Mostly in the Line of Duty: Thirty Years with Books

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IT ALL STARTED with the American Library Association (ALA) which wanted to celebrate its centenary in 1976 at its headquarters in Chicago. With five American librarians and non-librarians I was invited to give a centennial paper. I declined the flattering offer because I had left the profession and had no time to do any research. I added innocently, however, that I would be delighted to speak out of personal experience, for instance on the impor- tance of American librarianship in my professional life. This pro- posal was accepted; I delivered the lecture and my text was printed in Libraries and the Life cif the Mind. Before I had read my paper in Chicago I received a request from the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) to contribute with Recollections of a President to the fiftieth anniver- sary volume of IFLA (1927-1977). For reasons with which I agreed IFLA did not publish my paper in full, such as it is given here as chapter 10. I am confident that no one will compare the two versions in order to try to find out \\That has been left out in the earlier printing. Two other papers have appeared in German Festschrifts, one for Kurt Koster from Frankfurt-aiM (chapter 7) and one for Gerhard Liebers from Munster (chapter 5) the former being focussed to accord with the interest of the recipient on medieval Dutch manuscripts, the latter, for similar reasons, on library buildings.