The New International Encyclopædia/Libraries
LIBRARIES. A term applied indifferently to buildings designed to contain books, and to the books deposited in these buildings. In the present article it is used chiefly in the latter sense.
History. Though there were libraries in ancient times in Egypt, no remains of these collections have been found. From very early days Babylonia was the seat of a learned and literary people, and almost every important temple contained its library of clay tablets with cuneiform inscriptions, carefully shelved in regular order. Such a library was recently (1901) found at Nippur, in the great temple of Bel, which was destroyed in the Elamite invasion (c.1782 B.C.). It was from the treasures of such libraries that King Assurbanipal of Assyria, in the seventh century B.C., caused copies to be made for the great library which he gathered in his palace at Nineveh. The tablets here found by Layard and his successors contain history, science, religion, grammars, and dictionaries in the original languages of Babylonia, and in translation. Among the Greeks private libraries doubtless existed during the third and fourth centuries B.C., and there may be some truth in the stories of the collection of books by the earlier tyrants, such as Pisistratus and Polycrates; but these were of moderate size, even the library of Aristotle probably containing only a few hundred rolls. It is with the founding of the Alexandrian Library (q.v.) by the first of the Ptolemies that the history of the great classical libraries begins. The library of Pergamum, a formidable rival to that of Alexandria, was founded probably by Attalus I., and was largely increased by the fostering care of his successors. It was ultimately removed to Alexandria, being sent by Antony as a gift to Cleopatra. At the time of this transference it contained, according to Plutarch, 200,000 volumes. At Rome interest in literature developed slowly, but we are told that the library of the kings of Macedon was brought to Rome by Æmilius Paulus (B.C. 167). In the first century B.C. there were some notable private collections, as that of the grammarian Tyrannion, estimated at 30,000 rolls, and the carefully selected and valuable collection of Atticus, the friend of Cicero. Cæsar is said to have planned a public library; and Pliny states that C. Asinius Pollio (B.C. 39) erected from the spoils of his Parthian victories the first public library in Rome, in the temple of Libertas, near the Forum; but according to Plutarch this honor should be given to Lucullus. Another library was established by Augustus on the Palatine, in connection with his new temple of Apollo. This was divided into Greek and Latin sections. Another was placed by the same Emperor in the Portico of Octavia. Tiberius and later emperors continued this work. Especially famous was the Ulpian library, established by Trajan, which soon surpassed all others in Rome, and was later removed from the Forum of Trajan to the Baths of Diocletian. Nearly 1700 MSS. and fragments of MSS. have been found in a library room at Herculaneum, about 400 of which have been more or less unrolled and deciphered.
In the ancient libraries the books, usually rolls of papyrus, were kept in closets, in somewhat small rooms, which, however, seem to have been arranged for the use of the books. Catalogues were prepared, and the tablets of Alexandria were valuable sources for literary history. The librarian was commonly a distinguished scholar, and at all times seems to have ranked as an important public officer. The first librarian of whom we have any record was a Babylonian named Amil-anu, who lived about 1600 B.C., one of whose signet cylinders is in the British Museum. Nehemiah is said to have founded a library, and references in the Books of Samuel and Kings to other books imply the existence of some collection in which these works might be found.
Eusebius mentions an early Christian library founded by the martyr Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, who died A.D. 250. Saint Pamphilus, another Christian martyr (A.D. 300), founded at Cæsarea a public library of about 30,000 volumes, chiefly theological, which is said to have been destroyed by the Arabs in the seventh century. Saint Jerome had a large library, and made frequent use of that at Cæsarea; in one of his letters he refers to the use of church libraries as though each church had one. Saint Augustine, on his deathbed, A.D. 430, requested that the library of the church at Hippo and all the MSS. should be carefully preserved. In the primitive monasteries of Tabenna, founded by Pachomius, in the depths of the Thebaid, there was a library in every house.
Julian the Apostate (A.D. 363) founded libraries of a different character, upon which he inscribed the words: “Some love horses, some birds, others wild beasts, but from boyhood I have been possessed with the desire of acquiring and owning books.” Constantine the Great founded (A.D. 336) a library at Constantinople, which at his death is said to have contained 6000 volumes; it grew under Julian and Theodosius the Younger to 120,000 volumes. In it was deposited the only authentic copy of the proceedings of the Council of Nice, and among its curiosities were a MS. of Homer, one hundred and twenty feet in length, written in letters of gold on serpents' skin, and a copy of the Four Gospels bound in plates of gold weighing fifteen pounds and enriched with precious stones. This library was destroyed by fire under Zeno. A later collection, extending to 33,000 volumes, is said to have been destroyed by Leo III., ‘the Iconoclast,’ A.D. 730. The triple fire at the capture of Constantinople by the Crusaders, in 1203, eclipsed all previous ones in destructiveness. Two hundred and fifty years later came the final disaster of the Ottoman conquest. Despite all these losses, possibly through some of them, the great libraries of Europe owe to Constantinople some of their choicest treasures.
Through the Middle Ages books and learning were preserved by the monasteries, especially those of the Benedictines, beginning at Monte-Cassino, A.D. 530. Each Benedictine house instituted first a library, then the scriptorium or writing-room, where MSS. were copied for sale or exchange, and lastly the school, often to all who desired instruction. Many famous libraries of Europe had their nuclei in these Benedictine collections. Notable among these are the libraries of Monte-Cassino, Fleury on the Loire (c.650), Corbie (662), Hersfeld, Ratisbon, Corvei (q.v.), Reichenau (724), Fulda (744), Saint Gall (820), and Clugny (910).
England is indebted to the Benedictines for her earliest library, that of Christ Church, Canterbury (596), and for Saint Peter's of York, Saint Cuthbert's at Durham, and those at Peterborough, Wearmouth (647), Bury Saint Edmunds, Reading, and Saint Albans. The Franciscans had a considerable library at Oxford, to which Adam de Murisco left his books, 1253. The Bodleian was opened in 1602. The library of the University of Cambridge dates from 1475. Charlemagne established libraries in his cloister-schools at Aix-la-Chapelle and Tours, to which Alcuin brought the training he had secured at Saint Mary's, in York, England.
With the fourteenth century came the establishment in Germany of the university libraries, at Prague (1348), Heidelberg (1386), Leipzig (1409); and the first public town libraries, the outcome of humanism, at Ratisbon (1430), Vienna (1440, opened to the public in 1575), and Frankfort (1484). The suppression of the monasteries after the Reformation gave an impulse to the foundation of the royal and town libraries. Many important ones were established in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: Göttingen (1737), Bonn (1818), Strassburg, dating back to 1566, rising phœnix-like from the ashes of the siege of 1870. All the universities of Germany have notable libraries.
Spain with its University of Palencia (1212) and of Salamanca, a few years later, takes a very early place in library history. The National Library at Madrid owns the Columbus Letter in Spanish among its rarities.
The famed Corvina, established by Matthias Corvinus (c. 1460), had a rapid growth, but its treasures were dispersed by the Turks in 1527, and scattered specimens are to be found in more than thirty of the libraries of Europe. The Royal Library at Copenhagen, dating from 1479, is the largest of Scandinavian libraries, is specially strong in Icelandic literature, and has a fine collection of Persian MSS.
