This surely has to be the best definition of 'comprehensive' there is, Lionel R
McColvin on the "tenets which form the philosophy of librarianship":
"The first of these is that the library service exists to serve—to give without
question, favour or limitations. It is an instrument for the promotion of all or
any of the activities of its readers. Therefore, secondly, it must be catholic
and all embracing. Whenever, as may often be the case because of financial
and other limitations, it must choose between types of provision, this must
always be in accord with the value of the services to the individuals requiring
them—not because of our own idea or opinion of what the demands should be.
So, the third and all important tenet is that libraries should be ‘free in every
sense’—not only universally available regardless of a man’s resources, but free
also in the sense that they offer sanctuary to all facets of opinion and all
aspects of knowledge. It is just because the library could be, and indeed has
been, used as a powerful propaganda weapon that all who value librarianship
insist that it shall not be so used."
Though having said that there is this article from Library Review (1964):
Title: Comprehensive and Efficient
So I am maybe inclined to with hold my judgement until I have scanned this.
The source of the McColvin quote can be found on this post: