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“D,” shows the amount to the credit of the University Interest Fund, at the commencement of the year, the sums credited during the year, the amounts paid during the same tinie, and the balance at the end of the year. All which is respectfully submitted.
Chairman of the Finance Committee. Dated Sept. 24, 1861.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE STATE BOARD OF
At the date of the last Annual Report, the interests under the especial charge of the State Board of Education were the Agricultural College, the Normal School, and the Library Book Contracts.
Believing it to be the wish of many of its especial friends, to see the control of the Agricultural College transferred to a Board more purely agricultural in its character, and hoping that under such a Board the Institution would enlist, more generally, the sympathies of that class for whose benefit it was established, the Board of Education repeatedly recommended that the affairs of the College be entrusted to a State Board of Agriculture to be organized for that purpose. In accordance with this recommendation, the Legislature, in March last, passed a law establishing a State Board of Agriculture, and committing the management of the Agricultural College to its control.
In yielding the Institution up to its new guardians, the Board of Education congratulated themselves that they were able to present it not only virtually free from debt, the unexpended balance of its appropriation exceeding its liabilities by more than three thousaud dollars; but also with a settled policy, reached after years of experiment, which had given proof of its essential soundness by a year of the most peaceful and steady progress ever enjoyed by the School since its inception. This remark is made here not with any desire to influence the action of the new Board, much less to impose upon them conclusions reached by the Board of Education, but to free the Institution
itself from the imputation that its earlier years of experimental progress had revealed no light by which its future might be guided, and had shown no practicable pathway to a reasonable
The views of the Board having been fully developed in their annual reports for 1859 and 1860, it would not be necessary to repeat them here, even if a due courtesy to the new trustees of the enterprise did not forbid any such discussion of affairs that have now passed into their exclusive control. With the expression, therefore, of their high regard for the gentlemen of the Faculty with whom their intercourse has been so invariably pleasant, and of their hope that the College under its new guardianship may reap an ever growing success till it shall meet the high aims and expectations of its founders, the Board of Education take their final leave of this branch of their trusts.
THE NORMAL SCHOOL.
The annual report of the Principal of this School, which will accompany this report, will exbibit in detail its progress during the last school year. The Board of Education cannot but express their gratification with the work of the several Instructors, and with the high degree of efficiency and success which the School bas reached through their labors. Though the troubled state of the country has seriously affected many departments of life, it is gratifying to be able to state that school interests have been so little obstructed. In the Normal School no serious diminution of aumbers or interest has been observed. Its rooms continue to be crowded with pupils from all sections of the State, and it moves steadily onward in the great public work for which it was instituted.
The Legislature, deterred doubtless by the sense of the heavy financial embarrassment resting upon the State Treasury, failed to provide means for the replacement of the library lost by the fire. The Board, in order to provide in some small degree for so imperative a want, resorted to the policy of a slight increase of the fee charged pupils for incidental expenses, and by resolution, devoted this increase, amounting to two dollars a year for each pupil, to the purchase of books for the library. It is
still hoped that at an early day the Legislature will enable the Board to provide more fully for an agency so essential to the success of the school.
For the reasons before mentioned, doubtless, the Legislature failed to supply the means asked for the erection of a gymnasium, as recommended in the last annual report of this Board. A few pieces of apparatus, however, have been provided, by a small outlay from the ordinary funds of the School, and at the last summer examination, several classes, trained in gymnastics by several of the teachers, exhibited a commendable progress in this branch of education. The Board renew their request for aid to provide suitable inexpensive buildings and apparatus for this department.
TOWNSHIP AND DISTRICT LIBRARY BOOKS.
The contract with F. Raymond & Co., to supply books to the township and district libraries, will expire with the close of year 1861. In anticipation of its expiration, the Board, having revised the list of books, and made some considerable additions thereto, advertised for sealed proposals to furnish the same to the libraries ordering them for the next two years. On opening the bids, it appeared that the lowest one was that offered by Mr. E. Burnham Smith, of Detroit, and a contract was concluded with him as provided by the law.
By the terms of this contract, any township or district may order from the list, books, during two periods in each year, viz: between the 1st day of January and the 15th day of February, and between the 1st day of July and the 15th day of August; and within the next eight weeks after the close of each period, the contractor is bound to forward the books ordered, to the points on any railroad or navigable waters in the State, mentioned in the orders. The books are all to be uniformly bound, in a strong and durable binding, prescribed by the Board, and marked for the “ Michigan School Libraries." The prices agreed on are much below the ordinary retail prices for the same books in the editions agreed on, even when furnished in the common, cheap cloth bindings. The delay in the delivery of the books ordered, is necessary to give the contractor time to get the binding done, as each book is to be bound especially for the libraries. This delay will be found to be more than compensated by the cheapness and durability of the books.
The following statement of the numbers and classes of books sold, under the first contract, is furnished by Mr. F. Raymond:
History and Historical Science, 7061 364 447 160 1,677 Juvenile Histories,
64 44 25 12 145 Biography,
586 493 132 2,182 Travels,...
618 283) 305 89 1,295 Science and Arts,
370 192 200 60 822 Educational,..
92 33 52 9 186 Poetry,
158 93 68 26 345 Miscellaneous,
454 238 426 97 1,215 Juvenile,....
833 502 563 151|2,049 Total number of volumes,... 4,266 2,335 2,579 736 9,916
The amount of money received for the above books, was $7,411 07.
It is difficult to conceive a more simple and efficient plan for obtaining books. Circulars, containing the list of books, and the prices agreed on, aie furnished to each district and township school board; and without any trouble or expense, except to select the works they want, and mail their orders to the contractor, they in due time receive the books at cheaper rates than they could obtain the same books in similar binding, by a personal negotiation The economy and convenience of this system to the remote and small districts which have but a few dollars to expend, are most obvious. It is equivalent to bringing a larger book store than any in our State, to their very doors, and allowing them to select at the cheapest rates, such books as their wants suggest, and their library funds will purchase.
Could some adequate provision be made to secure to each district, annually, some stated sum for the purchase of books,