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The Library

Report Of The Librarian

To the President of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute:

The library staff, consisting of ten, performed their duties efficiently and cooperated heartily.

During freshman week, at the opening of the fall quarter, the librarian gave to the new students, his usual “welcome to the library” talk and a lecture on the use of the library.

The organization of the engineering branch library was completed during the year. Many engineering books and periodicals in the engineering departmental libraries, and the main library’s sets of engineering periodicals, were transferred to the branch. A large purchase of recent engineering material was made for the branch library. About half the books in this collection are cataloged.

In December, 1930, a bibliography of Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury introduced by a short biographical sketch, prepared by the librarian, was published by the college as one of its bulletins. The bibliography attracted much favorable attention, A “V. P. I. Historical Index,” compiled by the librarian from official and other publications, was typed, and copies sent to the president, the director of publications, the alumni secretary, and The Virginia Tech, It is believed that this index, if printed, would have a wider field of usefulness, Many references were collected by the librarian in the local library and the state library for the history of the college which will probably be published in 1932, the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. A “List of V. P. I. Publications, 1872-1930” and “Publications Relating to V. P. I., Appearing in Virginia State Documents” were prepared by the librarian and sent to the president.

The typing of the superintendent of documents’ classification was completed. This classification is now for the first time brought together in its practical entirety. The arranging was done by the librarian. The classification will be useful to any library classifying government documents according to this system -- a system that is at once logical and simple.

“The Alcove,” containing books that will help the students to understand themselves and the world they live in, will be ready before the fall quarter begins.

The majority of the current accessions for the main library and the branch and departmental libraries were cataloged, but the engineering branch library’s additions could not be handled because of the large number, nor could much progress be made in cataloging gift publications, accumulations from previous years. There are also many books in the departments still uncataloged, books which have never been sent over to the main library for cataloging.

There were 485 books purchased for the main library, 106 for the agricultural branch library, 90 for the engineering branch library and 462 for departments. An expenditure of $2,127.82 was made by the main library for books, periodicals, periodical indexes, and society proceedings and transactions. The main library and the two branch libraries received 471 books as gifts and 519 books were accessioned for the departments. There were 413 volumes of periodicals bound for the main library, 1,037 for the agricultural branch library, 70 for the engineering branch library and 16 for the chemistry department library. There were 50,616 books and 157,655 pamphlets (leaflets, folders, booklets, unbound bulletins and periodical numbers) in all the libraries on June 30, 1931. Of the books, 27,994 are in the main library, 12,456 in the agricultural branch library, 1,964 in the engineering branch library, and 8,202 in the departmental libraries; of the pamphlets, 33,125 are in the main library, 105,825 in the agricultural branch library, 5,947 in the engineering branch library and 12,758 in the departmental libraries. There also are 286 periodicals and newspapers received by the main library, 100 periodicals by the departments and 302 periodicals by the agricultural branch library. Of the last mentioned, 168 are exchanges for agricultural experiment station publications.

During the year, 73,217 persons made use of the libraries -- main library, 41,582; agricultural branch library, 8,682; engineering branch library, 3,503 (part of year); and departmental libraries, 19,450. There were 23,400 books and periodicals loaned out as follows: main library, 17,434; agricultural branch library, 5,577; and engineering branch library, 389 (part of year).

In 1931-1932, special attention will be given to strengthening the book collections in government, economics, accounting, reference, history, religion, and general knowledge. Emphasis will be placed upon personal, friendly service to the faculty and to the students. The Alcove, it is hoped, will broaden our students’ outlook and help cultivate an appreciation of good literature.

The needs of the library are pointed out in the librarian’s letter accompanying his requests for appropriations for 1932-34.

Respectfully submitted.

RALPH M, BROWN, Librarian.