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to be so arranged as to have ten alcoves. Such experiences must lead to a certain The day of alcoves has pretty well gone by, loss of interest in the effort to make a subject and with it the high ranges of shelves, as well catalogue full and complete, and also to a as the whole idea of numbering shelves as desire to make the fullest use possible of such furnishing a notation for the books.
reference lists and bibliographies as we have Driven out of this stronghold, the decimal or can get. And further than this, the idea is system has entrenched itself in classification; impressed upon us that any and all catalogues and, just as one generation was captivated by or bibliographies whatever fall far short of the beauty of the former decimal system, the furnishing the guidance that readers want. I next has been largely carried away with the quote a striking passage from the late annual charms of this, its later application. But it report of Mr. Foster, of Providence, on this is hardly rash now to predict that the system point. will not stand the test of practical use longer He introduces it in connection with an in the classification field than it has in the interesting showing of the great number and shelf arrangement. Perhaps have suffi- variety of questions asked by persons who ciently paid my respects to the matter of have consulted his library. Referring to classification, of late, in the columns of the
these questions, he says :Library journal, and I will not dwell on it at
“If we analyze them, we find that an exthis time.
traordinarily large percentage of them will not One more superstition I have noted, and
be answered by consulting even the most that is the catalogue cult. I find that I have
elaborate of the ordinary type of library put myself on record on both sides in regard to cataloguing. I have sometimes placed
catalogues.” emphasis on cataloguing as the one means of
There is nothing new to us in all this. It making a library available, as opposed to
opposed to is the same ground gone over pretty comclassification. Again. I have made light of pletely by Mr. Green several years ago in his the value of catalogues, as set over against paper on “Personal Relations between Librabibliographical helps. I should like now to
rians and Readers." I only refer to it as harmonize these two expressions, if I may.
cumulative testimony to the truth that imAnd I would do so by saying that I heartily
plicit dependence cannot be placed on catabelieve in catalogues as the one means of logues as guides, and to support my warning guidance to books; but at the same time I am against that superstitious regard for the catacoming to place less and less stress upon the logue idea, which will lead to the devotion to cataloguing of the individual library, and more elaborate features of this work of time and on catalogues in the wider sense, including expense better put to other uses. and referring mainly to printed catalogues I have gone hastily over this ground, which and bibliographies, which may be made avail- is somewhat hackneyed, simply for the purable, in lieu of elaborate cataloguing of the pose of indicating that in all departments of individual library. What I would point out, our work we need to be on our guard against as the current superstition on this subject, is the growth of such sentiments or ideas as the idea that each individual library should may be classed as superstitious and unreasonhave its very complete catalogue, and that a ing, based on a mistaken apprehension of the catalogue can be made which will be a suffi- value of things, either venerable for age and cient guide to readers. I think that many of general repute, or coming to us as novelties you must have had some of the same experi- in such a captivating garb that we accept ence that has often come to me of late years, them without bringing them to the bar of when I have found the great inferiority of the good sense and rationality. “ Prove all references in our own subject catalogue on things, hold fast to that which is good,” is a some topic to the list published somewhere good motto for the modern librarian, as for as a bibliography of the subject.
the worker in any department.
I have referred thus far only to supersti- But time is short, and I will only name two of tions liable to be held inside libraries, by them and have done. librarians and library officers. I had thought 1. Librarians have nothing to do but to of devoting a few moments to the matter of read the books. superstitions about libraries held by outsiders. 2. Anybody can make a catalogue.
For discussion, see PROCEEDINGS (First session).
ARCHITECTS AND LIBRARIANS.
BY NORMAND S. PATTON, OF CHICAGO.
I SEE that I am announced to read a paper plans have been made from which to select
on “Library Architecture," but I pro- the most convenient and economical. Calcupose to speak rather of those who make lations are made of the strength of beams and library architecture – architects and libra- columns. The foundations are laid out with rians. What have architects to do with great care, so as to be proportioned to the librarians ? Why should librarians be inter- weight upon them. The heating, lighting, ested in architects? It is these questions and ventilation are studied as essential parts that I propose to answer. In general it is of the design. In fact, the whole building is the architects that make architecture; and built on paper to the minutest detail, and the interest which has been manifested by specifications are prepared which describe librarians in the architecture of the buildings the work to be done with such accuracy, that in which they labor is a sufficient excuse for when it is divided among a dozen contractors the introduction of this topic to your attention there is no interference between the various
Few people who have not had experience trades, nor is anything omitted. in building for themselves have any accurate The proper thickness of walls, the kind of idea of what is done in an architect's office. cement to be used, the depth and width of The architect makes a picture of the outside the foundations, are decided by the architect of the building, and is mainly responsible for and not by the mason. The size of timbers its good looks; so much is recognized by the and methods of framing the roof trusses are public, who often look upon the architect as not left to the discretion of the carpenter, but an artist, and, like other artists, as an im- are calculated by the architect and prescribed practical sort of a fellow, who makes a repu- by the drawings. If there are any mistakes tation for himself and a handsome house for in the design, they are likely to be copied in his client at the expense of the latter in more the building. If the contractor makes the ways than one.
