms" of titles, which are all reduced to a uniform scale, with the full titles and collations added in ordinary type. They are very convenient for card-catalogues.

Thus far the wants of readers have been principally considered; but librarians ought to possess two other kinds of very important catalogues, which they must keep up in their own interests. The first is the accessions-catalogue, or record of every book, part of book, pamphlet, or periodical as it comes in; and the second the shelf-catalogue, or stock-book of the library, a register of the contents of every press and every shelf. These tell the source and date of every addition, and enable all the books to be checked at any time. a novel form of accessions-catalogue is that of the Liverpool Free Public Library, which is a sort of large photographic album to show printed titles of accessions in alphabetical order; loose sheets are laced into the body of the catalogue to provide for any number of addition as quickly as possible. In the same library the titles of new books are also pasted upon blocks arranged in a frame for the information of readers.

Administration – In any library which manages its own financial matters, however small, all accounts should be as carefully kept as those of a trading establishment. In the same way a periodical stock-taking should be made by means of the shelf-catalogue. It is a great convenience to display recent accession for a short time in some place put apart for the purpose. A recommendation and complaint-book are both useful. The rapid and efficient supply of books is greatly promoted by requiring that all demands should be made in writing and not verbally. The books should be carefully dusted from time to time by experienced persons; and the leave of all new books, &c., should be cut by the library staff.

In issuing and taking note of books lent; either the ledger or the slip-system may be used, or a combination of the two, something like a shelf-catalogue. Accounts are kept either against the borrower, against the book, or against time; the first, with the ledger system, may be well for small libraries, but in larger institutions the slip-system must be resorted to, and it is better to keep the accounts against the books, with perhaps a ledger-index of borrowers. Where more than one volume is lent at a time a small card is sometimes placed in a pocket in each book; the card, whether marked with borrower’s name, &c., or not, being retained as a voucher, as in the "card-ledger" spoken of on p. 537, which is on the slip-system with the account against the borrower. The special feature of the "card-ledger" is that no writing whatever is required. It is necessary to introduce some device for overdrawn of reserved books.

Besides furnishing the materials for reading, it is now recognized that a popular library has also the function of indicating the method of reading and study. A collection of well-chosen books suitable for girls and boys is now a good feature in many English free libraries. At the Providence Public Library, Rhode Island, Mr W.E. Foster issues daily notes on current topics and events with detailed references by which the subject may be illustrated by the resources of the library; more complete special lists, e.g., o Herbert Spencer, Irish landlord and tenant, &c., are also issued from time to time. library lectures are now given at several free libraries in England, but, to make these efforts distinctly useful in adding to lectures on books and courses of reading, so that, by illustrating certain works or departments of the library, these lectures may gradually lead readers to a more careful consideration of literature. Aimless and purposeless reading is the bane of a free public library, and it should be the desire of its authorities to do what can be done to induce people to use with the circumspection books of a higher class and of a more useful and informing character. The admirable catalogue of history, biography, and travel of the Boston Public Library, with its suggestive notes and illustrations, had the effect of lowering the reading of fiction from 74 per cent. of 69 per cent. In the same library even the reading of novels has been elevated by the catalogue of English prose fiction arranged on the same plan.

Experience shows that in all that relates to such questions as preliminary forms, age of readers, days and hours of admission, Sunday-opening, access to catalogues, shelves, and librarians, fines loans of books, guarantees, number of volumes allowed, time of reading, &c., a liberal tendency is always beneficial both to the library and the public.

In view of an outbreak of fire, some well considered plan should to fixed upon. Extincteurs and hand-pumps should be kept ready for use in central positions. The means for extinguishing fire should be familiar to the members of the staff, who should all be practiced in fire-drill, in order that each may know his proper place and duty in case of emergency. Full directions should be suspended in conspicuous places. In the case of fire breaking out after library hours, it should be thoroughly understood where the keys are to be found, what officials should be sent for, and what apparatus is ready for use within the building.

