A LESSON LEARNED
A praiseworthy trend toward laissez-faire continues in the Houses. The most recent development is a plan which is permitting the library committee of each new unit to order its books direct, without becoming involved in the bureau-cratic ramifications of Widener.
The College Library has shown extreme inefficiency in its handling of the first two House libraries. Given fourteen months to order, catalogue, and place on the shelves the books for Dunster and Lowell, Widener not only failed to fulfill its contract, but has also let six weeks of the College year slip by without finishing the work.
This characteristic, but courteous, inefficiency, has led to the plan which will allow the individual House library committees to order their books directly or through some agent of their selection. This plan is the intelligent solution of a problem created solely by the failure of the College Library to handle successfully the book orders of the Houses.
It has been said before that a natural development of the House Plan, without the application of forces from without, is best. In securing autonomy in the matter of ordering their books, the House libraries have laid a good foundation on which to build. But if the libraries are to become an important feature of the House Plan, they must be released entirely from the tentacles of Widener: they must be free to develop, without interference, into individual units. Under any other plan, they will become mere book rooms under the supervision of an institution which already directs more than it can control efficiently.