building as good as the design calls for, he is This picture may be true in some instances, doing all that is expected of him, and it would but is not a fair type of the profession as be a fatal optimism to count upon his improvit stands to-day. There are people called ing upon the copy set him. “ librarians " whose knowledge of books ex- The whole construction, arrangement, and tends no farther than the taking from the design of a building are thus almost entirely shelf and putting back again. There are dependent upon the architect, who must be so-called "architects” whose knowledge of master, not only of his profession in general, architecture is one-sided and deficient; but, but of the requirements in particular of each in selecting a type of the profession, it is but kind of structure he is called upon to erect. fair to take the working of a first-class office. But there is one thing that is not in the
Here we find that careful study has been province of the architect to do: An architect given to the arrangement of rooms, halls, and is not, or at least should not be expected to stairs. That long before the exterior is furnish the idea for a building. designed, numerous sketches of the floor The planning of a building is in the nature of a problem to be solved. Certain conditions planned, and apparently the librarian has been and requirements are laid down, and it is the left out of the calculation. duty of the architect to meet them; but it is Why should the latter omission be more the business of the owner, and not of the common than the former? Because, in the architect, to decide upon these requirements. first place, the minister is on hand when the
An architect is employed by an owner to plans are prepared, and his opinion is given assist him in building a house or other great weight; while, in the case of a library, structure. The owner says what he wishes frequently there is no librarian selected done, and the architect decides how the until after the building is completed. owner's wishes are to be accomplished.
If all the consultations for the building of a It is not so important that an architect house should be held with the head of the shall have great originality as that he shall family while his “better-half” is absent, there have a quick and delicate perception of the is great danger that the closets may be too wants, the aspirations, and the limitations of few and too small, and that other domestic his client. If I am planning a house for a arrangements may not be quite in the line of gentleman of wealth I must be able, in imagi- feminine ideas. A library cannot be arranged nation, to put myself in his place. For the properly unless the librarian has an important time being I must be a gentleman of wealth, if not a controlling part. and appropriate the suggestions of my client There are two parties to be provided for in as expressing my own wants, and arrange the a library building — the public who patronize house accordingly.
the institution and the administrators who When the work is complete, I must check procure and arrange the books and give them the correctness of my imagination by submit- out. No library is perfect that does not proting the plans to my client. If I have read vide for the convenience and comfort of both his character aright and developed his ideas of these parties. In the old-style building properly, he is pleased. In like manner I the public was cared for, and the librarian and must catch the particular wants and prefer- his assistants left to make the best they could ences of the other members of the household. out of the premises; and yet there are strong
So with buildings of other kinds, the archi- reasons why the librarian should receive the tect is supplied with certain definite condi. first and principal attention from the architions to fulfil. Those who are to occupy have, tect, for he spends his life in the library, and very properly, something to say about the an extra step in reaching a book is multiplied provisions made for them. The architect many times a day, while on the part of the builds for others, and he must satisfy their public there are few who have occasion to wants; and his skill lies in his appreciation of enter a library many days in the week, or to those wants, and the adaptation of the build stay more than a few minutes at any one ing to meet them.
time. Many structures are complex in their uses, Why is it that the librarians have had so and occupied by different classes of people. little influence on library architecture, that so The architect must meet the requirements of great an architect as Richardson should have all the occupants, or his work will not be a gone on designing museums, and calling complete success.
them libraries? In a museum the public does It is not enough to provide for those who its own walking, and the shelves and cases use the parlor, and forget the kitchen. This may be arranged in alcoves or galleries, is the workshop of the house, and the comfort according to the fancy of the architect. of the whole family is concerned in its proper There is a charm in wandering about and arrangement.
finding odd specimens in odd corners, and It would be a singular mistake to plan a the burden of climbing stairs is sufficiently church and forget the convenience of the distributed not to be oppressive to any one. minister; and yet many a library has been A college library, in which the students are allowed to take books from the shelves, may A result of the increase of library building be arranged on the museum plan; but, in a will be the development of library specialists public library, where all the books must be among the architects. When an architect is brought to one central desk, it is so evident employed who has such an acquaintance with that the convenience of the librarian is of the librarians and their wants that he can see with first importance that we naturally raise the their eyes, and present their view of the subquestion, Why has the librarian been so slow ject, then it will matter less whether a librain asserting his rights ?
rian be present or not when plans are The main reason has already been alluded prepared. to. He cannot assert himself when he is not If any one is disappointed because I have there, and when he arrives it is too late. A not told how a library should be arranged, I gentleman of wealth makes a gift for a public can only reply that I came here to ask that library in a town where none has existed question rather than to answer it. before. There will be no library and no I have started out to make a study of librarian until after the completion of the library buildings from a librarian's standpoint, building. In some cases there is a small and I hope to learn something from this conlibrary, housed, perhaps, in a room that was vention. My own contribution to the subject built for a store or office, and the limited is in the shape of the working drawings for demands for books are easily met by an the Hackley Public Library, now building at attendant whose opinions on the subject of Muskegon, Mich. The description of this library buildings would hardly be worth the building has already been published, and I asking. Some enterprising citizen starts a will not take your time farther than to say subscription, and then comes a new building, that, in the arrangement of the plan, convennew books, and, to crown the achievement, ience of administration has been a ruling a new librarian,- a real librarian this time, a factor. It has been planned with special refmember of the A. L. A., who enters upon his erence to the ideas advanced by members of work with enthusiasm, only to find that in this Association, and therefore it is a matter of the new building everybody's comfort has no small interest to the designers to know how been provided for except his own.
