« PreviousContinue »
JANUARY 19, 1907.
(Part of testimony, given on above date, before Committee on Ex
penditures in the Department of Agriculture.)
STATEMENT OF MISS JOSEPHINE A. CLARK, LIBRARIAN OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
The CHAIRMAN. You are the librarian of the Department?
The CHAIRMAN. What is the character of the library under your charge?
Miss CLARK. Agricultural and scientific.
Miss CLARK. On the second floor of the main building of the Department of Agriculture.
The CHAIRMAN. Of how many volumes does it consist ?
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have anything in that library except professional and technical works?
Miss CLARK. We have no fiction.
Miss CLARK. Yes; there were three or four hundred volumes of fiction and miscellaneous literature until about a year ago, when, in accordance with the act of Congress approved February 25. 1903, we sent publications not of use in the Department to the Library of Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have the public documents printed by the Government as a part of your library?
Miss CLARK. Yes, sir.
Miss CLARK. Yes, sir; it includes the publications of the various Departments as issued by them, and also the sheep-bound set, as it is called, of the documents.
(Witnesses: Miss Clark, Zappone.)
Mr. ZAPPONE. Is your library one of the designated libraries under the general statute?
Miss Clark. Yes; a designated depository.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the fact in relation to the value of these documents that are published and bound in sheep and sent to your library under the provision of the law, gas to their utility and use? Are there any of them that are of no particular value? What is the fact about that, in a general way; if there are any, please state, according to your general experience!
Miss CLARK. We have quite frequent calls for certain documents, and when they are wanted, usually, it is in haste, so that we are very glad to have these documents deposited with us. If we had time to send to the superintendent of documents to get them without delay, we could dispense with many, if not all, of these documents; but on the whole, it seems desirable to keep the majority of the documents.
The CHAIRMAX. Are there any for which there is no call ?
The CHAIRMAN. Not relating to the agricultural work?
The CHAIRMAN. So that your library would not be perhaps a test of their general utility ?
Miss CLARK. No; I think not.
The CHAIRMAN. The people consulting your library do so principally for technical and professional purposes?
Miss CLARK. Entirely.
The CHAIRMAN. And subjects that do not relate to the work of the Department of Agriculture could hardly be expected to be found in your library?
Miss CLARK. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAX. So that you would not be able to judge about their general utility for that reason?
Miss CLARK. I would not.
Miss CLARK. About two-thirds of it is in the main building, and the other third is in various bureaus and divisions at a distance from the main library.
The CHAIRMAN. And those branches are under your charge also ?
Miss CLARK. The Forest Service, the Bureau of Animal Industry. the Bureau of Chemistry, the Bureau of Plant Industry, with its several divisions, the Biological Survey, the Bureau of Entomology, and the Bureau of Statistics. All of these libraries are under the control of the librarian.
The CHAIRMAX. And they all aggregate the 93,000 volumes you have spoken of?
Miss CLARK. Yes, together with the books in the main building.
The CLAIRMAN. Is it practicable to have those libraries all concentrated in one place?
Miss CLARK. I think not entirely. The books are used as tools, as (Witness: Miss Clark.)
laboratory instruments, and it would be exceedingly inconvenient to have the technical reference books at a distance from the laboratory in which the work was being done.
The CHAIRMAN. Those of which they wish to make fairly general use?
Miss CLARK. Yes. In laboratory work of the Bureau of Chemistry, for instance, it would be very inconvenient to be obliged to send to the main library, three blocks away, for books which are needed for constant reference use and without delay.
The CHAIRMAN. In connection with their ordinary work?
The CHAIRMAN. Could any more concentration be made of the library than now exists? That is to say, could any more of the books now distributed in the various branches with a view to reasonably accommodating the people who have occasion to make use of them be concentrated in one room?
Miss CLARK. Not until we have a larger building and more bureaus and divisions under the same roof.
The CHAIRMAN. Then one of the reasons, and perhaps the principal reason, why you are not able to make a concentration and have more books under the charge of persons in one room is on account of the size of the room?
Miss CLARK. I should not say that was the principal reason. The principal reason why these books are deposited at a distance is for the convenience of the bureaus and divisions.
The CHAIRMAN. You must have persons in charge of these various libraries, must you not?
Miss CLARK. Usually a person is designated in the bureau or division to take charge of the books deposited in the building.
The CHAIRMAN. Are those persons mentioned in the list under your name in the list of expenditures?
Miss Clark. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What services do these persons render, that you have here in your schedule—that is, do they render service outside of your own library!
Miss Clark. No, sir. The CHAIRMAN. I suppose that you call your library the central library?
Miss CLARK. Yes; the main library. No, sir; they render no service outside of the main library.
