Throwback Thursday: Meyer Library’s opening (Nov. 21, 1966)

Feb. 12, 2015, 12:02 a.m.

Meyer Library’s ongoing demolition ends nearly 50 years of the building’s history on Stanford’s campus. This Daily article was published on Nov. 21, 1966. Click here for the original version in our digital archives.

Undergraduate Library Opens Today

By Pat McMahon

After weeks of delay, the new Undergraduate Library opens today.

(Stanford Daily File Photo)
(Stanford Daily File Photo)

According to Warren B. Kuhn, librarian of the new addition to the campus, the library will provide, “a continual invitation to books … in the subject-oriented book pavilions and reading rooms…attractive alcoves of open shelved volumes.”

The library opens with a collection of over 43,000 books as well as 423 periodicals and ten daily newspapers.


The changes of the new library over other Stanford libraries and libraries in general are numerous, varied, and improved. It opens at 8 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and at 1 p.m. on Sundays. Closing time is midnight every night.

The two-hour reserves will be held at the loan desk on the second floor, but the one day, and one week books will be interfiled in the general collection. Books will be checked out for two week periods.

Book returns also can be made at the loan desk. The two-hours books at the chute on the left end of the desk, and the others on the right end. After closing hours, books can be returned at the return chute by the Escondido road entrance.

Reference Librarians

Also outstanding in the new library is the reference librarian system. In addition to the Chief Librarian, they have reference librarians who have specialties in particular areas.

Mrs. Ann Coder will assist students in classics, French literature, philosophy, and religion. Peter Johnson specializes in sociology, and political science, Frederick Lynden in world and American history, and economics.

Miss Joan Martus takes in the areas of fine arts, archaeology, foreign languages and literatures. Mrs. Trudi Ralston experts in general bibliography; and Mrs. Isabel Sewell in general literature, English and American literature.


Smoking will be permitted on the first floor, the outdoor terraces, and in area 330 of the third floor. No food or beverages are permitted in the library proper, but a snack lounge on the first floor will be opened shortly.

Another change is the fact that every student, in fact, every person using the library will have all his belongings checked upon leaving to make sure that all his books are properly checked out.

These, and the planning of the library, can be accredited not only to Dr. Rutherford D. Rogers, Director of University Libraries, and to Warren B. Kuhn, Director of the new library, but also to David Weber and Elmer Grieder, Associate Directors of University Libraries, and Jack Plotkin, head of circulation for the libraries.

The new library is truly a hybrid of many features that have been successfully used in other libraries.

The alcove arrangement was adopted from Quincy House at Harvard, while the idea of the reference alcove stems from the Lamont Library, also at Harvard.


The area signs are derived from those at the University of Santa Clara Library. The character of the pavilions had their start at the Tower Library at Dartmouth, the Alumni Room at Bowdoin, and the Morrison Room at Cal.

The form of the check-out desk comes from Michigan as well as the transitory nickname of “UGLY” until the library is officially named, supplied by the students.

All in all, the library has taken ideas from various places, added some very original ideas of their own and developed a first class library for undergraduates.

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