Tuesday May 26, 2009

Literary or educational value

In January 1945 Mosman Council was the first to adopt the Library Act 1939 and the second council to actually provide a library service. Bess Thomas was appointed Chief Librarian and placed on a salary of £350.

The Library Act enabled local councils to establish a free public library service with the assistance of a State Library subsidy on the understanding that councils also contributed funding from their coffers.

The Library Act placed certain obligations on Councils.

Residents and rate payers could borrow any book for free if it was deemed by the librarian to be of ‘literary or educational value’. Everything else cost threepence.

The practice ceased when the new library opened in its present location in 1978.

At the first Management Committee meeting of the newly established Mosman Library on 1 May 1945, it was recommended:

  • that Rosemary Kimber and Patricia Swonnell by appointed as Library Assistants on probation, subject to satisfactory completion of the Library course;
  • that typing assistance be available for two days a week;
  • that membership be limited to residents of Mosman on presentation of an identity card (this changed in April 1946 when non-residents were able to pay 10 shillings and 6 pence annually in order to use the library);
  • that a charge of threepence a book for seven days be made for fiction books;
  • that non-fiction be issued for 14 days;
  • that a fine of one penny a day be imposed over this period;
  • that the hours be as follows:
    Weekdays: 2-3pm for adults; 5-9pm for adults; 3-5pm for children
    Saturdays: 3-6pm for adults; 9.30-12 noon for children (the hours were to be displayed at the local cinemas).

Local Studies Librarian Donna Braye has added a history of Mosman Library to Wikipedia.

— Posted by Mosman Library in  |  Permalink

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