THE FRESHMAN AND THE PRESIDENT
THOMAS A. BARNICO
ONE ANNUAL RITE of fall at Dartmouth is the search by freshmen for part-time work. And one popular site for that search is Baker Library.
On a September afternoon in 1971, James Green 1975 went to Baker looking for work. He was a bright young man from Pennsylvania, interested in music, track, astronomy, and physics. That day, he entered the Library from the Main Street side and looked around. He went upstairs, with a vague notion that he could find some help there. He walked down a long corridor, then stopped and knocked on an unmarked door. No one answered at first, and Jim began to reconsider his plan. Then the door opened. A large man--probably in his sixties, Jim thought--answered.
'Can I help you?' the man asked.
Jim told him that he was looking for a job in the Library. The man said that he might be able to help, and invited Jim into his office.
'Where are you from?' he asked.
Jim told him, and the man smiled and said that he, too, was from Pennsylvania. They talked about their home towns and Jim's plans for this time at Dartmouth.
'Now, about that job . . .' the man said. He got up from his chair and motioned Jim to follow. They went out the door, down the corridor, and into another office. The man said hello to the secretary, but did not stop. Instead, he walked directly to the door to the inner office marked 'Librarian of the College.' Jim gulped a bit when he saw the sign.
The man knocked as he opened the door to the inner office. He said hello to the Librarian, who was seated at his desk. Then he said: 'My friend here, Mr. James Green, is a freshman who would like a job at the library. Do you think that we could help him?'
'Why, yes, President Dickey, I am sure that we could,' said the Librarian.
'President?' Jim thought.
The man turned to Jim. 'Well, Mr. Green, I think that I'll leave you here.' He shook Jim's hand and said 'Good luck.' Then he left the room.
'President?' Jim asked the Librarian.
THOMAS A. BARNICO
Last Updated: 4/19/17