The first public library in Italy was founded at Florence, in 1437, on a bequest by Niccoli, the Florentine Socrates, of his own collection of 800 MSS. Cosmo de' Medici erected a building for it in 1441, and later, under his grandson, Lorenzo de' Medici, it acquired the name of Laurentian Library. With the expulsion of the Medici at the close of the fifteenth century the collection passed into the possesion of a monastery. Later Leo X. bought it, and in 1521 Cardinal Giulio de' Medici restored it to the city and housed it in a building erected by Michelangelo. Nicholas V. founded the Vatican Libraiy in 1447 and left it at his death enriched with 9000 MSS. In 1588 its present building was erected by Sixtus V. In 1658 the famous Urbino Library was acquired for it. Queen Christina of Sweden enriched it with a splendid collection of MSS. and books. In 1746 the Ottobuoni collection of 3862 German and Latin MSS. was added. Italy is exceedingly rich in libraries of historical interest; her university libraries contain many MSS. and incunabula. Among the famous collections may be named the Ambrosian Library (q.v.) at Milan, founded in 1602; the Casanata, at Rome; the National Central, at Florence, formed by the union of the well-known Magliabechiana and Palatina; and the National of Saint Mark, at Venice. The archives of Venice, complete for more than ten centuries, and numbering fifteen million documents, are housed under a single roof.
France, in the Bibliothèque Nationale, at Paris, has the largest library in the world. Charles V. in 1368 had a tower in the old Louvre fitted up as a library, where he gathered 910 volumes. These were scattered during the English wars, and many fell into the hands of the Duke of Bedford and were carried to London. Louis XI. made an effort to revive the library. Henry IV. gave it a home in the Collège de Clermont and appointed De Thou librarian. It narrowly escaped destruction at the time of the Revolution, when two of its librarians were guillotined. In 1666 it was removed to its present building, which has been frequently enlarged to accommodate the rapidly growing collection. The minor libraries of Paris include the Arsenal, founded in 1755; the Mazarin (1643); and the Library of Sainte Geneviève (1624). The library of the Abbey of Saint Victor, the first opened to the public in France, went largely, at the dissolution of the monasteries, to the Bibliothèque Nationale. Large libraries owing their origin to monastic collections and to the liberality of private persons are to be found in all the provincial cities of France. Most noteworthy are those of Lyons (1630), Aix (1705), Rouen (1809), and Bordeaux (1768).
Many notable libraries in England and on the Continent collected by private individuals during the past five centuries still bear their names, or have been merged in university or public libraries or dispersed at auction sales. Subscription and circulating libraries began to be established about the middle of the eighteenth century, and have been widely successful. Some town libraries were established at dates much earlier.
The earliest library in America was that presented to the Henrico College, established by the colonists at Jamestown, Va., in 1621, destroyed with the colony the next year.
Harvard University Library was founded in 1638. In 1700 came the Public Library in New York, changed in 1754 into the present Society Library. In 1700, also, South Carolina passed the Provincial Library Law to encourage parochial libraries. Yale College Library was founded in 1701. In 1731 Benjamin Franklin founded the Library Company of Philadelphia, which he called the ‘mother of all North American subscription libraries.’ In 1800 the national library, called in its first general catalogue the Library of the United States, and later misnamed the Library of Congress, was established.
The first recognition of the principle of taxation for support of public libraries was the New York District Library Law of 1835. This was not for school but for public libraries, unwisely placed in charge of school officers as a mere convenience of administration. The general plan was copied in twenty-three other States; and without exception has proved that while schools and libraries should work in the greatest harmony, the best results demand that their administration be separated. Exceptions have been only enough to prove the rule. These district libraries did a beneficent work, but under their own trustees, with proper supervision and well-organized administration, the same money might have done vastly more. But the law made the needed beginning in recognizing the popular educational character and possibilities of libraries. In 1849 New Hampshire passed a law allowing towns to tax themselves for libraries. In 1850 Great Britain passed the famous Ewart Free Libraries Act. In 1852 the Boston Public Library was founded, and for a generation led the world in showing what might be done by a municipal library. In 1853 fifty-three librarians held the first library convention of the world in New York City, and received their first idea of the card catalogue.
Types of Libraries. Because of their number and importance, public libraries are always meant unless some other type is specified. In private and family libraries the shelf-list is the most important single record, as it combines in cheapest form both invoice book and inventory, and may easily have added to it the essential accession book facts. With better understanding of their value, many private libraries now have card indexes and accession books as well as shelf-lists.
Proprietary and club libraries are only larger family libraries, as they are open only to those elected to membership.
Subscription or circulating libraries are carried on as a business and are usually open to all who pay the fees. Their records and methods are the simplest and cheapest, except for institutions like Mudie's and Smith's in England, and the Booklovers with its Tabard Inn and other branches in this country.
National and State libraries have a distinct function in preserving for posterity everything printed which they can obtain. They are the central storehouses on which all local libraries in their field may draw when necessary. This demands large provision for storage and facilities for sending books quickly and safely to students and libraries. They should have books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and other material which because of rarity or little demand are seldom found in local collections. The smaller libraries have learned that the first cost of a book is seldom its chief expense. It must be catalogued, classified, shelved, cleaned, and inventoried yearly even if never used. Libraries limited in funds cannot afford to accept as gifts books seldom used. The average library is becoming one in a series of sieves. The traditional conception of a library required it to keep all it could get. The immense growth in volume of books issued has enforced new ideas. A scholar outgrows certain books which he has kept on his table, and relegates them to the shelves of his private library. Later he sifts out books seldom wanted and sends them to the public library, where they will serve the whole locality instead of one person. Club and subscription libraries make room by disposing freely of books no longer needed. Recently thoughtful observers realize that even public libraries, except a few great central storehouses, must in turn take their place in the series of sieves and abandon the plan of keeping everything, selecting up to their capacity what will be most useful and sending the rest to State or national centres, to be destroyed if found to be duplicates too common to be worth keeping.
Special Libraries. Every department of human endeavor is recognizing the library as its laboratory, with the result that special libraries are formed for special work. This gives libraries not only for law, medicine, theology, education, art, history, but for every distinct department. These libraries on special subjects are sometimes independent, but experience proves that they are more wisely treated as branches of the central collection and kept under supervision of its director.
The value of the best reading in giving to any class of people information that will help them to do their work better, or inspiration and recreation which will broaden and sweeten their lives, has led to forming general libraries for special classes wherever people can be interested and command leisure to read. Owners of factories, stores, mines, and other employers have found it profitable to improve their employees' character and standards by furnishing such libraries. Governments put them in prisons, asylums, and other institutions. Cities send them to station and engine houses of police and fire departments.
College Libraries. In these circulation is subordinate to reference work, the most important feature being to teach students how to use books and to give opportunities to handle them with a freedom thought impracticable in a public library, though recent experience with open shelves has shown that the public can be trusted far more than was supposed. In modern work every department finds the library as necessary as its laboratory, so that the college library is not the rival but the best ally of every professor in the institution. Some normal schools and colleges give systematic instruction to their students in using books and in the mechanism of the library; not to train them as librarians, but to give them the ability to get the most from books and modern libraries.
Modern Movement. It was the chief duty of the old librarian to get and keep books. Their use was a subordinate consideration. The library was a storehouse. But the modern library is less a reservoir than a fountain. Its librarian is an active, aggressive factor in popular education. He recognizes fully his duty to get and to keep, but puts far above this his greater duty to use. The old library was of interest only to the learned few. The modern library has won an equal place beside the public school.
The present will be known to historians as the library age. In a single year 100 new general library laws have been passed by American States. In public interest and support, in liberality of laws and appropriations, in magnitude of individual gifts, the modern library movement exceeds any other in history. It meets not with jealousy and antagonism, but with sympathy and cordial support from those concerned with the other half of education, the schools.
The most potent and most economical influence to be exerted for good on young and old is through reading. It is the longest lever with which human hands have ever pried. Educational experts declare that the chief influence on the child is not father, mother, teacher, or school, but what he reads. This reading can be guided effectively and economically by free public libraries. The vast percentage of children are able to secure, only the barest elements of education before becoming bread-winners. During life the rest is gained, whether of information or inspiration, from what they read.
