Page images

las directed to be raised, the inhabitants of the district and their children,-will depend for their existence are directed by ý 30 of the act of 1841, (No. 106) to raise upon the vigilance of those who have accepted the ga. the necessary sum by a new tax.

cred trust of watching and preserving them. Heavy,

indeed, will be the responsibility for a neglect of those DISTRICT LIBRARIES.

duties upon which so much depends. By chap. 80 of the laws of 1835, (Nos. 175, 176,) the inhabitants of the several school districts were author. 11

DISTRICT LIBRARY REGULATIONS, No. I. ized, when lawfully assembled at any district meeting || Regulations respecting District Libraries, their preser. specially notified for that purpose, to impose a tax not vation, and the delivery of them by Librarians and eiceeding twenty dollars for the first year, and ten dol. | Trustees to their successors in office; and instructions lars in any subsequent year," for the purchase of a for the execution of " An act respecting School District district library consisting of such books as they shall Libraries," passed April 16, 1839, pursuant to the third in their district meeting direct, and such further sum and seventh sections of the said act: intended for the as they may deem necessary for the purchase of a book government of the officers having charge of such Libracase. By the 2d section of that act, (No. 177,) the ries. district clerk, or such other person as the inhabitants | I. In respect to the selection of books for district should designate and appoint by a majority of votes, Il libraries. The Superintendent has no authority to make was declared to be libraria a, and to be vested with the such selections, unless requested by the trustees of a care and custody of the library, under such regulations | district pursuant to a vote of its inhabitants. He is as the inhabitants should adopt.

prepared to act on the subject as prescribed by the sta. These provisions are still in force; and they afford tute, whenever requested; but he desires it to be disthe only authority for raising by tar upon the district, tinctly understood that he does not proffer his services; any money for the purchase of books, or a book case. much preferring that the inhabitants of a district should The books thus to be purchased must be directed by the consult their own tastes and judgment. At the same inhabitants in district meeting; and this direction may time, he is bound to see the law faithfully executed; and be either general, as to purchase any given series or as jurisdiction upon appeal from the proceedings of numbers of the Harper Library, the Family Library, district meetings and trustees, as well in relation to &c. or special, designating the particular books, or the the selection of a library as to all other matters contrustees may be authorized to procure such books as nected with it, is given to him by law, it is proper that they think proper.

the principles which will govern decisions on such ap. By the 4th section of chap. 237, of the laws of 1838, Il peals should be known. (No. 179,) the sum of $55,000 from the annual revenue The object of the law for procuring district libraries of the US Deposite Fund, was required to be annually || is, to diffuse information, not only, or even chiefly, distributed to the support of common schools in like ll among children or minors, but among adults and thoso manner and upon the like conditions as the school mo- ll who have finished their common school education. neys now are or shall hereafter be distributed, except | The books, therefore, should be such as will be useful that the trustees of the several districts shall appropri-l for circulation among the inhabitants generally. They ate the sum received to the purchase of a district libra-ll should not be children's books, or of a juvenile characre for the term of three years, (afterwards hy 0 6 ofter, or light and frivolous tales and romances; but chap. 177. laws of 1939, (No. 195,) extended to five ll works conveying solid information which will excite a years, and after that time for a library, or for the pay. thirst for knowledge, and also gratify it, as far as such ment of teachers' wages, in the discretion of the inhabi a library can. Works imbued with party politics and tants of tbe districts."

those of a sectarian character, or of hostility to the Trustees, are by this provision, authorized to make christian religion, should on no account be admitted ; the selection of the books for the library, as the appli-l and if any are accidentally received, they should be eation of the money is to be made by théin. To promote Il immediately removed. Still less can any district be uniformity in the loan and return of books, it is recommnended that but one librarian be appointed; and that || books, grammars or any others of the description used the inhabitants adopt the rules and regulations herein. Il as text books in schools. Such an application of the alter prescribed by the Superintendent, for the govern. public money would be an utter violation of the law. ment of the libraries procured under both acts.

If any case of improper selection of books should come Inhabitants of districts have no autbority to sell, ex. before the Superintendent, by appeal from any inhabi. change, or in any manner dispose of the books consti. tant, such selection would be set aside; and'if it aptutina the district library : whether such books are peared from the reports, wbich according to these reporchased from the library fund, or from the funds gulations must be made, that such books had been pur. raised by the district.

