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History Of Wick Library

Chapter 4

1900 – 1930

24th March
Sir John Usher dies.

12th April
The Library Committee instructs the librarian to send their sincere condolences to Sir Robert Usher of his father’s death and an excerpt of the minute with death of Sir John Usher recorded.

10th May
Letter received from Sir Robert Usher dated 18th April to thank the Library Committee for the sincere condolences.

1st June
Special meeting of the Library Committee held. The Committee informed by the Librarian that the bust and pedestal of the late Sir John Usher had arrived from Sir Robert Usher the son of the late Sir John Usher. The Committee instructed the Librarian to correspond with Sir Robert Usher, to thank him for his generous gift of the bust and pedestal of his late father, also to inform Sir Robert of a formal unveiling of the bust. It was agreed that the bust and the pedestal would be unveiled in the Reading Room and placed there in the meantime.

14th June
Letter from Sir Robert Usher was read out to the Committee.

Ratho Station,
7th June 1906.

Dear Sir – I am obliged by your letter of the 5th inst., and am glad indeed to hear that the Committee of the Wick Free Library are pleased with the bust of my late father, as well as the pedestal and inscription. I do not think it necessary, or, indeed advisable, to have a formal unveiling, but would prefer that the bust should be set up at once in the place prepared for it.
I am,
Sincerely yours,
Robert Usher.

The grateful thanks of the Committee were voted to Sir Robert Usher, for his generous gift. The librarian instructed by the Committee to send an excerpt of the foregoing minute to Sir Robert Usher.
Bust and pedestal placed in the Reading Room with the approval of the Committee presented.

The pedestal bears the following inscription: -
Sir John Usher, of Norton and Wells, Baronet, Supervisor of Pulteneytown. The donor of the site on which this library is erected. Presented by his son, Sir Robert
Usher, Baronet 1906.

25th January
Telegram from the railway station sent to George Bain, to pick up parcel from the railway station.

George Bain goes to the railway station to pick up parcel, waiting there was a stuffed crocodile. Its takes eight people to transport it to the library.

Committee informed crocodile received from Mr. Bignold arrived on the 25th of January.

8th July
The crocodile was removed from the museum and placed on the landing.

14th August
Librarian instructed by the Committee to express their sincere condolences to Mrs. Carnegie in her bereavement of the loss of her husband Mr Andrew Carnegie.

Excerpt from the report put in the Northern Ensign on the 20th August 1919, by the Wick Library Committee.
Mr Carnegie Interest in Wick Library.

“The Committee desire to note in their minutes the passing away of Mr Andrew Carnegie, of Skibo, who, from his princely donations to libraries in the English-speaking world, occupied a place in the literary world that was altogether unique. Mr Carnegie, since the time the freedom of burgh was bestowed on him the 5th of August 1890, showed a warm regard for the Wick Public Library, and it through his large handsome gifts that Wick has such splendid building in which the books are housed. Only yesterday the latest token of his interest in our institution was received. It is a quarto volume, printed on hand made paper, and is entitled ‘Final Act of Second Pan-American Congress.’ The fame of his name as a munificent giver is world-wide, and his magnificent gifts to the Scottish Universities has made the stuff of knowledge easier than it would otherwise have been for many humble Scottish students.”

9th October
The Committee receives a letter from Mrs. Louise Carnegie thanking them for their sincere condolences.

25th March
Appointment of Librarian delayed until the 30th March, list of applicants received.

Sinclair Gray Wick
D. M. Calder County Rates Office, Wick
John Dunnet 6 Grant Street, Wick
D. G. Henderson Elize Manse, Wick
George A. Sutherland Brough, Dunnet
John M. Glass 2 Maclean Terrace, Wick
Daniel Sutherland 8 Albert Street, Wick

30th March
George Bain becomes Consulting Librarian after his faithful and loyal services to the library and the Committee, and a new Librarian is appointed to Wick Library, Mr. Daniel Sutherland. His position will be acting librarian.

8th April
Rules of Contract of Acting Librarian

1. That you shall be Acting Librarian & Mr George Bain Consulting Librarian.

2. That your whole time shall be devoted to the work of the Library and you shall not absent yourself without leave of the Committee and that you shall perform all duties which may be required of you by the Committee and carry out all instructions which may be given to you.

3. That the Library shall be open and personally supervised by you daily (except Sunday) from ten o’clock a.m. to ten o’clock p.m., excepting the weekly half holiday and other days prescribed by the Committee, and you shall be responsible for seeing that order is maintained in the building and that no noise or disturbance of any kind is permitted.

4. That you shall attend all meetings of the Committee or Sub Committee, take & record the minutes of such meetings and conduct all correspondence with the Library.

