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ment of educational, governmental, masonic, sporting and scientific statistics of all sorts-geographical, climatic, genealogical and banking information. It will be more useful and more easily consulted than many a more expensive book or set of books.

From even the smallest Library thus equipped you can get a great deal of information at very trifling expense and trouble, and the sooner your District Library is begun the better for all concerned.

For details of management, etc., you are referred to both preceding and succeeding pages in this handbook and to Plummer's "Hints for Small Libraries," both of which you will do well to read with care, and to refer to as difficulties arise. If met in a right spirit, it is only fun to solve those difficulties, and your Library will become a delight and enjoyment to you all.

Make its atmosphere as bright, hospitable and informal as you possibly can; extend its privileges as freely as you know how; keep it clean, have flowers in it, and sunshine in winter, shade in summer, courtesy and kindliness at all times, and there is no question that it will prosper and do good.


Even the smallest Library will need :

Accession book.

Registration book.



Book cards.

Borrower's cards.

Catalogue cards.

The last three items had best be bought of the Library Bureau.

The first four can be got from any stationer.


For the accession book in which to keep a record of each addition to the Library, a ruled blank book about 8 by 10 inches will do. The Librarian can rule vertical lines in it on each page, so spaced that she can enter in columns the following items about each book, and to do so will take the two pages facing each other and necessitate using abbreviations when possible : Date (when entry made). Accession No. Author (surname, followed by initials). Title (very brief). Place (where published). Publisher (first name of firm is enough). Date (of publication). Pages (those numbered in main part of book). Size. Binding (whether cloth, paper or leather, etc.) Source (who gave it or of whom it was bought). Remarks (whether re-bound, lost or withdrawn). horizontal line should be numbered, and the same number neatly written at the bottom of the first page following the title page in the book which is described on that line.



Never give the same number twice-if a book is lost or destroyed its number is lost too, and a duplicate book or a second copy must have a new number.

In such cases be sure to write in "Remarks" what has become of the missing book—and it is well to draw a straight line right through its record to show at a glance that you no longer have that book.


The registration book may be just such another blank book as the accession book, and its use as well as that of the book cards, borrowers' cards and book pockets is carefully and clearly described in this handbook. (See index.) BOOK STAMP.

The book stamp is merely a rubber stamp to be used with an ink pad. It should bear the name and address of the Library, and is employed as a mark of identification of

the Library's property, to be stamped in each book to show to whom it belongs.

Take pains to stamp your books evenly and carefully and always in the same places in each separate book—say on the inside cover, on the first and last pages, and on the margins of pp. 25 and 50. If used with care the stamps will not disfigure the books. You will find a green, black, purple or blue ink pad preferable, as the red pads are of a very ugly tint.


Even in the smallest Libraries it will be far better to use at least so much of the Dewey Decimal Classification as is described in Plummer's "Hints to Small Libraries," because it will save trouble as the Library grows, but in the beginning if there are only 100 to 300 books it may seem easier to roughly class the books in groups as follows: books (dictionaries, encyclopedias,

A-Reference almanacs, etc.)


C-History (including politics, economics and social science.)

D-Literature (including essays, sermons and religion.) E-Science (including useful arts, agriculture, education, etc.,)




geography (including voyages and

J-Juveniles or children's books.

K-Amusements, games and sports.

L-Fine arts (including painting, photography, designing, sculpture, etc.)


All librarians are advised to take the trouble to understand the Decimal Classification, however, as its groupings are logical and elastic, and are readily comprehended as one grows accustomed to their use.

Whatever system is employed the class marks should be neatly written in the cover of each book close to the upper left hand corner, and also on the catalogue and shelf list cards as elsewhere described. Then arrange the books on the shelves according to their class, and arrange each class alphabetically by the author's surname.


For very small libraries a shelf list will serve for a catalogue for a few years. Write very neatly on your cards (see index), the following items in the following order, giving one card to each book unless the work is in more than one volume, then one card does for them all : Class No.. Author's surname, initials Title (brief)

Author's Initial.

Accession No..

Vol. (No. if more than one).

Date (of publication).

Arrange the cards in the same order in their box that you have the books on the shelves, do not allow any one to remove them nor to alter their arrangement, though if you use this shelf list for a catalogue you must give your public free access to the cards as well as to the books.


For rules, etc., (see index).


The State Library Commission of Delaware wishes to keep a complete record of the growth of public, school and traveling libraries in the State. To the end that it may successfully do so, it asks Librarians and all friends of libraries in Delaware, to send clippings or newspapers showing the beginnings and growth of all Libraries. Notes of improvements, changes, new books, gifts, entertainments for libraries, criticisms, reports--all will be gratefully received by the State Library Commission, Dover, Delaware.

Books should to one of these four ends conduce
For wisdom, piety, delight or use.


When a book raises your spirit and inspires you with noble and courageous feelings, seek for no other rule to judge the event by; it is good and made by a good workman.-DE LA BRUYERE.


If possible the selection of books should rest with the Librarian under the general supervision of the Library Commission or Book Committee. In making a selection it will not be wise to consider merely the amount of money in hand to be expended, but also the sums which will probably be available for each succeeding year.

The choice should be influenced by the occupations and leading interests of the community, its character, and average intelligence and habits. Keep in mind the avowed purposes of the free tax supported Library, viz: To help people to be happy, to help them to become wise, to encourage them to be good.

Remember that it is for all, and the first books bought should therefore be those which experience shows that people enjoy. They should be wholesome and interesting, and should be in large proportion for children.

Fortunately the whole world enjoys the best children's books, and as children are the Library's best pupils, they should be most considered. Through the children, homes are reached. Through their use of the Library, and their approval of it, they add to its popularity.

The small District Library in its early life may well begin near the level of the community's average reading, but as it is the purpose of the Public Library to develop some degree of literary culture among its readers, the selection of books for it should always strive to be a little in advance of public demand, for as a rule people will read

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