Annual Report of the Slavic Room for 1954
[This report appears as part of the annual report of the General Reference and Bibliography Division for 1954, on pages 18–20. Ed.]
The Slavic Room has continued to emphasize service to readers and its custodial responsibilities during the past year. The record of service can be summarized in the following brief table:
|Number of readers||18,775||15,135|
|Services to readers ||20,687||27,550|
Although the actual number of readers counted as using the facilities of the Slavic Room increased since last year, the factor of changed basis for enumerating services to readers is adduced as the reason for the decline in the number of readers. Perhaps of greater interest is the explanation offered for the decline in the amount of material issued. Mr. Dorosh indicates that the preparation of serials for binding is proceeding on a current basis with the result that proportionately more of the needs in this area are being satisified from the Library's regular classified collections.
In addition, service was rendered in 14,958 instances via telephone, of which 2,319 were recorded as services to government agencies. The overall increase in telephone reference service from 5,228 in 1952/53 to 14,958 in 1953/54 is attributed primarily to the removal of the Air Information Division from the Annex to the Main Building of the Library and the consequent need to conduct much of the routine business by telephone rather than by personal contact. The staff of the Slavic Room also replied to some 172 letters containing reference inquiries; issued 10,277 items for interlibrary loan; and combined approximately 17,000 individual serial pieces into 1,646 volumes which were appropriately recorded and prepared for binding prior to being transmitted to the Bindery. Translation service involved the preparation of twenty-seven translations on forty-five pages from various Slavic languages into English. These requests were received from members of Congress and agencies of the Government. Mr. Dorosh also reports that on thirty-seven occasions brief oral translations were provided in response to telephone inquiries.
Mr. Dorosh's activity in completing the supplement to this earlier Guide to Soviet Bibliographies has already been mentioned. His first draft was reviewed by Dr. Epstein of the Slavic and East European Division. A briefer bibliography, comprising 130 titles of Russian satirical journals published from 1905–1908 was compiled for J.S.G. Simmons, Taylor Institution, Oxford, England.
Acquisitions to the reference collections in the Slavic Room were developed through examination of incoming materials at the several points of entry in the Processing Department, as well as through aforementioned perusal and recommendation from lists received from blanket order dealers. In addition, Mr. Dorosh examined over 1,000 volumes of duplicate materials from which over 700 copies were selected for the collections by virtue of their apparent value for research purposes.
The control over the unbound serials in the custody of the Slavic Room was also facilitated during the year by the development of a visible file. This was organized in coordination with the Processing Department so as not to duplicate the function of the Serial Record Division.