For Now, You Can Still Borrow Widener's Books

In November, 1973, Giles Constable '50, Lea Professor of Medieval History, wrote a letter to Dean Rosovsky and fellow faculty members proposing that Widener be turned into a non-circulating library. The proposal, he wrote, was contingent on expanding Widener's reading space and extending its hours.

Constable said so many books had been lost or stolen that students and faculty members were able to find only about two-thirds of the books they needed.

One month later the Library staff decided that the handicaps Constable's plan would impose on library users outweighed the plan's advantages.

Constable said last week the need for a non-circulating policy is even greater now than it was three years ago. "The difficulty of laying hands on a book at the time it's needed has steadily increased," he said.

But Douglas W. Bryant, director of the University Library, has little interest in the plan. "Implementation would cause problems that students and faculty are well aware of," he said last week.