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estimated receipts for next year are about $85,000. The increase is asked in the form of three additional assistants, one at $1,600, one at $1,200, and one at $1,100. That is noted on the last page of my letter. The one at $1,200 and the one at $1,100 are for high-grade assistants. They will handle the applications for the cards, which are often not so specific that they can be turned over to a messenger to deal with from stock, but have to be “ searched.” We charge more in that case, but it requires high-grade people who can identify the titles. A library having one edition of a book does not want to have a card representing another edition. The card furnished must cover the identical edition. We need to have our corps of searchers strengthened, and that requires one additional assistant at $1,200. The $1,100 additional assistant is needed for high-grade expert work in developing the indexes and special catalogues which form part of the apparatus of the division. The $1,100 assistant is needed for that. The chief of the section asks for the $1.600 assistant to take over from him a large burden of correspondence, involving multifarious details, which he can not adequately handle.
The CHAIRMAN. I notice that you were allowed a lump sum of $17,000 for the employment of assistants for piecework and work by the hour, and you are not asking for any increase there.
Mr. PUTNAM. No, sir, not in that. It is better to have the increase this coming year applied to what you might call the more nearly overhead work.
Mr. Byrns. Do you contemplate using $17,000 for that purpose this current year?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir; every cent of it.
PURCHASE OF BOOKS.
Mr. PUTNAM. No, sir; there is nothing else. There is the usual request for the restoration of the appropriation of $100,000 for the purchase of books, but as against an ampler recognition of these employees, I do not think we ought to be spending more than we are spending for books. This is a very extraordinary opportunity in the book market, and, of course, I would like to have every cent you are willing to appropriate for books, because the situation created abroad by the war will give us an opportunity for the acquisition of material that has been submerged, but which will come up to the surface.
Mr. Birns. This is a continuing appropriation, and has been for several year's?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir.
Mr. PUTNAM. We have been nursing it, you see, and of this year's appropriation we have a little over one-half left. Then we have $13,000 nominally over from last year's appropriation, and $11,000 nominally over from the preceding year, but under your continuing provision these balances are all fused. The available balance which we have been saving for the unusual opportunities now peniling for
this year corresponds to somewhat more than two-thirds of the appropriation.
Mr. Bynns. The idea being to accumulate as much as possible for important collections?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir. Your committee was very considerate in that matter, because it has enabled us at the end of a fiscal year to hold a balance over until the next year where we foresaw superior opportunities. It would be most unfortunate to have a diminution in that appropriation, but under the circumstances I do not feel we ought to press for an increase as against these other things.
LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE BUREAU.
Mr. Byrns. For legislative reference, you ask the same amount.
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir, every cent of it, and, of course, we could use a much larger sum, because at times we can not now respond adequately to the calls of Senators, Representatives, and committees, I regard that service as no longer experimental in one sense, because we think it has proved itself; but it is experimental in another sense, due to the fact that it must become generally known and commend itself to Congress. We will run along for another year just as it is, without an increase.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 1916.
LIBRARY BUILDING AND GROUNDS. STATEMENT OF MR. F. L. AVERILL, SUPERINTENDENT, BUILDING
PAY OF STPERINTENDENT.
Mr. BYRNs. You have asked for a number of increases, beginning with your own salary from $3,000 to $5,000. Do you wish to make any general statement as to these increases?
Mr. AVERILL. Yes. As to my own increase, the salary of the Superintendent of the Library Building and Grounds has always been $5,000 until the time Mr. Green died. In addition to that Mr. Green very often received additional compensation for other work that was assigned to him, a couple of thousand dollars a year or so.
Mr. Byrxs. What kind of work was that?
Mr. AVERILL. Well, for instance, supervision of construction of the National Museum; I do not know what he received on the Washington Public Library, but he received additional compensation on that, and from time to time he was assigned to engineering duties in addition to his work here, but of a temporary character, you understand. When I was appointed I did not seek the position; I did not know anything about it. In fact, it was offered to me. I did not consider anything else but that it was a presidential appointment, that it was an honor, and that I should accept it. The duties are exactly the
same now as they were under Mr. Green. The fact of the matter is that it seems very difficult for me to get along on the $3,000; I have had to borrow money since I have held the position. Before coming to the Library I was earning on an average more than $5,000 per annum.
Mr. Byrns. You did not have any of this extra compensation to which you refer?
Mr. AVERILL. No; and thus far I have not received anything from outside work, nor have I sought any private work, thinking I did not have the right to do so. When the position was offered to me I resigned from the firm I was with, and took this work up and cut out all of my former work,
Mr. Berns. There is one difficulty to which I want to call your attention with reference to an appropriation bill. The act of 1916 fixes this salary at $3,000, and of course if the committee should undertake to raise it in this bill it would be subject to a point of order one the ground that it was a change of existing law. The rules of the House provide that there shall not be any legislation on an appropriation bill, and I am simply just calling your attention to that fact.
Mr. AVERILL. I knew, of course, that if I did not put it in the estimates there was no hope of getting it. When appointed I did not question the salary at all. If it had been $2,000, even $1,000, I would probably have accepted it, because it came to me without being sought, and I thought it was an honor.
Mr. Byrns. I did not mention that for the purpose of minimizing the value of your services, because I know they are very great, very important, and absolutely essential.
Mr. AVERILL. The responsibility is exactly the same as Mr. Green had, and I believe I am giving as good services as he was giving, and besides I am not doing the outside work he was doing.
