1927, June 2: The new Philadelphia Free Library's book retrieval system works like this: When a patron requests a book, a librarian in the Reading Room transmits the request to the stacks via a Teletype system. An employee stationed in the stacks receives the request via a recording typewriter, retrieves the book from its place on shelves, and places it on a conveyor system for a long, circuitous trip to the requesting librarian. The entire process requires only 2-4 minutes.
1926, July 15: The Los Angeles Central Library, originally designed by Bertram Goodhue and completed by his associate Carleton Winslow, is dedicated. Built in ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean revival style, the central tower is topped with a tiled mosaic pyramid with suns on either side and a hand holding a torch representing the "Light of Learning" at the apex. Other elements include sphinxes, snakes, and celestial mosaics.
1927: The ALA Committee on Library Extension publishes a small brochure that describes the inequality of access to public library service in the US and advances the goal of "Adequate public library service within easy reach of everyone." It then offers some strategies for achieving that goal. A chart in the brochure shows that more than 50 million Americans are without library service, mostly in rural areas.
1926: The ALA Commission on the Library and Adult Education publishes its report on the status of lifelong education in US libraries, funded with the help of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and finds "outstanding deficiency in all forms of adult educational work." Afterwards, ALA establishes a standing Board on Library and Adult Education.
1926, Oct. 6: Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) gives a talk on "Our Next Half-Century." In it, he comments on the competition that radio and films are giving to books. He says: "Our great function is to inform or to inspire, or to please; to give to the public in the quickest and cheapest way information, inspiration, and recreation... If a better way than the books is found, we should use it."
1927, June 2: Librarians and trustees open the new Philadelphia Free Library Central building with a dignified ceremony on the lawn. While bands play and newsreel cameras roll, Mayor W. Freeland Kendrick, City Council President Charles B. Hall, and other dignitaries including former US Sen. George Wharton Pepper (1867-1961), a descendant of the library's founder, praises the new building and the many people who had devoted years to its erection. Librarian John Ashhurst opens the doors.