New Library Is A Delight For Cliffies
Radcliffe students had their first chance to explore the college's new $5 million Hilles Library-Study Center Monday, and the reaction to the building--unfinished as it is--was amazement and delight.
"What have we done to deserve all this?" exclaimed one junior, as she surveyed the structure.
"I feel out of my element," said another who was used to the old Radcliffe Library on Garden Street.
Early Monday morning, as the first sightseeers wandered around, surrounded by the still spotless carpet, the shiny floors, and the expanses of glass, an electrician worked on the lights inside, and a crew of men arrived to put flowers in the large white tubs on the central courtyard.
Early-bird students must have been at Lamont, because very few people actually checked out books. It made a quiet day for the Pinkerton man hired as a door security guard--he mostly gave directions to the people gliding around in the unfamiliar surroundings.
As President Bunting noted at the Formal Opening of College last Sunday night, Hilles was given top priority over badly needed additional housing.
The completion of the library means that, for the first time, Radcliffe girls will have full work and study facilities within the dormitory Quadrangle. The library serves as "a functioning center related to the academic life of the students," and makes the Quad, at last, more than a place to eat and sleep, she said.
But the splendid new building was not completed without tears. Originally scheduled for completion July 1, 1966, Hilles Library opened September 26--with its reserve book system, coffee shop, language lab, music library, and cinema theater unfinished.
Much of the material had to be ordered specially. There were also changes in the specifications over the summer, and a dispute developed over non-union labor.
The building is now open, however, and the problems that remain are small ones. There were no crises Monday, Ruth K. Porritt, Librarian, noted as she prepared to leave after the building's first day. Plans for completion are well in hand, she added.
She expects to complete the reserve book system within two weeks, and the other facilities will be finished within four months. The last workmen should be out by January, she said.
There is a danger, however, that the library may be unable to close at midnight, as scheduled. As of six o'clock last night, none of the clocks showed the proper time, and no one on the staff could locate the bell that signals closing time