Despite the high hopes of the 1917 Russian revolution, there were huge problems for literacy and education among the general populace. Trade Unions still refused to allow the general public to use libraries, funding for books and materials was minimal, and books already stocked were falling apart. A poorly-paid library career did not attract, and libraries needed serious re-organisation. Krupskaya, wife of Lenin, directed a census of libraries, encouraged them to collaborate and to welcome the general public by using common speech when speaking with patrons. Librarians were urged to learn workers' needs, to consider what books should be stocked, what subjects interested readers, and to organise the material to benefit readers. Card catalogues were also to be improved. Formal training scarcely existed for librarians, and she therefore advocated the creation of library "seminaries" where practising librarians would instruct students in the necessary skills, as in the West. The pedagogical characteristics were however those of the Soviet revolutionary period.
Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya (1869–1939) was a Russian Bolshevik and the wife of Vladimir Lenin, whom she met at a Marxist discussion group. After the 1917 Revolution, she was at the forefront of the political scene, and from 1922–1925 was aligned with Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev against Trotsky's Left Opposition, though she later fell out with Stalin. She was deputy education commissar from 1929 to 1939, with strong influence over the Soviet educational system, including the development of Soviet librarianship.
Our book is in very nice condition, with a good jacket showing only slight wear consistent with age, and one white patch of ?Tippex on the back. The book also is in excellent condition, bound in light red textured cloth with title in white outlined letters on the front, author & leaf motif in faded gilt, and title + author in faded gilt letters on the spine. One tiny mark near the bottom of the back cover. Inside, the binding is firm with no loose pages; all pages clean and bright; a little brown spotting on top textblock edge, but no foxing internally. Frontispiece B/W photograph of Krupskaya.