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A MEMBER: I think that it would be well to have a uniform treatment of the books; to either give a full treatment, or none at all, in all cases. It is unfair to give one book ten lines, and another zero lines. There are numerous omissions in what the committee has called “Civil Engineering," and several other books on that subject itself should be included. I think that the list of books on “Railroads" is inadequate.

PROFESSOR D. C. JACKSON: I think that some of this discussion arises from a misapprehension of the purpose of the committee. The object was to make a list of books which could be used by librarians of to-day. Undoubtedly it has faults, but it is the best list of its kind yet made up. It is not supposed to be a list of text-books per se, but a list of books desirable for public libraries. I know that the committee have done a great deal of work and taken a great deal of time to prepare the report.

PROFESSOR KETCHUM: I agree very heartily with Professor D. C. Jackson in regard to the report and am willing to agree that it is the best report ever published, but I think that it is unwise to add to the report indefinitely.

PROFESSOR MAGRUDER: I had in mind what has just been said when I made my remarks. As this report is being very generally used by librarians and publishers, it should be up-to-date. Suppose one who knows little or nothing about engineering desires to present a book to a friend, or to add a book to a library, or to read up on some subject. He finds in this report a book on the subject by Mr. A., but some one suggests that there is another and a later book on the same subject by Mr. B. Not finding it in the

list, he naturally decides that the judges who constitute our committee are of the opinion that the latter is too inferior a book to mention. And, even if it is mentioned, and without the number and year of the last edition, he may be led to choose a book published ten years ago in preference to a more recent publication.

PROFESSOR FORD: In reply to the question concerning the summary of the contents which appears after some of the books, I will call attention to the fact that in the first report of the committee few of the books were given any more notice than the author, title, publisher and price. When this report was reprinted by A. C. McClurg & Co. they added the publishers' announcements for many of the books. When the list of electrical books was revised, this practice was followed in cases where such announcements were at hand, so it is quite accidental what books are favored with extended notice and what are not. No attempt was made to add such notices to books already in the list.

PROFESSOR TYLER: I would like to ask if representatives of the American Library Association have been consulted by members of our committee?

PROFESSOR C. F. ALLEN: My impression is that Professor Burgess has been in consultation with the American Library Association. I remember he gave a paper at a meeting of the Association. In relation to the list of books, which is intended to cover general subjects, it seems to me that certain books might very well be among those omitted, since they are of a highly specialized nature. The selection of books for such a report must be a matter of judgment. I appreciate the work which Professor Burgess has done.


PROFESSOR A. N. TALBOT: I wish to ask why the Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers are specified instead of the Transactions of the Society? The latter includes the revised papers and the complete discussion, while the former is in the nature of advance copies and is subject to correction.

PROFESSOR KETCHUM: The report was originally intended for general libraries. We have had applications from many libraries, but I do not believe that it has been used as an authoritative list for technical schools. The new list will be used as a complete list of technical books.

PROFESSOR SWAIN: It seems to me that we all appreciate the work of the committee, for the report certainly does contain a large amount of valuable information.

PROFESSOR BURGESS: It is highly gratifying to the committee that its report received the attention and discussion which the members of this society have given it. The remarks which partake of the nature of adverse criticism are no less gratifying to the committee than are the occasional words of commendation. The very nature of the work which has been undertaken, namely the passing of judgment upon the valuation for a particular purpose of a large number of books, allows many errors of judgment to creep in. It is naturally the desire of the committee to eliminate these errors as rapidly as may be, and suggestions as to the addition of other titles, such as have been made by Professors Jackson, Van Ornum, Talbot, Magruder, and others, will be gladly considered by the committee in the next edition of the list.

In the earlier work of the committee comparatively little interest was shown on the part of authors and publishers in the work which was undertaken. Members of the American Library Association, while expressing interest in the work, made no definite offer of assistance, except as individuals, although, as Professor Allen stated, the chairman of the committee presented a paper at a meeting of this association several years ago in which an outline of the proposed work was given and assistance invited. It is perhaps true that the committee should make effort to secure active co-operation, especially in the matter of revision of the list as to dates, editions, publishers, and the like, which will increase the utility from the librarian's standpoint.

Notwithstanding this lack of interest just referred to, abundant incentive for further effort was found in the cordial reception given to the first published list by librarians and by individual users of it. McClurg & Company of Chicago, with the approval of the committee and of officers of the society, undertook to edit the list and to give it wide circulation. Two editions have been gotten out by the company and thousands of copies have been furnished by them to book users in all parts of this country and abroad. The revision which the list underwent at the hands of this company consisted in the elimination of many errors of dates, prices, and editions, and removal of certain books which were no longer on sale. Some improvement in classification was effected, and, following out the suggestions of Professor Van Ornum, other improvements in this matter are shown to be capable of achievement. There is perhaps one criticism which may be urged against the revised list as published by A. C. McClurg & Company in their omission of the name of the publisher following each title. On the whole your committee feels that our society has been benefited by the revision and distribution of the list by this company, especially since they give due credit to the society for the work which it has done.

Following the wide circulation and extensive use of the list has more recently come that interest which was lacking at the start, namely its recognition by publishers and authors. This interest should be fostered still further since it urges upon the attention of the committee certain works which might otherwise be overlooked or which might not be given due consideration. This interest, while perhaps tending to increase the labors of the committee, will tend toward a greater efficiency.

The writer acknowledges the justification of the criticism that the idea of commenting upon each of the various books has not been satisfactorily carried out. The length of comment is in no wise a criterion to the value of the book and, as has been suggested, some of the more important books are listed without any comment whatever. Professor Magruder has pointed out an objectionable designation as far as one particular book is concerned and there are undoubt. edly other objectionable statements. The committee feels that along this line alone there is abundant opportunity for further work.

The original purpose of the committee was to prepare a list suitable for the smaller libraries, this being recognized as the place where the greatest benefit from the list would be derived. We are brought to the realization of the fact that the scope of the work might be enlarged, that the list should be made suitable not only to the smaller libraries but to larger ones as well, not only to the general reader but to the

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