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CORNELL LAW SCHOOL Report for 1948-49

Our last report was filed In June, 1948, for the academic year 1947-48.

I have deoided to give the

annual report in January, 1950, for two reasons.


will permit our problems to be considered before the annual law school budget Is complied for the coming fiscal year.

It provides more ample time for reflection

about the future of the law library than the period immediately preceding the summer vacations. Acquisitions Our collection of briefs Is now bound to date. One of our accomplishments during the past year was to oollate and bind a large number of United States Supreme Court and New York Court of Appeals records and briefs. Our collection of League of Nations materials and the current United Nations publications is receiving our attention. finances permit.

WÂŽ are binding such material as our The cost of subscribing to and binding

the United Nations publications is of deepest o onoem to us. Our Earl J. Bennett collection has grown very nicely this jear.

ve purchased some important Hawaiian

original session law items which nearly completed that series.

The funds for these came from the annual inoome

from the Earl J. Bennett fund.

In addition to this we

were offered several Important items of early Connecticut Laws.

At about the same time we received an offer of

Howell’s Code of Arizona, which is one of the rarest and most expensive of the early statutory law. wae advised of these opportunities. agreed to purchase the;*! for ua. these purchases was J370.

Mr. Bennett

He very generously

Ihe total amount of

It is one of the most Important

additions we have had to the Bennett Collection. By exohanges and by a special price we added to our fine oolleotlon of legal periodicals additional sets of the following law reviews:

Georgetown Law Journal,

Illinois Law Review, Law Quarterly Review, Mississippi Law Journal and Wisconsin Law Review.

The large number

of new legal periodicals has caused us financial problems. We have been able to keep up with them through various exohanges and by purchase. Budget Our grave concern during the past eighteen months has been limited finances.

Our total oolleotlon

now numbers approximately 115,000 volumes.

There have

been inoreases in the cost of eaoh item which we have purchased since the war.

A number of books which we

used to receive as gifts we now have to buy because of economies effeoted by the publishers. -


New courses In

our curriculum require adequate materials for the students. The cost of these has burdened our already limited budget. Exchange Items have been curtailed by other libraries because of measures of economy.

Binding costs have

nearly doubled in the past five years. costs have increased tremendously.

Loose-leaf service

United Nations publi­

cations and their binding cost us in the neighborhood of #1000 per year.

Our budget in 1940 was #11,435; in 1945,

$7,000 and in 1948, $15,000. income from the VanOleef fund.

These figures include the During the aoademic years

1944-45 and 1945-4S our budget was out to a low of #7,000, including the VanCleef fund income.

Out of this small

appropriation we had to pay the salaries of the student assistant librarians.

we agreed to this reduced figure,

but we did not anticipate that increasing costs would skyrocket to the point that they did.

This drastlo out

made us omit many needed items which we have not yet been able to purchase. A comparison of our present annual budget of $15,000 with other libraries of our size and standing is very interesting.

Northwestern University Law Library,

which reported a totad of 131,234 volumes in 1948, receives an appropriation of #31,515 for all book purchases, acquisitions, binding and supplies.

The University of

Chicago Law Library, which reported 122,000 volumes in 1948, has an appropriation of $26,234 for all book


purchases, acquisitions, binding and supplies.


of California, which reported only 87,072 volumes in 1948, has an appropriation of <ยง18,600. The University of Michigan Law Library outnumbers us in sl2 e, but we feel we are on a par with it in importance, excellence of faculty, and quality of law student.


reports a total of 204,000 volumes in 1948, which would be at least twice our sise.

At present it receives an

appropriation of $59,000, or nearly four times our present appropriation, even though it is only twice our slie in total number of books. Because of our limited budget we are falling behind each year in neoessary acquisitions and bindings. It Is a question how long we can maintain a library adequate for a law school this slae, when comparable sohools have at least twice our library fund. Staff We are very thankful for a library which is beautiful and spaoious in else, for a very interested and cooperative faoulty, and for a most faithful and loyal library staff. doubled in si*e.

Since the war the student body has nearly Several additions have been made to the

faoulty in order to take care of the larger student body and expanded curriculum.

This growth has made much more

work for the library staff.



In comparison with other law schools of compa­ rable size and rank, our library is understaffed.


following is a tabulation of full time staff members of various law schools as has been currently reported to me. Columbia 17 full time 4 oatalogera who work under Law Librarian, but are on general library payroll Duke 3 library school graduates 2 college graduates 8 law school student assistants


Not allowed to give any Information about salaries

Northwestern 10 full time 15 student assistants who give time enough to equal about 4 1 / 2 full time employees


University of California 6 full time 1 clerk part time and student assistants The University Library orders, accessions, and catalogs all books.


University of Chicago $35,000 5 full time student assistants Librarian states in letter of December 12, 1949: "It is obvious that the number of persona on the staff is quite inadequate". Order work done in general library. University of Michigan 17 excluding librarian plus a large number of student assistants

$69,680 excluding librarian

Our comparison with these various law school library staffs is obvious.


The only change in our personnel since the war is the substitution of a reading room supervisor for law students who did that work during the daytime hours.

had had continuous Interruptions, annoyances, and absences by the assistants to the extent that It was a serious problem.

The position of reading room supervisor is

strictly a clerical one.

It provides continuity of con­

trol at the charging desk during the daytime hours.


supervisor is placed In a position where she must attempt to answer reference questions on law.

