The present library is housed on the first floor of the West wing of the Administration Building, a space not intended or built for that purpose. The space occupied there is approximately 5,362 square feet for the stack room, office of the librarian, receiving room, work room and the reading room. The reading room space alone occupies only 2,378 square feet of space. It contains room for only 25 tables with 147 chairs or enough to hold 54% of the students attending in the fall of 1936. Only one out of twenty students can find a place in the library at one time.
A teachers college in this State has a library built from appropriations for that purpose with a reading room 168 feet long. That teachers college has an enrollment in the long session less than one-half of the enrollment of Texas Technological College. Their reading room contains upward of 6,700 square feet or space for 1,200 students in the long session. We have 2,378 square feet, or about one-third, for more than twice as many students. It has less books in its library than Texas Tech.
Taking the amount of books, pamphlets and other material usually scheduled in libraries from catalogue statements of various State institutions in Texas, Texas Technological College has at least the fifth largest library in a State-supported institution in Texas. We have been only eleven years in accumulating this library. The other libraries, particularly those exceeding ours in numbers of books and pamphlets, have been in existence more than twice the length of time of Texas Technological College. All of these other institutions having larger libraries than Texas Technological College have received appropriations or the benefit of constitutional provisions for large land grants, enabling them to construct handsome, attractive and useful library buildings for their students. But Texas Technological College, young and vigorous and growing, with nearly 3,000 students, has no library facilities worthy of the name.
The space occupied by the library of Texas Technological College is sorely needed for other purposes. Such a new library building would furnish the College not only with library facilities but could be soon constructed as to contribute very greatly to the educational facilities of the institution.
There is plenty of authority for the statement hat a library building should be planned to accommodate at least 50% of the student enrollment in college at any one time in the total seating capacity of its reading rooms and auxiliary rooms used for student purposes. The Texas Technological College library space contains 147 chairs in its reading room and 25 tables supposed to seat six students at the table, two on each side and one at each end. As a matter of fact, the tables are so crowded that it is only possible to put 147 chairs in the reading room. Thus it appears that the searing capacity of the reading room of the Texas Technological College is only 5.4% of its present student body actually in attendance. Instead of accommodating 147 students, the seating capacity of the library ought to be 1,300 students or almost ten times its present capacity.
We have asked the Legislature for an appropriation of $300,000 with which to erect a library. The library as planned would have ample reading rooms, seminar rooms and stack rooms to accommodate a college of the size and importance of Texas Technological College. And, at the same time, the building can be so planned that part of it can be utilized for classroom temporarily while the institution is growing.
The number of catalogued volumes contained in the library of the Texas Technological College as of February 1, 1937, was 53,698. The number of un-catalogued Government documents, pamphlets, maps, etc., is estimated as approximately 20,000. Theses figures include that portion of the library temporarily loaned to Agriculture, Engineering, home Economics and Chemistry for use because of lack of space in the reading room of the main library.
The Board of Directors of Texas Technological College is asking the Legislature for an appropriation of $300,000 with which to build a Library Building.
Source: "Bulletin of the Texas Technological College". Lubbock, Tex. : The College, 1937. 13-14 (Call Number: LD5317 .T41 Vol. 13 1937)