UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
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Repository: UIHistories Project: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1896 [PAGE 18]

Caption: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1896
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has made somewhat more rapid progress since the first.of August, but there seems to be no reason to believe that it will be ready for delivery to us before the middle of November. The Military Band is in need of some new instruments, in the place of some which have become unfit for use, which are so expensive that we can hardly expect individual members to supply them. I transmit herewith a communication from the leader of the band, with the endorsement of the professor of military science, in reference to the matter. It is needless to say that this band is of great service to the University and should have whatever assistance it'is practicable to give it, and I therefore recommend an appropriation of the sum of three hundred dollars for band instruments. Pursuant to the resolution adopted at the last meeting of the Board, on motion of Governor Altgeld, a circular was prepared in August, showing the advantages of the University, and was broadly distributed. The cost of the same consumed but a comparatively small part of the fund appropriated for the purpose, and I respectfully recommend that the balance be re-appropriat•ed for the purpose of publishing other documents showing buildings and equipment of the University, for distribution. I report also that I have received a communication from Miss Kate Cary, making a claim against the Board for the sum of fifty-four dollars for expenses incurred by her in preparing herself for teaching a model school, which it was proposed to establish in the University, but which has been abandoned. There was never any authority given, as I understand it, for the employment of Miss Cary, but it is probable that she was given reason to believe she would be employed in the capacity referred to. If we have been under any honorable obligations in the premises they have been discharged by the proffer of another situation of larger pay nearer her home, which has been declined. I am, therefore, unable to recommend the claim. I submit the following important communication from the Librarian : To the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. GENTLEMEN:—Before the library of the University of Illinois can be, in any sense, of efficient service to the Faculty and students, and be worthy of comparison with the libraries of the other great universities of the country, certain glaring defects in its equipment and economy demand a remedy. To gain this object no large sum of money is required. A small appropriation made now will meet a need out of all proportion to the actual amount called for, and will insure against the necessity of spending a still greater sum in the future. In other words, the longer the delay incurred in adopting modern methods in the management of the library, the more costly will be their final and unavoidable introduction. (1) The proper classification and cataloguing of the library—of the first importance if we are to know what we have and all that we have,"and how instantly to find any desired book—is the first need. A card catalogue equipment, calculated to meet the requirements of the library for the next ten years or more, should be purchased at the outset, and will cost $200. One which would prove less economical in the end, but would be cheaper now, would cost about $125. The purchase, however, of a smaller outfit, for more pressing immediate needs, is by no means advisable, involving, as it would, a waste, in the end, both of library space and of money. It should be added that the set of drawers now used by us is becoming crowded, and is, moreover, of awkward design and inconvenient for use. It is hardly necessary to say, in conclusion, that the Library Bureau is the patentee and sole manufacturer of approved <?ard-catalogue outfits. (2) In order that the daily work of the library way be carried on? and, at the same time, system and method be introduced into the chaos of literature which has been accumulating ever since the founding of the University, the employment of a skilled cataloguer—a person who can work rapidly and intelligently and is familiar with the Dewey "Decimal System of Classification" —is indispensable. The securing of such an assistant is the more necessary if the University Librarian's position is to be one of more importance or dignity