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wheat, etc. Such exhibits are especially helpful in foreign neighborhoods when the exhibits have been prepared by the foreign women.
These are some of the ways in which the library may be of service. To illustrate the kind of list that the library might prepare for teachers' use with their pupils in connection with war work the committee is presenting the beginnings of a list on “What Is Patriotism?” It is only tentative and far from complete, but we feel that the outline is such that it can be built upon and enlarged.
THE HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENT AND THE BOOK
ROBERT J. ALEY, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF MAINE, ORONO, ME.
It is a great many years since I have had close contact with high-school students. For a number of years I was a teacher and for four years principal of a high school. I have had considerable contact with high-school students after they had finisht their high-school course and had entered college.
I recall that in my high-school work the student who fell in love with the book did not give me trouble. I have found in a long experience in college and university work that the high-school graduate who comes to college invariably gives a good account of himself if he has fallen in love with the book. The other side of the story is, as many of you doubtless know, that the high-school student who is not caught by the lure of the book either leaves school without completing the course, or after graduation helps to recruit that army of young people who do nothing worth while. You also know that many of those who fail in college have not learned how to use books or have not been caught by their lure. Some time ago a young woman was assisting a professor in packing his library. She remarkt that it was curious how many people there were who gathered together great collections of books, and who seemed to have so much pleasure from them. "As for myself I care very little for books. Of course, it may be that the reason for this is that I cannot read.” Books are valuable only to those who really know how to read.
Perhaps some of you may have heard Don Seitz, of the New York World, in that rather eccentric address of his at the Atlantic City meeting of the Department of Superintendence. Mr. Seitz insisted that the whole course of study should not only start with, but should center in, reading. Reading is the first great task. While he perhaps put it in a very emphatic form, there is, after all, much truth in his statement that the ability to read is the most fundamentally important thing in education.
I have found as a teacher that the difficulties occurring in the various fields of study are many times due to the inability to read. Some of the absurd things that come back to us in oral answers and written papers come back because the student cannot read. Students err in some important proposition, or in the solution of some difficult problem, and a little investigation shows that they have failed simply because they have not read. I have had some experience in sending to members of faculties a written outline workt out in some detail, and have been surprised to find almost as many interpretations of the thing I had sent out as there were people to whom it had been sent. By the time the receiver had explained it to someone who had not received it, and that individual came to me, I could not recognize that I had had anything to do with starting the matter. I had similar experiences many times as superintendent of public instruction in Indiana. I had to send many communications to school officials and school teachers. Whenever these communications failed to "get over" it was either because I did not write English or because the receivers could not, or did not, read what I wrote. Reading is back of and fundamental to almost everything in education. It would greatly simplify the life of the Republic if all our people could read.
Back of any important library work there needs to be increast emphasis in the schools upon teaching young people to read. Most of us have not had experience enough in reading material that is difficult to understand. We have the newspaper habit of reading, the magazine habit of reading, the best-seller habit of reading. In this sort of reading there is no particular strain upon the gray matter. A large part of the meaning, perhaps all that is needed, may be obtained by reading a sentence here and there. One may read a best seller of the usual size in an hour and get the story well enough in mind to listen intelligently to those who rave about the book. The kind of reading that most young people actually do does not call for very much effort. It does not require much attentive study, and hence the results have no serious value.
It was William T. Harris who told this interesting story of his own experience in learning to read. Desiring to improve himself, he askt an older man in whom he had confidence to recommend a book. The book recommended was Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Young Harris secured the book. He supposed from its size and appearance that it would occupy him for a few evenings. It was with confidence that he began the reading on the first evening. After some time he awoke to the realization that he was not reading. Then he backt up and tried the first page again. But he could not get an idea out of it. Then the splendid quality that made Dr. Harris a leader of philosophic thought in this country asserted itself, and he said, “I will read it.” It was almost two years before he finish the book. He put considerable time on it every day and finally mastered it. “I haven't found anything hard to read since” was his comment.
Young people in high school and college need to be led to master something that is hard to read. I have great faith in the virtue of doing hard things. We have had for almost a generation soft pedagogy and soft home discipline. They have not produced the result desired. It is still worth while to do hard things. Those boys, our friends and former students, who come back for a day or two from some cantonment where they have been several months are transformed. Eight months ago I bade goodbye to a boy. He was in my office the other day. He was a man—the kind of a man you like to see. The same transformation has already been made in two million cases and will be made in as many more cases as there are young men who are given the opportunity; and it has been made because these young men have had a splendid chance to do hard things. There is no soft pedal in an army camp. It is hard work and discipline from the beginning of one day to the beginning of the next.
If boys and girls are to come under the power of the book they must learn to read. They must have the discipline that will make it easy for them to read the difficult page. This will come if there is increast emphasis upon the teaching of reading in the grammar school and much required practice in the high school.
Boys and girls of the high school are tremendously influenst by the attitude of their teachers toward books. I do mean, not the attitude of the English teachers alone, but the attitude of all the teachers. Many young people think that it is the business of the English teacher to recommend books. They believe the commendation it comes from someone else. It seems that the teachers of English have not wholly succeeded in creating a love for the book.