The birth-year of active, new work, of the modern library movement, was 1876. In it was founded the American Library Association, a most potent national body. The Library Journal was established as its official organ. The Library Bureau, a centre for library enterprises, started its work, which has grown from a few hundred dollars the first year to over a million dollars annually, and has introduced card indexes and other labor-saving devices into a score of countries. Later the United States Bureau of Education published a volume of essays and statistics on public libraries in the United States. Cutter's Rules for a dictionary catalogue, and the decimal classification and relative index, appeared. In 1886 the Library Journal was supplemented by Library Notes, later replaced by Public Libraries, published since 1896 by the Library Bureau.
In 1893, at the Columbian Exposition, a national comparative library exhibit, prepared by the New York State Library, was a prominent feature in the United States Building. Similar exhibits, limited by lack of space, were made at the Paris Exposition of 1900 and the Pan-American of 1901. The A. L. A. Catalog of 5000 of the best books for a village library was a leading feature of the Chicago exhibit, and the New York State Library took charge of its revision for the Saint Louis Exposition.
Significant of the new part public libraries are playing is the action of one of the shrewdest observers among mankind's greatest friends, Andrew Carnegie, who, in his avowed purpose of distributing his wealth for the greatest good of his fellows, finds nothing which promises so large returns as coöperation with communities which are willing to pledge themselves permanently to devote, from public funds or other sources, for the annual maintenance of a public library, one-tenth the sum given by Mr. Carnegie for a building. Up to January 1, 1903, Mr. Carnegie had given 730 libraries and had applications for 800 more, most of which he hoped to grant.
The clearest testimony that the great library movement is accepted as educational is found in the fact that circulating, subscription, and proprietary libraries have given way before the tax-supported free public library, just as the private and denominational schools have been so often replaced by the tax-supported free high school. All the important steps in the development of the school system have already been taken also for libraries; such as educating public sentiment, making libraries entirely free, giving grants and subsidies from public money, supervision, reports, professional journals, training schools and classes corresponding to normal schools and teachers' classes, institutes, inspectors; and, most important of all, establishing State library commissions, which will inevitably grow to State departments like that already established in New York. Two other steps are advocated to complete the correspondence: requiring librarians to attend institutes as a condition of receiving public library money, and requiring State certification of librarians as to fitness for their duties.
The conception of the library's scope and functions has broadened rapidly in recent years. The original library might be used by a privileged few. Then those who paid a fee might use it. Finally it was made free to all for reference. The thought of taking any book from the older libraries was as preposterous as that of borrowing specimens or pictures from a museum. Then the favored few might borrow, then all who paid a fee, and finally came the broad plan of lending free to all. Then the library became aggressive, and reached out to secure readers as earnestly as a merchant to secure patrons. When New York established its Public Libraries Department, there were 40 public libraries in the State and 40,000 licensed saloons, with chances a thousand to one that a boy at leisure would find the open door and cordial welcome of a saloon, instead of opportunity to read the best books. In competing with these rivals, branch libraries were established. But these did not get close enough to the homes in all cases, and deliveries were added. The express, mail, and telephone were used to make the best books more accessible. One or more books were lent to readers at a distance; then home libraries were sent out to local centres for groups of a dozen children. Traveling libraries of 50 or 100 volumes of the choicest books were sent to every community wishing them. The idea spread rapidly. The need of reaching rural homes too scattered for the larger collections led New York, in 1903, to offer the house library of 10 volumes. Book-wagons and cars with traveling librarians are now planned. Perhaps the most significant features of late years are the development of reference librarians to answer questions; of the children's room and librarians devoted wholly to the needs of little people; of free access to open shelves so that all readers may have the advantages of actually handling the books; provision for those who cannot come to the library, by means of branches and traveling libraries; and the appraisement or evaluation of books by disinterested authorities, so that a reader may have a trustworthy guide in selecting from the millions of books in existence the one best adapted to his needs.
Librarians largely agree that the best name for local tax-supported libraries is ‘public library,’ preceded by the name of the city or town. The word ‘free’ is objectionable as suggesting charity, and ‘circulating’ is unnecessary, for all libraries are understood to be for lending unless called ‘reference.’ The library has three functions: (1) As a storehouse; (2) as a laboratory for study and serious work; (3) as affording sane entertainment. Every complete library must have a reference and a lending department and general reading-rooms for periodicals. It should work in close touch with the schools, but under independent trustees. Efficiency and economy make it the natural home for collections in science, art, or history; for lectures, meetings of clubs, and all interests outside the schools which help on education and culture. Many Sunday-schools find it wiser to turn their books over to the public library, where Sunday-school teachers may meet during the week, with access to books, pictures, and all facilities for study. The library field is being rapidly enlarged in various directions.
Legislation aims to make it easy to establish and difficult to abolish libraries, to encourage gifts, to grant State aid to communities willing to help themselves, to collect the results of experience and make them available in print and by personal expert advice, to protect library property by stringent laws, and to recognize in every direction the library as on the same plane with the school.
Building. The location should be very near the business centre, but preferably on a side street just away from the turmoil of the main thoroughfare. In larger towns, branches and delivery stations should bring library facilities within easy walking distance of every home. For most libraries the heavy cost of fireproofing is needless, as most of their books can be readily replaced, and a vault or safe will hold their rarities. Small libraries often wisely occupy rented rooms; the order of importance being first a competent librarian, then the best books, and after these a building.
After the small rural building of one square room, the most obvious and successful types are shaped like capitals I, L, T, H, E, according to space required. The other types are the hollow square, the Greek cross, and E with middle arm omitted. Circular, spiral, and other peculiar buildings have won no acceptance, except that some advocate a round end having radial stacks with each shelf in view of the delivery desk. The Pittsburg branches afford excellent examples of this type.
Most small libraries now adopt the ⊥ or trefoil type. The book-room projects from the rear and has a cheap end wall for easy removal and extension. The main entrance in the middle front is into a central hall for loan desk and the less quiet work. In one arm is the reference or study room, in the other the children's room or periodical room. This general type gives best results for a given cost, and can be most cheaply administered.
The best library buildings are all recent. Of the large libraries, the Newberry of Chicago (1893), Boston Public (1895), Library of Congress and Chicago Public (1897), Providence Public (1900), Wisconsin Historical Society and Newark Public (1901), Washington (1902), are most often quoted; of university libraries, Columbia, Cornell, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York. Trustees may now wisely copy the plan that suits them best and make such changes as local needs demand. The modified plan should be submitted for criticism to some expert student of library buildings. State library commissions always give this aid, and the New York State Library School at Albany answers many such inquiries by suggestions in print. Trustees should be free to use any suggestions in any competitive plan by paying for them, instead of being compelled to choose some one plan as a whole and employ the successful anonymous competitor. A useful aid in fixing location of rooms is to cut cards to scale for the area of each room, and thus test various arrangements more quickly and plainly than by drawing plans. Brief general rules are: Plan each library specially for its work and community; care for interiors before exteriors; provide amply for future growth; plan for economy in administration by arranging rooms to allow supervision by the smallest possible staff; sacrifice no convenience for architectural effect; use no decoration that will attract sightseers to disturb quiet study-rooms. A model building might be said to be built around a standard catalogue card; for this card determines the size of trays and drawers, these of cases, and these determine spaces between windows and doors. Certain rooms must be near the card catalogue, because it is much too costly to duplicate even with printed cards; and the one catalogue must be close to reference-room, loan desk, and cataloguers. The plan should aim to give direct access to each department and be so obvious that people will know where to go. The general effect should be cheerful and hospitable. Experts advise omitting permanent partitions except where necessary for support, and depending on temporary partitions, chiefly of glass, which can be readily moved as growth and changes demand. These give spacious effect and much better light, and allow supervision from another room, while shutting off noise. An attendant may often control two or three rooms as cheaply as one, if rooms open together.
