Afro-American Library Closes; Department Offers No Reason

The Afro American Studies Library, which did not open for the year until December because of insufficient funds, closed Monday for an indefinite period. No reason for the closing was given.

Announcement of the action was made by Juanita Gibson, secretary to Ewart Guinier '33, chairman of the Afro Department, in a notice submitted to The Crimson. However, spokesmen for the Afro Department gave conflicting reports on whether or not the library was closed.

Guinier yesterday said flatly that the library was not closed. "We're not ready to make an announcement about it, but we will make one in due course," he added.

Secretaries in the department said later yesterday that the library was closed indefinitely, but refused to comment further. Gibson could not be reached for comment.

One spokesman said, however, that the closing may be partly due to the rearranging of schedules for the second semester by the students who work at the library. The spokesman added that the woman who was formerly in charge of the library is on leave of absence.


Sharon Hamby, assistant Librarian for Lamont, said yesterday that the Afro Department had not informed Lamont of the closing. "Sometimes the person who is supposed to work at the Afro library doesn't come in. In that case I usually call the Afro Department to tell them that the library is closed," she said.


Hamby added that she didn't know if the library was indefinitely closed or if someone had forgotten to work yesterday.

The library was first opened by the Afro Department in 1970. Most of the funds for the library were raised for the department by Albert L. Nickerson '33, a Fellow of Harvard College.

Work-study students have been recruited by the department to staff the library because the Federal government pays 80 per cent of their salaries.