FEBRUARY 21, 1939
NEW YORK, Monday—Saturday night, at about 11:30, while Miss Thompson and I were finishing up the mail which had accumulated during my short trip to Ithaca, an automobile horn honked outside. I dashed to the door just in time to see a long, lank, very weary young man unfold himself from behind the wheel of his car. Johnny and Anne had arrived from Boston! They found the roads not as good as they had hoped and have decided that this is not the best season of the year to travel far by motor if one wishes to travel fairly fast.
We fed them milk, hot tea and toast and after a long night's sleep they seemed to recover.
The thaw has taken away practically all the pleasure of the snow, you can't coast, ski or sleigh through the woods and yesterday was gray and rainy. I drove down to lunch with Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau and to celebrate Mrs. Morgenthau's birthday. After I returned, Johnny and Anne took Miss Thompson's car, which is our only standby in the winter, except for a station wagon, and tried to go up to the top of the hill to see the President's new cottage. They got stuck, had to come back to get help to get them out and gave up trying to drive a car over the hill. All that the rest of us could do was to take a rather mild walk.
Then I spent some time going over my books, trying to send a few of the modern ones to various libraries. The President keeps all of his books, but one collector in the family is enough, so when I have read a book, I try to put it in some library unless it has a personal inscription or has appealed to me in a special way. We did manage to find a considerable number of books which could go either to Hyde Park or Arthurdale, West Virginia, or Dyess Colony in Arkansas. There is one other place in the Ozark Mountains where I have been meaning to send some books for some time, but I found none suitable yesterday.
Three of us left Hyde Park fairly early this morning and now I am in New York City looking at a pile of mail and doing some telephoning before starting off for Philadelphia.
When I drove by the New York Public Library today, I was reminded of the report which the "Citizen's Committee on the Status of Librarians of the Public Libraries of New York," has just handed to the Mayor. Back in 1930 I was interested in having the city consider these librarians as government employees and admit them to the New York State Retirement system. This was accomplished in 1937, but one of the things which is extremely bad for the morale of these hard working employees is the fact that they are still denied a yearly increase in salary. The result is that many valuable employees leave the New York Public Libraries for better positions elsewhere, which means a loss in efficiency and the morale of those who remain.