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Sanitary considerations prompted the installation of soap dispensers throughout the building and the use of a plastic toilet soap in lieu of the cake toilet soap heretofore used. No cake toilet soap has been purchased since the above installation.
Steam foot driers have been installed in all the lavatories
used by women. These were obtained by substituting a horizontal radiator for the vertical type and placing a perforated plate above. The radiator heats the room as before and also furnishes a dryer for wet shoes and clothing. The work was done by the building employees quite inexpensively and answers the purpose perfectly.
The repairs to the copper roof covering under the appropriation of $2,000 for the fiscal year 1915 served to keep it in fairly good condition through the succeeding year, but as the deterioration is progressive an appropriation of the same amount was recommended and granted for the fiscal year 1917. This will place the roof in fair condition for another year. The continued high price of sheet copper precludes a recommendation for general roof repairs.
So far as practicable under the general appropriations, plain painting of ceilings, walls, and finish is being continued in the present year in the places most in need. A number of rooms were repainted during this year for the first time since the completion of the building. No repainting of decorative work can be attempted under the general appropriations, although the feed is becoming quite apparent.
The condition of the lighting in parts of the building referred to in the last report might be repeated. The main reading room, the branch printing office, the bindery, the map division, and parts of other divisions are insufficiently lighted, but the usual appropriation for fuel, lights, etc., can not be depleted to make the desired improvements.
CAPITAL BOOK CARRIER AND TUNNEL
The brick tunnel connecting the Library Building with the Capitol, in which is the cableway for carrying books and under which the railway tunnel on First Street was run some years ago, was badly damaged by a considerable settlement and cracking at the point of crossing. A careful survey shows a maximum settlement of 2 feet, which forms a bad sag, where water sometimes accumulates by running through the cracks in the walls. This tunnel has no drainage connections. In several instances books have been damaged in transit through the tunnel during and after heavy rains.
The settlement has also made it increasingly difficult to keep the Capitol carrier in constant operative condition, as many of the castings which support the tracks and cables have been broken.
It will now be necessary to make thorough repairs to both the carrier and tunnel for same.
UTILIZATION OF CELLAR
In the last report the necessity of fitting up parts of the cellar for library use was referred to.
It would be possible to utilize large spaces in the cellar if they are made available by lighting, ventilation, and equip
The large amount of open wood shelving in the cellar stored with inflammable material is worthy of attention.
The substitution of steel shelving and cases as soon as practicable is recommended.
It is desired to credit the Office of Public buildings and grounds War department for the advice and material assistance rendered in the upkeep of the Library grounds.
The only change in layout of grounds during the year was the planting of dowers for the first time here in two 20-icet beds in the two west courts, where it is believed a certain bareness will be relieved.
Appendix Ia. Appropriations and expenditures (tables)
II. Report of the Register of Copyrights..