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REPORT OF THE BOARD OF LIBRARY
COLUMBUS, OHIO, Nov. 15, 1901. To His Excellency, George K. Nash, Governor of Ohio:
SIR: -- We have the honor herewith to submit the fifty-sixth annual report of the Board of Library Commissioners, or the sixth report since the creation of the commission by act of April 22, 1896.
Notwithstanding our crippled condition, due to meager appropriations and lack of room, we are pleased to announce substantial progress in all lines of library work. The report of the librarian on the following pages mentions in detail the many additions by gift and purchase within the past year. Among these are a number of rare Ohio neispapers and other items of great value to the library which serve to emphasize the importance of better facilities for housing this rapidly growing collection of state history. The Traveling Library Department, which continues to grow, was never in more satisfactory condition. Its influence has been felt in every county. It is gradually taking an important place among the educational agencies of the state. ever expended by the Board has produced more satisfactory results.
In previous reports we have drawn attention to the fact that the State Library has outgrown its present quarters. We have only to add that more room must promptly be provided. Twice already the General Assembly has by law attempted to make such provision, but the Library is still confined to its original narrow limits.
When the Garfield library act of 1896 went into effect, it was expected that the Library Commission would classify and re-arrange the library, widen the sphere of its influence, and give it an efficient and progressive administration. Considering the difficulties to be encountered. we are more than satisfied with what has been accomplished. The State Library is on a basis of merit, with a definite mission, and has a recognized standing among the progressive state libraries of the United States.
When the work was undertaken by the Commission, it was generally understood that additional appropriations would be necessary. To provide these is the problem that confronts us now. The book fund should be increased, additional equipment and help should be had for the general and traveling library departments, and those employed should receive reasonable compensation for their work. Salaries paid at present average
from one-half to two-thirds those paid for similar services in other
J. F. MCGREW, President.