stry books of its circulating department nearly 400,000 names, and in the course of a year nearly 35,000 new applications are made for the use of its branch libraries, scattered over different parts of the city. What brings these people to the library? This is no idle question. The number of library users, large as it is, represents too small a fraction of our population. If it is a good thing to provide free reading matter for our people--and every large city in the country has committed itself to the truth of this proposition--we should certainly try to see that what we furnish is used by all who need it. Hence an examination into the motives that induce people to make their first use of a free public library may bring out information that is not only interesting but useful. To this end several hundred regular users of the branches of the New York Public Library were recently asked this question directly, and the answers are tabulated and discussed below. In each of sixteen branch libraries the persons inte
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