W. C. Berwick Sayers (1881–1960) was a British librarian and teacher. He was one of a "small but remarkable" group of librarians involved in public libraries in the early 20th century and was President of the Library Association in the United Kingdom in the year 1938.
Early life and education
In 1896 Sayers began as a junior assistant at the Bournemouth Public Library and in 1904 he was appointed as deputy librarian, working under principal librarian Stanley Jast, at the Public Library in Croydon which then a small country town near south London.
In 1915, he became the chief librarian of the Croydon Public Library and under his leadership he introduced a library service for children and during the 1930s he opened several branch libraries. He made every library an arts centre with a "programme of lectures, recitals and exhibitions". He also set up libraries in hospitals and schools in the county. He was successfully in convincing the local council to provide a generous budget and his libraries gained an international reputation for their high standards.
After the Second World War during which he had been badly injured while serving as a Civil Defence controller, he retired from the Croydon Public Libraries.
Sayers contributed in several areas of librarianship: he served in the Library Assistants' Association, contributed to children's librarianship, was a respected teacher and "an outstanding authority" on library classification, and served as a long-term editor of the journal Library World.
- The Grammar of Classification, Croydon, Central Library, 1912.
- Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Musician. His Life and Letters, Cassell & Co., 1916, 2nd ed. 1927.
- A Manual of Classification for Librarians & Bibliographers, London: Grafton & Co., 1926, 2nd ed. 1944.
- A Manual of Children's Libraries, Allen & Unwin, 1932.
- An Introduction to Library Classification, London, Grafton & Co., 1935.
- Library Local Collections, Allen & Unwin, 1938.
Books: As editor
- James Duff Brown, Manual of Library Economy, 5th ed. Revised by W. C. Berwick Sayers. London, Grafton, 1931.
- Books for Youth: A Classified and Annotated Guide for Young Readers, London, Library Association, 1936.
- "Library Review: The banning of books in libraries", Library Review 2007, Vol. 56, No. 3, pp. 194-196.
- D.J. Foskett and B.I. Palmer, eds., The Sayers Memorial Volume, London: Library Association, 1961; ISBN 9780598068927
- Munford, W. A., A History of The Library Association, 1877-1977, London: The Library Association, 1976; ISBN 9780853654889
- Ranganathan, S.R., "Sayers and Donker Duyvis: Theory and Manner of Library Classification", Annals of Library Science, 8(3) September 1961, 85-99.
- Olle, James G. (October 1981). "W.C. Berwick Sayers, librarian and teacher". Journal of Librarianship and Information Science. 13 (4): 232–247. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.850.6334. doi:10.1177/096100068101300403. S2CID 144041642.
- Collection AR1011 - W.C. Berwick Sayers Collection, museumofcroydoncollections.com. Retrieved on 23 September 2020.
- "A Word for the Lowbrow", The Guardian, 17 August 1938, p. 8.
- "Sayers and Donker Duyvis" (PDF). nopr.niscair.res.in.
- W. A. Munford, A History of the Library Association 1877-1977, London: The Library Association, 1976, p. 129.
- McQueeney, Kerry (29 July 2004). "The sound of dignity". Sutton & Croyden Guardian.
- Reviews of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Musician: The Musical Times (1916), doi:10.2307/908929, JSTOR 908929; The Crisis (1916), ; J. R. Davis, The Journal of Negro History (1916), doi:10.2307/3035618, JSTOR 3035618
- Reviews of A Manual of Classification for Librarians and Bibliographers: Henry Bartlett Van Hoesen (1945), The Library Quarterly, JSTOR 4303392, Ruth French Strout (1956), The Library Quarterly, JSTOR 4304539
- Reviews of A Manual of Children's Libraries: Mary Duncan Carter (1933), The Library Quarterly, JSTOR 4301947; Vittorio Camerani (1932), La Bibliofilía, JSTOR 26209598; H. Lemaître (1932), Bibliothèque de l'École des chartes, JSTOR 43009373; Gloria Escamilla G. (1969), Boletín del Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas, 
- Reviews of An Introduction to Library Classification: Henry E. Bliss (1936), The Library Quarterly, JSTOR 4302241; Vittorio Camerani (1935), La Bibliofilía, JSTOR 26209831
- Review of Library Local Collections: Jackson E. Towne (1939), The Library Quarterly, JSTOR 4302651
- W.C. Berwick Sayers, "Library Review: The banning of books in libraries", emerald.com. Retrieved 18 October 2019.