The smallest library starts with one room. The next need is a quiet study-room, free from the noise of issue and return of books and current work. The third room needed is usually one for children, which if possible should have an independent entrance, so they will not pass through the doors or corridors used by adults. On the main floor must be delivery and book rooms for quick service, children's room (unless in the basement), and, if space allows, rooms for librarian, cataloguers, and for reference. Above may go class, trustee, lecture, and other rooms used by fewer people or less often, both rooms and books most used being nearest the entrance. Basement and attic should both be made so they can be finished later for public use, for the rapid growth of libraries shows that they will surely be needed. Stairs should be inclosed or put to one side to lessen noise. Spirals cost more, waste room, are dangerous and inconvenient. Risers to stairs should be only 6½ or 6¾ inches for easiest use. For book-rooms, ceilings should be fifteen feet high to allow two decks. Ten or twelve feet will answer for other rooms. The most common error is in building on too small a lot. Ample space is needed for light and quiet, and for inevitable growth.
Book-Shelves. The rapid growth of libraries is a constant embarrassment. The most compact possible system of storage is still too costly. The lowest estimate for fireproof building is 30 cents per cubic foot, so that a building 30×50 feet and 40 feet high for two stories and high basement would cost $18,000. If half the whole building were given to close stacking of books it would hold in four decks only 60,000 volumes, making the cost of shelf-space 30 cents a volume, or if no reading-room and administrative space is allowed for, 15 cents a volume. But often fireproof construction is unnecessary. Rarities can be kept in the safe or fireproof vault. Other books can be readily replaced if burned. A simple frame building for 5000 volumes costs from $1000 to $2500. Brick and stone and better construction would cost two or three times this amount. Larger libraries must use a stack, i.e. shelving set as close together as possible and yet allow ready access by narrow aisles. Stacks are of iron or steel uprights with wood or sheet-steel shelves, and from one to ten stories or decks high, each deck carrying the weight of all above it, aisles always being exactly over aisles. Floors should be of thick glass, because it admits some light. Each deck is seven or eight shelves high, with aisles 75 cm. (30 inches) wide. Separate rooms for great subjects are very desirable, but in use cost more to administer than large central reading-rooms, where a single card catalogue and reference librarian can do the work that would require several on the department plan. In computing capacity of shelving, 33⅓ volumes to the running meter (10 to the running foot) are allowed for public libraries, with shelves crowded. Economy requires ample vacant spaces to insert additions, so that buildings must allow for two or three times the volumes on hand. In book-stacks with average aisles and windows, each square meter of floor surface will hold 200 volumes on each stack-level. The standard shelf is 25.5 cm. high and 20 cm. deep; 75 cm. (30 inches) is the best length. Some use 90 cm. (36 inches). Longer shelves, unless extra heavy, sag when heavily loaded. Wall-spaces should not be divided into aliquot parts, but into standard shelf-lengths. If the building has not been planned with due regard to these standard sizes, any remaining space should be occupied by a single odd length, which for symmetry may be in the centre. A 10-cm. base, to protect the lower books when floors are cleaned, is enough. On at least one side of a double case the first four shelves should be 35 cm. (14 inches) wide, the fourth shelf making a 15-cm. ledge 94 cm. above the floor. The first two shelves above the base should be movable, so that the three spaces for octavo books may be changed into two for quartos and small folios, or into one for folios and one for octavos. The four or five upper shelves are cheaper and stronger if fixed at octavo height, for most libraries now use relative location in which shelves are seldom moved. The best standard case is eight shelves (7 feet 8 inches) high and five tiers (13 feet 6 inches) long, and uprights two inches thick. On its two sides the 10 tiers of 80 shelves hold 2000 volumes in close packing. For a one or two deck stack wood is best and cheaper. Steel is necessary to carry the load of taller stacks. A good plan in growing libraries is to set the first cases with aisles 6 feet 4 inches wide, leaving room for narrow tables and convenient access by readers. When necessary this broad aisle allows a new case without ledge to be put in the middle and leaves the standard 75 em. (30 inches) aisle on each side. Where the public has access to the shelves this wide aisle is very desirable. Doors are now never used on library shelves except for a few rarities. Aisles should be 75 cm. at the bottom between ledges. This will give above the ledge 90 cm. for single or 105 cm. for double-ledge aisles. Tall ladders have given way to galleries 75 to 100 cm. (30 to 40 inches) wide, as quicker and safer. All books should be within the natural reach of a person five feet high. The front edges of shelves and uprights should be rounded to save wear on bindings. A flanged groove on the shelf edge to hold labels saves buying metal label-holders. Before stacks or floor cases are put in, all wall-space within reach should always be shelved. A box-factory can make the cheapest possible temporary shelving at about 20 cents, 30 cents, 40 cents, and 50 cents for standard cases of one, two, three, and four compartments, each 75 × 20 × 25.5 cm. inside. These can be stacked in various combinations; on top of other cases, over doors and windows, and on each other to any height. Lath tacked on ends will prevent tipping. When no longer needed these shelves are worth nearly cost for packing-boxes.
When old buildings are adapted for libraries, extra floor supports must be put under book-stacks to carry the great weight. It is wiser, however, to build a wing for a stack with the weight directly on the ground.
Reading-Rooms. Three types are: (1) The quiet study or reference rooms for serious work; (2) periodical rooms with rustling newspapers and noise of constant coming and going; (3) children's rooms. As readers stay longest in the study-room, it can be put in the upper story, or at a point most distant from noise. Entrances to periodical and children's rooms should be as near the street as practicable, for convenience and to keep noise away from quiet rooms. Two square meters (20 square feet) of floor-space should be allowed each reader in study-rooms. Less space will suffice in the other two. Larger libraries need separate reading-rooms for art, patents, bound newspapers, and other large special collections. Small study-rooms are most costly to build and to supervise, and so are in little favor. Economy requires for general purposes a large central hall so that reference books and attendants need not be duplicated.
Special Rooms. Even small libraries need coat and toilet rooms near the entrance. Lavatories with hot and cold water are important, especially for children. Many come to a library dirty, and it is unwise to send them away if they want good books. In most places books are dusty and quickly soil the hands. There should be one room in which conversation is allowed. The library is a kind of intellectual clubhouse; and those who wish to play chess or other quiet games, discuss books, look at pictures, hold meetings of study clubs or classes, should have a place, as well as the reader demanding quiet. A separate trustees' room is usually wasteful, and if built should serve for some use not interfering with the infrequent trustees' meetings. A catalogue and work room is needed for all but small libraries. As work grows, various administrative rooms are demanded.
Light. Good daylight has become less essential since electricity is so widely used. Acetylene gas gains steadily in favor. Shelves should be set at right angles to or opposite windows, always putting backs of books where titles can be most easily read. Windows, preferably on the north or east side, where they avoid direct sunlight, should reach to the ceilings and have square tops, since light-area there is worth double that near the floor. In stacks, windows exactly opposite centres of aisles are best. Walls should be tinted with colors that reflect instead of absorbing light. In many cases there is ample space for windows above the shelving, but a prison-like effect is produced unless there are some windows at ordinary height. Bright general illumination with artificial light is needless in study-rooms. A reading-lamp should be on each table, the wire coming from below through a bored leg or suspended from the ceiling. Even the best lights on ceilings or distant from tables are injurious to sensitive eyes. White-lined green glass translucent shades are easiest for eyes, and give all general light needed in the room. If general lights are used, they should be so arranged that direct rays do not reach the eye. Heat and ventilation are specially important in study, periodical, and children's rooms, and about the loan desk.
Furniture and Fittings. Except to deaden the noise in special places, avoid carpets and rugs because unsanitary in public buildings. Tile and marble floors are noisy and cold. Interlocking rubber tile is good, but is costly. Corticine and linoleum have proved for a generation the best library floor-covering. A lift should run from the unpacking room in the basement to the catalogue room above, and to the top floors if books are often sent there. Call-bells should be single-stroke, not buzzers, to avoid noise and admit of convenient codes of signals. The wooden sounder or a mere click is preferable to the common bell. These devices save much time and needless walking that annoys readers.
