March 1, 1916
Since the streets of the city have at night-time been plunged into Cimmerian gloom, reading at home has become more popular than theatre-going in the eyes of Liverpool citizens.
Just now there is a big run on the libraries, public and private, and it is not only works of fiction – although these, of course, predominate – that are in demand. Public taste, as expressed in the use made of the Corporation Lending Libraries, is not without significance.
There is a considerable demand for books dealing with the war, with the histories of the belligerent nations, and with international politics; books on technical subjects, such as engineering, electricity, lathe work, motor driving, flying machines, books on drill and training, and volumes treating of foreign languages, chiefly Russian.
This new-born interest in the Russian tongue – a welcome sign of the times – is noticeable, too, at the Corporation Reference Library, where books on theology, natural history, and technical subjects are called for much more frequently than of old.
As between and 1915 there has been a slump of 30,000 male readers at the Corporation libraries.
(Source: Liverpool Daily Post: March 1, 1916)