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The departmental library is discussed within the context of the university as a whole. The structure of the academic library is related to the structure of the parent institution. Departmental libraries are examined as to their performance for students and faculty. Detailed crnticisms of specific shortcomings are presented, illustrated from the author's experiences. The implications of departmental libraries for the professional librarian are argued. An "ideal" central library is described. A short list of suggested readings is appended.