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The policy pursued by other states in regard to receiving certain classes of indigent insane; whether city property was insured or should be insured by the city itself or by regular insurance companies; market licenses and fees; the collection and disposal of garbage; the duplication of street names; the tearing up of newly laid pavements for the purpose of laying gas mains, water pipes, etc.; how representatives in the several state legislatures are apportioned; licensing and muzzling of dogs; salaries of municipal officials; abolishment of grade crossings; the smoke nuisance; how plans for public buildings are adopted; pensions for school teachers and firemen; the use of school buildings for social, educational, and neighborhood purposes; inspection of electric meters; paving of private alleys; public comfort stations; taxation of street railways, and other subjects. There was also collected for members of the legislature information in regard to inheritance taxes, corrupt practices at elections, printing of bills, legislative expenses, public roads, railway rate regulation, public schools, gas and electric light rates, grain inspection, oyster laws, and several other topics. Individuals and improvement associations have frequently called upon the Department for information on a variety of subjects. No charge whatever is made for any information given.
One point should be especially emphasized, and that is, such libraries must be kept out of politics if they are to be of any value, for in the hands of politicians, they could be made to serve an evil purpose. Furthermore, the bureau should not advocate or oppose any measure, but simply supply the data and let the facts speak for themselves. The department in Baltimore is under the control of a commission composed of the mayor, the city solicitor, the president of the Johns Hopkins University, the president of the Municipal Art Society, and the president of the Merchants and Manufacturers Association, thus removing it entirely from politics.
The City Library as a Business Investment
BY DR. CHARLES MCCARTHY!
Mayor Brand Whitlock, in a recent number of the Saturday Evening Post, quoted De Tocqueville as follows:
Local assemblies of citizens constitute the strength of free nations. Municipal institutions are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they bring it within the people's reach; they teach men how to use and how to enjoy it. A nation may establish a system of free government, but without the spirit of municipal institutions it cannot have the spirit of liberty.
If this is true, and we shall grant it at once if we are true believers in American institutions, then I propose to show in a manner no one can refute that the city library should be the most important institution in the city.
Let us first consider the question of the city library as a municipal institution, dealing not merely with the affairs of men, but more in its relations with the welfare of the community and the public good.
1 Boston, Chicago, Baltimore and Milwaukee have Bureaus of Municipal Statistics and the nuclei of effective municipal libraries. To emphasize the importance of such work the League asked Dr. Charles McCarthy, who has been a leader in legislative reference bureau work, to prepare a paper on its behalf for presentation at the last meeting of the American Library Association. He did so, and to bring it before the members of the National Municipal League, the subject was put on the Pittsburgh program with a view to having the paper included in the formal Proceedings of the League.
Dr. Flack, whose paper is also published, discusses the main points of Dr. McCarthy's paper from the point of view of his own experience as Municipal Reference Librarian of Baltimore.-EDITOR.
Our libraries deal largely today with the women and children, but no one suffers today from poor government like the women and children. The present library work for women and children is no doubt a noble work, but the more fundamental work for them should not be neglected on that account. The welfare of women and children depends upon good business administration in our cities. If the taxes are exceedingly high and the public moneys ill spent, then the women and children must suffer. If unsanitary conditions prevail, it is then they pay terrible toll.
I am here to maintain the thesis that a legislative library can be made the best paying investment for the city. I can say more money than any other institution in the city. It can add more efficiency to the management of public business, than any other institution. It can give more health and happiness. How can this be accomplished?
Not only must the library be a proper storehouse for information, but it should be so governed, so managed, that the experience of every other city should be at our hands before we attempt to spend the public moneys. Consider for a minute how foolishly we spend our city moneys. Everyone of you know of instances where garbage plants, street pavings and a hundred other improvements in the cities have been failures. Why have they been failures? Why should we have a failure in the collection of ashes, or garbage, or disposal of sewage? The simple fact is, that we do not learn from the sad experience of other places. Who ever heard of anybody going to London, or Berlin, or any other of the European cities for improvements, and yet it is apparent to everyone of us that London must have had such problems for a thousand years at least. Other cities in this country have solved these problems. Why can't we have, then, the data which will show us how these ordinances work?