Librarians – Without insisting upon quite so wide a range of subjects as did F.A. Ebert in his Bildung des Bibliothekars (Leipsic [Leipzig], 1820), one may expect the librarian of a great library to be a man of liberal education, and specially endowed with sympathy with books and reading; a practical acquaintance with bibliography, including palaeography, and bibliology, is also necessary, as well as with the theory and practice of library management. To be thoroughly qualified, a librarian should have had the practical experience of library-work which it is impossible to obtain from any amount of book reading. Besides this, he ought to be a man of business habits and a good administrator.

These acquirements imply qualifications of a somewhat higher character than may perhaps be necessary in all public libraries; but some knowledge of languages and literature, bibliography, bibliology and general library management should be possessed by any person holding the chief position in the administration of any library, however small. As regards the qualifications of the librarian of a popular institution or of library-assistants, it may be useful to give the outline of a plan recently proposed by a committee of the Library Association for their examination (see Monthly Notes, vol. ii.). There should be a preliminary examination, chiefly in the subjects of a sound English education, special attention being paid to English literature; proficiency in the elements of one or more classical or modern languages would be specially indorsed upon the certificate, one language to be necessary. The suggested subjects for the preliminary examination are – arithmetic, English grammar and composition, English history, geography, and English literature. After having been engaged in library work for not less than one year, a second-class certificate might be awarded to any librarian or assistant who should pass a satisfactory examination in English literature, especially of the last hundred years, some one other European literature, principles of the classification of the sciences, elements of bibliography, including cataloguing and library management, - a cataloguing knowledge of at least two languages besides English to be necessary. A first-class certificate would be given, after a satisfactory examination, to a librarian or assistant of at least two years’ experience, for an advanced knowledge of the subjects last mentioned, with the addition of general literary history. A cataloguing knowledge of at least three languages would be necessary for the higher certificate, - an acquaintance with any others, as well as proficiency in any subjects (not more than two in number) offered by the candidate, being specially indorsed.

Women are gradually making their way in libraries. At Manchester and elsewhere they are successfully employed as assistants; and in several other places in England the chief charge of the library is maintained in a very efficient manner by a lady. In the United States the majority of the librarians are ladies 9at the Boston Public Library no less than two-thirds of the staff), and many of the most accomplished cataloguers are of the same sex.

The first general meeting of librarians took place at New York, September 15 to 17, 1853, upon an invitation signed by Professor C. C. Jewett, Mr. W.F. Poole, and others "for the purpose of conferring together upon the means of advancing the prosperity and usefulness of public libraries, and for the suggestion and discussion of topics of importance to book collectors and readers." About eighty persons attended, many questions were debated, and the suggestion to form a permanent association met with considerable favor. Nothing came of it, however, and twenty-three years had elapsed when, having in view the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, a second meeting was convened on October 4 to 6, at Philadelphia, which was attended by one hundred and two Americans an done English representative. At the Philadelphia conference of 1876, the American Library Association, which has since done so much good work in practical librarianship, was founded. In October 1877 a conference of librarians was held in London, under the presidency of the late Mr J. Winter Jones, and attended by two hundred and sixteen librarians and others, including representatives of the French, German, and Greek Governments, all the chief libraries of the United Kingdom, as well as certain of those of the United States, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, and Australia. Altogether one hundred and forty different libraries sent representatives, and nearly the whole field of library-science was reviewed at the different sittings. The Transactions and Proceedings of the Conference of Librarians (London, 1878) is the title of the official report of the meeting. The chief result of the conference was perhaps the foundation of the Library Association of the United Kingdom of which the "main object shall be to unite all persons engaged or interested in library work, for the purpose of promoting the best possible administration of libraries; it shall also aim at the encouragement of bibliographical research." Monthly meetings of the association take place at the London Institution, and the members hold an annual conference in some one or other locality, where the different libraries are inspected, various questions of library economy are discussed, and new library appliances are exhibited. Full reports of these meetings have been published; Monthly Notes are also issued. Every important British library is now represented in the association, which numbers over 360 members.

