Do Radcliffe girls study harder than Harvard men? Perhaps not, but statistics show that over the weekend at the peak of exam period, the girls took out approximately 1000 reserve books from the Radcliffe Library, to the 3000 circulated by Lamont. This means that the girls borrowed more than one book each, while not even every student at Harvard took out a book. The usual number of reserve books taken out of Radcliffe, however, runs about 3500 a month.
During the past couple of years both the adequacy and the popularity of the 'Cliffe library have increased greatly. The renovations of the last two years made it a pleasant and comfortable place to study. On the second floor both smoking is permitted and boys are allowed to venture. By far the most popular is the modern Irwin room on the first floor. Easy chairs, about 25 of the latest magazines and books for recreational reading keep this room occupied at almost all hours.
New books, both for courses and pleasure, are added to the library daily so that the total number of volumes is now about 115,000. Recent additions to the library have been mostly in the history and government departments; books for the General Education courses also constitute a large percent of the purchases.
Money for course books comes from 27 special funds and the general appropriation fund. Last year the library received an anonymous gift of $50,000 which was used to buy General Education books. It also received a donation of $100,000, half of which was spent on completion of the renovation job.
According to Ruth Porritt, the head librarian, the biggest problem the library has is getting the books girls want when they want them. If a book is required for a course and the library does not own it, the book is borrowed from Lamont or Widener and is made available to the girls at their own library for a limited time. If a book is suggested, an attempt will be made to borrow it. Widener cards are issued only to undergraduates who are working for honors. Girls who do not need to use Widener for reference are not encouraged to study there as it is primarily a reference library. But Widener, despite all library officials have done, retains its attraction as a meeting-ground for boy and girl.