There are those who, despite the eat-drink-and-be-merry doctrine of college life, have work to do at one time or another. Men forced into such a position seek out Widener as a haven of peace and quiet. Some use it for only an hour or two at a time, but there are many students, especially those working on reports, who want to gather their books around them and "set". For these, ten o'clock in the evening comes much too soon. They are deep in point 2, or they are on the trail of the reasons for point 3. They are certainly not ready for bed at ten o'clock. But when the lights go out in Widener they must either break the thread of their work until next day, wasting a valuable hour or two of the evening, or collect their books and chattels, sign slips for as many volumes as possible, and carry them to their rooms, where peace and quiet and convenient surroundings are not likely to be found. Roommates and friends are not an unalloyed blessing.
If one Library room could be kept open until eleven-thirty o'clock it would not only help such men but it would lessen considerably the number of books taken out of the Library overnight. Thoughtless improvements for Widener are easy to suggest; funds are lacking even for well-considered ones. But the remedy in this case is simple and practicable, and the expense seems justified by the number of students whose time and convenience would be served. The History reading-room, on the ground floor, seems the most logical room to keep open. If this room were used, the rest of the library could be closed and darkened. Only one attendant and a minimum of light would be necessary.
The number who would profit by the plan may be numbered by those in the Library any night now at ten o'clock for almost all who stay until that hour would naturally prefer to continue until bed-time; and those who left would be replaced by others who had early-evening engagements and chose, to put in an hour or two of study afterward. The University, eager as it is to encourage study by any possible means, will find the extra outlay valuable from that point of view, and gratefully received by the students.