[p. 84] which the numerous young men, who otherwise would have no profitable employment for many of their evening hours, have taken out and read the books. By law, the town can annually appropriate for the support of the library but twenty-five cents for each ratable poll, and it would require several years for the library, with such aid only, to attain a size adequate to the demand for books. We venture the hope that some philanthropic citizens will covet the blessing promised the liberal soul, so far as to make donations in books or money to supply a want which the town in its corporate capacity cannot legally meet.The town in 1855 appropriated $150; in 1856, $200. The salary of the librarian, $50. The library was opened every Saturday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 P. M. Now, though not limited by law as to the amount to be raised for the use of the library, there seems to be the same need of appeal to the generosity of the citizens. It would be wise for Massachusetts to look well to her honors, as the West, recognizing the value of the library as an educational factor in the community, far out-distances us in liberality. A small bookcase and eight volumes of the American Encyclopaedia represented the beginning of the Kansas City Public Library in 1874; to-day it has a building which cost over $200,000, with 25,000 volumes. It was stated by a Western librarian, recently, that there was something radically wrong if the appropriation for the library did not equal in amount at least one-third of that appropriated for the schools. With much less than such a sum at the disposal of the trustees, to-day, very much more could be done to adequately supply the ever-increasing needs of a progressive people. In 1858 the Library Committee ‘would assure the taxpayers that the town makes no investment that yields a surer, larger, or more enduring profit, than the appropriation yearly paid to the public library.’ In that year the Everett Grammar School devoted to the use of the
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