The Library Again


(Ed. Note-The Crimson does not necessarily endorse opinions expressed in printed communications. No attention will be paid to anonymous letters and only under special conditions, at the request of the writer, will names be with held.)

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

I am disgusted by the selfish end dishonest attitude displayed by those who are petitioning for the reopening of Widener Library during the evening. From a study of the Treasurer's Report it is obvious that an economy, had to be made, since the University's expected income has been reduced this year by at least $700,000. The Library, which has never been entirely endowed independently, ten years ago had an annual default of $92,418, which was met from the general University funds. In 1931-32 this deficit had mounted to $168,223, none of which was used for the purchase for new books (which are all bought with special, restricted gifts.)

The Comptroller and the Corporation met last summer to consider means of reducing the large deficits from various departments, of which that of the library is the largest, being over three times as great as next non-self-sustaining item, the upkeep and care of grounds. It was found that an economy of ten percent could be made in all departments without cutting either wages or salaries. In the Library this could be effected only by maintaining shorter hours, with a saving of $20,000 in the cost of lighting, heating, and the graduate student desk attendants. It was clear that money given for the Chapel, the Scholarship funds and other special purposes could not be diverted for the more operating expenses of the Library Building. As for the illumination of Lowell House tower I have it on authority that the total cost for the year was approximately $15 which it was well worth from an aesthetic point of view considering the large numbers of people who enjoyed it.

It is too bad that the petition form of appeal in being prostituted by a group which is too ignorant to learn to budget its time to fit the new Library hours; too lazy to walk from the playing fields, the Athletic Building, or the laboratories to draw books out for the overnight use at 6 o'clock; and whose Committee Chairman has himself admitted to the Comptroller that he is not personally inconvenienced at all by the early closing. Eugene Du Bois '33.