Huddersfield Chronicle (24/Oct/1891) - Editorial: Meltham
The lines of the inhabitants of Meltham would seem to be cast in pleasant places. Institutions and accessories which in these modern days are looked upon as necessary adjuncts to civilisation, and the provision of which is considered to be the proud privilege of the ratepayers, are provided for them without personal cost. But few places of the size can boast of being so well off in the matter of public works as Meltham. The latest addition to its public institutions, places it in advance of Huddersfield. Nowhere in this borough, where the love of education is supposed to be particularly strong, can a student enjoy the advantages of a free reading room or the delights of a reference library. It was an ordinary remark of the Huddersfield visitors present at the opening of the Carlile Institute at Meltham, that nothing of the kind could be found in the important, and populous neighbouring borough. The further wants of the little town must be few and doubtless when brought to the front will be supplied. It is interesting in this connection to note that on the same day this Institute was opened the inhabitants of the ancient capital of the county voted in favour of the adoption of the Free Libraries Act. In the words of a contemporary "York has now taken its place amongst the educated cities of the country." Considering how long our elementary schools have been turning out scholars by thousands the population ought now to be so permeated with the love of reading and study that the facilities afforded by being amongst "the educated cities of the country" ought no longer to be denied. Meltham owes its position in advance of Huddersfield to private philanthropy, but before long we shall be the only incorporated borough in the county that does not afford to its numerous educated young people the advantages of a free lending and reference library. As long as this remains a reproach to us so long will the public spirit and progressiveness of our inhabitants be more a matter of boasting than of reality.