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Service to Readers

The Fall term of 1961 saw a tremendous rush on the Library. This rush tended to fade off in the Spring term 1962 and the Summer School of 1962 has brought the least users for years. These changes cannot easily be explained and they make it difficult to plan for supervision and service at the Circulation desk.

For the first time staff members have worked regularly at night. The programme was begun both to supervise the building and to be on hand to give help to students.

The new building solved some difficulties and created others. The building can accommodate those who wish to use it as a Library but not those who need a study hall. The difficulties of housing in St. John's make it necessary for many students to have some study hall. In an effort to keep the already crowded building for those who needed to use its facilities, a system of night cards was instituted.

The Music and Poetry rooms and the Art Gallery have both created problems of staffing. The Art Gallery is managed by the Gallery Subcommittee of the Arts Committee but as it is in this building adequate supervision must be available when the Art Gallery is open on week-ends and times when the Library building is not itself open.

The Music Room has been used regularly at lunch periods and on one afternoon a week. Some night periods have been arranged. The room is not soundproof as it was supposed to be, since the sound carries through the ventilators to the upstairs carrels. This, as well as the need for supervision, limits the times when it can be used.

Classification and Cataloguing

During the period April 1961 to May 1962 approximately 3,400 volumes were classified and catalogued. This figure represents new titles only. No record is kept of the number of duplicate copies processed.

An inventory - the first since 1953 - of the total book stock was undertaken in June of this year. Although a majority of the Library staff turned out for this task, much work remains to be done in recataloguing and reclassification and in the withdrawing of catalogue cards for missing books.

In addition to the recataloguing necessitated by inventory and the normal amount done every year, the small but important section of American literature has, during the past summer, been reclassified and now is included with English Literature. Recataloguing was done whenever necessary with this group.

During the year the cataloguing department changed from the 5th to the 6th edition of Library of Congress Subject Headings for its subject authority and at the same time a start was made in setting up a subject authority file. The work has progressed at a slow but steady pace.


The report from the Periodicals Department shows that a great deal has been accomplished during the year. The department has grown in total titles and in completing the back runs already held. A great deal of time was spent on trying to complete back volumes of periodicals. Although most was spent on completing small gaps, the following notable long runs have been added to the Library:

  • Hakluyt Society: ser. 2, v. 12-117
  • Société Geologique de France. Bulletin: 1930+
  • Société Geologique de France. Comptes rendus: 1930+
  • Institut Pasteur. Annales: 1930-1957
  • Canadian Art: v. 1+
  • Faraday Society, London. Discussions: #1-4, 6+
  • Royal Statistical Society, London. Journal: ser. A, v. 88-120, ser. B. v. 1-21
  • Royal Historical Society. Transactions: N.S., v. 4-20, 3rd ser., v. 1-11, 4th ser., v. 1-32,
    5th ser., v. 1+
  • English Place-name Society: v. 1-26
  • American mineralogist: v. 1+

450 titles have been catalogued and classified during the year.

The binding has increased tremendously and the number of volumes prepared just during this summer is worthy of comparison with some totals for earlier years.

A great project which has been mentioned only as a hope for some years has now been accomplished. A list of duplicate periodicals has been prepared in three sections and sent to many Canadian libraries. Sixty-one replies have been received so that at least this Library can repay some of the many items it has received from other institutions.

The Periodicals Department now shows the results of having had a professional Librarian in charge of it for the first full year.

Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary loans have shown a tremendous growth during the past year. The increase of Faculty members and research Fellows shows at once in the increased requests and in the larger number of departments being served. The search for items not readily available has made it necessary to correspond with Italy, Germany and Austria as well as with Great Britain, the U.S.A. and Canada. It is good to see that we are able to repay our debts in an increasing way since loans from this Library have increased from 9 to 22. This is probably the result of the photographing of our catalogue by the National Library which can now list us as a source to those libraries which request a location.

As usual the National Library has given a great deal of assistance and the thanks of this University are offered to it and to all those libraries which have lent so generously of their holdings.


The Library has continued to be the recipient of many generous gifts. The donors have been listed in the issues of NEWS FROM THE LIBRARY.

Large numbers of Government documents have been received from the Library of Parliament and from the Nova Scotia Legislative Library, helping to complete the Sessional Papers and the British Hansard.

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