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4 With wisdom dwells our dearest bliss,
Abounding with increase;
And all her paths are peace.”
The treasure you have sought;
Nicholson's Literary Miscellany.
2 The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight,
3 Not so, when held within their proper bounds,
4 The sum is this: if man's convenience, health,
5 Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons
By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand
AN ECONOMICAL PROJECT, FOR THE EXPEDITIOUS AND
UNIVERSAL DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE.
In the hope that the impulse of a disposition “ do good,” may influence some patron of knowledge, or generous youth, in every neighborhood where these sheets may be circulated, to volunteer his exertions for the institution of a Free Library and Reading Society, I annex the following form of a con stitution, which such friends to society are earnestly desired to transcribe and present for subscription, to citizens and young people, as speedily and generally as possible:
THE CONSTITUTION, Of the Juvenile Society of
-for the Acquisition of
Knowledge. | We the subscribers, being convinced that it is indispensably necessary for our welfare and happiness, that we improve our minds by the acquirement of useful knowledge, do hereby agree to associate as a Library and Reading Society, and conform to the following articles of regulation; which may, at any time, be altered or amended, by agreement of two thirds of the members of the society, who are permitted to vote.
I. The society may be composed of young persons of both sexes, between ten and twenty-one years of age; who are equally admitted to the benefits of this institution, (except that those who are under sixteen years of age are not permitted to vote) by signing these articles, and complying with their regulations. The elder members to be denominated senior, and the younger, junior members.
II. Persons over twenty-one years of age, may also be admitted, and shall be entitled to all the privileges of senior members, by contributing two dollars, or more, at the time of their admission, and one dollar annually afterwards. III. The society shall meet on the first Monday in the month of
o'clock, P. M. and choose seven trustees, a majority of whom shall be more than twenty-one years of age. The trustees shall appoint a librarian from among themselves, or the other senior members, and fill vacancies in the board, protempore, at each meeting, whenever they occur, from non-attendance or otherwise ; or if there should not a sufficient number be present for that purpose, four of the board shall be competent to transact business.
IV. The librarian shall act as chairman, at the meetings of the society or of the trustees, and have a casting vote. He shall act as treasurer and secretary. He shall number the books, and keep a record of all that are drawn and returned. He shall purchase for the library only such books as are authorised by the trustees. He shall keep an account of all the books, given or lent to the society, and of receipts and expenditures. He is authorized to loan books to persons who are not members, at one dollar per year, or three cents per week, or without any charge to those who shall obtain the certified consent of two of the trustees. He shall keep a distinct account of fines col'ected on the books lent to the society, which shall be paid to the owners. On the first Mondays in March and September, he shall exhibit notices on the
doors of churches, schoolhouses, or at such other places as he may deem proper, inviting all the youth to join the society, who are entitled to the prive ilege, as specified in the first article. Whenever the librarian shall deem it expedient, he is authorized to require deposits, or orders from responsible persons, to be left by any person to whom he shall deliver books. V. All the books of the library shall be returned every week, at, or before
o'clock, on P. M. or on the first Monday of every month; the penalty for the neglect of which, shall be six cents on each book, and one cent per day until returned; or if not returned within one month after the time aforesaid, to be paid for, if required by the trustees.
VI. It shall be the duty of the trustees, to decide what books shall be ad mitted, whether offered as donations, or in payment for subscriptions, or lent; to examine the books returned at each meeting, and impose reasonable fines on such as are damaged by ill usage; and, if materially injured, to be paid for, at the appraisal of the trustees. Books which are received as donations, and decided to be inadmissible, shall be exchanged by the trustees, or sold at auction.
VII. Those who neglect to pay fines, or other dues to the society, withia one month after incurred, shall be prohibited the use of the library until paid.
VIII. The library shall be open, for the delivery of books, every Saturday, from one to five o'clock, for females, and from five to nine o'clock, P. M. for males : and books may be returned and exchanged, at all other times, when convenient to the librarian.
IX. The first choice of books, at each meeting, shall belong to the patrons and members of the society who shall have subscribed, and paid, the greatest amount for the benefit of the institution, in gradation to those who shall have paid the least. And to others, the precedence shall belong to the oldest, in gradation to the youngest.
X. A reading meeting is appointed to be held every Thursday evening, from six to eight o'clock; for which purpose, any senior member of the society may prepare essays, or select and designate instructive and interesting articles from books, for the consideration of the librarian, or such of the trustees as he may nominate, who shall decide upon the pieces to be read at each meeting No person to read more than than two pages at once.
We hereby mutually recommend it to each other, to contribute twenty-five cents, quarterly, if possible, every year, for the purchase of new books for the library; and severally promise to pay to the librarian, the amount, or its value in such books as shall be accepted by the trustees, set respectively against our names.
[NOTE.—The Compiler of the preceding work projected and established a free circulating library, in the year 1804, at New Lebanon, (N. Y.) for the exclusive benefit of Apprentices and youth of both sexes, between 12 and 21 years of age, and similar institutions have recently been adopted in various parts of the United States.]