Danby Library Holds Record in this County

AUGUST 4, 1925.
(Special Correspondence)

Danby, Aug 3.—Danby is a small town as Vermont towns go, but it is making a showing that well might be emulated by towns much larger, as the records of the state show that this town holds the county record in the number of books, per capita, to be issued from the Griffith Memorial library. The number of books per capita is 18.5, the largest of any town in Rutland County, the town nearest approaching it having a record of 11. This town holds third place in the state, being surpassed in per capita issue, by only two other libraries, both of what are located in cities with a population many times that of Danby.

The Griffith library was presented to the town by the late S. L. Griffith, who during his lifetime conducted extensive lumbering operations in Danby and surrounding towns. It was dedicated in 1904, and has since been serving the town in a very efficient manner.

Attractive Building

The building is an attractive structure of buff brick with terra cotta trim, and is one story in height. The interior is rough plaster finish, with trim of natural birch. The design of the building is worthy of note, in that both the adult’s and children’s reading room are within sight of the librarians desk, making the matter of discipline an easy one. The children’s reading room is on one side of the lobby, and the adult’s room on the other. The stack room is entered from the lobby, and is of modern type, with steel shelves and the latest lighting system. The librarian’s desk is at the back of the lobby, directly in front of the stack room. A liberal endowment was provided by the donor, and the library receives no state or town aid.

Many Periodicals

The library has about 70 of the best periodicals on its reading tables, 10 of these being juvenile books and magazines, and the balance the better papers and current magazines. There are several Boston and New York papers provided, The Rutland Herald, and some of the weekly papers from surrounding towns representing the Vermont press.

The library contains about 10,000 volumes which are issued, and has in addition an excellent reference library containing many books which are rarely found outside a large city library. The yearly circulation is about 19,000 volumes.

Books for Schools

The library sends its books into every school in the towns of Danby and Mt. Tabor, and is in this way doing much to better conditions in the rural schools. The percentage of fiction taken out by juveniles is remarkably small compared with the number of standard works called for.

Students who are out of the town are free to send for books, and they are sent to many schools and colleges throughout the state. Middlebury college, Proctor high school, Ruland, Bennington and Manchester are a few of the schools which these students attend. These books are not all reference books, but any that may happen to be on the required reading list.

Cafeteria Style

The local high school students are taught the indexing system, and the system of issuing books, and are thus able to help themselves to books relieving the librarian of much work during the rush hours. The indexing system is slightly different in this library than in many others, being the Cutter Expansive system, while the Dewey Decimal system is the one that finds favor in most libraries through the state.

Vermont stands high among states in regard to the number of libraries, and its record for books issued is high. It is libraries of the small towns such as Danby, that gives Vermont the reputation of a book-loving, book-using state; and the importance of the small town library is great.