Guides to Selection of Books – As it is not only necessary to find out the best treatises on given subjects, but also to decide upon the respective merits of different editions and even of different states or copies of the same edition, an acquaintance with bibliography, or the science dealing with the technical features of books and MSS., and with bibliology, or that which deals more especially with their literary aspect, is to be expected in those forming a library. So necessary is bibliography in library selection that Dr Cogswell, as a preliminary step to collecting books for the Astor Library, formed a bibliographical apparatus of five thousand volumes to help him in his arduous task. To assist librarians and collectors in their choice, among earlier works may be mentioned that of G. Peignot, Manuel du Bibliophile, ou traite du choix des livres, Dijon, 1823, still interesting on account of the descriptions of the favorite reading of eminent men. Catalogue of my English Library (London, 1853) is the title of a little volume prepared by Mr. Henry Stevens to assist in getting together the best editions of the standard English authors. The idea was followed on a larger scale by M. Hector Bossange in Ma Bibliothèque Française (Paris, 1855). The best guide for ordinary purposes, but far from perfect, is The Best Reading: Hints on the Selection of Books, on the Formation of Libraries, Public and Private, by F. B. Perkins (4th ed., New York, 1877). The list is restricted to books now in the market; prices are appended. The titles are very brief, and are arranged in an alphabet of subjects; and a selection is appended of the chief French, German, Italian, and Spanish authors. A new edition of Porter’s Books and Reading appeared in 1881. Current German literature is well looked after in G. Schwab and K. Klupfel’s Wegweiser durch die Literatur der Deustschen (4th ed., Leipsic, 1870), with several supplements. The leading literary reviews, as well as the publishers’ trade journals, will guide in the acquisition of the books of the day. The careful cataloguing and excellent descriptive notes in the New York Publishers’ Weekly are good examples of what book committees are glad to have before them. An examination of the authorities quoted by authors of repute will frequently help in deciding upon the merits of rival treatises, and the printed catalogues of well-chosen libraries are also useful. To his practical little treastise, Free Libraries and Newsrooms, Mr J. D. Mullins appends a list of books he considers desirable for free public libraries, and to form the basis of a collection of high-class fiction, Mr. F. B. Perkins has drawn up a list of the best hundred novels procurable in English (Library Journal, i. 166). The Coming Catalogue, about which we hear now and then from America, will contain selected lists of books, with short notes.

Acquisition of Books – Public libraries must look to purchases as their chief means of getting the books they want. The best system is to draw up lists of the desired works and editions, and circulate the lists among the leading booksellers, who will notify the prices and conditions of the copies they may able to supply; announcements of books wanted can also be inserted in the booksellers’ trade organs. Second-hand booksellers will willingly furnish their catalogues which, if they are not required to purchase from, are always useful for reference. It is usually more convenient to give commissions for books at sales than for the libraries to attend in person; but an occasional visit to the auction rooms will give much information as to current prices of books, a matter which, coupled with frequent visits to the shops of second-hand booksellers and the diligent study of their catalogues, will be carefully attended to by the capable librarian. The works of Brunet, Lowndes, and Graesse may also be consulted for the prices of old books. It is perhaps needless to add that the state of condition and binding makes a great difference in the market value of copies of the same book. Libraries will frequently dispose of their duplicates or surplus copies to other institutions at a low price. For new books, periodicals, newspapers, &c., special terms may always be arranged with local tradesmen.

From time to time the Government of Great Britain, France, and the United States have had under consideration various schemes for the international exchange of books upon a systematic basis, but the proposals were never carried into effect, and it was left to the public spirit of a French gentleman, M. Alexandre Vattemare, to devise and carry out for some years a large scheme for the interchange of books among the chief public institutions of Europe and America. In 1853 M. Vattemare was able to state that one hundred and thirty such establishments had participated in the benefits of he system, but unfortunately it gradually fell off. Earlier than 1851 however, a similar agency was in full working order at the Smithsonian Institution, and it has been kept up with efficiency to the present time. the institution acts as a medium for the exchange of their publications among the chief learned bodies and other public institutions of Europe and America, and undertakes the cost of receiving and sorting the parcels, and the renumeration of the agents in the chief centers of the Old World to whom they are sent, and by whom they are distributed free of charge. The corresponding societies are only required to deliver their parcels without expense at Washington.

