HC Deb 13 September 1887 vol 321 c470
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether, under the "Public Libraries Act, 1885," the Warrington Library and Museum Committee are justified in requiring and receiving subscriptions from persons borrowing books from the Warrington Free Library, which Library is supported from the rates; and, whether the Library Committee are legally justified in according privileges to subscribers in respect of the loan of books from the Free Library, which privileges are not accorded to ratepayers who do not pay special subscriptions?


There is no authority under the Public Libraries Act of 1855 for making any distinction between persons who subscribe and persons who do not. In my opinion the Act does not contemplate the loan of books out of the Library; and I think it doubtful whether such loan is legal. Assuming, however, that under Section 21 Rules could be made permitting the loan of books, it would, in my opinion, be competent for the Committee to require a reasonable deposit to ensure their safe return.