Library Annual Report 1870

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Annual Report of the President of the South Orange Library Association.
Presented to the members, Monday Evening, November 7, 1879

The Board of Directors of the South Orange Library Association, respectfully present their Sixth Annual Report

A review of the work of the Association for the year, will no doubt give general satisfaction. In the month of May, a very pleasant entertainment was given at Library Hall, Orange, by, and for, the benefit of the Association. "An Evening with Barnabee,": was decided a success, placing $145 in our Treasury. It is proper to state that our Association is indebted (in a great measure) to our able and efficient Recording Secretary, and his assistants, for the successful manner in which the enterprise was conducted. It is in the opinion of many of the Directors that the Association should endeavor to give every year, at least, one or two first class entertainments; it would not only put money in the Treasury, but wit presents the Association in a pleasant and prominent manner to the notice of the public.


An examination of the report of the Treasurer will show that the Finances are in a sound condition; we commenced the year with a balance in the Treasury of $210.50, the income from annual dues and fines has been $242, and from all other sources, $253. The actual expenditure for new books has only been $78; fro magazines, etc., fort eh Reading Room, $27, and $351 for the usual expenses, such as salaries, rent, &c., leaving a balance in the Treasure of $184.67, or, with an amount now due, but not yet paid in of over $235. It is expected that this amount will be considerable reduced by the early purchase of new books not yet consumated. The Librarian reports that only 52 new books have been purchased during the year, and the Library now contains 1,204 volumes, in addition to which, we have upon our tables in the Reading Room, 13 newspapers and magazines, as follows:

Newark Daily Advertiser.
Harper's Bazaar,Harper's,
Harper's Weekly,Putnam's,
Every Saturday,Atlantic,
Country Gentleman,Galaxy,
Orange Chronicle,Hours at Home
Nation,Our Young Folks,

Compared with the last report, there has been quite a decrease in the number of books issued to the order of members. Last year, the number was 2,886; this year, it has been only 2,396, a decrease of nearly 500 volumes. It may be partially owing tot he small number of new books added to the Library during the year, which if correct, should warn us of the importance of taking active measures for raising larger sums for purchasing new books. The demand for what may be termed "light literature," still predominates - of the whole number of books taken out for perusal during the year, 1,792 have been Tales and Novels, and 604 works of Travel, History, Poetry, etc.

The subscription list is not as satisfactory as we would wish, only 16 new members appearing upon our roll of members for the year just closed.

We now number 104 members, 70 being gentlemen and 34, ladies. Last year, we had a total of 118. The deserters are all gentlemen, which proves that the ladies are our most steadfast friends.


The Committee having charge of the publishing of a Catalogue of the contents of the Library, finished their labors early in the year, they have produced a very neat book of 24 pages, giving the Rules and Regulations of the Library Reading Room, and a complete list of all the books up to the time of its publication; a perusal of its pages will show that he general character of the books is of a high order, and that they furnish a large amount of good reading, for both old and young - 500 copies of the catalogue were printed, and 250 bound, the total expense being about $55; it was deemed expedient to sell them for 25 cents each and 30 have been sold at that price: perhaps it would be wise to reduce it, with a view to increasing the circulation of the catalogue.


The Library is insured for $1,500.


Through the influence of our Association, a Free Evening School has been maintained for the past two or three winters; it is earnestly hoped that means will be provided to continues so praise worthy an object, as it is only by such agencies as Free Schools and Reading Rooms, that we can hope to successfully cope with the demoralizing influences that we see thriving and increasing almost daily in our once quiet village.


The matter of having the Association incorporated is now in the hands of a committee, and will no doubt be definitely settled before the close of another year. Looking forward to the future, the Directors can only reiterate what has been said in the past, that with greater enterprise, and continued industry on the part of its managers, this Institution may continue to advance beyond its present position, to exert a wider influence in molding the minds and tastes o the young, and of the community generally. The late census gives the population of the Township in round numbers as 3,000, in view of which 104 is a very small number of subscribers for so populous and intelligent a community as that of South Orange. A very simple way of doubling our number in a short time, would be for each present subscriber to induce one of more of their non-subscribing neighbor to join us, we should not rest satisfied till we have a subscription list of at least 250. The business men of the village, farmers, and owners of real estate generally, would find it totheir interest to support the Library with a liberal hand.

In conclusion, the Board are happy to mention that their deliberations have all been conducted with the utmost harmony, and they take great pleasure in handing over the Library Association t their successors, soon to be chosen, believing that the future offers still brighter prospects to our institution, than the past.

By order of the Board,
James B. Hixon, President