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English Public Libraries: Years of Crisis, 1914-1919

Alec Ellis
The Journal of Library History (1974-1987)
Vol. 22, No. 3 (Summer, 1987), pp. 272-284
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25541815
Page Count: 13
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English Public Libraries: Years of Crisis, 1914-1919
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Abstract

The aim of this article is to show the extent to which public libraries in England were adversely affected in World War I. An attempt has been made to distinguish between areas directly influenced by the war and others that were subject to quite different influences. The period represents a time of crisis, unknown before or since, when the library service virtually collapsed owing to the combination of an inflexible limitation on the amount of local taxes available to libraries and an inexorable inflationary spiral. In order to place the topic in context, the financial position of libraries prior to the war is analyzed and the results of subsequent ameliorating legislation are explored.

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