Who, in this great academic community, has not firmly resolved to put in a hard day's work in Widener Library, of which we are so justly proud,--seventh largest in the world, with an untold number of volumes--only to find that the books required in courses are unavailable? Investigation reveals the paradox that there is but one copy in the entire university One copy, be it noted, of a book which is essential to the understanding of not only the course itself but of the lectures. Aside from the fact that such a situation is discouraging to the spirit of research which is being so sedulously cultivated at present, it points to inexcusable negligence on the part of Library officials.
Perhaps the issue would seem less important if the courses in question were small and relatively unimportant. But no--in two of the best of which the Faculty of Arts and Sciences can boast, both annually elected by some hundred students, books appearing on the required reading lists are peculiarly unavailable. Fachirl's "Permanent Court of International Justice," in use in Government 18, and Savage's "Attitude of the United States towards Maritime Commerce, 1776-1914," used in History 13, are examples. Both, to repeat, are required, yet there is but one copy of each.
If it be true that Librarians and professors are in league to rouse students in time to appear at the reading-room desk at eight-forty-five, it might be possible to account for the paucity of certain volumes, but even so, such a plan would defeat its purpose, for reasons which, it is to be hoped, are all too obvious. At any rate, rather than elaborate upon the point at hand, these columns can do no more than offer a fervent prayer that Librarians will make sure there are sufficient copies of books in constant demand before precious money is spent on such relatively unimportant material as fills the shelves in the room containing the Delivery Desk. Wherever may lie the blame for the discrepancy in available volumes, the situation has continued too long, and should be remedied immediately, now that the Reading Period is in the offing.