Tables and desks for readers should be 78 cm. high from the floor, not 75 cm. as is usual. With chairs of various heights and footstools, these are adapted to short people as well as tall; but tall people cannot sit comfortably at low tables. Large tables for a dozen people are objectionable. The best sizes are 60 × 100 cm. (24 × 40 inches). 75 × 120 cm. (30 × 48 inches), and 100 × 150 cm. (40 × 60 inches). Bentwood chairs are light, strong, and so durable as to be cheaper than lower-priced ones. Rubber tips for chair-legs are needed on bare floors.
The work of the larger libraries falls naturally into the following departments:
Executive. Seven hours daily is the limit of good work in cataloguing and similar steady, exact work. Eight hours are usually required of attendants having a margin of free time. Libraries which have studied results most closely give a full month's vacation with pay, and some allow one additional month during the year for total absence from illness or other causes. Salaries are steadily working upward, with the demand for higher qualifications and fuller training. Small rural libraries may be kept open a few hours a week for $100 to $300 a year. The great libraries now pay $5000 or more to their directors. The tendency is to open libraries on holidays, Sunday afternoons, evenings, and earlier in the morning. Forenoon use is so comparatively small that if the staff is not large enough for relays the public is convenienced more by afternoon and evening opening. Where practicable, hours are from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. Closing for annual inventories is needless under a proper system.
Accession Department. This includes the whole subject of selecting and getting books and other material, gifts, sale or exchange of duplicates, plating, ‘pocketing,’ and writing the accession book. This is a business record, giving on one line for each volume in the library a record of the life history of that special volume. This accession book shows total volumes added to the library, and the accession number placed on the first right-hand page after the title of each book is the quickest and most accurate means of identification. For cataloguing department, see Cataloguing; for classification, see below.
Reference Department. Systematic aid to readers is given by means of an information desk or reference librarian. In larger libraries the demand has led to adding various assistants who devote their time to answering questions, helping readers to find what they wish, and incidentally showing them how to use bibliographics and catalogues for themselves. The children's librarian is one of the most useful. Larger institutions are developing a library faculty of specialists, each assisting readers in his special field.
The rapid development of reference work comes from recognizing the library as an educational centre. The room of a skillful reference librarian, surrounded by the best reference books supplemented with card indexes, notes, and the rapidly increasing bibliographic devices, becomes like an enlarged universal encyclopædia. Such a librarian not only answers questions on every conceivable subject and utilizes French, German, and probably other languages freely, but also teaches applicants how they may find out for themselves next time, and thus in time develops the ability to use to the best advantage a well-equipped library. This department becomes the information bureau for its whole constituency. Some investigations require considerable time and are not in their nature of such public value as to be justifiable at public expense. These are made for any one willing to pay the pro rata cost of the assistant's time. This gives free use of all library resources and facilities and protects against using the time of public officers for private purposes.
Free access to the shelves is becoming more common, and in most libraries serious students have no difficulty in getting shelf privileges.
Loan Department. Many libraries allow a second book to be lent, not fiction. For special investigations it is easy to get permits for an extra number of copies or for extra time. Loan records are kept on cards. Books may be reserved, and notice is freely sent when books asked for are ready. Interlibrary loans are common. A lending library has ceased to be a mere storehouse, but aims to induce its readers to borrow better books by restricting the supply of the less desirable and inciting interest in the best by annotated lists in newspapers and on slips for free distribution, by illustrated bulletins, by personal suggestions, and by shelves open freely for all to browse among tempting books. Immense gains have resulted from these systematic, intelligent, sympathetic efforts to improve the average of books lent.
Binding Department. Public libraries care chiefly for durability, and demand the best materials, methods, and work; tight backs, vellum instead of leather corners, signatures sewed all along and laced in boards, Turkey morocco, cowhide, duck, or muslin according to amount of wear. Genuine Turkey more than pays its extra cost in wear. Books specially exposed to heat are safer in vegetable fibre like duck, as heat disintegrates leather. Sheep, calf, Russia, and all fancy materials and tooling are avoided. Back lettering should be: (1) author's name (at top); (2) title of book; (3) volume number; (4) class and book (call) number, about 5 cm. from the bottom where it will not be worn by the hand, e.g.:
Many libraries in addition stamp their name at the extreme bottom. See also Bookbinding.
Shelf Department. This has entire charge of arrangement and preservation of books, and all other material. It must keep all the library collections in order and clean, and find or replace missing books. A complete inventory is taken once a year, but well-managed libraries no longer close for this purpose, but distribute the work of stock-taking and cleaning throughout the year. The inventory is called a shelf list. This has class, book, volume, and accession numbers, author, and brief title of every book, written on loose sheets laced together in a binder, or on cards arranged in the order in which the books stand on the shelves. It forms a brief and very convenient subject catalogue. As this is the check list for losses, the old rule was not to allow it on cards, which could be removed by a book-thief without detection except by accident. As books are constantly added, a bound book is impracticable because of frequent recopying, and even with the small sheets 10 × 25 cm. holding only 20 titles each the labor has led many libraries to take the greater risk of cards.
In the relative system, now almost universally preferred, shelves require no numbers, the class numbers being the sole guide. For greater legibility these are often printed large on movable label-holders. If shelves are numbered, the plan should be so comprehensive that numbers signify position as well as sequence. Here as everywhere numbers must run from top to bottom and left to right, to read as the columns of a newspaper are read, e.g. 2435.8 might mean second floor, fourth room or face, third tier, fifth shelf from the top, and eighth book from the left-hand end. The unit figure should uniformly represent a height the same distance from the floor, so that one seeking a shelf ending in 5 knows on what level to look.
Janitorial Department. Feather dusters merely redistribute dust. Damp cloths can be used in many places and moist sawdust scattered over the floor in sweeping collects the dust in little balls. Books are cleaned by slapping them sharply together over a shallow pan of water which catches the dust. Some libraries have an air-shaft with strong exhaust, so that books may have the dust jarred off and carried away by an air-current. A recently invented portable exhaust with rubber hose sucks out all dust thoroughly by running the nozzle over the tops of the volumes. The best protection against fire is an ample supply of fibre or metal buckets kept filled with water, and kept in plain benches with hinged covers. Raising the cover exposes the entire line of full pails, which are less likely to spill than when taken down from high racks. Hand grenades lose their power with age. As books are easily damaged by water, dry powder extinguishers are specially adapted to libraries. Insurance authorities have tested and approved three of the scores of appliances for mixing sulphuric acid quickly with soda and water, thus making the best of chemical extinguishers. A pattern should be chosen without rubber pipes, which harden with age, or valves, which are apt to stick. But prevention of fire is more important than extinction. The greatest danger is from imperfect electric wiring. For unlighted corners candles are safer than oil lamps. Steam or hot water heat with a single fire and flue is much safer and cleaner than stoves, furnaces, or fireplaces.
Library Classification. Books alone are no more a library than boxes of type or dictionaries of words are poems. A collection of books must be classified before it deserves the name library.
Classification is putting like things together. Each book, pamphlet, clipping, map, or other item goes with any others like it on a carefully systematized plan, so that matter most closely allied and oftenest used with it will precede or follow closely. Only thus can all reasonable demands of readers be met fully and promptly. The vital importance of classification has long been recognized. Alexander Bain says. "To learn to classify is in itself an education." But practical difficulties were so grave as largely to neutralize advantages. It is an almost endless work to prepare a complete scheme, and when done it never wholly suits the maker, much less any one else. To avoid the inevitable delays and confusion of these elaborate systems, some libraries were arranged in order of acquisition, some by authors like a directory. Usually there was coarse classification by subjects, and librarians and readers did the best they could to find their resources by aid of bibliographies, subject catalogues, and indexes. Some classifications had no indexes. Others referred to pages of scheme on which subjects might be found. The book number itself indicated a fixed location on a particular shelf and had to be altered as often as growth made it necessary to move that subject.
