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$900, inclusive. The increase of $5 a month or $60 a year was only one-half of what we had recommended. This year the recommendations would cover 143 positions in the library proper and 47 positions in the Copyright Office. The expense of the latter would be met by the fees of the office. Such a matter as this, of course, involves a question of policy which can only be dealt with in a large way. I do not ask your committee to go into details about each particular position, unless you desire to do so; but I want to mention four particular cases in my letter of transmittal. First on this list are five assistants increased from $960 to $1,200. They are men in the reading-room service, college-bred men, doing the higher grade of desk work there, and, in addition to the general reasons, the reason in their case particularly is that we can not get the suitable men, or we can not retain them. The efficiency of that service stands or falls by the grade of men we get at the desk there who have to answer the questions of Senators and Representatives and of the general public. Then down at the end of the list are the junior messengers.
Mr. Byrns. Before we take them up these assistants at the desk are in the main reading room?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes. They are college-bred men and they have had library training. They ought to be a very high grade of men.
For $120 or $35 a month, or $30 a month in the Copyright Office, we can not get these junior messengers of adequate reliability.
Mr. Byrns. Are they boys?
Mr. PUTNAM. Most of them are boys, but they are at least highschool graduates. At $40 we could secure a better type of worker, because there are a great many youths who come here from the outside who wish to pursue their education at the law schools here, or in the universities, and at $40 they are glad to take these positions. Of course, they are of a much higher grade than we can get within the District. For $30 we must take young District boys, but for $40 we can often get a boy from a distant State who will come here and manage by frugality or perhaps eking out what little income he has to pursue his advanced studies, and he stays with us perhaps three years while he is doing that. It is very helpful all around if we can afford him that opportunity, because we get the benefit of the higher grade of education he represents and the greater reliability. These boys have to be trusted. They can not be under constant supervision, and we need in them industry, honesty, and intelligence. Forty dollars is found in the Bureau of Standards and various other establishments to be the minimum that ought to be allowed for this lowest grade.
There is a $600 grade, but we do not ask any advance in that. There are 27 positions at $600, but we prefer to have those left as they are, because $600 forms a convenient maximum for this whole junior grade, $180, $320, $540, up to $600. We do not ask to have the $600 positions increased at all.
In the reading room there are two particular increases proposed which I wish to explain specially. One is marked “Stenographer and typewriter." It is in the office of the superintendent of the reading room. That assistant is not merely a stenographer and typewriter, but has charge of the office of the superintendent and in his absence has to represent him. She is the only person in charge of his office.
Mr. BYRNS. Who is that, Doctor?
Mr. PUTNAM. That is the stenographer and typewriter in the reading room. We think $960 is a normal salary for a good stenographer and typewriter and should not recommend more, but she is doing much more. She is a general assistant there in the office and she is the only one the superintendent has. The other position is that of the telephone assistant in the reading room. She has to take calls for books, often in foreign languages, and has to handle such calls intelligently. They are often very informal and they are apt to be verp peremptory, and the ordinary switchboard operator would not do for that work at all. We have to have a high-grade young woman there, and $660 is not enough.
MAIL AND DELIVERY ASSISTANT.
On that same page of this list you will find, “Mail and delivery, one assistant in charge," an increase proposed from $1,500 to $1,800. That ranks as a division of the library, and it handles all the incoming and outgoing mail and the incoming and outgoing packages, and all of the deliveries. Now, the organization provides there at present for one assistant at $1,500, one at $960, one at $780, one at $600, and one at $120. The $600 assistant has to operate the motorcycle and make deliveries, and the $780 one and the $960 one alternate in accompanying the automobile deliveries, while the other one is distributing material through the building. Then there are left only the chief and a messenger, the $420 boy. There is a very considerable business, and they have to be helped out to the extent of over four people from other divisions during the portions of the day when they are handling the mass that comes in. The copyright mail amounts to 300,000 pieces, incoming and outgoing, including the packages, and they have to handle all of that mail. We ought to hare an additional assistant, and I have recommended one at $1,200. When the chief of that division is absent there is no adequate person to handle the business. These copyright packages often contain remittances, as people are very careless in remitting copyright fees. The conduct of the work requires a person of integrity, of industry, and of considerable intelligence and responsibility. The man in charge has been in the service for 20 years, engaged in that work, and he has this responsibility. He has conducted it admirably. For some years past he has appealed for me to recommend an increase, and I think he ought to have it.
