the stack-room to make their choice from any part of the library.
The age limit of 14 years for admission to the privileges of the library was abolished and a careful selection of books for young people was made; the idea being not only to stimulate a reading habit in the young people, but to introduce them to the best in literature.
These radical changes had a corresponding effect upon the use of the library; the circulation of books for home use having increased from a little over 28,000 in 1890 to 71,456 in 1897, and again more room was found to be indispensable.
As the result of an appropriation made by the city in that year, supplemented by the generosity of one of the library trustees, a new, commodious, well-lighted, well-ventilated stack-room was built, with a present capacity for 30,000 volumes, and room in the future for 30,000 more.
The old part of the library was enlarged and very much improved, and is devoted to the reading and reference room, a librarian's room, a delivery room, and a good-sized, sunny, children's room.
From the patronage in this department we are assured that the younger people find the library a pleasant place to come to. It has been the aim to make the people feel an ownership in the library; all unnecessary restrictions have been removed; the red tape has been cut in many places; no personal cards for the patrons to care for or lose; no weary waiting while books are charged; no long lists of books an absolute necessity; the privilege of two books to each person has been granted; and the number which any person can have for reference or study limited only by the supply at our command.
In all ways is it the desire to make the library seem like a home library.
But the most satisfying, the most necessary, the most effective work is that done with the schools and the younger people.
A lack of sufficient funds, the last year, has very much restricted this important work, but we have great hope for the future.
The value and importance of a child's early reading can hardly be overestimated;