Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/487

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471
SUCCESS WITH SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS.

enough to share the every-day interests of every-day people. Whether from limitation or choice, no sachem of Tammany is ever so far ahead of his followers as to be hidden from them by the curvature of the earth. A teacher of political economy in a leading American university declares that the man politically most influential in this country is the bar-tender; if so, what political text-book or society for political instruction has ever reckoned with him?

A few of the more noteworthy organizations which meet statedly, publish their discussions as well as their papers—a praiseworthy and useful thing to do. This plan is adopted by the American Library Association, a body which renders invaluable service to public libraries, and hence to popular education. The papers to be read at its next meeting, at Chicago, July 13th to 22d, have been assigned to representative men and women in such wise that published as a volume they will form a complete handbook of library economy. This introduction of a comprehensive purpose in gathering contributions that otherwise might be disconnected and desultory is an idea well worth transplanting wherever admissible. The Library Association owes its origin and success in large measure to a secretary of uncommon ability and energy, fertile in ideas and indefatigable in giving them effect. This year he is president. An efficient executive officer is indispensable in arranging the details for a successful meeting. With the principal papers and discussions arranged for, he pays a preliminary visit to the place of meeting. He makes sure that the sessional halls are convenient, ample, and suitably furnished and served; that, if need be, stereopticon views can be properly shown, and that hotel and other quarters are in readiness. He confers with the reception committee, whom he finds not only willing but anxious that out of the fullness of his experience of shortcomings he shall freely speak. He sees that the printed matter of his association is put where people can get it. If, as the civil-service reformers do, he distributes a "primer," it does not fail to say how one can join the organization that sent it forth. He cooperates with the local press in telling the community what people of eminence or note are coming, what they are eminent or notable for, and what they mean to read and discuss. Aided by having the principal papers in print, when the meeting takes place he is enabled to insure fullness, or at least correctness, in the press reports of sessions, remembering that many more will read these reports than can come to session halls. Each day, as early as he can, he takes pains to send to the newspapers the next day's programme. He engages a stenographer to take down the discussions; they may not be published, but they are worth keeping on record, if for no other reason than that they show