The scheme for the establishment in connection with the library of a reading room which may be open evenings is the outgrowth of a series of articles which have appeared in the CRIMSON at intervals for two or three years. We have had but little to say upon the subject since 1888, when, it will be remembered, a petition, known as the CRIMSON petition, was sent to the corporation begging that electric lights be put in Gore Hall. The present movement has been carried on by a committee of under-graduates, who, convinced that a reading room is the most pressing need of the college just at present, have determined to make this fact known to the alumni.
For years we have harped upon this subject-we have shown that, as affairs are now, men have no adequate place at Harvard college where they can get at books of reference, so necessary to a diligent student, in the evening; we have shown that a reading room would be the saving of many an hour which is now wasted, and that, if men are to do thoroughly the work they come to college to do, such a place to study in must be provided. The college is proud of its library, even boasts of it, as is right; but with the present accommodations, the use of the latter is abridged to an extent which students alone can appreciate.
We heartily approve the work which the under-graduate committee has done, for it has been done so well that the interest now aroused cannot die out until the necessary amount of money has been obtained. The alumni, by their replies, show that their hearty co-operation can be relied on, but it cannot be expected, nor is it desirable, that the graduates should do any more than merely assist the undergraduates; it is a students' movement and must depend upon students for success. We must raise a large sum amongst ourselves, a sum large enough to show the earnestness of our purpose, and when this is done, then we may feel at liberty to ask the graduates to give us the rest. We beg each man to consider faithfully the urgency of the object in view, and when he is asked to contribute to this reading room fund, to give all that, conscientiously, he feels he can give.