LIBRARIES FOR FIREMEN.
Every engine house should have its library. It would be a very simple and inexpensive matter for each company to obtain a numerous and desirable library if the members would only interest themselves. Step into an engine house at any time, and it will be found that most of the members present are reading— usually cheap story papers, for want of something better. Let them give out that they are anxious to establish libraries, and the property holders who are so largely indebted to their vigilance, will at once respond by sending in valuable contributions of desirable books. The authorities recognize the advantage of providing the Firemen with comfortable and convenient quartors for themselves and their apparatus. It conduces largely to the health and efficiency of the men. But nothing has yet been done, in any city that we know of, towards providing the men with instructive and entertaining reading matter. Small libraries in the engine houses would be most acceptable to the men, and would serve a good purpose in pleasantly relieving the tedium of long hours of waiting and watching. Such libraries, although containing but fifty or a hundred volumes each, by being made interchangeable between the companies in each Department, would bo of inestimable service, ns each volume would go tho rounds of tho companies and the men also.
For many years tho American Seaman’s Friend Society has been furnishing libraries of about forty volumes each, securely packed in strong wooden cases, to vessels of all nationalities entering and leaving this port. These libraries, which now number some six thousuiul, are intended for sailors, and no charges for I their use or restriction as to caro are en| forced. In July last tho society, through ono of its publications, explained the desirability of extending its “ Loan Library Service” to the United States IifeSaving Stations on the coast and inland lakes, and the sum necessary was at once | subscribed by a merchant of this city, I whose name has been withheld at his own request. Eighty-two libraries havo I been thus supplied, containing altogether ! 3,280 volumes, most of them of a rolig| . I iou8 nature.
There is no reason why the Firemen should not be similarly provided. Let the movement be once started, and wo venture to say the response from property holders would be so liberal that every engine house would be providod with the nucleus of a valuable library within a month. A good way to do it would be for each company to appoint a Library j Committee, and for that Committee to address a circular to all property holders within its district, asking donations of books. These circulars loft at the residences of our citizens would bring forth an immediate response in the way of entertaining volumes. Men engaged in the active pursuits of life can scarcely realize how slow is the flight of time, or how irksome the long hours of idleness to those whose duty it is to watch and wait. A few entertaining volumes in each engine house would go a great way towards relieving the dull monotony of a Fireman’s life.