A large number of answers have been received to the petition for electric lights in the library. With but few exceptions, these answers have been in favor of the petition, and the negative answers are, we think, the result of two mistaken ideas: either that the introduction of electric lights would render the danger of fire possible, or that their introduction would necessarily do away with the present reserve book system.
With regard to the first of these reasons, we would say that we appreciate the value of our library too well to subject it to any possible risk from fire, but by carefully insulating the wires, all danger can be obviated. In the Columbia college library, where the electric lights have been used for several years, the wires are so safely arranged and insulated, that fire is next to impossible.
The present system of reserved books may be kept intact, and the time for taking out reserved books can be regulated by some uniform hour during the entire year, instead of depending upon the constantly changing time of sunset. Later in the evening the library may be used as a general reading room, where access may be had to all the books and magazines of the library, as well as to the reserved books which have been left in the alcoves.