On several occasions the United States Congress has passed special Acts directing the exchange of Government publication with those of other countries, and in 1848 the joint committee on the library was authorized to appoint agents for the exchange of books and public documents. As the scheme did not appear to work satisfactorily, the Act was repeated four years later. But since 1867 it has been ordered that fifty copies of all documents printed by either House of Congress or by any Government department be placed with the joint committee on the library, to be exchanged for foreign works. It is most unfortunate that this enlightened policy is not followed by the English authorities.

Many learned bodies which issue their proceedings willingly present them to libraries, and authors find this a useful means of spreading a knowledge of their works, when they are not of sufficient public interest to ensure a large or rapid sale. Library committees may often secure valuable additions by a discreet application; indeed, privately printed works and local publications (unless given spontaneously) are almost only to be had in this manner.

Many valuable works are issued at the expense of Governments. It might be naturally expected that these should be sent, free of charge, to all public libraries of any importance. In England, however, this is not done. In countries where the public libraries are subject to the minister of public instruction, as in France and Italy, more is done in this direction, especially as regards expensive volumes. In 1853 a select committee of the House of Commons recommended that parliamentary papers should be sent free of charge to free public libraries, but the recommendation has never been carried out.

In America official publications can be obtained without charge by public institutions from the secretary of the interior upon the order of a senator or representative, but the system is said not to be in a satisfactory condition.

Many valuable English Government publication, notably the state papers and chronicles, and the fine art handbooks of the South Kensington Museum, are easily to be had at less than the cost of production, and parliamentary papers and neither inaccessible nor highly priced. Although there is no fixed rule as to distribution, some of the departments may now and then be induced to present copies of their publications on being applied to in a proper manner.

The privilege of demanding copies of all books, periodicals, newspapers, musical publications, maps, and prints, when published under the provisions of the various Copyright Acts, is enjoyed by only a very few, generally only by one, of the chief national libraries in each country. This system has grown up under the different enactments of the censorship of the press. The first Act of Parliament passed in England to enjoin printers to present their publications was that of 14 Charles II. c. 33, which directed that three copies should be sent, one to his Majesty’s library, and one to each of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. By 8 Queen Anne c. 20 the number was increased to nine, and by the 41 George III. c. 107 to eleven, viz., to (1) the royal Library; (2) University Library of Cambridge; (3) Bodleian Library; (4) Edinburgh University Library; (5) Glasgrow Univesity Library; (6) King’s College Library, Aberdeen, (7) University Library, St Andrews; (8) Sion College Library, London; (9) Advocates Library, Edinburgh; (10) Trinity College Library, Dublin; (11) King’s Inns Library, Dublin. This was in force till 1835, when by the 6 & 7 William IV c. 110 the privilege was abolished as regards six of the eleven libraries mentioned, and a yearly grant, estimated at 3028 pounds, allowed in compensation. The Act under which five libraries, viz., the British Museum, the Bodleian, the Cambridge University, the Advocates,’ Edinburgh, and Trinity College, Dublin, now receive the copyright books is 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45. (See Copyright, vol. vi. p. 358.)

As instances of the variety in practice in different countries, it may be mentioned that in France the Bibliotheque nationale is entitled to a copy of every book, &c., printed within the dominion of the republic; in Belgium and the Netherlands one copy must be sent to the respective national libraries in order to secure the advantage of copyright; in Spain the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid enjoys the privilege of one copy; in Portugal two copies are claimed, one by the Bibliotheca Nacional at Lisbon, and one by the Bibliotheca Publica of Oporto; in the United States a copy of every work must be sent to the library of Congress; the Imperial Library at St Petersburg receives two copies of every book printed in Russia; by the Brazilian law the Biblioteca Nacional of Rio de Janeiro is entitled to a copy of everything published within the municipality; and in Mexico two copies have to be delivered to the National Library.

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