One of the most general uses undergraduates make of Widener and its associated libraries is the overnight borrowing of books from the reserve shelves. A very important feature of this borrowing is the return of the volumes by nine o'clock the following morning. Unfortunately this regulation results not infrequently in considerable inconvenience to those who choose to work beyond library hours.
Thousands of students who have made the nine o'clock dash up two long marble flights to the delivery desk must have asked themselves why a more simple and expedient method was not devised to return books on the ground floor. With nine o'clock classes in the offing it is an unnecessary waste of time and energy to climb two flights when all that is needed is an attendant and a few large boxes to receive them at the entrance of the building.
There is more to this matter than the mere doing away with the morning rush to the delivery desk. Men who study until, three and four in the morning often find it extremely difficult to get their books back by nine, a problem stared by those who enter laboratories at eight o'clock for a two or three hour session. Confronted with a somewhat similar situation, progressive banks have established a convenient means of after hour deposits. Widener could be made equally progressive by the installation of a slot in the door making it possible to return books at any hour when the library is closed. Under this system it would be a simple matter to get the books off one's mind and be free of the worry of a difficult return at nine o'clock.