far the arrangement meets with your approval. Thus it happens that the librarians, singly, Although the librarian has been given his have often no chance to control the arrange proper position in the consideration of these ment of the building which they are to occupy plans, the architects have not forgotten the
In recent years the librarians have com- demands of the public. The interior of such bined to assert their rights in a manner to a building must present a somewhat imposing attract the notice of the public. My own effect, in order to gain the popular verdict. attention was first called to library arrange- The book, reading, and delivery rooms are ment by reading an article by Mr. Poole, of here given a proper degree of separation, and Chicago; so that when — some five years ago yet the public has an opportunity to see the - I received an unexpected order to make books and have its appetite whetted by a designs for a library, my first act was to hunt glimpse at the amplitude of the collection. up that article, and then to follow up the sub- The whole building being fire-proof, there is sequent literature on the subject. The dis- no need of a solid wall between the book and cussions of this Association cannot fail to delivery rooms, and therefore large arches have a more and more powerful influence have been introduced between the two to upon the architects who are called upon to make a vista the entire length of the building. plan library buildings. When it is seen that With this much by way of preface, I comthe librarians of the country are in substantial mit the plans to the tender mercies of your agreement upon the main points of arrange- criticism, with the assurance that whatever ment, architects and committees will not dare shortcomings you may find will be corrected to ignore their opinions.
"in our next.” T For Mr. Patton's prefatory remarks, see PROCEEDINGS (Second session).
REPORT ON LIBRARY ARCHITECTURE.
BY ADDISON VAN NAME, LIBRARIAN OF YALE UNIVERSITY.
IN the successive reports on new library and Connecticut follow with about half that
buildings made to the Association there number. will be, of necessity, some overlapping. It Aside from the increase in number, in at will seldom happen, in the case of the larger least two important points there has been an buildings at least, that the planning and the advance also in the character of the buildings. completion both fall within the limits of the It is now coming to be the rule, rather than same report. No exact parallel can therefore the exception, that the new buildings which be drawn between the statistics of the twenty are to hold our larger and more valuable months since the date of our last meeting libraries, or those plainly destined to become and the two years covered by the preceding large and valuable, shall be of fire-proof conreport of Mr. Larned. The general result is struction. Thirteen of the buildings included however, clear. There has been no falling in the present report are of this character, and off, but rather a gain in the number and im- three more have fire-proof bookrooms. In an portance of the new buildings undertaken. article on “Slow-Burning Construction” in As an index of library progress, both in the the Century for February, 1889, Mr. Edward direction of new libraries established and of Atkinson states that in the year 1887, accordenlarged provision for older libraries which ing to the tables compiled by the Chronicle had outgrown their limits, the survey, which of New York, there were burned within the includes fifty-five buildings completed or un- limits of the United States 126 college buildder construction and nine more soon to beings and libraries. Our older library buildcommenced, is full of encouragement. The ings are, with very few exceptions, of the total cost will be not less than $10,000,000. ordinary combustible construction, and the Of this sum, it is true, nearly three fourths danger to which their contents are exposed is will be absorbed by two buildings of excep- of a serious character. It is a point not tional magnitude, the Congressional and Bos- enough considered by the builders of libraton Public libraries, the expenditure for which ries that, apart from the value of fire-proof conwill naturally be distributed over several struction in increasing the security of the years. But the remaining sum is still large, library, it will have no small influence in drawand it is a most noteworthy fact that at least ing valuable gifts of books and manuscripts four fifths of it, or more than $2,000,000, comes which otherwise might not be entrusted to its from gifts. Of the buildings for public libra- keeping. If we regard the increased cost as ries, properly so called, only four, i. e. about a premium paid for insurance, there is a fair one in ten, are erected at public expense. Of probability that it will be more than returned the whole number reported, not less than forty- in dividends. two are the gifts of single donors. Nobler I n the enlarged capacity, no less than in the uses for the employment of wealth than the increased security of the new buildings, our establishment and endowment of libraries are library construction is taking on a more pernot easy to find, and we may safely predict manent character. The present rate of library that the current which is so strongly setting growth requires a far larger provision for the in this direction will gain in strength year by demands of the future than would have been year.
thought sufficient only a few years ago. We In the geographical distribution twenty- are meeting this in part by larger buildings, three States are represented. Massachusetts, some of which are planned with a view to still already far in advance of the others, leads further enlargement in the future, and in part with twelve, and New York, Pennsylvania, by improved methods of arrangement which