Library News from 100 Years Ago
The human race is born in sin and nurtured in carelessness. If anyone doubts this he has only to notice how many fines the Portland public library has collected in one year for books kept overtime and he will doubt no longer. The sum total of these delinquencies amounts to more than 28,000 days, which falls barely short of 77 years. The time thus sinfully passed in keeping books that other people want to read hidden away in bath tubs and coal scuttles if it were concentrated in two or three single lives might do wonders. Twenty years of it might be spent by another Gibbon in writing another Decline and fall, 20 more by some younger Spencer in working out a new and better theory of evolution , and still there would remain 37 years for a genius greater than either of these to employ in solving the problems of human misery and teaching us all how to be healthy and happy. What a world it might be if nobody kept library books longer than the rules allow!
Quoted from The Oregonian. Appearing in the June 1908 Public Libraries. p 240
Library News from 100 Years Ago comes courtesy of the progressive bound periodicals lending policy of Oregon State University.
— Tony Greiner, firstname.lastname@example.org