Council Protests Relocating Gov Docs

Plans to move Harvard's government documents collection to the first floor of Lamont Library has prompted a protest from the Undergraduate Council.

"The move would be a serious encroachment on the library most used by undergraduates," said Brandon C. Gregoire '95, who is co-chair of the council's Academics Committee.

In a meeting last night, the committee decided to send a letter to Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles expressing its opposition to the plan.

The two-year-old proposal calls for moving the bulk of Harvard's microfilm readers, along with the most heavily used portions of the Government Documents collection, to the first floor of Lamont, which currently serves as a reading room with some stacks ofbooks.

The dozen or so staff members who work in thedivision would also move to the new location,while the bulk of the collection itself wouldremain downstairs.

University Librarian Richard DeGennaro,explaining the plan, said yesterday that Gov Docshas a severe shortage of space. He said additionalcomputers are required to handle an increase inuse of CD-ROM and that microfilm and microfichereaders are in short supply.

"That room is the least used in Lamont, evenduring exam period," he said. "GovernmentDocuments is used by 100 to 150 people every day,half of whom are undergraduates. I don't see aproblem in moving a heavy use area into a betterlocation."

But council members said last night that themove would jeopardize Lamont's role as anundergraduate library, since Gov Docs is used bythe entire Harvard community.

"Although Gov Docs is useful and we want it tobe expanded, we are worried that if it moves tothe first floor, undergrads would be forced out,"said Sean M. Becker '94, vice-chair of thecommittee.

DeGennaro says that the move could start asearly as this June. However, the Knowles and theUniversity's Library Committee must first formallyapprove the plan.

Despite being presented with what he termed avirtual "fait accompli," Gregoire says hiscommittee will try to stop the move.

"As far as libraries go, Lamont is all thatundergraduates really have," he said