“The library may be compared to a vast telephone exchange by means of which the mind of the student can be put in communication with other minds. The catalogue corresponds to the telephone book. The student finds in it the call number of the person with whom he wishes to be connected. The attendant at the Delivery Desk corresponds to “Central” by making the connection, and if a book is already out the line is “busy”. If the library is small, the opportunities of the student is small. The larger the number of volumes the greater is the student’s chance of getting in touch with other people who have something to say worth hearing. The Library is also like a long distance telephone system, for it enables the student to listen to thinkers and writers in practically every country of the world. The Library, however, has a great advantage over the ordinary long-distance exchange, because it can put the student in touch with great minds of other centuries as well. It is, therefore, not merely a system of communication in the present but also in the historical past.”
Dr. G. R. Lomer, University Librarian. The University Library. 1922 Old McGill Yearbook. Page 117.