Betting, billiards and smoking: Leisure in public libraries

Snape, Robert ORCID: 0000-0003-4229-0926 (1992) Betting, billiards and smoking: Leisure in public libraries. Leisure studies, 11 (3). pp. 187-199. ISSN 0261-4367

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Rate-supported public libraries were established in Great Britain in the mid-nineteenth century with mixed objectives of educational progress and recreational reform. Although librarians upheld the concept of public libraries as educational establishments and normally deprecated the recreational uses of libraries, the public demand upon libraries was principally of a leisure nature. This article traces the origins of public libraries in the nineteenth-century campaign for recreational reform and evaluates the reaction of librarians to the uses of two specific leisure forms in public libraries, namely newsrooms and games rooms. It shows that public libraries were significant providers of leisure facilities, but that their potential to develop a leisure function was curtailed by the library profession's desire to change the image of the library from a leisure orientated institution to one of educational and information priorities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Metadata only available from this repository. This metadata relates to an electronic version of the article published in Research in Post Compulsory Education. Research in Post Compulsory Education is available online at informaworldTM at
Divisions: University of Bolton Research Centres > Centre for Worktown Studies
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:51
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2019 13:25
Identification Number: 10.1080/02614369200390081

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