Miskatonic University Press

The heart of the university


The library is the heart of the University. From it, the lifeblood of scholarship flows to all parts of the University; to it the resources of scholarship flow to enrich the academic body. With a mediocre library, even a distinguished faculty cannot attain its highest potential; with a distinguished library, even a less than brilliant faculty may fulfill its mission. For the scientist, the library provides an indispensable backstop to his laboratory and field work. For the humanist, the library is not only his reference centre; it is indeed his laboratory and the field of his explorations. What he studies, researches and writes is the product of his reading in the library. For these reasons, the University library must be one of the primary concerns for those responsible for the development and welfare of the institution. At the same time, the enormous cost of acquisitions, the growing scarcity of older books, the problem of storage and cataloguing make the library one of the most painful headaches of the University administrator.

From the Report to the Committee on University Affairs and the Committee of Presidents of Provincially-Assisted Universities, by the Commission to Study the Development of Graduate Programmes in Ontario Universities, chaired by Gustave O. Arlt, F. Kenneth Hare, and J.W.T. Spinks, published in 1966. I think I found this in Evolution of the Heart: A History of the University of Toronto Library Up to 1981 by Robert Blackburn, which is a fine book, and very interesting. Blackburn was the chief librarian there for about 25 years.