State, in its system of travelling libraries, has gone further still in supplementing initial aid with a continuing supply of books, and even photographs and lantern slides, purchased by the State, and distributed through the Regents of the State University from Albany to the remotest hamlet.
The first stage of all such legislation is an enabling act—authorizing the establishment of a library by the local authorities; the next is an act encouraging such establishment by bounties; and New Hampshire has reached a third by a law actually mandatory, requiring the local authorities to establish free libraries in proportion to their means and the population to be served.
This seems to mark the high-water mark of confidence in the utility of these institutions.
It indicates that free public libraries are to be ranked with the common schools, as institutions indispensable to good citizenship, whose establishment the State must for its own protection require.
So the movement has progr