The salary which

our position pays does not permit us to employ a person who has a trained legal or library background.


law school libraries of our slae have both a supervisor and a reference librarian. It is ay feeling that at present our students do not receive adequate training in the law books — tools of their trade —

while they are here.


A law

student who can use the available sets of law books to their fullest extent has a tremendous asset.

It opens

up avenues that influence his success In the pr&otloe of law.

In speoial problem oourses the students learn how

to use law books In a limited field, yet many law books they will need to use later remain unknown to them.


Is a continuous need during the school year for a capable person to answer questions and assist and work with law students in their struggle to obtain a working knowledge


of various law books.

A formal course In the use of law

books would be the best training. May I again oall attention to two glaring defloienoleB In our library staff*

One Is our need for

a full time reference librarian who can be of invaluable assistance to the students in the use of our law books. A reference librarian is one who is trained in the law and the use of law books.

Every other good law school

library has a reference librarian, who is a law school graduate and is interested in law library and reference work.

A referenoe librarian in other law schools is of

great assistance to faculty members in locating material. Such a person would be invaluable for saving work required of faculty members doing research, as well as being of great assistance to law students,

^e have the dubious

honor of being the only law school in our site and rank whioh does not have a formal reference librarian on its staff. Our second great deficiency is the lack of a secretary in our library administration.

This has caused

us great lnoonvenienoe and has handicapped our growth. We have operated for the past several years by writing letters in long hand and asking the assistant librarian to do secretarial work.

This consumes a great deal of

our time in oompletlng all of these details whioh might be placed on more important library problems.

Our need

for someone to do this work, of only for half days, is



very urgent.

Our growth as a good law library Is defi­

nitely limited by the laok of & secretary,

The accom­

plishments of the staff members are also handicapped by having to do secretarial details. Salaries The salaries which are paid to our staff members are lower than those paid in any other library on the campus.

As an example, in the Cornell University Library,

a beginner with no experience receives a salary of 42400. This rule also applies in the Agriculture Library and the Library of the New Xork State School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Such a pereon also has the prospect

of an annual increase of *130 per year for each year of employment, thereafter, for a reasonable period of time. One member of our staff has fourteen year’s experience and a B.S. degree In Library Soienoe.

Another has

approximately twelve year's experience with a B.8. In Library B&ienoe as well as an A.B. degree,

^lth all this

training our highest paid staff member now receives only $2560 - 5180 more than a beginner in the other university libraries.

Ag long as no changes on the staff have been

made, we have been able to continue at these veiy low salaries.

It Is strongly urged and recommended that

annual increases be given to our staff members until their salaries are equal to those of our other university libraries.

If we do not accomplish tills, we will be -


losing our staff members because of the hljgh cost of living.

If we have to replace one of our staff members,

a new person with no experience will have to be hired at a higher salary than the person who is replaced.


must be established in order to prevent this unfair salary situation. Conclusion With the university embarked on a retrenchment program, what avenue is open to the Law Library for increases in budget and staff?

The situation grows more

critical each year as items we cannot afford to purchase mount in number and price.

One solution would be to

secure permission to appeal to our alumni for financial assistance.

Some solution must be made.




Please complete this form and return to S. A. McCarthy, Cornell University Library, before July 15, 1949. 1.

Name of library^ Q jS & a u £ jL




Report for the year


Number of volumes lent for home use exclusive of reserve books ~Vo


Number of reserved books? used in library_ lent for overnight or weekend use ~)M s \s ^ a n Jl


Number of interlibrary loans:

u ) , 'yfi ) °! j

*/ *?


borrowed from other libraries 'MdAfic, loaned to other libraries M o , - v ^ n J (


No. of directional questions 'He No. of general questions r\1 0 s u ^ < n ^ No. of search questions 'XQ Tota! No. of bibliographies compiled YLctm. )/Q>


Number of volumes at beginning of year


Number of volumes added by purchase,______%

. ,

% 3 V


10. Number of volumes added by gift or aavhange_____ A



Number of volumes lost or withdrawn from records,


Total number at end of year


Newspapers currently received: by subscription by gift or exchange


Periodicals currently received: by subscription * by gift Qgr-uxufa&Hftge / <9______ ; total


Library income: _ <*«< ^ 0 a. appropriation /J ) / t> ' ■ ^ b„ income from endowments I. O O P - 0-0 -f ) 9 <g> gifts. d. fees, fines, e t c , ______ ________ _ e„ total * 7^, ^ 3 7- -5 0 ? 3 •4 S ’ f. reappropriated balance from previous year_ g. total funds available " 9 4, *7 % ?■ ^

I ) -3. & 7 ^ ______

j=? . ■ ? total.

<k5 ( OVER )

3 ,7 ^ % d




. 1Q L , / S '


Funds available fpr purchase of books, periodicals, binding for next year /-5~, 0 6 0 -


Library expenditures a. Salaries of library staff b. Wages of student assistants c. Books ^ l9 S fl.f i d. Periodicals^ e. Binding 7

f. Supp3 ies ana equipment ~V g. h. 18.

Other Total

fc u j

-A ^ ,

y SijAnfi^> *

t •fafe

I5~ ><6 3, £

Library Staff Number of professional staff members__ Number of clerical staff members_____

-3 - (J "3

i -* -* * * ,

This report prepared by_

a^t cL«JL uoC, irk*

4 c n 4- S lo t* - 3 *&■-



If you prepare an annual report for the Department Head, Dean, or Library Committee, we would appreciate having a copy filed with the University Library.


Cornell Law Library Annual Report 1949