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the Government that the library will be suitably housed. As a matter of fact, it is understood that he makes this the one stipulation of the orier. He recognises, as every one must do who has occasion to visit the present bui.ding, that it is quite inadequate and unsuitable for the purpose to which it is devoted, and he asks that an assurance should be given as to proper accommodation for his collection in a wing of the National Library, to be known as the “ Mitchell" Library, and that it sha!! be kept intact and distinct. This is little enough to ask in return for such a magnificent offer, and it is satisfactory to note that the Minister has conveyed to Mr. Mitchell the intimation that steps will be taken as desired.
The same - steps" will not be taken any too soon. Most people admit by this time that a blunder was perpetrated in rebuilding the library on its old site. In fact, it is said by one who is in a position to know that the idea in planning the new structure was that it should stand as a temporary resting-place for the national collection of books until such time as it was required for other purposes-probably an extension of the Government Printing Office. The building is far too small, and the shape of the ground is particularly awkward. Possibly the best was done under the circumstances, but the fact remains that the librarian has to deal with an externally handsome and expensive but unsuitable building, ill-contrived for administrative purposes, and without any possibility of expansion.
The Public Library of New South Wales was initiated as a Government department by the purchase in 1869, from the trustees of the Australian Subscription Library, of the building in which they worked and the whole of their 16,000 books for the sum of £5100. So that it dates as far back as February, 1826, on which date the first meeting was held to form the first library in New South Wales. In the following year, 1827, Governor Darling granted the library two allotments of
land in Hyde Park, between Sydney College and the Roman Catholic Chapel,” now known as Cook Park, also two allotments at Rushcutter's Bay, in aid of the building fund. The latter was sold in 1840 for £3384, which was used for the erection of a building on the present site in 1885. The Cook Park grant was disallowed by Governor Bourke, and the present site was granted by Sir George Gipps in 1842.
In 1879, it may be remembered, Parliament granted £150,000 for a library building, of which about £35,000 was expended on the existing structure. The rectangular site on which the Girls' High School stands was, with the adjoining land reaching to Market Street, secured for the public library, but in 1880 the trustees suggested in their annual report the site of the old Immigration Barracks at the top of King Street, now used as the District Court. This was approved by the Legislative Assembly in March, 1881, according to the records, on the motion of the present Premier, Mr. G. H. Reid. But nothing was done. In 1882 the late Sir Henry Parkes asked the House to declare in favour of a building on the site of the Benevolent Asylum, but the motion was negatived. The trustees never regarded their present home as a permanent one. After trying to secure the site at the top of King Street, they were officially informed in June, 1883, that the Government had determined to commence building on that site, and that the Colonial architect had been instructed to make plans for a suitable building, These were submitted, and considered to be eminently satisfactory. Still, nothing further was done, and in 1884 the trustees had to recommend that a new wing be added to the then existing old subscription library.
Now that there is a strong inducement held out to the Government to provide for the “ Mitchell” collection, one may hope to see a start
UNITED STATES. CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY.-The twenty-sixth report, for tregtar er ng May 31st, 1998, records 14,649 volumes added, making a
2. 2: 23535. During the year 20,450 volumes were bound at a cost -: 4:08 . Issues for home use, 1,340,131, of which 4135 per cent. és ard 24-30 per cent. juvenile. Of this number 744,993 volumes Tee issued through the fitty delivery stations. No record of reading
65 € is acpt, but the estimated attendance is given as 600,000. There were rot, 3 recorded visitors to the reference-room, to whom 35757 volumes were issued, in addition to the very large unrecorded use si open sneif books. There were ninety-four books for the blind used in the building, and 398 issued for home use. The great event of the year was the removal to the beautiful new building, which, on account ci its improved equipment, has been responsible for the increase in the home circulation over the preceding year to the extent of 130,668— in fact, the case of all the departments shows development. There are 0T* 193 persons in the service of the library.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARY.-The removal of the library from one building to another, which has been effected during the past year, afforded an unusual opportunity to take an accurate and complete inventory of the books. Since 1883 the library had been administered in the freest possible way. Probably 100,000 volumes, more or less, had been accessible upon the shelves to any and every reader obtaining entry to the building. It was well understood that this privilege of ready access to the shelves was likely to involve a certain loss of books year by year. On the other hand, it was believed that this loss would be a small price to pay for the advantage to the great body of students of having access to the books upon the shelves. The inventory when completed showed 1650 volumes unaccounted for. Of this number 282 were found on re-arranging the books in the new building. Upon the basis of these figures, during fourteen years the losses have amounted to a little less than 100 volumes per year, or eight volumes per month. These figures seem rather larger than they ought to be, yet there is no disposition to limit in any serious way the privilege of access to the shelves.
HARTFORD (Con.): Public Library. - The Library Bulletin for July-August contains a number of interesting letters from school children describing books they have read and liked, and giving accounts of their use of the library. The letters are written to the librarian at her suggestion.
NEW YORK CITY: Library Appropriations.—The Board of