Mr. Byrns. You say you are asking for
Mr. PuTNAM (interposing). For one additional assistant for him, and then an increase in his own salary.
Mr. Byrns. The main reason, as I understand it, for this additional position is that he could be in charge when this present assistant is a way?
Mr. PUTYAN. Yes, sir; and to help him out when he is there, and to relieve the other divisions from the necessity they are now under of detailing people to help him out. As I say, that amounts practically to four and one-half people—that is, they have four of the lower grades and have half the time of a high-grade one, who now have to be detailed there to help him out.
Mr. Byrns. Throughout the year?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir. No one of them represents just the type of aid that he most needs. He needs responsible and intelligent aid from some one who can be trusted in his absence. Of course, all the matter that goes out, including some 9,000,000 cards—including the depository sets, 9,000,000 cards were dispatched last year to other libraries-have in large part to be wrapped there and dispatched. Our interlibrary mail, which involves the dispatch of very highly valuable material to other libraries, has to be wrapped and dispatched there. It is also received there, and all the freight and express matter is handled there. It is a very large volume of business, requiring a responsible man. As compared with the responsibility in the chiefs of the other divisions, it is a different type of responsibility, but it is one that I think is really underpaid at $1,500. No one of our other chiefs receive less than $2,000.
Mr. Byrns. Are you in a position to state more particularly the volume of business handled ?
Mr. PUTNAM. It is noted here to be 286,000 letters received in the course of a year and something over 7,000 packages. There are also the deliveries all through the city to Senators and Representatives and to the departments. Last year we delivered to the Agricultural Department alone over 5,000 packages, and that work is increasing all the time. There are two automobiles in the service and a motorcycle, they being for the local deliveries. The messengers from the reading room handle the deliveries to the Senate and House Office Buildings. There are hundreds of thousands of items to be handled throughout the year. When I stop in there on Sunday mornings I rarely fail to find this man there, although he is not paid anything for Sunday work. Of course, I do not absolutely require him to be there, but I generally find him there. He is a man of high integrity, intelligent and businesslike.
Mr. Evans. They handle 260,000 letters a day
Mr. PUTNAM (interposing). It was 286,000 letters received last year.
Mr. Evans. Making almost 1,000 letters every working day.
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir. If it is a letter that comes forward under a definite superscription, that is one thing, but these letters are often underaddressed, and they require some discrimination. Particularly the packages that come there are addressed in the most varying and confusing ways, and they often contain money.
ADDITIONAL ASSISTANT IN READING ROOM FOR BLIND.
The next is the reading room for the blind. There is a service in which I have asked for an additional assistant. We have only one position there at $1,200. Now the collection spreads into the basement, and it has increased to nearly 4.000 volumes. There is no one save this one assistant to go down into the basement to get those books. There is no one to take her place when she goes down there, unless we send somebody from the reading room.
The CHAIRMAX. There is no messenger?
Mr. PUTNAM. No, sir; not even a messenger. I was ambitious for this department, and I foresaw an opportunity for doing a work
there which will not be merely humane, but of wide-reaching significance, if I could have built up there a department which would have better information about matters relating to the blind, their needs, the literature for them, the various undertakings in their behalf. Some years ago I asked for an appropriation of $7,500 which would enable" me to develop such a department. The opportunities there are peculiar, because people come to that room from all over the United States, and they are profoundly affected by it. The information they pick up there and the suggestions they receive are taken home with them."
Mr. Byrns. To what extent is it patronized by the blind here in the District ?
