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BRIDGE ACROSS MINNESOTA RIVER, MINN.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1919.—Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. ELLSWORTH, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign
Commerce, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 9091.)
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9091) granting the consent of Congress to the county of Hennepin, Minn., to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Minnesota River, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.
The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the letter attached and which is made a part of this report.
September 9, 1919. Respectfully returned to the chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Como merce, House of Representatives.
So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration by Congress of the accompanying bill, H. R. 9091, current session, to authorize the construction of a bridge cross the Minnesota River near the intersection of the public highway in Hennepin County, commonly known and designated as Lyndale Avenue.
NEWTON D. BAKER,
Secretary of War.
LIBRARY INFORMATION SERVICE, BUREAU OF EDUCA
SEPTEMBER 10, 1919.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state
of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. DALLINGER, from the Committee on Education, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 6870.]
The Committee on Education, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 6870) to provide for a library information service in the Bureau of Education, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon, with the recommendation that the bill do pass with the following amendment:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in place thereof the following:
That there is hereby created in the Bureau of Education a service to be called the Division of Library Service, which shall be under the charge of a director, who shall be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and who shall receive a salary of $4,000 per
annum. There shall also be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior the following assistants and their employees at the salaries designated: One assistant director, at $3,000 per annum; one chief clerk, at $2,000 per annum; one stenographer, at $1,600 per annum; and in addition thereto such other employees as the Secretary of the Interior shall deem necessary: Provided, That not more than $8,100 annually shall be expended for salaries of experts, assistants, and employees outside the District of Columbia and for travel, stationery, printing, and binding, unless previously authorized by law. It shall be the purpose and duty of such division to increase the efficiency of American libraries by providing current information concerning Government activities. It shall collect and organize information regarding printed matter issued by the Federal Government, and shall make available to the libraries of the United States the sources of such information. It shall provide digests of this material, with suggestions as to its use, in order that such material may be made quickly available to users of libraries.
The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to make all necessary rules and regula tions for carrying out the purposes of this act.
The purpose of the proposed bill is to increase the efficiency of American libraries as an educational agency by supplying them with up-to-date information concerning governmental activities, together with digests, indices, and other aids that are essential to make the material readily available by the people who use the libraries of the country.
HR-66-1-vol 2- -14
In 1908 the Government Printing Office issued over 300,000,000 copies of publications at a cost of $5,000,000. These publications contained a wealth of available material, but experience demonstrates that a large percentage of the output of the Government Printing Office is wasted for the reason that the majority of the citizens of the United States are ignorant even of the existence of much of this information in printed form, and are therefore ignorant of the activities of their Government.
Miss Edith Guerrier, of the Boston Public Library, was given leave of absence by that institution during the war, and performed valuable service for the United States Food Administration, being in charge of a library-information service and general exhibits in connection with that branch of the Government service. She found librarians everywhere eager to get the Government material and eager to use it. The Secretary of the Interior allowed Miss Guerrier for six months to demonstrate the possibilities of a library-information service in connection with all of the Government departments. As a result of this experiment for the first time connection was established between the Government and the libraries of the country, which has been welcomed not only by the libraries but by the heads of the different executive departments.
The method by which the Division of Library Service created by the proposed bill would operate is described by Miss Guerrier on page 7 of the printed hearings, as follows:
Director: The first requisite is a director acquainted with the possibilities, needs, and problems of large and small libraries in different sections of the United States, one who has actually seen service in large and small libraries, and has the faculty of happily meeting people of different races, creeds, and parties. This director should know the printed output of Federal, State, and municipal Governments.
Contact with libraries and departments. The office should be so organized that the director could maintain contact with the libraries by attending State and library club meetings. Personal contact with the various Government departments should likewise be maintained.