The great desideratum was a system that would do away with the expensive necessity of renumbering books whenever their location was changed. This was provided in 1876 by the publication of the Decimal Classification and Relative Index, which showed by the same number both subject and location. This scheme divided the field of knowledge into nine main classes, numbered 1 to 9. Encyclopædias, periodicals, etc., so general in character as to belong to no one of these classes, are marked 0 and form a tenth class. Each class is similarly separated into nine divisions, general works belonging to no division having naught in place of the division number. Divisions are similarly divided into nine sections and the process is repeated as often as necessary, the full tables covering some 20,000 topics.
Books on the shelves and cards in the subject catalogue are arranged in simple numerical order, all class numbers being decimal. Since each subject has a definite number, it follows that all books on any subject must stand together. The tables show the order in which subjects follow one another, 512 algebra preceding 513 geometry, and following 511 arithmetic. Of this E. C. Richardson says in his Classification, Theoretical and Practical (pages 199-200), published, by Scribners in 1901:
“This system has probably had more vogue than any other bibliographic system ever published save possibly that of Brunet. Taken as a whole and regarding the substantially unchanging form and notation, among the multitude of derived systems with minor variations, it is undoubtedly true that no system ever invented has been applied to as many libraries (probably at the present day several thousand) as this. In many libraries considerable changes have been made, but in the majority it remains practically unchanged. It is now being adopted very generally on the Continent of Europe by booksellers even as well as libraries, and is of late, through its adoption by the Brussels Institute (for international bibliographic work), having a very zealous propaganda by its converts, especially in France and Italy. Many of the most noteworthy partial classifications of the present day are avowedly founded on and are enlargements of this system. The system itself is supposed to be in some way an adaptation of Bacon, but the relation is hardly to be discovered and it really should be counted as independent. The reasons for its deserved popularity are to be found: (1) In an intelligent and consistent application of the decimal notation (not new with Dewey, but first by him vigorously and consistently applied); (2) in the grasp of mnemonic possibilities of this situation; (3) in the practical, intelligent, and often up-to-date management of the remoter subdivisions of the, in some places, somewhat artificial, larger subclasses; (4) in the fully printed schedules with their ‘relative index,’ which more than anything else is the cause of the practicality of this system and its wide adoption. In other words, its popularity has been due to intelligent practical usefulness.”
The user of a library as a rule has no interest or knowledge as to theories of the scheme used. His concern is to find quickly any subject wanted and to find near it other closely allied subjects which he is also likely to consult. Experience proved the proposed change from fixed to relative location practical. This solved most of the difficulties, so that in recent years most libraries careful in deciding on methods adopt the most important characteristics noted below as recognized essentials in a satisfactory library classification.
Relative Index. The card catalogue is rapidly displacing the book form. The former could not be indexed like a book by reference to pages, for cards to which additions are made daily could not be numbered like pages. The solution for classed catalogues was to number subjects so that the entry in the relative index was followed by a number which meant not a page of a special book, but a subject in the complete scheme; e.g. geometry in the index is marked 513, meaning Class 5 Natural Science, Division 1 Pure Mathematics, Section 3 Geometry. This relative index number is a key to card catalogue, shelves, pamphlet collections, shelf-list, charging system, newspaper clippings, manuscript notes, in fact to everything arranged on the relative system. Books and other material are arranged in simple 1, 2, 3 order, and the old numbers indicating a fixed location are wholly abolished because this relative index number shows not only what subject the book treats, but also exactly where it may be found. Old numbers were frequently changed, while relative numbers, being permanent, are gilded on book-backs.
Close Classing. All recent experience strongly confirms the wisdom of close classification on shelves, and the practice has so changed that what twenty years ago was called extreme close classification would now be considered medium or even coarse. Where libraries depend on catalogues and indexes for the resources on any subject it usually results, after a few years, in doing the work over at greatly increased cost. The best results can be obtained only by having as far as physically practicable material on each definite subject standing together. Lists of books printed as guides to readers are now usually closely classified.
Classification in Advance by Experts. By the relative index the number of each minute topic shows the exact place to which it has been assigned by a recognized authority in that field. A classifier need have no knowledge of the general subject if he knows exactly what a book is about. Turning to that topic or any of its synonyms in the index, he finds its number, which, marked on book, cards, and elsewhere, gives expert classification with a minimum of labor. When this book is wanted any assistant who knows what topic is sought repeats the process, finding almost instantly the index number which guides to book or catalogue entry in 1, 2, 3 order.
Simple Notation. In any plan the system of numbers is of the utmost practical importance. Extreme simplicity is necessary for rapid and accurate use by readers and attendants. Only Arabic numerals, and Roman letters are sufficiently simple and familiar to be available. Most libraries use nothing but figures to number subjects. The expansive system by C. A. Cutter combines letters and figures. The 26 letters allow 676 combinations with two characters or 17,576 with three, and as compared with Arabic numerals have 18, 40, and 118 times the capacity for three, four, and five characters. This is a great advantage, but produces numbers very unusual and complicated in appearance. The expansive is the best of the letter systems and the only one used by any number of libraries. Both expansive and decimal systems meet the test of a good classification in insuring that books on the same subject shall be classed together and readily found when wanted.
Book Numbers. Mr. Cutter is also author of an ingenious and widely used table to keep books in each class in alphabetical order. The author's initial is followed by a number which is the translation into figures of the rest of the name, so that the system is much simpler in handling and recording than it would be if the author's whole name had to be used. For scientific and other books where chronologic order is preferable, W. S. Biscoe, of New York State Library, devised a translation scheme by which a letter followed by simple Arabic numerals indicates date. Under the subject or class numbers most libraries use Cutter numbers, while many use also Biscoe numbers for science and useful arts. Some use simple accession order.
Mnemonics. Both decimal and expansive systems made large use of practical mnemonics. These are of much use, especially in geographic divisions, languages, and form distinctions; e.g. since in the decimal classification German is invariably 3 and grammars 5, one knows without reference to tables or index that in class 4 philology German grammars must be 435. Library attendants are greatly aided by these mnemonic features and can often construct a number instantly. The principle also allows very minute subdivisions of topics where it is needed for detailed notes of specialists, as in limited divisions of historical periods. In history, 0 after the number for country means no further geographic subdivision and that the figure following denotes time; e.g. 942 is history of England (class 9 history, division 4 Europe, section 2 England), 0 indicates no further geographic division, 6 the sixth or Stuart period, 1 the first Stuart King, so that 942.061 means history of England in the reign of James I. (1603-25). Or, still further, a specialist may be collecting material on Norfolk under James I. If so 061, the number for reign of James I., added to 942.61 (Norfolk), making 942.61061. would indicate with absolute precision and in a language understood all over the civilized world exactly the time and place. The wide adoption of this decimal classification for international use was based on the fact that it was a universal language used with equal readiness by all nations, while words would often be confused and misinterpreted as they were transferred from one tongue to another.
Assigning Class Numbers. The content or the real subject of which a book treats, not the literary form or wording of the title, determines its place. A history of mathematics goes with mathematics, not with history. Every book should be assigned to the most specific head that will contain it, according to its predominant tendency or obvious purpose and also the nature and specialties of the library. Translations, reviews, analyses, and other books about specific books should be classified with the original books, as being most useful there.
Devising New Schemes. The relative index and relative location, and closer classification than was thought possible before their invention, are now generally accepted. Experienced librarians uniformly advise against making new schemes, as the labor and cost are so excessive. The result is never wholly satisfactory, and the same time and money spent in other directions would do much greater good to the library. Schemes already laboriously worked out are freely at the disposal of all, and there is also the very great advantage in adopting a scheme used by many other libraries that catalogues, indexes, and notes are interchangeable, and that many accessories have been prepared and printed and can be cheaply obtained that could be had for an independent scheme only at a cost so large as to be prohibitive.
