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shall draw orders upon the Treasurer of the School District for the payment of bills which the Commission orders paid.
5. LIBRARIAN. The Librarian shall have charge of the Library and reading room and be responsible for the care of the books and other library property; classify and arrange all books and publications and keep the same catalogued according to such plans as may be approved by the District Library Commission; promptly report any delinquencies to the committee on books and supplies; keep exact account of all monies received from fines and other sources and report all amounts to the Commission at its regular meetings in
and pay all balances to the Secretary at the designated meetings, and discharge such other duties as may be prescribed by the District Library Commission, provided that in the performance of such duties she shall not incur debt or liability of any kind without express authority from the Commission.
NOTE. Most small libraries will find it quite sufficient to hold regular meetings once in two or three months.
When the Library's receipts from fines are light, the Librarian might be allowed to retain them for some time, and pay very small bills for postage, etc., from them. When settling with the Secretary she may pay the full amounts and be given an order for the amount of her expenditure. The Secretary should pay the balance to the Treasurer of the School District before the time of the final meeting and report.
When a Library Commission receives considerable sums of money from other sources than from public taxation, it may be advisable to elect a Treasurer from its own members, and in such a case that officer should give adequate bonds.
Many Libraries call in all their books by July 1st each year for the annual inventory to be taken before making
up the report to be presented to the District at the annual school meeting. If an accurate charging system is used it is not really necessary to recall the books.
In books are treasures more than gold.
SUGGESTIONS TO very smaLL
Friends of libraries, do not be discourged by the idea that your Library, if you would have one, must make a very small beginning. Scattered over this great country of ours are hundreds of successful libraries begun on no larger scale, and on a much more uncertain basis than yours will be. Remember that year by year yours must grow, and in proportion as you love and care for it, the growth will be more rapid and healthy.
Therefore be content to have your collection of books a very small one at first, and to have your equipment of the smallest, least expensive sort, for five or ten years from now you will realize that with all its lacks and deficiencies your Library has been a source of pride and pleasure to its earliest supporters, and that it has been of real value in the community.
It will be unnecessary to have all the records and systems of management, etc., detailed elsewhere in this book (though it will surely repay you to read it all, for the sake of the suggestions and the general theory of Library policy it prescribes), but for yourselves and the immediate pres
ent, much less elaborate "fixings' will be necessary and desirable.
You may have to open your Library in the Schoolhouse in the woods, and there are worse places for it than in so sweet and fragrant a spot; or perhaps a disused room over the "Store" will be lent for the purpose; or the vestry room of the Church may be made to do double duty. But wherever you may keep your books, try to obtain reading room privileges for your public as well as shelf room for your books, and to make the place just as cheerful, clean and bright as the circumstances permit.
Have your shelves (8 inches deep, by 10 high, will accommodate nine-tenths of the books published), arranged where the books will be least likely to be disturbed by passing children and where they will make as attractive an appearance as possible. Let the shelves be of smooth unpainted boards, but keep them clean, and do not let them be too long or they will sag under the weight of books and look ugly, and perhaps damage the tops of tall books on the shelves below.
The shelf divisions or supports ought not to be further apart than from 32 to 36 inches, and if you are careful to observe this rule, the shelves need not be more than threefourths of an inch thick. Do not have them higher than you can reach conveniently (five shelves will be about enough). Keep the lowest shelf three or four inches above the floor to avoid having the sweepings and scrub water spoil the books.
If you are lucky enough to have begged, borrowed or bought as many as a thousand volumes to begin with, it will be worth your while to insist on your Librarian's making a study of the slightly more elaborate system of Library management suggested elsewhere in this book; but if you begin with but one or two hundred books, and expect to increase the collection by 20 to 50 volumes a year, then
the methods described below will be sufficient and easier at first.
If you can begin in a room especially devoted to the Library's uses try to have it on the ground floor. Make the room as attractive as you possibly can, and as cheerful. Have the chairs as comfortable as you can get -it does not matter if they are of different patterns,and try to have a few low ones for the little people.
A pot of geraniums or oxalis in the window, a rug of bright rag carpet on the floor, a neat sheet of blotting paper on the Librarian's table will add very much to the pleasantness of the room, and will not cost a great deal.
Probably the neighbors would contribute some flowers and chairs and a small deal table with a drawer in it for a Librarian's desk. This would be sufficient for several years to come.
Have a nice large table of plain deal, and keep on it the newest numbers of the magazines neatly arranged. If your income is small do not subscribe to the more expensive ones. At first take McClure, Munsey, Ladies Home Journal, Youth's Companion, American Agriculturalist and the New York Times Saturday Book Review. Nearly all can be had for $1 each, and there is not one of them that will not give an immense amount of pleasure and profit to its readers.
Later in the Library's life, you will probably want to add Harper and the Century, Scribner and Country Life, etc., but probably not at first.
Do not buy any books the first year or so which will not be used or read a good deal. George F. Bowerman, Librarian of the Wilmington Institute Free Library, and a member of the State Library Commission, has offered to give any Delaware District Library the benefit of his expert knowledge in this matter, and if you will write to him, or go to see him, and tell him how much money you
have for books, he will aid you to make a selection, or make one for you, and will get for you the largest discount possible from his own dealers. This aid will save inexperienced book committees a great deal of money, and many mistakes, and they cannot do better than to avail themselves of the offer.
A hundred dollars should give you about forty or fifty good novels, nearly as many children's books, about thirty volumes of history, travel, biography, farming, and a reference book or two, like some of Brewer's Handbooks, or Bartlett's Familiar quotations.
There are numbers of excellent books to be had for the asking, if one is interested enough to write a polite letter, enclosing a stamp, and wise enough to appreciate the value of the gift of a pamphlet or an unbound book.
Many of the railroads issue most attractive and interesting books about places on their routes, and many shops advertise themselves by giving information about the articles which are their specialties. For instance, Wright, Tyndall & Van Roden, of Philadelphia, have a "Book of Pottery Marks,' by W. Percival Jervis, which is an excellent book of reference for those interested in this subject.
If such books are kept carefully, they form quite a valuable addition to the working stock of small libraries which cannot afford expensive individual works on the topics treated, nor yet cyclopedias.
The World Almanac, at 25 cents, will provide a Library with a most varied fund of information about innumerable subjects upon which people are always asking questionssuch as the following: The labor laws; the members of the Senate; the records of trotting horses; when and where Maude Adams was born; who is the oldest of the "Forty Immortals'' of the "Academy'' and why Cardinal Richelieu founded it in 1635; how many survivors of the War of 1812 are on the pension rolls, and a vast assort