Executives of the Library of Congress are considering Oscar Handlin, Pforzheimer University Professor and chairman of the Faculty library committee, as librarian of Congress, The New York Times reported yesterday.
Handlin refused to comment yesterday because he had not been contacted by library authorities.
L. Quincy Mumford, current librarian, will retire at the end of this year. Last year, President Nixon granted the 70-year-old professional librarian a one-year exemption from compulsory retirement.
The Times reported a controversy in the library community as to whether the librarian should be a scholar or a professional librarian.
The dispute dates to 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt '04 appointed Archibald Macleish, now Boylston Professor emeritus of Rhetoric and Oratory, to head the national library. Librarians were offended by the choice.
Louis E. Martin, librarian of Harvard College, said he thought the library community would prefer professional librarian for the $38,500-a-year post.
The post is a presidential appointment subject to confirmation by the Senate. Library executives recommend a candidate to the president.