Library Schools and Training. When near the close of the last century librarianship was recognized as a profession, it became clear that it had the same need for professional schools as law, medicine, or teaching, but nowhere was there offered systematic training for this important field. May 7, 1883, Melvil Dewey's plan for a library school with a statement of need of it was presented to the trustees of Columbia University. There was a growing call for trained librarians animated by the modern library spirit. There were in the United States 5000 public libraries, large and small, whose efficiency experts agreed could be doubled by skillful administration. Young college graduates of unusual promise were ready to enter the new profession, but no adequate facilities for training were offered. In 1884, after a year's consideration, Columbia voted to establish the school, which was opened January 5, 1887. The three months' course was by petition lengthened to four, and then to seven months, and then at once to two years, thus proving a demand for technical training not only larger than estimated, but also for broader and more thorough work than that originally planned. On April 1, 1889, by agreement between Columbia and the State, the school was transferred to the State Library at Albany. Library schools in charge of graduates of the parent school were opened in 1890 by Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, in 1892 by Drexel institute, Philadelphia, in 1893 by Armour Institute, Chicago. When in 1897 the University of Illinois erected its finest building for the library and determined to make library training a special feature, it arranged for the transfer to the State of Armour Institute School with its faculty and collections. The New York School since 1902 requires for admission a degree from a registered college. The Illinois State School in 1903 raised its requirements from two to three years of college work for admission. The degree of B.A. in library science is given at the end of four years' college work, the last of which is devoted to library science. The degree of bachelor of library science requires two full years of work besides the three years of college work. Pratt and Drexel Institute schools admit high-school graduates, and do not offer degrees. Like law and medical schools, a library school offers only a technical course, making no attempt to give general culture or supply deficiencies in earlier education. It gives only an outline treatment of historical and antiquarian topics, devoting its time to preparing its students for as valuable service as possible in their chosen field. A course includes bibliography, cataloguing, classification, work of accession, loan and shelf departments, bookbinding, library buildings, administrative, supervisory, and State commission work, selection of books, general library methods and appliances. As practical training is the chief end, seminars, problems, study of libraries in operation, and other features are used in such proportion as experience has shown to give the best results. Practice work in all the different departments under careful supervision is an important factor.
The arduous work of the modern librarian demands more than ordinary capacity and executive ability, and also health, energy, and tireless industry. Besides these natural qualifications, the candidates should be college-bred because: (1) They are a picked class, selected from the best material throughout the country; (2) college training has given them a wider culture and broader view with a considerable fund of information, all of which is valuable working material in a library as almost nowhere else; (3) a four years' course successfully completed is the strongest voucher for persistent purpose and mental and physical capacity for protracted intellectual work; (4) experience proves that college discipline enables the mind to work with a quick precision and steady application rarely otherwise gained.
Several large libraries have regular training or apprentice classes. Younger staff members and sometimes applicants for positions are organized in a class, assigned a teacher, and trained for several months in order to make them more efficient. Such classes are not open to the public, and do not pretend to be library schools; but in a large library systematic class instruction is much cheaper and more effective than to have high-priced assistants losing time in individual explanations. Many colleges and normal schools give library and bibliographic courses, not to train librarians, but to teach their students how to utilize a large library, how to care for their own private libraries, and to give them a knowledge and interest that will qualify them to serve intelligently as library trustees.
Another form of instruction is for library organizers, members of commissions, or missionary librarians to meet for a day librarians needing assistance and answer questions and make suggestions. The name ‘institute’ has been used for such ‘round table’ work, but should properly be limited to work corresponding closely to ordinary teachers' institutes where most of the week is given to systematic short courses under expert conductors. In 1902 New York was divided into 11 districts and the first systematic institute work successfully begun.
Library Associations and Clubs. The first convention of librarians was held in New York, September 15-17, 1853, with 53 delegates. The next was held in Philadelphia, October 4-6, 1876 with 103 delegates. At the close, the American Library Association, of which the object is “to promote the welfare of libraries in America,” began its work, which has grown steadily in scope and usefulness. Its annual meetings alternate between East and West, usually from Boston to San Francisco, and from Montreal to New Orleans. Its largest attendance is over 1000. In intervals between meetings its work is carried on by the committees, the council of 32, or the executive board of 7. It has sections devoted to special interests, e.g. college, reference, State library, trustees. Its most important branch is the American Library Association Publishing Board, consisting of five members who have charge of preparing and publishing bibliographies and other specially needed library aids. Funds for this board were raised by small subscriptions till in 1902 Andrew Carnegie made a first large gift of $100,000. The Board publishes various indexes and other helps to librarians, and annotated lists of the best books, for which George Iles has furnished the chief inspiration and most of the funds. Through it the experience of the library profession on many matters is focalized, formulated, and made available to all. At the close of the first international conference of librarians, held in London. October 2-5, 1877, at which 22 Americans were present, the Library Association of the United Kingdom, later chartered as the Library Association, began its work. It holds annual meetings at central points in the three kingdoms, and its Council holds monthly meetings in London. It gives much more attention to the antiquarian and historical side of library work than the American Association, whose activities have been almost wholly directed to establishing new libraries, improving methods, reducing cost, and other directly practical ends. The National Library Association of Australasia was founded in 1869, in 1900 the Verein Deutscher Bibliothekäre was founded in Germany, and in 1901 the Kansai Bunko Kyōkai or Western Library Association was established in Japan with Tōheki as its official organ. In half a dozen other countries, notably Italy, France, and Denmark, growing interest in the modern library movement indicates early organization. The first State Library Association was organized in New York in 1890, followed rapidly by other States, till now nearly all have such organizations.
Interstate meetings are becoming more common, because they reach large numbers in certain sections unable to afford time and cost of journeys to national meetings at distant points. New York holds an annual ‘Library Week’ for the Northeastern States and Canada, the last full week in September, at Lake Placid Club in the Adirondacks, which draws delegates from numerous other States. The Pennsylvania and New Jersey associations for many years have held a joint meeting, to which others are invited, at Atlantic City, N. J., for three days late in March. Another central meeting-point is Madison, Wis., where some of the best public-library work of the country has been done by the efficient State Commission.
In 1885 the New York Library Club, the first local body devoted to library interests, was started. Chicago followed in 1891, and now local clubs are found in most of the large cities and are being established also for groups of counties where the need is felt for more frequent meetings and closer contact than is provided by the State associations.
While delegates from different countries frequently attend national meetings, the distinctly international library conferences have been in London (1877), Chicago (1893), at the Columbian Exposition, London (1897), at the Queen's Jubilee, and at the Paris Exposition of 1900.
State Supervision, Grants, and Subsidies. Most of the States have now appointed library commissions, usually of three or five persons serving without salary, but often with a paid secretary or organizer. These commissions have charge of the State's public library interests. They are recognized as transitional, and are paving the way for establishment, as an essential part of State government, of a library department corresponding closely to the educational department. At present these commissions answer questions, help in selecting books, give suggestions and advise as to buildings, methods, and rules, and in several States make grants of books or money to new libraries. New York first of any State or country organized a distinct library department, under the law of May 1, 1891. It grants for buying approved books as much as is raised from local sources, up to $200 annually. The law also allows grants from local money up to 10 cents for each volume circulated, but supervision is more strict than elsewhere. All books bought with State money must be approved by the Public Libraries Division of the State Library, and the recorded circulation on which subsidies from local funds are granted must be certified as conforming to a proper standard.
