University Considering Library Centralization

Emerson Libraries May Go to Widener

The philosophy and social relations libraries may soon be shifted to the stacks of Widener in a significant move toward library centralization. Both are now housed in Emerson Hall.

Keyes D. Metcalf, Director of the University Library, said last night that the University has been considering the possibility of combining these two division libraries. He added, however, that the Administration has not yet decided if and when this decision will be made.

"Although we believe in library decentralization," Metcalf said, "we feel there is now too much decentralization in the library system."

Metcalf pointed out that the University combined libraries in the Union and Boylston Hall, when Lamont was opened in 1949. This resulted in better service for students, he said.

"With the money saved in combining the social relations and philosophy libraries with Widener," Metcalf said, "more books could be bought and there would be less service charges made."


The reason for picking out these two libraries, Metcalf added, is because they are nearest to the main libraries and centralizing them would cause the least inconvenience.

Sharp Reactions

Willard V. Quine, chairman of the philosophy department, said last night that he has not been consulted on the proposal. Asked how he would rest is the move, he said, "It depends on what else we could do with the space and the funds."

But Donald C. Williams, professor of Philosophy, commented that moving the library "would be very unfortunate."

"The library is the philosophy laboratory," Williams said. "It is a great advantage to have volumes ready and constantly available."

Talcott Parsons, chairman of the Social Relations Department, refused to comment on the plan last night but indicated he would express his opinion "later in the week."

According to Metcalf, the University has been looking for ways to centralize the libraries since 1949. There are now 80 separate libraries connected with the University, and it is understood that some high-ranking administrative officials want to reduce this number.