parts of one educational system and should always work in harmony together toward the one end, the elevation of the people.
Among the good works accomplished through the influence of the A. L.A. may be mentioned the establishment of schools for the training of librarians; the adoption of good systems of classification of books; the advocacy of the admission of the public to the shelves; the formation of State library clubs, holding meetings more frequently, to supplement the work of the larger association and to keep up the interest in whatever concerns the advance of the library movement.
Without doubt the A. L.A., through its individual members, has had some indirect influence on library legislation.
‘All things must be judged by results, and the only test of success is usefulness.’
It has been said: ‘Agassiz
always insisted that something resembling miracles might be wrought in reforming the people by informing them.’
It is customary to measure the importance of a library by the amount of its circulation, as if the more books a man reads the wiser he necessarily becomes.
But quality, not quantity of reading is what makes the good citizen, and here it is impossible to tabulate statistics, so dear to the average mind.
The Right Hon. John Morley
, at the dedication of a public library in Scotland
‘Show me a man or woman whose reading has made him or her tolerant, patient, candid, a truth-seeker and a truth-lover, then I will show you a well-read man. I have always thought that an admirable definition of the purposes of libraries and of books by an admirable man of letters years ago, when he said their object was to bring more sunshine into the lives of our fellow-countrymen, more good-will, more good-humor, and more of the habit of being pleased with one another.
I will make a little addition to that; namely, the purpose is to bring sunshine into our hearts and to drive moonshine out of our heads