A Library Is People
A LIBRARY is people. People borrowing books, people help-
/-\\ ing with the use of books, people donating books. And
-A. )V books are people too: "True friends that will never
flatter or dissemble."
This issue of the columns is about three Columbia Library
people. James Hulme Canfield was a Director who infected the
Columbia Libraries with a passion for democracy. Isadore Mudge
was a Reference Librarian who stamped her personality so in¬
delibly on her field that reference work became known to a
generation of students as "mudging." Alexander Gumby was a
collector whose whole lifework is bound within the covers of
his several hundred scrapbooks on the American Negro, now in
None of these three are to be found today working on Morning-
side Heights, but in the articles which follow their personalities
come vividly before the eye of the reader. That is well, because
as the years pass the library buildings become larger, the staff
more numerous—faces dissolve in the crowd.
In spite of bigness, of success, the Columbia Library is still a
friendly place. In that labyrinth of steel and concrete there are
warm personalities still. They still smile when you borrow a
A library is people.