Distribution problem: The library distribution problem could be readily and satisfactorily settled between this office and the States. It goes without saying that every State library should be a depository for all material, as in every State Federal and State archives should be maintained. Aside from the State libraries, I think I am safe in assuming that practically every librarian would gladly leave it to a duly qualified representative in a Federal library service office to decide what was of value to his library and to get it to him in time for it to be of use. Catalogue cards should be sent with the material and it should be made accessible as soon as received. A word more regarding selective distribution. Take, for instance, the farmers' bulletins. Life is too short for those of us in the East to know how strawberries should be cultivated in the West or to worry over recipes adapted to western flour or to conditions incidental to altitude or to excessive dryness or dampness. Bulletins on western strawberry culture must be sent where they will be used. Economic circulars on cooking fish, which can not be bought, need not be sent to New Mexico, and a bulletin on efficient training in large plants need not be sent to a country village library. There are numerous documents, like departmental lists of publications, or treatises on specific subjects, as the Educational Directory, Household Weights and Measures, Care of Children, Public Health, which every library should have. It is not derogatory to the library profession, considering the salaries and hours and the lack of understanding on the part of library trustees of the possibilities offered by a well-equipped, well-manned library, to say that not one librarian in a thousand is able to keep up with the output of the Government Printing Office nor yet to know the printed publications which will establish the contact between the Government and the patrons of her library. Assuredly, the librarians should be allowed a repreBentative in the Government to get them what they need.
Address list: It would be necessary for the central office to provide the superintendent of documents with an accurate list of public, school, and college libraries
and to keep this list up to date. Division by States and under States by public libraries, schools, and universities would be the basic divisions; determination of what a library is to receive based on the number of volumes it already possesses is most unfair, as the village librarian with a few books at her disposal will often place Government documents in the eager hands of 20 or 30 people, while the busy city librarian with millions of books on his shelves puts the little pamphlet in his statistical department and forgets it. My most appreciative customers have been librarians in remote prairie towns and the little seacoast or mountain villages.
Current available file: In the central office a current available file of all Federal material should be carefully maintained-archives are unnecessary—as those are maintained by the superintendent of documents office.
Information and requests: Information and requests should be promptly attended to, as librarians throughout the country can not expect to know just where information can best be obtained on a given subject, and with this central office at their disposal, they will be encouraged to seek information, whereas without such an office they know not where to turn. There are perhaps 300 library bulletins and two library journals issued in this country.
News notes: News notes on Government printed matter should be sent regularly to these bulletins and journals. These notes would be based on the daily releases sent out to newspapers by the departments and on the matter contained in the eightyodd departmental publications. By the way, not 1 of these 80 is devoted to library affairs.
Establishment of Government sections: The establishment of Government information sections in local libraries should be strongly urged. I have treated of this matter fully in the May number of the National Library Service Bulletin. Such sections could never be maintained without a central office to advise with regard to the matter necessary for keeping the files up to date.
The total appropriation authorized by the proposed bill is $18,700, based upon the following estimate: 1. Salary of director..
$4,000 2. Salary of assistant director.
3,000 3. Salary of chief clerk.
2,000 4. Salary of stenographer..
1, 600 5. Extra stenographic and messenger service..
500 6. Travel..
3, 500 7. Stationery...
600 8. Printing and binding.
3, 500 Total.......
8, 100 The Joint Committee on Printing of the present Congress, on page 42 of its recent report (Rep. No. 227, 66th Cong., 1st sess.), states that
During the 15 years from 1895 to 1909, inclusive, there were returned to the superintendent of documents a total of 1,579,164 documents which libraries had received in duplication or had discarded as obsolete or useless.
The cost of this material alone which was returned by only 500 of the 18,000 libraries of the United States would amount to more than the total of the annual appropriations authorized by this bill for the greater part of the 15-year period.
In the opinion of your committee the small annual appropriation authorized by this bill will for the first time place within easy reach of a majority of the people of the United States authentic information in regard to the activities of their Government and is in the interest not only of efficiency but also of economy in the expenditure of the people's money.