I chased, the commissioners will be bound to withhold Be the 3d section of the act of 1830, respecting school || the next year's library money from such district. district libraries, (Xo. 182,) the Superintendent of These penalties and provisions will be rigidly epCommon Schools, was directed to prepare general re- ll forced : for upon a faithful administration of the law, zolations for the preservation of the libraries, the dell the usefulness and the continuance of the system will de livering of them by librarians and trustees to their pend. If the public munificence be abused, it will unsuccessors in office, and respecting the use of the books,

questionably cease. dec. In pursuance of these provisions, the subjoined The Superintendent feels it to be bis duty, although regulations have been prepared. No. 1. relates to the an unpleasant one, to caution districts against collec. preservation of the libraries, the delivery of the books | lions of frivolous works, some of which are already ad. by the officers charged with their keeping, to their suc-il vertised as district libraries. The advice of persons cessors, and to their duties in respect to them. No. II. Il familiar with the best works in our language should be relates to the use of the books by the inhabitants, the ll taken in making purchases; and it is recommended number to be taken out, the fines to be imposed, &c. that utility be consulted in the choice of books rather

As these regulations may appear minute to some, it || than novelty. Works already known, and whose worth is proper to remark, that they were intended for the has been approved by the judgment of the public, should organization of a new and entire system, upon a subject be preferred to new productions, which have not al. not well understood, and in which directions cannot tained a character. Economy, also, should be mainbe too full or too plain. Thousands upon Thousands ll tained in buying libraries, that the utmost benefit may of our citizens are and will be charged with the duties || be derived from the library fund. Those publishers to which these regulations refer; and it is by no means who print large editions and make calculations for a depreciation of their intelligence to remark, that very forming complete libraries, can, and do afford their many of them have probably never had any connexion books much cheaper than others. With such opportuwith circulating libraries, and are not aware of thell nities for procuring the very best books at a cheap rate, absolute necessity of strict rules, and a firm adherence it would be lamentable if more money should be paid to them, to prevent the total destruction of their books for i hem than they can be procured for with a little in a few years. Complaints had already been madell effort, and it would be humiliating and discouraging, that in several districts, which bad procured libraries, ll if books of worthless or improper character should be many of the books were injured, and others lost, for thell offered to those who bunger for knowledge. want of some system in their management. It cannot || II. The library is in charge of the librarian chosen at be too strongly impressed upon trustees and librarians, ll the annual meeting of the district'; for he cannot be that the best system which human ingenuity can devise, ll chosen at a special meeting. If none is elected, the will be of no avail unless it is fully and thoroughly Il clerk of the district becomes librarian. Where by the executed. These invaluable store houses of knowll the laws regulating schools in cities or particular ledge, the solace of age, the guide of youth, the stay oil places, no trustees are chosen by the inhabitants, the manhood. the sourco of so much happiness to parents district olerk, if there be one, is librarianIf there be


no district clerk, the trustees of the district may collected is to be applied as directed in Article XII. of appoint the librarian.

Il regulations No. II. with respect to fines. Trustees of school districts, are by virtue of their || VI. It is the duty of the trustees to provide a plain office, trustees of the library, and have the general and sufficient case for the library, with a good lock, if charge and superintendence of it. The librarian is the district shall have neglected to do so. They are subject to their directions in all matters relating to also to cause the books and case to be repaired as soon the preservation of the books and appurtenances of thell as may be, when injured; they are also to provide library, and he may be removed by them for the causes sufficient wrapping paper to cover their books, and the and under the circumstances mentioned in the first necessary writing paper to enable the librarian to keep section of the Act respecting school district libraries,"minutes of the delivery and return of books. These are (No. 180.)

proper expenses for the preservation and repair of the Whenever the trustees go out of office they are to de- books, and are to be defrayed by a tax on the district, liver to their suceessors all the books in the district which is to be added by any tax voted by a district library, with the case and all other appurtenances, and meeting. It is not necessary that the tax to defray such delivery should be had within ten days at least these expenses should be voted by the inhabitants of after their successors are chosen ; and the librarian is the district; it is to be assessed and collected in the at the same time to deliver to his successor all the some manner as a tax for building or repairing a minutes, catalogues, papers and property, appertaining school house, or to farnish it with necessary fuel and to the library.

appendages. III When any library is purchased and taken chargeil VII, The librarian must cause to be pasted in each book of by the librarian, he is to make out a full and com- belonging to the library, a printed label, or must write plete catalogue of all the books contained therein. At in the first blank leaf of each book, specifying that the the foot of each catalogue the librarian is to sign a re-book belongs to the library of school district No. ceipt in the following form:

in the town of

naming the town and giving I, A. B. do hereby acknowledge that the books speci- the number of the district; and he is on no account to fied in the preceding catalogue have been delivered to deliver cut any book which has not such printed or me by the Trustees of Sebool District No. in the written declaration in it. He is also to cause all the town of

to be safely kept by me as Librarian books to be covered with strong wrapping paper, on the of the said District for the use of the inhabitants there. back of which is to be written the title of the of, according to the regulations prescribed by the its number in large figures. As new books are added, Superintendent of Common Schools, and to be accounted the numbers are to be continued, and they are in no for by me according to the said regulations to the case to be altered; so that if a book be lost, its number Trustees of the said District, and to be delivered to my and title must still be continued on the catalogue, with successor in office. Dated, &c.