The CHAIRMAN. How nearly up to date is the catalogue of your library?
Miss Clark. It is practically up to date. Our annual accessions are kept up to date. There are a few classes not completely catalogued in the library, but we have a shelf list, which supplements the dictionary catalogue. We have a record of all the books in the library, but not all are recorded as yet in the dictionary catalogue.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the card catalogue?
The CHAIRMAN. Was the library catalogue up to date when you took charge?
(Witnesses: Miss Clark, Galloway.)
Miss Clark. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. When did you get it up to date, roughly speaking, of course?
Miss CLARK. I should say two or three years ago.
The CHAIRMAN. How many volumes do you add to that library each year?
Miss CLARK. We average over 4,000.
The CHAIRMAN. I see that you have three persons here as cataloguers. I do not know whether they are ladies or gentlemen.
Miss CLARK. They are all ladies.
The CHAIRMAN. Does it require all three of them to keep your catalogue up to date?
Miss Clark. Yes. The first cataloguer is the cataloguer in charge, practically the head cataloguer, who supervises all the work, superintends the printing of the cards and also has charge of the library bulletin, which is printed; she has charge of the preparation of copy, the proof reading, and so forth, of this bulletin. The second cataloguer has charge of the technical periodicals which we receive. The CHAIRMAN. And that is current literature?
Miss CLARK. Yes. The third cataloguer has charge of the bindings of the periodicals, which requires considerable experience and knowledge of languages, as most of our accessions, especially periodicals, are in foreign languages.
The CHAIRMAN. That is, you require a linguist for that place?
Miss CLARK. Yes. The fourth cataloguer is employed in general cataloging. The head cataloguer receives a salary of $1,200, and the three other cataloguers receive $1,000 each. They all have cataloguing to do, but the first two principally in connection with the periodical literature, our largest class of accessions.
Mr. SAMUEL. Is the library of the Weather Bureau under your charge?
Miss CLARK. No, sir; it is not. During the past year I have purchased the books for the Weather Bureau. The clause providing for the purchase of books was left out of the Weather Bureau appropriation bill last year. The main library has purchased all books used by the Department in the city of Washington, with the exception of $500 specifically appropriated for law books for the Forest Service.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know how that item happened to be left out of the appropriation bill?
Miss CLARK. In connection with the Weather Bureau?
Doctor GALLOWAY. That matter was discussed quite fully before the Senate committee; it was decided to take action looking toward the concentration of all library purchases in the main library of the Department, and the authority to buy books was taken from a number of the bureaus; the Bureau of Plant Industry, the Bureau of Animal Industry, and the Weather Bureau.
The CHAIRMAN. And vested in whom?
(Witnesses: Miss Clark, Galloway, Zappone.)
The CHAIRMAN. So that she is vested with the power of purchasing for these various libraries?
Doctor GALLOWAY. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. How many employees did you have bringing the completion of the catalogue up to date; that is, about three years Miss CLARK. I think there are three additional.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, are we to understand that you have, for instance, three cataloguers now under the head of cataloguers, and that prior to 1903 you had six?
Miss CLARK. No; I do not understand your question.
The CHAIRMAN. What I really want to get at is this. I want to find out, if I can, how many people you had employed until you got your catalogue up to date.
Miss CLARK. We had fewer cataloguers three years ago than we have now. The work of the library increases constantly, and we need more assistance every year, with the increase of administrative and reference work, as well as cataloguing, in the library. Our accessions increase, and our general library work increases, so that we need more cataloguers now than we had three years ago.
The CHAIRMAN. I suppose that while you were bringing the catalogue work up to date you might have to have more people employed to bring the work up and keep up with the current work at the same time. I do not know about that.
Miss CLARK. The dictionary catalogue was begun when Mr. Cutter was appointed in 1893, and we have been working on it from that time
to now. The CHAIRMAN. And you have more cataloguers now than you had then?
Miss CLARK. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you have less than 4,000 volumes of additions, say, three years ago?
Miss ČLARK. No; that has been about the average for a number of years.
The CHAIRMAN. Would not that rather necessitate an increase in
Miss Clark. We could not keep up to date as we do now with the current accessions, if we had fewer cataloguers.
The CHAIRMAN. If a less number of cataloguers were able to bring your work up to date and keep up the current work also, why should you not be able to get along with still less when they are not burdened with bringing the catalogue up to date?
Miss CLARK. These cataloguers do a great many things in addition. For instance, they are quite accessible to the users of the main library, and they are frequently called away from their special work for reference work. The reference work has increased every year with the growth of the Department. One of these cataloguers also works on the index to the Department publications—one of those at a salary of $840.
The CHAIRMAN. She works on the index to the Department's publications?