In the news 100, 50 and 25 years ago
April 10, 1915 (See below)
The alterations to the Public Library are nearing an end - and it is hoped that the issue of books will be resumed on Monday. The ‘open access’ system, by which the public are allowed to go to the shelves to choose their books has gradually spread all over the kingdom, until there are now very few libraries where it is not in vogue. The subject was discussed some months ago by the Library Committee who visited Kettering, Leicester and Northampton where it is in use and were convinced of its utility.
Don’t linger to long around the library
I thought the 1915 archive story about the alterations to the public library was interesting. These plans (right) were included with it. Unfortunately it doesn’t say where the building was - I can only guess it was the one at the end of St Matthew’s Street, which was replaced when the current one was built, but I am sure someone will put me right if this was not the case.
The new ‘open access’ system of borrowing books, seems to throw up lots of concerns. It says there will be wickets in the corridor controlled by a pedal worked by an attendant, so that no one can enter or leave without permission.
It explains: “The borrower will deposit his book as he goes in at one wicket and have the one he has chosen checked as he emerges by the other. There is one difficulty that we desire to warn the public against, and that is the tendency to linger too long at the shelves, by picking up book after book, and after partly reading them putting them back again. “This kind of thing will tend to block up the small amount of space between the shelves, and it is hoped that the public will have sufficient thought in this matter and not give Mr Kenning or his assistants the disagreeable task of requesting them to move on.”
The tiny writing on the plans shows the lending department has sections for the various subjects. These were: for ‘philosophy & religion’, ‘social questions’, ‘natural science’, ‘useful and fine arts’, ‘biography & history’, ‘geography & travels’ and juvenile books, with fiction all along the outer walls, along with racks for ‘miscellaneous’ and unbound magazines.
The total cost of the alteration was about £110, with £66 for the work, £20 for heating and lighting and several extras that were found necessary.
April 9, 1965
Giving a ‘My Job’ talk to the meeting of Rugby Rotary Club at the Grand Hotel on Friday, Mr AR Wise MP stated that he received some 4,000 letters each year. He did not mind there being professional cabinet ministers and professional bureaucrats, but thought that Parliament should be composed mainly of amateur politicians. They were in grave danger of losing their amateur status and he wanted to get back to the days when an individual MP was able to influence or break a government.
April 5, 1990
Distribution of council secret papers is to be tightened up after several leaks to the press about mistakes and overspends. The borough’s policy makers decided on Tuesday night to adopt officers’ wishes to restrict the circulation of ‘blue papers’. The Advertiser reported how the council leader set a trap to catch a councillor who leaked ‘secret’ information to an evening newspaper circulating in Rugby.