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REPORT OF THE LIBRARY, 1936-37

Library Committee: Dr. A.C. Hunter
Prof. R.T. Harling
Dr. E.C. Powell
Miss Sadie Organ
Growth

During the year over eleven hundred books were catalogued. Unfortunately, not all of these books were new additions to the Library. About seven hundred were books that had remained in the College after the Curriculum Committee had ceased to meet here but they had not been formally handed over to the Library until the end of last year. The remaining books were mostly gifts from friends here and abroad. Very few books were purchased because no money was available for this purpose.

It is hardly necessary to point out the desirability of having a steady stream of new books coming into the Library. A library is a living thing and must grow. Its food is books and without that food it dies. Since the cessation in 1935 of the three-year grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, no money for books has been granted and we have had to get along as best we could with chance gifts. However it is hoped that next year and every year thereafter a definite allocation be made for the purchase of books for our Library.

Introducing New Students to the Library

The practices introduced last year for educating students in the use of a library were continued. Talks on library routine, classification of books, reference books, etc., were given by the Librarian in the Reading Room at the beginning of the year. A copy of the new Library Handbook was given to each student and all were required to draw a plan of the Reading Room indicating the position of certain specified classes of books. The usual delay in becoming familiar with the use of the Library was thus considerably shortened. However, there are still a great many valuable and useful books on our shelves which remain unopened from one end of the year to the other and there are still too many students who use the Library as a quiet place for study and for nothing more. It might, therefore, be found profitable to devote a somewhat longer period to this work of making known to our students the treasures of the Library. Classes in Library Practice might be given as a regular part of the preliminary work in English and assignments might be set requiring the use of a wide variety of works of reference.

Attendance in the Evenings

For some years past it has been the custom to open the Library in the evenings in order to enable students to carry out their assignments in comfort and quietness. During the past Fall the average attendance in the evenings was thirty-three, higher than ever before. After Christmas, however, it fell off considerably. Hockey matches and other outside activities seemed to absorb the students more and more, although this is hardly a complete explanation.

The North Library

It has always been found necessary to stimulate by artificial means the use of the Main Library by the Teachers-in-Training. Most of their classes are held on the top floor of the new wing and consequently they do not move about so freely as the other students. This year the periodicals bearing directly on the work of the Teachers-in-Training were displayed in the Main Library along with the other magazines instead of being placed as before in the North Library. In addition to this, the Associate Professor of Education kept recommending during the year books which she knew were in the Main Library. As a result of these two schemes the Teachers-in-Training used both libraries and benefitted accordingly. There is still, however, a marked difference in the way the two rooms are used. Students seem to have the idea that the North Library is a work-room for the Teachers-in-Training. Contributory causes are the uninviting decoration of the room and the not altogether suitable furnishings. The tables are small and thus encourage the students to group and converse. Long tables like those in the Main Library fitted with reading lamps, and a more pleasing tint on the walls would very likely make the atmosphere of this room more conductive to study.

General Reading

The schemes for increasing general reading, namely "Books of the Week", "Magazine Pointers", that is, suggestions about what is most worth reading in the current periodicals, "Library Notes" in the College column in the Daily News, etc., were continued. In addition, displays of old books and of books on special and timely topics like Spain, Newfoundland, Co-operation, were made, the help of the Gosling Memorial Library being sometimes enlisted to fill the gaps in our stock.

Apprenticeship

Miss Audrey Dawe spent a short while working in the College Library under the direction of the Librarian and the knowledge and experience thus gained stood her in good stead when she took up her duties at the Gosling Memorial Library.

During the past year Miss Margaret Conroy, another of our graduates, has been doing voluntary work in the Library in preparation for the course in Library Science which she proposes to follow at Toronto University next year. This practice of allowing one of our graduates interested in library-work to do voluntary service in our Library is one that might well become a regular part of the work of the Library. The benefits are mutual.

Recommendations

In a note to the President in May of this year, the Library Committee urged that the valuable contents of the Library be fully insured (if they are not already insured) against loss by fire. A Library like ours, built up as it has been by generous gifts and careful selection could not easily be replaced.

The lack of humidity in the Library has long been a matter for grave concern. The health of the students cannot be unaffected by the insufficiency of moisture. Costly books are becoming dry and brittle, the bindings perish and the books do not last nearly as long as they might reasonably be expected to do. It is strongly recommended that humidifiers be installed.

Already there is inadequate space in the Library for books. A table in the stack-room is now piled high. As new books come in, and they will, this need for space will become more pressing. The unfinished room directly underneath the stack-room seems the obvious place for any proposed extension. Access to this room from the Library could be had by means of a spiral staircase. Plans for development were discussed with the Head of the Engineering Department, Mr. Hayes, who very kindly had drawings of the room and of a spiral staircase made. Messrs. Gaylord Brothers, Library Furnishers of Syracuse, were then consulted for suggestions. Gaylord's, with the plan of the two rooms before them, had blue-prints-made, showing a suggested layout and furnishing of the present stack-room and of the room beneath. Quotations on the same equipment were obtained from a local manufacturer and the prices quoted were considerably lower. Whenever, then, the necessary funds are available, the extension of the Library can be made. It is our earnest hope that the day may not be very distant.

(Signed) Sadie L. Organ
Librarian.
9th June, 1937.


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