I’ve gotten quite interested in what the original layout of the basement of Fondren would have been, interested enough in fact to do some research. For a moment this afternoon I thought I had it when I found this:
A quick flip to the back revealed drawings of every floor except the basement.
I was rewarded for my efforts, though, with this jaw-dropping introduction by Librarian William Dix (about whom more can and will be said soon). It reads like the library was being run by a bunch of permissive Dr. Spock followers. I don’t even smoke but it made me want a cigarette:
“Omnipresent administrative edicts” . . . oh, how we hate them!
I think it is illuminating that there is no basement plan. Presumably the Library had no public space there at that time. It was either service or non-Library (like the Roost.) I remember the massive checkout desk and card catalog that lasted well into the 1980s. There were a bunch of lighted numbers up high on the wall, a relic of closed-stack days.