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1 To the Editor. Sir—The writer in your Saturday’s 3 issue, re the Ashburton Library, deserves thanks for the explicit manner he has stated the objections which prevent the c success of that Institute. I There are perhaps more reading people i in Ashburton than the genial Chairman 1 of last Wednesday evening’s entertain- ’ ment is aware of ; and, if he. inadvertently s opened the bag, causing ‘ ‘ miss puss ” to present herself when she ought to have J remained secret, it was unfortunate on his part, but it has given the public an j opportunity to , protest against their alleged ignorance,- and also to state that 1 while the Library is characterised to such an extent by this { ' social caste,” it will 1 continue decidedly unpopular, and conser quently unsuccessful. It is useless for the Committee to complain that their efforts are not appreciated 1 by Nonconformists. If they wish to have friends, they must show themselves ‘ friendly. Why was the Episcopalian element so strong at the last entertainment ? We need no other evidence* than this to prove that it is a misnomer to call the Library a public one. Let the Committee sink this difference of “caste” and “class.” Open the door wider, and give the Nonconformists of Ashburton equal ! credit with themselves for taste and culture, and thus practically teach the sentiment of fraternity, and we venture to predict that the present languishing Library will speedily revive.—l am, &., Fair Play. To the Editor. Sir, —In to-day’s issue you publish a letter reflecting on our local Library and its committee, the burden of your correspondent’s being that the Library is mainly supported and wholly managed by persons belonging to one denomination. Surely our critic does. not mean to imply that members of other denominations are ineligible to become subscribers if they wish it 1 It is my impression that the Library is open to all who choose to pay the half-a-crovvn (or 2s. 9d.) necessary to entitle them to membership—how, then, can the institution or its committee be held responsible if it happens that most of the subscribers belong to some particular church ? And what possible connection can “social caste ’’have with a Library whose members are not elected or balloted for in any way ? , It is hard to conceive why objection should be made to the holding of meetings in the ; Library Hall, seeing that such meetings form a source of revenue, for no doubt the Gas Company and other bodies pay for the use of the room ; and as regards the entertainment, probably those who arranged the programme would have -been delighted to be assisted by your corres- , pondent, and any of his friends who may j be capable of amusing an audience. There is usually much difficulty in inducing people to come forward, and if I mistake not the committee asked for volunteers! I Your correspondent says he writes with a “ desire to help forward the interests of the institution,” but it is by no means apparent in what way his letter is to a accomplish that end—indeed, to my mind u the effusion is calculated to have a very a contrary effect. In conclusion 1 would say, let us cast aside all these miserable s jealousies, and endeavor to promote the I welfare of the Library by joining it and t inducing others to do so. I, think the t: librarian would have no objection to I receiving anyone’s money, even though he e be a e Hindoo. Ashburton, 10th July, 1880. t ■— To the Editor. Sir,— -I am afraid the writer of the fi letter which appeared in the Guardian and a: Herald of the 3rd has taken a rather 1 ai jaundiced view of that unfortunate bant-1 c.

ing the Public Library. He must, with others, have been well aware-'that a new committee would be elected in June; why did he fthen, - present himself for election ?.\ It ■■ is ' all very well to sit down an 4 find - fault (nothing easier), but I would suggest that if he have anything to complain df, and thinks he could remedy it, he should come forward and present his views, and I am quite sure they will gladly be entertained by the committee. As to the prevalence of what the writer is pleased to call “caste,” I cannot see that it at all prevails in the present case. Some thirty or forty members of the Library were present at the time of the election of the present committee. Several names were proposed arid in many .eases the persons so nominated declined to serve. However, the writer is informed that Dr. Ross posted a notice in the book that at the next quarterly meeting he should move that the number of the committee be nine instead of five, as at present. This will enable the writer to ventilate his grievance and open up a remedy. Perhaps the writer is not aware that the Gas Company and Church have paid' 10s. fid. each time of using the room, and the committee would only be too glad to let all and every “ism” have the use of the room upon the same terms. It is one of the rules that the room may be let for meetings, at a minimum charge of 10s. fid. per night. t I am quite sure the treasurer would be only too glad to receive the writer’s subscription, if he is not already a member, and as many of his denomination as would completely swamp the present subscribers, and I am quite sure the librarian will not ask any impertinent ‘ questions as to a person’s standing in society before delivering books or making use of the readingroom. It is a pity that this Library should be made a sectarian question until the treasurer has refused to take subscriptions from any other party than the one spoken of.—lam, &c., . : A Member of the Committee.

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Bibliographic details

THE ASHBURTON LIBRARY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 125, 13 July 1880

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THE ASHBURTON LIBRARY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 125, 13 July 1880