To show the vital importance of an ordinance, let us analyze a moment what a city ordinance is, what effect it has:
For what we do want an ordinance? We want it to make certain regulations which are necessary for the preservation of life and health and happiness and safety. If an ordinance is
a good ordinance, then life and health and happiness and safety will be preserved. If it is poor, then the reverse will occur and we will have unsanitary conditions and death and misery.
We are now having a fight in the city of Madison, Wisconsin, over a milk ordinance. For what do we need a good milk ordinance? What does it mean to the community to have all the information about such ordinances before the public, to have such information collected and readily accessible and up-to-date and in such form that the city council and our citizens can use it? It means simply this, that perhaps hundreds of children in due course of time will be saved in Madison, and loving homes will echo with bright young voices of hundreds of children who would have succumbed to disease. It means less misery and less disease.
What is an
It is very easy to make a statement of this kind, but what do the figures prove? If you read a statement made by the health officers of Rochester, New York, you will find that from 1887 to 1896, the total deaths of children from one to five years, was over two thousand greater than from 1897 to 1906. The result of this was due to a milk ordinance and a campaign for pure milk in Rochester.
Quoting from the report upon sanitary milk production, circular 114, Bureau of Animal Industry, from 1907, the following figures are interesting:
The following facts present strong presumptive evidence on the relation of impure milk to infantile mortality.
1. About one-fourth of all the children born in the District of Columbia and about one-sixth in the country at large perish before the completion of the first year. Of the twelve months during the first year of life the first, second, third, fourth and twelfth months furnish the highest mortality. The deaths during the first four months are largely due to imperfect development and exposure, while the jump from the fourth to the twelfth month is quite suggestive, as it is the usual period of weaning, with its attending dangers from digestive diseases incident to artificial feeding.
The Fight for
2. Nearly one-half of all the deaths in children under one year of age are caused by gastro-enteric diseases, chiefly infantile diarrhoea, and this points with more than mere suspicion to the fact that the morbific agent is introduced into the body with the food. Since the enactment of pure-milk law in 1895, the per cent of deaths in children under 1 year of age to the total deaths of all ages, has been reduced from 26.94 to 18.13 in 1904.
3. The most frightful mortality rates are everywhere furnished by the hand or bottle fed children, indicating that impure cow's milk and improper care and feeding are the chief primary causes.
Professor Kohrer informs us that of the 8329 infants that died in Munich during 1868-1870, or over 85 per cent had been hand or bottle fed. Of the 4075 infants that died in 1903, 83.3 per cent were artificially fed. In Berlin, of the 41,383 infants that perished during 1900-1904, over 90 per cent had been artificially fed. In Paris, according to Monat, the rate is from 70 to 75 per cent. In 1903 the health department of the District of Columbia investigated 260 infantile deaths with reference to feeding and ascertained that 88.49 per cent of the children had been artificially fed.
In the face of the startling arguments against artificial feeding, mothers should hesitate to subject their offsprings to such terrible risks, and the state must take what precautions it can to stop this slaughter of the innocents. The Washington market milk compares very favorably with the average German or English milk; but every community has a right to expect milk free from dirt and filth, and hence the need of a law or regulation "that there shall be no visible sediment on standing two hours.'
It may be urged that all such modern innovations involve unnecessary hardship, but it should be remembered that by attacking all the various factors concerned in the causation of the disease we may hope for the best results. The reduction in the general mortality in the registration area of the United States from 19.6 in 1890 to 16.2 per 1000 shows what may be accomplished by preventative medicine and sanitation."
If these figures do not prove that the city library or the reference bureau can be made the best paying investment the