Students who have complained because Lamont and Widener libraries are closed on weekends got an answer yesterday from the Summer School administration.
Two such protests, expressed in letters to the editors of the Summer News, appear on page 2 of this issue.
Robert C. Wood, assistant director of the Summer School, said that he has received various requests--both this summer and in past years--that at least one library be kept open on Saturday afternoons and Sundays during the summer. As one improvement in the situation, he announced that Lamont will be open this summer on the weekend immediately preceding final exams. In the past the libraries have remained closed even on that weekend, he explained.
But in regard to the rest of the summer term, Wood said it would be financially impossible this year to extend the weekend hours of either library. The personnel and other costs of keeping a place like Lamont open just will not allow it under the present scale of tuition charges, he added.
At present, Lamont closes for the weekend at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and Widener at 1 p.m. Saturday. Complaining students have made it plain that they would prefer air-conditioned Lamont as a location for weekend study. They have also pointed out that the dormitories are usually too hot and noisy for comfortable studying.
The present discussion over Summer School library hours is reminiscent of a debate that often arises during the winter term of Harvard College. After repeated demands that Lamont stay open later on weekdays, weekends, and especially before exam periods, students last winter won the concession that the library would extend its hours to midnight every week-night and 2 to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Accentuating the summer complaints, presumably, is the fact that in July and August Lamont is not restricted to allmale use, as it is during the less congenial winter months.