A number of us, particularly schoolboys and schoolgirls, sympathize with the view exprest by a writer in the Nation. He made a very strong plea for a markt reduction in the required English readings in high school. His reason was that there might be left some good things to be enjoyed after school days are over. Did you ever know a high-school student to treasure the classic that he had read in school? Generally the day after the examination there is a glut in the second-hand market on the classic covered. The book is sold, and the student never wants to see it again. I don't blame him very much. I re-read Dante recently; I stopped several times in the reading and tried to imagine how fine it would be if I were reading in order that some school teacher might examine me or inquire of me just what Dante meant and just why Dante used a particular word. Too much work in literature is of this sort.
I shall not attempt to discuss at any length the mechanical side of library management. I regard it as a fortunate change that librarians no longer regard the books as their personal property which must, at all cost, be protected from the contaminating touch of the reader. The reader should and generally does have free access to the shelves. It is by this free access that the student learns something of the range of literature and knowledge and gets a speaking acquaintance with books of which he would otherwise know nothing. My own richest book experiences have come in that way. Exposure to books is a great thing. The librarian and the teacher should unite to make this exposure as great as possible.
I have said nothing about the reference library, or its use. I think this is fairly well cared for everywhere. Recent developments in teaching have tended to make a greater and greater use of recorded knowledge. The use of the book as a reference, as well as interest in books in general, will depend upon the intensity of desire created in the student. We have at the University a training detachment of two hundred United States soldiers. They are being trained as soldiers and also as mechanicians. These men have an intense interest in the thing they are preparing to do. They have a long and fully occupied day from 5:45 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. These men use the library for a definite purpose. They want authoritative answers to questions in carpentry, blacksmithing, auto-mechanics, electrical wiring, gas-engine theory and practice, etc. Such knowledge attained guarantees to the possessor a better assignment and greater certainty of promotion.
If in school and college we could create desire and establish definite purpose in the student we might make the reference library a great power in education. The librarian should patiently and carefully teach the student how to use the reference book. Many intelligent and fairly welleducated people are almost helpless in the presence of a dictionary, encyclopedia, or other book of reference. The query pages of newspapers and magazines furnish ample verification of this statement.
The reader and lover of the book is a safe and valuable citizen. Our duty is to see to it that our scholars have every opportunity to know the books, to be expert in using them, and to come under the influence of their charm and power.
THE RELATION OF THE HIGH-SCHOOL LIBRARY TO MODERN
J. A. CHURCHILL, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION, SALEM, ORE.
"A just judge always seeks to increase his jurisdiction.” This old saying is the assumption that one who can do his work efficiently assumes that he owes it to himself to enlarge his opportunities for service, in order that he may fill a larger sphere of usefulness and perform duties that may not be rendered so well by others. Instead of visualizing clearly the definite ends of his particular work and striving daily for their accomplishment, he too often attempts to do the work that falls wholly within the responsibilities of others, with the result that his efforts are scattered and his work ineffective.
This criticism may apply to the high-school library. Too often it attempts to duplicate the service of the public library. If it functions as a high-school library it will so supplement the work of the school that it will meet all of its special needs. It will leave to the public library all the kinds of work that are to be continued after school. The high-school librarian must confine herself to certain definite lines on account of three limitations: (1) The number of books in her library service is small as compared with that of the public library. (2) Four years is all the time she can have out of the student's life, and each of those four years is closed to her for several months each year. (3) She can have but a small part of his time each day, as his school hours are full of activities outside of the library. What then can the library do within these limits ?
First of all, there can be no effective high-school library unless it has a librarian whose full time is devoted to its work. A fine building splendidly equipt cannot make a school. An intelligent group of well-mannered children cannot make it. The teacher makes the school; if he be well trained, has had a good preparation, has physical strength, enthusiasm, and love for his work, the community in which he teaches will have a good school, even tho the school plant be inadequate. The librarian makes the highschool library; for the kind of service she renders determines its measure as an educational asset. She must not only have been trained for her work, but have had experience as a librarian, that she may have a wide knowledge of books, the bibliography of the high-school subjects, and a human interest in the pupil. She must be a capable director of good reading and inspire an interest in good books. With all these qualities and with all the knowledge she may possess she will fail unless she is really eager to open the world of books to young people with different tastes and environments, and unless she knows her books so thoroly that she gives the right books to the right pupil at the right time. She should have the same college preparation as the other members of the high-school corps, and in addition she should bring to her work two years of full professional training guaranteed by an approved library school. It is a wise economy on the part of school boards employing ten or more teachers in a high school to secure such a trained librarian who will give her full time to contributing to the success of the work by intelligently cooperating with teachers of all subjects.
One of the aims of education is to open the mind of the pupil to the possibilities of life, professionally, socially, and vocationally. He must be so taught that he will understand that his chief aim in life is to prepare not for a business or a profession but for life; for work in the group for his own good and the advantage of others.
History must be so taught that it furnishes a basis for the development of intelligent civic patriotism that puts the student more fully in touch with his political, civil, and industrial environment. Each section of every state should devote much attention to preserving such of its stories and traditions as will contribute to the understanding of the broader and more general movements in our national history, for there is little of value in the study of any history that may not be connected with the child's present