« PředchozíPokračovat »
not take the trouble, to ferret out books them or leave them.” It was only a few for themselves. They hunted down fire- years ago that the public libraries all over men in engine houses all over town, the country began to wake up. policemen in their stations, children in But they are awake now — aggressively parochial and industrial schools, the sick awake. Here is a group of East Side and the helpless in charitable institutions, Hungarians who do not read because they driven girls in department stores and fac- do not know English; at once they put tories. All because they had neglected lit- in a shelf of books in the Hungarians'
ONE OF THE TWO HUGE READING ROOMS IN WHICH THE PUBLIC MAY CONSULT ANY BOOK IN THE LIBRARY, DELIVERED TO THEM BY DUMBWAITERS FROM THE STORE ROOMS AND ANNOUNCED TO THEM AS READY FOR USE BY THE FLASHING OF INDEX NUMBERS UPON THE BOARD OF AN ELECTRIC ANNUNCIATOR AT THE LIBRARIANS' DESK
. erature; but that is enough, for the modern own language and catch them that way. library system. It will not be neglected. There is a gang of young rowdies who look
The traveling library is only one depart- upon the library as a row of windows ment of a vast organization of public through which empty beer bottles are to library departments, but it illustrates the be fired; the librarian announces an exdifference between the old and the new. citing sea story to be told next Friday Time was when books were recluses. night, and in tramps the gang to find They sat in austere exclusiveness upon itself spellbound by an expert story-teller. their shelves, and the librarian of that day. Thus, libraries are making themselves was a dragon who guarded their privacy. in every sense educational centres. Their Gradually the dragon attitude relaxed managers aim not only to furnish books into a more apathetic mood of, “Here to those who desire them, but to convert. are the books: you, the public, may take Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh,
A LIBRARY WORKER AT A CHILDREN'S “STORY HOUR". ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING AND SUCCESSFUL METHODS OF EXTENDING THE INFLUENCE OF THE
LIBRARY BY LEADING CHILDREN TO LOVE BOOKS
A BRANCH OF THE LIBRARY IN THE EAST SIDE OF NEW YORK ONE OF THE FORTY-ONE STATIONS FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF BOOKS BY WHICH THE LIBRARY IS BROUGHT
WITHIN THE REACH OF THREE MILLION PEOPLE
forms of books were included. Books they never see, are the offices where for the blind, with raised type for eager, the pulse of all this out-reaching work seeing fingers. Books in twenty-six lan- for readers throbs. guages, circulating almost 500,000 copies. In the three boroughs reached by the Books carried to hospitals and asylums. tentacles dwell 3,061,000 people. DividThel ame, the halt, the blind, and the ing by this number the 7,969,664, we have stranger within our gates were just as an average of 2.6 volumes per capita. much benefited as the American who could Two books and six tenths of another for walk up independently to the shelves and every person is a pretty big average, select George Eliot's “Middlemarch" in when you realize how many illiterates and English for himself.
infants in arms bring down the average.
CARRYING THE CONSOLATION OF BOOKS TO ALL CLASSES A BLIND MAN IN THE PUBLIC HOSPITAL ON BLACKWELL'S ISLAND READING ALOUD TO FELLOW PATIENTS
FROM A BOOK PRINTED IN RAISED TYPE AND BROUGHT TO HIM BY THE LIBRARY
Now watch the way the various ten- It means that those people who read at tacles of this great system work. Stirring all read a good deal. continually, they feel their way in every Now the first stretch of the tentacles direction over the three boroughs of is in the direction of forty-one branches. Manhattan, the Bronx, and Richmond. A large number of reading people have The body from which these tentacles never been inside one of these buildings reach forth is the wonderful new building which are scattered over the city, in the at Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, heart of its foreign quarters, sandwiched down whose corridors megaphone-taught between swarming tenements, as well as tourists ever stroll. They observe marble among more prosperous apartment buildand bronze magnificence; but tucked away ings. Many people buy all the books they in certain corners of this building, in spots read. But take the case of Mr. John New
first thing that struck him was the per- zines of the current month, and a week sonal note, the home atmosphere, in limit upon the newest novels, he had two contradistinction to an institutional air. weeks' use of every volume with the (He would have found the same atmos- privilege of renewing for another two phere in every one of the other forty weeks. Other periodicals, not for home buildings.) His eyes roved over the warm, use, were spread about for readers in the light room with its substantial tables and cozy reading room which he soon learned chairs; the inexpensive but good copies to frequent. The daily papers, too, were of precious pictures on the walls; the grow- there, so his pennies accumulated. ing plants in sunny windows; the decora- At first he felt the restrictions of a not tive brasses containing autumn leaves. very large collection of books in that "It looks like a home library, not a ma- branch. He had not learned the system chine to dole out volumes,” he observed. of interbranch loans. Difficulties cleared
The librarian's face lighted. “Do you up when he found out. He wanted feel it?" she said.“That's just what we're “The Changing Chinese,” and it was not all after!"
catalogued. That particular librarian had pocketed “We'll get it for you," the librarian the modest sum appropriated for decora- said. Immediately she investigated to tion, had carried it to the Russian brass find which branch had the book, and the shops in the Ghetto, bargained shrewdly, large and expensive messenger system did and returned with three splendid old the rest. Last year interbranch loans metal pots, originally used for serving amounted to 59,697 volumes, which was stews. Next she had tramped the Pali- 82 per cent. of the number requested. sades for bittersweet and red leaves to The 18 per cent. of vain requests were, fill the pots.
for the most part, for the thrillingest tales So, by every available means, the still smelling of printer's ink, which everybranch libraries are made attractive so body else wanted at the same moment. that the stranger once entering may enter “I don't know how to kill time on Sunagain. The attitude of most of the days and holidays,” John Newcomer Irwin librarians is that of a host toward guests. complained one day. People who do not know the system some “Come here," said the librarian. times say, “You can't get what you want “You don't mean you keep open?” at the public libraries." There are 343,641 “Every Carnegie branch in the city is persons who know better. They are the open for circulation full hours on all legal persons who own library cards and who holidays. So is the central circulation take full advantage of their privileges. branch. And we are of the six that open
Gradually Mr. John Newcomer Irwin be- Sunday afternoons for reading, though not came one of the regular patrons of that for circulation.” branch, and he can tell you what it did So John Irwin became one of the people for him. The librarian in the first place who spend the idle, lonesome days in the asked him to fill out an application blank genial company of books. and get a sponsor to guarantee him. The librarians found that many a would“But I don't know anybody!” was his be reader fell away because he could not first anxiety. "Anybody whose name make his wants known in English. Baffled appears in the city directory will do,” librarians, willing but impotent, stood he was told. He thought of the grocer; silent before untranslatable requests from the grocer gladly signed the slip, for John long-bearded old men of the Ghetto, from Irwin always paid cash for his cereal and old women with shawls upon their heads. sugar and tea.
One such old woman wept when the He found that the card permitted him librarians gave up in dispair, after she had to take from the library any of its fiction pleaded for a quarter of an hour. A and non-fiction books, also current period- youngster, a Pole, called in to interpret icals in stout binders. Except for a at last, reported, “Aw, she wants a cook three-day limitation upon the use of maga- book so she kin make some good grub fur