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Library Director Says No Unions Have Approached the Employees, Defends Salaries


Flatly denying charges of the Monthly that undermanning of the stacks is responsible for inefficiency in Widener Library, Keyes D. Metcalf, Library Director, amplified a previous statement Wednesday, and claimed that increasing the number of chasers would not be likely to decrease the time required for delivery of books.

He declared that the delay is caused by the distance the chasers must go, and not, as the Monthly claimed, by lack of enough workers to meet the demand.

While refusing to say whether the $47.50 a month which the chasers receive constitutes a living wage, Metcalf defended it as standard pay for "errand boys." He revealed that to his knowledge no employees had yet been approached by any union, and added that the Library's attitude in case of efforts at unionization would be determined by University policy.

Metcalf frankly recognized the tendency of the Library to cater to graduate students and officers engaged in research, but at the same time emphasized that undergraduates are always "welcome." He declared, however, that Freshmen are intentionally given library service at the Union to relieve congestion in Widener.

Pointing out that he is new at his present position, Metcalf asserted that he was now making a "careful study" of Library service with a view to reducing delivery time. He said that no radical change in the delivery system is contemplated since "you can't turn 10,000 students loose" among the stacks.

About 500 books are delivered from the stacks each day according to Library statistics. Practically all of these go to students and officers since the number of outsiders using the Library is negligible.

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