I have to agree with my classmate Zack Winestine ’81’s comments (letters, March 7) concerning the Anthony Marx *86 *90 feature (Jan. 18), and would like to point out a different dimension to the controversial plan for redesign of the 42nd Street research library. As a scholar in a specialized field (Armenian and Ottoman history), I have used the New York Public Library’s great collection frequently, but with sadness already noted that I often could find rare older items but not relatively recent ones because acquisitions slowed down or nearly halted in recent years. The elimination of specialized reading rooms for Near Eastern and Slavic studies was another blow.
The present plan for redesign of the library certainly will not help rectify these errors, and perhaps more significantly, it will remove the extremely useful feature of being able to look at a series of books the same day on the spot while researching a topic, instead of having to order books from a warehouse site. Of course, this is a trend that other libraries in New York, including university libraries, have followed for financial and space reasons, but until the majority of books are available in digitized format, notwithstanding copyright issues, this must be considered a negative phenomenon for scholarship.