Mr. BYRNES. Is there anything else you want to say with reference to that particular increase other than what you have said ?
Mr. AVERILL. No; I think not; I just leave it with the committee.
Mr. Byrns. You may depend on it that the committee will give it very careful and sympathetic consideration.
TELEPHONE SWITCHBOARD OPERATORS.
Mr. AVERILL. Instead of a telephone operator and an assistant operator I have asked for two telephone switchboard operators for this reason: These employees have been there approximately the same time and one is exactly as good as the other; they do exactly the same duty, and I can not see any reason why one should not receive as much pay as the other..
Mr. Byrns. One is as capable as the other?
Mr. Byens. And this is simply to put them on the same basis as to salary?
Mr. AVERILL. Yes, sir. I will say that those operators are under a considerable strain; we have only two there and at times it is an extremely busy switchboard, so that it is quite a strain. I imagine that about next year I will have to ask for another operator. The telephone company has said that we ought to have an additional one now, but I thought we might get along. According to the telephone company's account of the number of calls handled per operator, they say we should now have another operator during the busy hours.
Mr. Bynns. Do the two operators relieve each other?
Mr. AVERILL. One serves from 9 o'clock until 3.30 or 4 o'clock, and the other one up until 10 o'clock at night, alternating on night and day duty. The switchboard is open from 9 in the morning until 10 o'clock at night.
FOREMAN OF LABORERS.
Mr. Byrxs. The next increase is that in the salary of the foreman of laborers ?
Mr. AVERILL. He gets $900 at present. I have asked for this because he is an extremely efficient man; everybody says he is the best foreman of laborers they have ever had there; he has been there now, perhaps, something over two years, three years, perhaps; he was appointed before I came there, but I have found him a most excellent man. He is a very faithful and hard-working man, and I would like very much to see his salary increased.
Mr. Byngs. You are asking for two additional laborers?
Mr. BYRNS. And you are also asking for an increase from $540 to $660 for all of them?
Mr. AVERILL. Yes. We are in great need of those extra laborers; I asked for them last vear also, and I believe they have been asked for each year for several years back. We are not keeping up with the work as well as we ought to, although the men are working just as hard as they can be worked. We can not keep up with the cleaning of the books and shelving in the stacks as well as we ought to, and we could very well put on two more men at that point. The collections are increasing all the time and we can not get around.
Mr. Bynxs. Were you allowed additional laborers in the last bill?
Mr. AVERILL. No; I asked for them, but they were not allowed; in fact, they have been asked for several years.
Mr. Byrns. Do you know how long you have had 14 laborers there?
Mr. J VERILL. There has been no increase in the number since 1901. I have noticed in looking over Vr. Green's hearings, or one or two of his hearings, that he had asked for them, and one of the first things I met when I came there was the fact that we needed these extra men; I said “I will wait until I see how it works,” and after watching it for some time I finally concluded that they were necessary. They are more necessary than last year. Now, as to the pay, I think they ought to be put on the same basis with laborers in other departments: their work is just as hard, and all of them are faithful, hard working men. They all have families, and I looked up the average number of people they were supporting last year and found there were three and a half people supported on the salary received, which is $15 a month. Besides that, every one of them must pay
house rent, and I do not see how they do it. I visited one of the houses of the laborers to see how they got along and I do not see, myself, how they can possibly get along on the salaries they receive.
MISTRESS AND ASSISTANT OF CHARWOMEN.
Mr. BYRNs. I notice that you ask an increase in the salaries of the mistress of charwomen and the assistant mistress of charwomen.
Mr. AVERILL. I have asked for the same increase this year that I asked last year, a small increase indeed, and they are two very efficient women.
The assistant mistress of charwomen started to resign this year because she did not like it that her pay was not increased last vear, but I induced her to stay.
Mr. Byrns. They do not stay at the Library all the time?
Mr. AVERILL. No; but they stay there longer than the charwomen, because they have to be there to check up their time on arrival and see that they are working; their duties require them to remain long after the charwomen have gone, not less than an hour and often two hours.
WIREMEN, PAY OF.
Mr. Byrxs. Then you ask for an increase in the salaries of two wiremen, from $900 to $1,000.
Mr. AVERILL. The reason for that is that the chief electrician showed me that wiremen outside were getting very much more than here. These men are of the same skill as outside wiremen doing that class of work. He asked me to put them at $1.200, because they would receive at least that outside. They are men we do not want to lose and men we can not afford to lose, because they know every wire in the building. I told him I could not do that, but that I would recommend $1,000.
Mr. Byens. How long have they been employed there?
Mr. AVERILL. Oh, a great many years, I think; almost since the building started; 11 or 12 years, anyway. I know they date back that far.
Mr. Byrns. What do they do in particular!
Mr. AVERILL. Every day there are lights to be changed, and whenever the furniture is moved around we have to change these lights and do a lot of wiring every day. Then also we have those motor generators in the building, and they do work around them; also fans, elevators, etc.
Mr. Byrxs. They do not do any actual wiring do they?
Mr: AVERILL. Oh, yes; they do. If a man wants his electric-light fixture moved from one place to another, they have to cut through the floors and around through the walls in order to change the wires.
Mr. Byrxs. They do that under the electrician?
Mr. AVERILL. Yes. Then at night one wireman must stay in the building, because there are lamps going out, fuses blowing out, and things of that kind, and one man must be there so that they can be repaired instantly. Mr. Byrns. How many lamps have you in that building ?
Mr. AVERILL. The building is wired for about 15,000 lamps. However, we have at least 10,000.