Mr. PUTNAM. There are a great many colored blind people who do not use it very much, but practically 90 per cent of the white blind use it. We send books to their homes, and we also, under a franking privilege which is specifically provided, send books to every State where there are no adequate libraries for the blind.
Mr. BYRNS. With reference to the books sent to other States, they would come under the mail and delivery division?
Mr. PUTNAM. They wrap them; yes, sir; but all of the correspondence and charging has to be done in this room. The letters applying for books are received in this room, and the charging must be done there. Then, the correspondence must be attended to there, and there are a great many letters to be answered. The letters are of such a character that it would be a pity not to answer them, because the response can do so much service at a very small cost. This is a very high-grade person whom we have there. She is an admirable person, and she has become widely informed about the undertakings of the blind through visiting blind institutions and through attendance on congresses of workers for the blind, etc. It is a pity she can not have some aid with the subordinate routine work so as to enable her to do this other work adequately.
Mr. Byrns. You say there is no one in charge when she has to leave the room for the purpose of securing books or publications called for. Could not that be provided for by furnishing one of these junior assistants ?
Mr. PUTNAM. We do send some one down from the reading room, but, of course, that is an untrained person. He or she is not there continuously and can not get adequate instruction for the subordinate routine work. All that she can do there is simply sit and see that nobody runs off with the books. Really this service is entitled to something more. You appropriated $5,000 last year for an outside institution for the blind. Without questioning that, I think we ought not to allow it to be said that our own governmental department is imperfectly equipped.
Mr. Byrås. Could you state approximately about how many blind there are in the District ?
Mr. PUTNAM. Yes, sir; there are only about 300 here.
Mr. PUTNAM. About two-thirds of them. That was the last information I had, several years ago.
Mr. Byrns. Do you find that most of those coming to the reading room come for the purpose of reading, or do they require these books to be sent to them?
Mr. PUTNAM. Most of them require the books to be sent to them, because they can not afford the expense of car fare and guides to bring them to the Library. They come to the musicales and the readings. Once a week there is a musicale by volunteers, and once a week there is a reading or talk. That is provided for in another room which was formerly used for it. It is all arranged for by this assistant and costs us nothing. It has never been a question of the number of blind here, but it is because we are doing a type of work for them that visitors can see and take home with them as an example and have it applied in their own communities. I have always felt that that was the greatest significance of it. The cost of it is a small sum as compared with our general staff.
ADDITIONAL ASSISTANTS IN SEMITIC AND ORIENTAL LITERATURE
I asked last year for two assistants, at $900 each, in the Semitic and oriental literature department, and, of course, the statement made then about the work there still applies. If at least one of those could be granted I should be very glad.
Other than the foregoing recommendations, there is no increased force asked for except the usual increase in the card section.
INCREASE FOR MESSENGER IN SMITIISONIAN DEPOSIT.
Mr. Byrns. I notice that in the item for the " Smithsonian deposit” you omit a messenger at $780 and provide for one assistant under “Smithsonian deposit” at $900. That is simply an increase ?
Mr. PUTNAM. That is simply an increase of salary. The method of statement in the bill, one position being inserted and the other omitted, should not imperil the existing position.
In the card section, as you are aware, the business is increasing each year, and each year we have to ask for an increase in the service to meet it. For last year the appropriation was, roughly, $40,000, and the receipts from sales were, roughly, $70,000, leaving a margin. This year the appropriation is $13,000 and the receipts are likely to be $77,000, which leaves us a larger margin. Next year we ask an increase of $3,900 in the service, making the appropriation $46,900, but the receipts next year are likely to exceed $85,000. We judge of the increase simply from experience. The increase in the sales last year was about 17 per cent. Of course, the service is not the only expense, but there is the expense of the stock and presswork on the cards actually sold.
Mr. BYRNS. Will you please state again what the receipts were for last year and what are your estimated receipts for this year?
Mr. Putnam. The receipts for last year were, roughly, $70,000, and the receipts for this year are likely to be $77,000, or more. The