Left to right: Patricia Kelly (Class of 1963), at Olin Library Circulation Desk, 1961. University Archives. The Olin Library Call Board; Olin Library Lamson Tube; Attendant at the Entrance to Stacks, Olin Library, ca. 1970. University Archives.
Patricia Kelly ’63 checks out books in her role as weekend student assistant at the circulation desk in Olin Library. Note the numbers on the call board just over her head, lit up to indicate that books awaited researchers who did not have stack privileges.
Back in the days when Olin’s stacks were not open, library staff would “page” books for patrons who were not allowed to go into the stacks. Pneumatic tubes (also known as Lamson tubes) sent book requests to library staff situated in the stacks via a mechanism employing compressed air. The staff member would then locate the book and deliver it to the circulation desk.
Until the mid-1990s, access to Olin Library’s stacks was limited to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students with a stack pass. This photograph shows a library employee at a checkpoint, making sure that everyone entering the stacks had a pass.