a note that it is missing. A correct copy of the catalogue and receipt is then to VIII. The librarian must keep a blank book, that may be made, to which the trustees are to add a certificate be made by stitching together half a dozen or more in the following form:

sheets of writing paper. Let these be ruled across the We the Subscribers, Trustees of School District No. width of the paper so as to leave five columns of the

in the town of do certify that the preceding proper size for the following entries, to be written is a full and complete catalogue of books in the Library lengthwise of the paper in the first column, the date of the shid District now in possession of A. B. the Li of the delivery of any book to any inhabitant; in the orarian thereof, and of his receipt thereon. - Given second, the title of the book delivered, and its nu under our hands this day of 18

in the third, the name of the person to whomn delivered; The catalogue having the librarian's receipt, is to be in the fourth, the date of its return; and in the fifth, delivered to the trustees, and a copy having the certifi-remarks, respecting its condition, in the following cate of the trustees, is to be delivered to the librarian form: for his indemnity. Whenever books are added to the library, a catalogue

Time of Title and To whom. When I Condiwith a similar receipt by the librarian is to be delivered delivery. No. of Book.

returned tion. to the trustees, and a copy with a certificate of the 1839, History of T. Jones. June 20. Good. trustees that it is a copy of the catalogue delivered June 10, Virginia, 43. them by the librarian, is to be furnished to him. Every catalogue received by the trustees is to be kept by them

The proper width of each column can be ascertained carefully among the papers of the district and to be de. by writing the difierent entries on a half sheet of paper livered to their successors in office.

and seeing how much room they respectively occupy. IV. During the week preceding the annual meeting all

As it will be impossible for the librarian to keep any the books shall be called in For this purpose the libra.

trace of the books without such minutes, his own inte. rian is to refuse to deliver out any books for fourteen

rest to screen himself from responsibility, as well as days preceding the time so prescribed for collecting

his duty to the public, will, it is to be hoped, induce them together. The trustees must make a careful bim to be exact in making his entries at the time any examination of the books, compare them with the cata!

centa. book is delivered; and when it is returned, to be equally logue, and make written statements in a column oppo

exact in noticing its condition, and making the proper site the name of each book of its actual condition,

minute. whether lost or present, and whether in good order or

IX. A fair copy of the catalogue should be kept by the injured, and if injured, specifying in general terms, the

Il librarian, to be exhibited to those who desire to select extent of such injury. This catalogue, with the re

a book; and if there be room, it should be fastened on marks, is to be kept by them; a copy of it is to be made

the door of the case. out, and delivered to the new librarian with the library, by

X. The several trustees of school districts are hereby whom a receipt in the form above prescribed is to be

he required, in their annual reports to the town superinten

egy given, and to be delivered to the trustees. Another

dent of common schools, to state the number of books becopy certified by them as before mentioned, is to be de

longing to their district library on the last day of De.. livered to the librarian.

cember in each year, V. Trustees are to attend to the library for the pur

XI. The trustees of each school district shall, at the pose of comparing the catalogue with the books. They

I time of their making their annual reports, deliver to the are at all times when they think proper, and especially

town superintendent'of common schools of their town, on their coming into office, to examine the books care a catalogue containing the titles of all the books in the fully, and note such as are missing or injured. For

district library, with the number of volumes of each every book that is missing the librarian is accountable

le set or series, and the condition of such books, whether to the trustees for the full value thereof, and for the

sound, or injured, or defaced. This catalogue must be whole series of which it formed a part : such value to

signed by them and by the librarian. be determined by the trustees. He is accountable also

XII. The town superinttendent of common schools in for any injury which a book may appear to have sus

each town is required carefully to preserve such cata. tained, by being soiled, defaced, torn, or otherwise.

logues, and deliver them, with the papers of their office, And he can be relieved from such accountability only

to his successor, who is also required to preserve by the trustees, on its being satisfactorily shewn to

the catalogues delivered to him, and hand them over them that some inhabitant of the district has been

to his successor. charged or is chargeable for the value of the book soll Xll. Town superintendents of common schools can. missing, or for the amount of the iniury so done to any not pay over any library money to the trustees of a work. It is the duty of the trustees to take prompt and district in the following cases efficient measures for the collection of the amount for 1st. If a catalogue, as required by article XI, has not whick any librarian is accountable; such amount when il been delivered to them.

16 de Jos

[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »