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February 17, 1959 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-02-17

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ART 17, 1959 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

iristians Termed Semites by Priest

Book SelectingHugeTask at Library
By PHILIP SHERMAN I

SPIRITUAL SEMITES-All Christians are spiritually kin to the
Semitic tradition, Rev. Fr. John M. Oesterreicher, who is the
director of the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall

"Still, separated though we are,
we are brothers, even though many
obstacles block a full understand-
ing," he said.
As one of these hindrances,
Father Oesterreicher, who had two
narrow escapes from the Nazis
before coming to the United States
in 1940, cited the abuses that so
many Jews suffered at the hands
of Hitler.
"Those who did not suffer physi-
cally, suffered mentally with their
Jewish kinsmen in Nazi-held
countries. The ghost of Ilitler
haunts Jews of today, often with-
out their knowing it, and many are
afraid that something like the Nazi
persecution could happen again,"
Father Oesterreicher said.
The conclusion of the talk was
devoted to description of the
paintings by Marc Chagall. Father
Oesterreicher explained that he
sees in this Jewish painter of the
crucified Christ a bridge between
the Old and the New Testaments.
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The Book Selection Department
of the General Library behaves
"like any Twentieth Century ra-
tional man" according to its direc-
tor, Rolland C. Stewart.
Charged with overseeing the
selection of all library books, the
department must reconcile the
need for books of the various fac-
ulties with the limits imposed by
the budget.
Stewart revealed that these fis-
cal restrictions are particularly
stringent this year.
Last year's budget was $525,0Q00
for all libraries, a figure deceiving-
ly large, Stewart added. This year's
figure is lower as are all University
budgets.
Selection Objective
The process of selecting the
books, which places a premium on
objectivity, is carried out by co-
operation between the faculty and
the Library.
The various departments, each
given a specific budgetary allot-
ment, select the books they desire
to be placed in the General Li-
brary or any of i idstisvoi
brary or any of its divisions.
These recommendations are re-
viewed by the Book Selection De-+
partment, and the books are ob-
tained.
Book Titles Suggested
To expedite the selection pro-
cess, Stewart suggests lists of titles,
ne wand old, pertaiing to the
various subject areas to each de-
partment.
He emphasized, however, im-
portance of faculty participation
in the selection process since they
are best qualified for the task. .
The works of all University fac-
ulty members and other authors
of established reputation are pur-
chased as a matter of course.
Information on new publications
is obtained from publishers cata-
logues and review journals.
Lists Library Aim
The ideal aim of any library is
to satisfy all, these needs of its
users for both new and old books;
due to insufficient funds, the Uni-
versity libraries are unable to ful-
fill this ideal completely, Stewart
said.
There is some hope, he added,
for increasing the amount of pur-
chases in the near future if funds
are made available for such a
purpose by the national govern-
ment, operating under the Nation-
al Defense Education Act.
Before this act, aid to libraries
had generally been overlooked in
such programs. Federal funds were
used chiefiy for laboratories and
research fellowships, the spending
being motivated by the Sputnik
scare, but not for libraries, which
furnish the information for the
basis of research.
The fres funds would be used
to strengthen collections in new
areas of knowledge.
Some Books Free ,
Another phase of the depart-
ment's work involves no purchas-
ing of books.
In the course of the year tens
of thousands of pieces of free
literature arrive at the library.
They are published by organiza-
tions ranging from the Interna-
tional Cooperation Administration
to "young socialist" groups, en-
compassing in between all forms
of scientific, educational and cul-
tural activity.
Political publications are usually
from either the extreme left or the
extreme Tight.
The principal difference between
the two, Stewart commented, is
that those of the right generally
are printed on better paper, and
sometimes use better grammar.
The task of the department is to
decide which pieces of literaure
will be kept by the Library and
which will be disposed of.

If a piece of literature is to be
retained, Stewart explained, it,
must be catalogued, a rather ex-
pensive process. As funds are
limited, everything obviously can-
not be catalogued.
Priority on Books
Decisions must therefore be
made as' to the items of greatest
value, which will be kept. What
Stewart calls a "catholicity" of
view is important in this area. The
persons making the decisions must
ignore any personal preferences.
If the literature is judged not
to be of enough value to be kept
it is either immediately discarded
or kept for a short time to satisfy
any momentar interest.
Stewart emphasized that it was
not the task of the Library to
maintain complete files on every
subject covered by periodicals and
similar literature. It would cost
much and serve no real purpose.
Agriculture at MSU
He cited the example of agricul-
tural publications, commenting
that Michigan State University
would maintain a more extensive
collection than the University be-
cause of its agricultural emphasis.

a

There is a national system,
maintained by the Library of Con-
gress, by which special collections
of various libraries are opened to
national use.
The Library of Congress pub-
lishes a catalogue of the collec-
tions of all libraries in the system,
the members then being able to
borrow any books desired from
each other.
Select Student
Second Time
A University law student has
been chosen for the second
straight year to serve as clerk to
a United States Supreme Court
Justice.
Justice Charles E. Whittaker
has notified Jerome B. Libin, '59L,
of his one-year appointment to
the post effective July 20, 1959.
Libin, who holds a Weymouth
Kirkland Law scholarship, is edi-
tor-in-chief of the Michigan Law
Review. He also ranks first in his
class and is a member of Barris-
ters Society.

f

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