I have the honour to present the following report on the Library for the academic year 1941-1942.
Books. The year now closing is a record year in the history of the College Library. A thousand books have been placed on the shelves, all ready for circulation and about six hundred more are awaiting classification and cataloguing. This phenomenal growth is due to the generosity of the late Dr. Harry James Wye Milley who bequeathed to the College his splendid library of about eleven hundred books. Dr. Milley chose his books with the care and discrimination of a man of taste and letters and a gift that accords so well with our plans for the future growth and development of the Library has never before come our way. Dr. Milley's specialty was English Literature, and his library is that of a scholar in that subject. Literary criticism, poetry, plays, essays, fiction, the films; these are the main topics represented by his books.
A new book-stack was especially built to house the collection, which will for a few years be kept together as one unit, to be known as the Harry James Wye Milley Bequest. Each volume will bear a suitable book-plate and will carry as part of its classification number the letter M. for Dr. Milley's surname.
Other gifts for the Library have been received from kind friends both here and abroad. Their names are published in the College Calendar.
Reading. The difficulty of obtaining books from England continues but has been somewhat less during the past year than during the preceding one. The war has affected the speed with which orders are filled, the actual number of books available, the paper and binding and printing but it has also affected quite markedly our choice of new books for the Library. We have of course, as usual, got new material on the sciences and useful arts, on education and pure literaure, but for what is called "general reading" our choice has fallen largely, but not exclusively, on books dealing with current events, with analyses of the troubles of the world, with ideas about the kind of world we want to live in after the war and with plans for that world. In short, our choice has fallen on books that will provide what Dorothy Sayers so aptly calls "creative reading." It has been gratifying to find students keenly interested in this new material which is set out as it arrives on the Books-of-the-Week Table in the main reading-room.
Students are also stimulated to broaden the scope of their reading by recommendations from their professors, by reading lists, by displays of book-jackets and of books, on topics of current interest.
New students are introduced to the Library at the beginning of each year by a talk from the Librarian. This year the Teachers-in-Training were given, in addition, a talk on the formation and conduct of a School Library. Each student was also given a copy of the Library Handbook which has been designed to make somewhat easier his entrance into the world of books and particularly into the Library of this College.
Equipment. Books and the reading of books are the most important chapters in the history of a Library but other things are necessary for the proper display and enjoyment of books -- such things as shelves, chairs and tables. This year we acquired a fine new wooden bookstack capable of holding fifteen hundred volumes, a new table for the Books-of-the-Week and twenty-four new oak chairs for the main reading-room. Next year the final instalment of these will arrive, if all goes well, and both reading-rooms will then be fully equipped with comfortable oak chairs of standard library design.
Gosling Memorial Library. The informal collaboration between the College Library and the Gosling Memorial Library, agreed upon some time ago, has continued throughout the year. We have been supplied with valuable reference books on long-term loan, with magazines to which we do not subscribe and with other rnaterial for which the Public Library no longer has any use. In return, we have occasionally been able to provide a reader of the Public Library with material or information not available to him there, but the major advantage from this collaboration has been, as might be expected, in our favour. The Gosling Memorial Library has over twice as many books as we have and a fund for the purchase of books which is five times the amount of ours. The joint resources of the two libraries now number over thirty-five thousand volumes and it is pleasing to reflect that all of these are available, under certain conditions, not only to the students of this College but to all registered borrowers at the Public Library as well.
Assistance. The Librarian wishes once more to record her sincere thanks to the other members of the Library Committee, Dr. A. C. Hunter, Professor R. T. Harling and Dr. E. C. Powell for their continued interest and kind advice whenever they have been called into consultation.
The Library Prefects, whose duties are mainly those of supervision and the circulation of books, have given good service. Each one of them has maintained order in an assigned section of the book-stock and whenever extra demands were made upon them, as often happened, they set to work with a will and accomplished jobs which could only have been done by a team of willing workers who knew somewhat more about the routine of the Library than does the average student.
Miss Ida Duder has throughout the year served as a Special Prefect or Librarian-in-Training, doing full-time work in exchange for informal instruction in librarianship and some monetary remuneration. Miss Duder was very soon able to give valuable help in the Library and her work was always well and carefully done. The Milley Bequest could not have been handled at all without her assistance because it represents just double the normal yearly increase in our stock. Thanks to Miss Duder about one-third of the books are now ready for circulation. Unfortunately we shall not have her with us next year to continue the work.
The practice of having one of our graduates act as a librarian-in-training is a good one and should be continued. It was begun a few years ago and has resulted in mutual benefit to the College and to some four of our graduates. However, the Library has suffered and will suffer increasingly as our book-collection grows, through lack of a trained assistant who will spend some years with us.
The North Library. As has been pointed out in previous reports, the North Library deserves more care than can be given it at present. This room is used constantly by the Teachers-in-Training, as well as by other students and, like the Main Library, serves also the additional role of study-hall. The North Library houses all the books on Education to the number of about three thousand and these books are in constant circulation. It is earnestly hoped that this important part of the Library may soon be more efficiently administered by the appointment of an Assistant Librarian whose especial care it would be.
Happily the long-deferred work of re-decorating this room is now under way and the shelves are being cut down to the standard height. These two improvements will make the Norh Library a much more inviting place than it has ever been and should in themselves prove added inducements to reading and study.
General Remarks. With the gift of the Harry James Wye Milley Bequest, the Library this year attained a certain maturity. It now has over eleven thousand volumes and we receive regularly more than thirty periodicals. Long-standing gaps in the book-stock are gradually being filled by the purchase of new or secondhand books and by gifts. Newly published material is quickly acquired and put into circulation as soon as possible. Step by step the Library is preparing itself for the larger demands that will be made upon it as time goes on and especially for that happy day, not too far distant we hope, when the work of the College will be extended and we shall become a degree-conferring institution.
In conclusion, I wish to thank you, Sir, for the kind interest you have always shown in the growth of the Library and for the active steps you have taken to facilitate its development.
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