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There are few villages in England that can vie with Lazonby in the extent and completeness of its institutions for promoting the education of the young and improving the mental culture of the more advanced in life.  From a humble origin, and after encountering many difficulties, the library and reading room, situated at the head of the village, has become a recognised established institution, whose influence for good cannot be too highly estimated.  The building is substantial, suitable, and elegant, and arranged with a degree of comfort that cannot fail to attract still increasing numbers within its walls.  The shelves of the library are well stocked with works of a miscellaneous character, calculated to amuse, to instruct, and to elevate the mind, and upon the tables are to be found many of the most popular serials of the day.  For sixteen years the institution has been doing a good and noble work in the village, the results of which are recorded as the cycle brings round the advent of each New Year.
On Thursday afternoon the anniversary meeting took place in the institution, where a splendid tea was provided, which was partaken of by a large assemblage.  The ladies who presided at the tables and discharged their self-imposed duty with considerable grace and urbanity, were: --
THE MISSES BELL, Scale Hill;  MISS DODD,  MISS HOPE,  THE MISSES THRELKELD (Townhead and Bank-top),  MISS ABBOT,  MRS. ABBOTT, and MISS HARDCASTLE.  The walls of the apartment were very gracefully ornamented with evergreens, wreaths, devices and mottoes.  This was the work of MESSRS. ABBOTT and MCFARLAN, whose artistic taste received a well-merited recognition during the proceedings.
In the evening a public meeting was held, presided over, in the absence of MR. H. N. FRASER, of Hay Close, by MR. H. NORMAN, of The Demesne, Kirkoswald, who delivered an excellent and appropriate address, after which the Secretary read the following report: -
The Sixteenth Annual Report of the Lazonby Village Library and Reading Room.
Your committee have great pleasure in announcing a steady improvement in all the departments connected with this institution.  During the past year the reading room has been well attended, and the library with increasing interest by the inhabitants will be seen by the facts which are subjoined.  The library contains about 769 books, being an increase of 54 vols.; the regular and casual members during the year numbered about 78, being an increase of eight over last year.  The books have been exchanged 1,220 times during the year, giving an average of about 16 vols. to each member.  Your Committee greatfully acknowledge the receipt in the past year, from MR. JOSEPH THOMPSON, of London, an old friend of the institution, a valuable book, the "Life of Charles Dickens."  The reading room has been supplied with the following newspapers, and periodicals, &c., viz. : -
Carlisle Journal,  Carlisle Patriot,  Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser,  Penrith Observer,  Penrith Herald,  Weekly Despatch,  Weekly Scotsman,  Daily Telegraph,  Illustrated London News,  Sunday Magazine,  Good Words,  Leisure Hour,  Sunday at Home, Temperance Magazine,  Children's Friend,  Family Friend,  Quiver,  Fun,  Old Jonathan,  Band of Hope,  Alliance News,  Cottager and Artizan,  Church Sunday School Magazine,  and the Financial Reformer.
The financial statement is as follows:
Receipts in members' subscriptions, &c., during the year, £12 6s 1d, and including the balance from last year, making £49 17s 9d;  total expenditure, £24 16s;  making a balance in the Treasurer's hands of £25 1s 9d.
In looking over the library, your Committee find that owing to the wear and tear for fifteen or sixteen years, many of the books are not fit for circulation.  This will necessitate a re-arrangement of the library, and a number of new books will be required to fill up vacancies.  Although your committee have not the same difficulties to contend with as in former years, still they think it would not be adviseable to expend the whole of their small balance.  Therefore any help, either by word or deed, will be gratefully received by the Committee of the Lazonby Village Library and Reading Room.
A miscellaneous entertainment was then given, and those who took part in it received their reward in rounds of hearty applause.  MISS HALL presided at the piano-forte with much ability, and also sung with great sweetness and correctness of expression "Robin Redbreast",  "Children's Prize",  and  "Ring the Bell, Watchman".  MR. HARDY of Kirkoswald, an old favourite, sung several songs, his happiest effort being "England shall be England still."  MESSRS. HARVEY and HALL, and MISS HALL gave some glees in a most efficient manner.  MR. SINCLAIR, of Carlisle was fortunate in his selection of readings, "Generalship !" and "King O'Tool" eliciting roars of laughter, and the pathos with which he invested "The Mariner's Dream" melted the hearts of the most sensative of the auditory.  MR. R. J. READ, of Penrith, gave two readings, one a scene from the "School for Scandal", and the other "Virginius".
The usual vote of thanks having been passed, the company standing sang the National Anthem, and the interesting proceedings terminated.