Bibliography. American Library Association Papers, prepared for the World's Library Congress held at the Columbian Exposition, ed. by Melvil Dewey (Washington, 1896). United States Bureau of Education, free; Burgoyne, Library Construction, Architecture, Fittings, and Furniture (London, 1897); Dana, Library Primer (Chicago, 1899); Dewey, Library School Rules; Card Catalog Rules, Accession Rules, Shelf List Rules (3d ed., Boston, 1894); Grasel, Manuel de bibliothéconomie (Paris, 1897); Greenwood, Public Libraries: A History of the Movement and a Manual for the Organization and Management (4th ed., London, 1891); Library Journal (New York, 1877 et seq.), the monthly journal of the American Library Association; Macfarlane, Library Administration (London, 1898); Maire, Manuel pratique du bibliothécaire (Paris, 1896); Plummer, Hints to Small Libraries (2d ed., revised and enlarged, New York, 1898); Public Libraries, a monthly review of library matters and methods (Chicago, 1896 et seq.); Spofford, Book-for All Readers, Designed as an Aid to the Collection, Use, and Preservation of Books, and the Information of Public and Private Libraries (2d ed., New York, 1900). Probably the most important books and articles on classification are: Edwards, “Classificatory Systems” in his Memoirs of Libraries, vol. ii. (London, 1859); Petzholdt, “Bibliographische Systeme,” in his Bibliotheca Bibliographica (Leipzig, 1866); Kephart, “Classification,” in American Library Association Papers at Columbian Exposition, 1893, a survey of methods in larger American libraries, published by the United States Bureau of Education (Washington, 1896); J. D. Brown, Manual of Library Classification and Shelf Arrangement (London, 1898); Richardson, Classification, Theoretical and Practical (New York, 1901); Dewey, Decimal Classification and Relativ Index (6th ed., Boston, 1899); Cutter, Expansive Classification. Also articles in Library Journal and Bulletins de l'institut international de bibliographie (Brussels, Belgium).
|Library||City||Country||Date*||No. of vols.|
|3||Imperatorskij Publicnaja Biblioteka||Saint Petersburg||Russia||1902||1,330,000|
|5||Library of Congress||Washington||D.C.||1900||1,000,000|
|6||Kön. Hof- u. Staatsbibliothek||Munich||Bavaria||1902||1,000,000|
|7||K. u. k. Hofbibliothek||Vienna||Austria||1901||900,000|
|8||Universitäts- u. Landesbibliothek||Strassburg||Alsace||1902||814,000|
|10||Publičnyj i Rumjancovskij Musej||Moscow||Russia||1900||800,000|
|11||Public Library||N. Y. City||New York||1902||787,775|
|14||K. u. k. Universitäts-Bibliothek||Vienna||Austria||1901||596,525|
|15||Harvard University Library||Cambridge||Mass.||1901||575,888|
|16||Det Store Kongelige Bibliothek||Copenhagen||Denmark||1895||550,000|
|17||Cambridge University Library||Cambridge||England||1900||550,000|
|19||Kön. Bibliotheek||The Hague||Netherlands||1892||500,000|
|23||Regia Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale||Florence||Italy||1901||488,207|
|25||Bibliothèque de l'Université||Paris||France||1897||477,590|
|26||N. Y. State Library||Albany||New York||1902||476,437|
|27||Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum||Budapest||Hungary||1900||467,000|
|29||Königliche öffentliche Bibliothek||Dresden||Saxony||1902||460,000|
|30||Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal||Paris||France||1892||454,000|
|31||Imperatorskij Varsavskij Universitet||Warsaw||Russia||1898||453,728|
|32||Kön. Bayerische Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitäts-Bibliothek||Munich||Bavaria||1902||450,000|
|33||Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana||Venice||Italy||1902||405,098|
|35||Imperatorskaja Akademija Naiik||Saint Petersburg||Russia||1900||400,000|
|37||Kön. Eberhard-Karls Universitäts-Bibliothek||Tübingen||Württemberg||1902||390,000|
|38||R. Biblioteca Nazionale||Naples||Italy||1902||374,755|
|39||Kongelige Frederiks Universitet Biblioteket||Christiania||Norway||1902||372,000|
|40||Yale University Library||New Haven||Conn.||1902||360,000|
|41||Bibliothèque de l'Université de l'Etat de Gand||Ghent||Belgium||1900||357,254|
|43||University of Chicago||Chicago||Ill.||1899||350,000|
|44||Universytet Jagiellouski w Krakowie||Cracow||Galica||1901||344,715|
|45||Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele||Rome||Italy||1900||337,632|
|47||Columbia University Library||N. Y. City||New York||1902||327,622|
|49||Kön. öffentliche Bibliothek||Bamberg||Bavaria||1902||323,958|
|51||Tokyo Teikoku Daigaku (University)||Tokio||Japan||1902||317,935|
|52||Imperatorskij S. Peterburgsky Universitet||Saint Petersburg||Russia||1902||306,727|
|55||Public Library||Brooklyn||New York||1902||303,801|
|60||R. Biblioteca Palatina||Parma||Italy||1902||299,404|
|61||Public Free Libraries||Manchester||England||1901||292,167|
|63||K. k. Karl-Ferdinand-Universitats-Bibliothek||Prague||Bohemia||1901||278,623|
|65||Birmingham Free Libraries||Birmingham||England||1902||272,166|
|66||Imperatorskij Moskovskij Universitet||Moscow||Russia||1902||271,926|
|67||Grossherz. Bad. Albert-Ludwigs-Universitäts-Bibliothek||Freiburg i. Br.||Baden||1902||270,000|
|68||Bibliotheca Nacional||Rio de Janeiro||Brazil||1902||259,404|
|69||Trinity College Library||Dublin||Ireland||1900||257,317|
|70||Regia Università degli Studi||Bologna||Italy||1895||255,000|
|73||Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana||Rome||Italy||1893||250,000|
|74||Goruyj Institut||Saint Petersburg||Russia||1901||250,000|
|75||Cornell University Library||Ithaca||New York||1902||250,000|
|79||Kön. Christian-Albrechts Universitäts-Bibliothek||Kiel||Prussia||1901||246,310|
|82||Budapesti Királyi Magyar Tudomány-Egyetem (University)||Budapest||Hungary||1901||236,881|
|83||Imperatorskij Novorossijskij Universitet||Odessa||Russia||1902||232,000|
|85||Mercantile Library||N. Y. City||New York||1901||230,541|
|86||Princeton University Library||Princeton||N. J.||1901||230,100|
|88||Biblioteca Nazionale Braideuse||Milan||Italy||1901||228,648|
|89||Vereinigte Friedrichs-Universität Halle-Wittenberg||Halle||Prussia||1902||228,000|
|92||Sutro Library||San Francisco||Cal.||1902||220,000|
|96||Kön. Friedrich-Alexanders Universitäts-Bibliothek||Erlangen||Bavaria||1902||213,800|
|97||Central Public Free Library||Leeds||England||1901||212,396|
|98||Ἐθνικὴ Βιβλιοθήκη τῆς Ἑλλάδος||Athens||Greece||1902||212,000|
|99||Enoch Pratt Free Library||Baltimore||Md.||1901||211,449|
|100||Imperatorskij Kazanskij Universitet||Kasan||Russia||1901||211,196|
|104||Imperatorskij Jurjevskij Universitet||Dorpat||Russia||1901||209,090|
|107||Universidad Central de España||Madrid||Spain||1895||206,134|
|109||University of Pennsylvania Library||Philadelphia||Pa.||1902||202,500|
|111||Grossherzoglich- und herzoglich Sächsische Gesamtuniversitäts-Bibliothek||Jena||Saxe-Weimar||1892||200,000|
|112||Staats-, Kreis- und Stadtbibliotlick||Augsburg||Bavaria||1893||200,000|
|113||Museum Královstvl Českeho||Prague||Bohemia||1898||200,000|
|115||Kön. und Provinzial-Bibliotbek||Hanover||Prussia||1901||200,000|
|118||Publičnaja Biblioteka i Sostojaščij pri nej Muzej||Vilna||Russia||1901||200,000|
|120||Library of Parliament||Ottawa||Canada||1902||200,000|
*Date of latest available statistics.