5. That you shall keep correct books & accounts in connection with the Library and all sums received by you on account of the Library.

6. That you shall be paid a salary of £2 per week – commenced on 31st Ult., the salary to be paid monthly.

7. That your engagement shall be held to have commenced on 31st Ult., and shall be terminable by one months notice on either side.

11th August
The Committee offers to Mr. John Glass the position Assistant Librarian.

14th January
Mr George Bain, consulting librarian and former librarian of Wick Library dies at his home.

13th February
Letter from Committee sent to Mr. Miller, the nearest relative of George Bain, Librarian, of their condolences on the death of Mr. George Bain.

19th June
Daniel Sutherland, Librarian dismissed by the Library Committee and the post of librarian to be advertised in the local papers and the Scotsman, open to men or women applicants.

31st July
The Library Committee receives the list of applicants and after consideration they sent the applications to the Sub-Committee to draw up a short leet by next full meeting of the Committee.

George Nicolson Partick
George Ballantyne Edinburgh
David Sutherland Wick
John McKenzie Wick
Alexr. A. Taylor Edinburgh
Wm. M. Laing Portobella
R. H. Chapell Edinburgh
Alexr. Finlayson Wick
Wm. J. N. Douglas Glasgow
Wm. M. Dickie M. A., Huntly
Edward G. Manson Wick
Alexr. Small Dundee
Jas. H. Fraser Wick
Peter MacAdie Wick
Daniel Clark Wick
Prof. Emile Chardone
Isabel Donn London
Jas. G. Graham Edinburgh
Nicol Pentland Edinburgh
Robert C. Kerr Barrhead
John M. Glass Wick
Helen S. Wilson Edinburgh
Frederick R. Montagu Moffat
George A. Sutherland Dunnet
Peter McKenzie Wick
Wm. McKenzie Occumster
Harry Liepitz Edinburgh
John Sutherland Wick
John Calder Edinburgh
D. W. Milligan Wick
Tom E. Bain Wick
Jas. D. Grandison Latheron

10th August
The Sub-Committee draws up a short leet of three applicants.

Wm. M. Dickie Huntly
John M. Glass Wick
D. W. Milligan Wick

14th August
Meeting of the Library Committee to decide which applicant receives the post of Librarian.
The Committee resolve that two other names to added to the short leet, John MacKenzie & Alexr. Finlayson. No other nominations being submitted.

They held a vote for the five candidates with the following results:

Mr. Milligan 8 votes
Mr. Glass 5 votes
Mr. Mackenzie 3 votes

No votes were cast for the other two candidates. And one spoilt paper. Mr. Milligan not having a clear majority, another vote had to been done this time between Mr. Mackenzie and Mr. Glass, result as follows:

Mr. Mackenzie 10 votes
Mr. Glass 7 votes

In the final vote between Mr. Milligan and Mr. Mackenzie the results as follows:

Mr. Milligan 9 votes
Mr. Mackenzie 8 votes

Mr. Milligan was duly appointed to the post of Librarian.

4th September
The Finance Committee meets and they agree the terms and the conditions of the Librarian’s Contract.

1. That he shall be Librarian and have the help of an Assistant.

2. That his whole time shall be devoted to the work of the Library including the Education Authority’s Rural Library and the Museum, and he shall not absent himself without leave of the Committee, and he shall perform all duties which may be required of him by the Committee and carry out all instructions which may be given by them.

3. That the Library shall be kept open and personally supervised by him or the Assistant daily (except Sunday) from 10 o’clock a.m. to 10 o’clock p.m. The hours of attendance of the Librarian and his Assistant including half holidays shall be submitted for approval by the Committee, and the Librarian shall be responsible for seeing that order is maintained in the building and that no noise or disturbance of any kind is permitted.

4. That he shall attend all meetings of the Committee or Sub-Committee, take and record the minutes of such meetings and conduct all correspondence necessary in connection with the library.

5. That he shall keep correct books and accounts showing all sums received and disbursed in connection with the Library, and regularly pay into the Bank account all sums received by him on the account of the Library, The Librarian’s books to be audited monthly as at present.

6. That he shall be paid a salary of £200 per annum, the salary to be paid monthly.

That his engagement shall commence on 1st prox. and shall be terminable by one month’s notice on either side.

Foreword & Acknowledgements
Chapter 1  Libraries in Wick and Pulteneytown before 1887
Chapter 2 1887 – 1891
Chapter 3 1891 – 1900
Chapter 4 1900 – 1930
Chapter 5 1930 – 1975
Chapter 6 1975 – Present
Chapter 7 Librarians
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