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HE celebration that is to take place at Augustana next June, designed as it is to commemorate the great Lutheran movement, will bring hundreds if not thousands of visitors to
the campus, and a considerable proportion of these visitors, though they may long have been active friends and supporters of Augustana, will see her buildings and grounds for the first time next June. To those of us who live at Augustana and love her traditions these visitors will be doubly welcome. It will be an unmingled joy to fill their willing eyes and ears with her glories and her history, and to guide them through the various buildings that together comprise her home; and, while each place will receive its due attention and each unit be properly extolled, yet our very proudest moments will very likely find us with our visitors at the library building, for that is at once our most beautiful building and the clearest reflection of the ideals of our whole institution.
The Augustana College Library (using that term apart from its more concrete sense) has had a career as long as that of the institution itself. There is no intention of entering upon a narrative of that career here, for it is better to reserve such narrative for an abler pen and a more adequate place; but it is well to recall that, though the library building is a new acquisition, yet are those vague phenomena that we term traditions as intimately bound up with the library as with any other part of the institution. Many of the books that are now in our collections stood on the shelves at Paxton, and here and there on fly-leaf and margin one can read names and annotations written there by hands that wrought mightily in the founding of Augustana. Here in the various collections of the library the future historian of Augustana will find the first hand records of her early struggles and triumphs preserved in the handwriting of the pioneers, and here will be added as the years go by link upon link
in the chain of reminiscence that marks the path of progress of Augustana since the beginning.
But while the library has been along since the beginning, yet it prides itself on being entirely abreast of the times. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the general conception of the place and purpose of a library in an educational institution such as this one, is now widely different from what it was not so many years ago.
Rather than a jealously guarded museum of literary fossils, a library is now looked upon as a sort of mental laboratory, a literary consultation room, a place where sources are consulted and opinions compared, and a place where prejudice is counteracted or else replaced by wholesome and well-founded conviction. It is true that first editions and other book rarities are still eagerly sought after and fondly cherished by librarians, who keep them in apologetic corners and display them upon exclusive request or upon state occasion; but the basic idea of a college library nowadays is no doubt the work-shop idea, and the success of the library is in large measure proportional to the percentage of students who systematically and with the aid of proper guidance exploit the contents of its books. It is with this end in view that the Augustana College library is seeking to justify its existence, and in what measure it may be succeeding may perhaps be inferred from the following paragraphs. If in what follows we seem to confine our attention largely to that part of the library's record which lies within the last six years, it is for the reason that only during this period has the library enjoyed a home of its own and an income of its own—two rather essential factors in the progress of any self-respecting library.
The bibliography that is herewith presented records by single main entry 19,290 volumes, and includes all books that are entered in the card catalog of the library. There are on the shelves 5,287 volumes which are not yet entered in that catalog, but of these 1,078 comprise a collection of duplicates, and the remaining 4,209 are books whose value in a working collection is of small significance. In addition to this there are on the shelves 21,927 unbound books and pamphlets which, though roughly arranged and available for use, are not as yet cataloged. The total number, therefore, of books and pamphlets in the library at present is 41,217, which exceeds by 6,007 volumes and 8,127 pamphlets the total content of the library in the spring of 1911. A tolerably satisfactory view of the distribution of the cataloged books may be obtained by noting the number of volumes in each of the ten main classes of the Dewey Decimal classification system as follows:
695 Natural science
2,397 Useful arts
877 Fine arts
2,594 In speaking of the order and arrangement of the books in the library one should perhaps first mention that the library possesses a typewritten and printed dictionary card catalog, a shelf list, and an official shelf list, all of which were begun in 1911; and that its books are classified in accordance with the very well known Dewey Decimal system, a modification being made in the case of books on religion. On the open shelves of the reading room, where they may be informally consulted, are kept over 3,000 volumes consisting of bound periodicals, an assortment of general reference books, and a collection of books dealing with religion. All other books are shelved in the stacks. About 300 periodicals including eleven daily newspapers are also to be found in the reading room. Music, of which the library possesses a fully cataloged collection chiefly vocal, is kept in cases provided for that purpose on the second floor of the stacks, and map and atlas cases are found on the same floor. A collection of Swedish-American periodicals and Lutheran periodicals one of the largest and most valuable of such collections in the world— is housed in cases built especially for that purpose on the top floor above the stacks. One room on this floor gathers Swedish-American periodicals for the Royal Library at Stockholm, Sweden, and another is designed eventually to house the archives of the institution. The top floor above
room is devoted to the museum. Aided by the modern facilities of a splendidly planned and constructed building the library authorities have adhered consistently to the policy of making the library as helpful as possible to as large a percentage of the students as possible. During the occupancy of the new building it has been kept open during the school year every day from 7:45 A. M. until 6 P. M. and, on four days a week, until 9 P. M. During the present school year the evening hours have been extended to five days a week. During the time of opening the reading room has always been in charge of competent and courteous reference assistants; a simple but thoroughly reliable