Huddersfield Chronicle (09/Nov/1895) - Letter to the Editor

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



As a persistent advocate of a Free Library, &c., for my native Huddersfield, and having for many years discussed the subject with all manner of men, women, and children, I am at a loss to know where the opposition to a Public Library came from when the town foolishly decided against the establishment of one eight or nine years ago. The paucity of the numbers of those who voted on that occasion never warranted the shelving of the question till the present time. I have never come across one individual in Huddersfield and district who was actually opposed to a Free Library, while I have met with a vast number in its favour. Huddersfield is at a disadvantage, and suffers greatly when compared with other towns in this matter; in fact, it is about the only Corporation in Great Britain without a Free Library. I burn with shame at the thought of it almost every day. As to our Patent Library, when I first visited it I was disgusted at the disorder I saw there. There was confusion and dirt everywhere, and the place looked more like a rubbish heap than anything else. It was an utter disgrace to the town. The late Mr. Samuel Ibeson voluntarily spent hundreds of hours in the library, arranging the books and clearing away the litter, and I have often seen him as black as a sweep after his gratuitous labours. I know the Vicar of Huddersfield and most of the clergy are in favour of a Free Library, Art Gallery, and Museum, and now that our zealous, energetic, and worthy townsman, Mr. Samuel Learoyd, has generously taken up the Patent Library question, I hope it will not be allowed to rest until Huddersfield is in line with, if not in advance of, other important towns in the kingdom. I suggest that all who favour the project should send to Mr. Learoyd the following:— “I am in favour of, and will do all I can to obtain for Huddersfield, a Patent Library, a Free Public Library, a Museum, and an Art Gallery.”

Yours truly,
6th November, 1895.