Here -- for the layman -- is a blueprint of the workings of a public library, its functions, its machinery as it concerns the public, its value as a tool for richer life. There is an enormous amount of basic information which should make the whole subject of books and their use infinitely more rounded. Anyone who has talked to groups on the scene behind the book has experienced the avid interest with which such data is received. This book should appeal to that curiosity. It should, too, help make the general public more aware of what the public library could mean in every day life: it shows how the reference function of the library can meet public need on many points -- how to use the card catalogue system, how to use the reference tools, how to appraise relative values of books through knowing how to read and use reviews. Here is a book which should be required reading in high school classes, as it is a liberal education in itself on how to get information, how to organize information, how to evaluate information to be found in books. It should have some vocational value too, for young people considering the library field as a profession. For the adult reader, it should prove an opening door. The author is the Reader's Advisor in the New York Public Library.