Getting ready: Tom Hayward and the Bates library

The card catalog used to be the first thing you saw in Ladd Library. Now, it might be Tom Hayward, reference librarian, who has been at Bates long enough, since 1976, to recall the pre-online catalog system.

Getting students up to speed on Ladd Library means teaching them the Library of Congress classification system. “Few secondary schools use Library of Congress classification, which is able to break out the universe of knowledge on a finer scale than the Dewey Decimal system,” says Hayward, who is also a lecturer in Classical and Medieval Studies.


The sheer scale of a college library is different for most students, too. “They might walk into the reference collection and figure that’s the entire library, since it’s what they are used to.”

Hayward has noticed in recent years that “the semester seems to ramp up quicker. Students hit the ground running, they are already having assignments and already doing reserve readings on the first day of classes,” he says. “Some of the early arrivals are thesis students who have great ambitions, and some are first-year students who don’t know any better!

“The beginning of the year is a great time for new starts, it’s like a New Year’s resolution, to do all your reading and not fall behind. And like a New Year’s resolution, some of the good intentions dissipate after awhile.”

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