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PROTEST AGAINST RECENT
The hundreds of peoplo who pour daily into the public libraries, in search of information touching on almost every subject under the sun, have no idea, oven if they ever give the
matter a thought, of the years of specialised training, founded on a wide general knowledge, which have to be undergone by the staffs of those institutions, even after they have entered the libraries as probationers. Take the Public Library in Sydney, for instance. The officers must, In the first place, be Uni- versity graduates, or must have passed their leaving certificate examination. Even then they are only on probation, and, before their permanent appointment and subsequent pro- motion they are faced with further examina- tions as a test not only of their general knowledge of affairs, but also of their fitness to cope successfully with the diverse work and practice of a big library.
With this general lack of knowledge among the public, of the conditions which govern their work, however, they are not immediately concerned but they view with some disquiet two recent library appointments, in Sydney and in Hobart as presenting the possibillty of all their years of training counting for nothing, when higher administrative positions, offering improved status and pay, are vacant. It is the appointment of a Librarian to the Sydney University Librnry and the more re- cent appointment of a librarian to the Hobart Public Library outside the ranks of the library profession, that have awakened a pro-
test. Several officers, it is stated, from the principal libraries of the Commonwealth ap- plied for those positions-men with a bound and tried knowledge of Library work and ad- ministration-but were rejected
A strong protest, bearing the signatures of 98 officers employed in tho pilncipal libraries throughout the Commonwealth and New Zealand - the majority of thom carrying University degrees - has now been forwarded to the goveming bodies of the various libraries. The protest emphasises the point that librarianship is a definite profession requiring many years of training on a founda- tion of scholarship, and that Library officers throughout Australia have for years been striving to raise the status of libray work
Miss Nita B. Kibble, principal research of- ficer In tho Public Library, who has prominent- ly associated herself with this move for the better recognition of the profession, expresses the hope that the ventilation of the matter will bear good results in future appointments.