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ON FEBRUARY 1. 1918. 

WILLIAM F. KENNEY. President. 

Term expires April 30, 1921. 


Term expires April 30, 1918. Term expires April 30, 1920. 


Term expires April 30, 1919. Term expires April 30, 1922. 



The Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 
organized in 1 852, are now incorporated under the provisions of 
Chapter 1 1 4, of the Acts of 1 878, as amended. The Board for 
1852 was a preHminary organization; that for 1853 made the 
first annual report. At first the Board consisted of one alder- 
man and one common councilman and five citizens at large, until 
1 867, when a revised ordinance made it to consist of one alder- 
man, two common councilmen and six citizens at large, two of 
whom retired, unless re-elected, each year, while the members 
from the City Council were elected yearly. In 1 878 the organi- 
zation of the Board was changed to include one alderman, one 
councilman, and five citizens at large, as before 1867; and in 
1885, by the provisions of the amended city charter, the repre- 
sentation of the City Government upon the Board by an alder- 
man and a councilman was abolished, leaving the Board as at 
present, consisting of five citizens at large, appointed by the 
Mayor, for five-year terms, the term of one member expiring 
each year. The following citizens at large have been members 
of the Board since its organization in 1 852 : 

Abbott, Samuel Appleton Browne, a.m., 1879-95. 

Appleton, Thomas Gold, a.m., 1852-56. 

Benton, Josiah Henry, ll.d., 1894-1917. 

Bigelow, John Prescott, a.m., 1852-68. 

BowDiTCH, Henry Ingersoll, m.d-, 1 865-67. 

BowDiTCH, Henry Pickering, m.d., 1894-1902. 

BoYLE, Thomas Francis, 1902-12. 

Bfiaman, Jarvis Dwight, 1869-72. 

Brett, John Andrew, 1912-16. 

Carr, Samuel, 1895-96, 1908- 

Chase, George Bigelow, a.m., 1876-85. 

Clarke, James Freeman, d.d., 1879-88. 

CoAKLEY, Daniel Henry, 1917- 

CoNNOLLY, Arthur Thomas, 1916- 

Curtis, Daniel Sargent, a.m., 1873-75. 

De Normandie, James, d.d., 1895-1908. 

Dwight, Thomas, m.d., 1899-1908. 

Everett, Edward, ll.d., 1852-64. 

Frothingham, Rich.^rd, ll.d., 1875-79. 

Green, Samuel Abbott, m.d., 1868-78. 

Greenough, William Whitwell, 1856-88. 

Haynes, Henry Williamson, a.m., 1880-94. 

Hillard, George Stillman, ll.d., 1872-75; 76-77. 

Kenney, William Francis, a.m., 1908- 

Lewis, Weston, 1868-79. 

Lewis, Winslow, m.d., 1867. 

Lincoln, Solomon, a.m., 1897-1907. 

Mann, Alexander, d.d., 1908- 

MoRTON, Ellis Wesley, 1870-73. 

Pierce. Phineas, 1888-94. ,Qoonn 

Prince, Frederick Octavius, a.m., 1888-99. 

Putnam, George, D.D., 1868-77. 

Richards, William Reuben, a.m., 1oo9-95. 

Shurtleff, Nathaniel Bradstreet, 1852-68. 

Thomas, Benjamin Franklin, ll.d., 1877-78. 

Ticknor, George, ll.d., 1852-66. 

Walker, Francis Amasa, ll.d.. 1896. 

Whipple, Edwin Percy, a.m., 1867-70. 

Whitmore, William Henry, a.m., 1885-88. 

WiNsoR, Justin, ll.d., 1867-68. r i id i 

The Hon. Edward Everett was President ot the board 
from 1 852 to 1 864 ; George Ticknor, in 1 865 ; William W. 
Greenough, from 1866 to April, 1888; Prof. Henry W. 
Haynes, from May 7, 1888, to May 12, 1888; Samuel a. 
B Abbott, May 12, 1888, to April 30, 1895; Hon. F O. 
Prince, October 8, 1895, to May 8, 1899; Solomon Lin- 
coln, May 12, 1899, to October 15, 1907; Rev. James De 
NORMANDIE, January 31, 1908, to May 8, 1 908 ; JosiAH H. 
Benton, May 8. 1908, to February 6, 1917; William t. 
Kenney, since February 13, 1917. 


(From 1858 to 1877, the chief executive officer was entitled Superintendent.) 

Capen, Edward, Librarian, May 13. 1852 - December 16 1874. 

JEWETT, Charles C, SuperirMendenU 1 858 - January 9.1 868 

WiNSOR, Justin, ll.d.. Superintendent, February 25. 1 8btt - Septem- 
ber 30. 1877. ^ . .., . ^ . , 

Green Samuel A., m.d., Trustee, Acting Librarian, October I, 
1877 -September 30. 1878. , , q7q c . 

Chamberlain. Mellen. ll.d.. Librarian, October 1, 1878-beptem- 

DwiCHT,' Ih'e ODORE P., Librarian, April 1 3, 1 892 - April 30. 1 894. 
Putnam, Herbert, ll.d.. Librarian, February 11, IBV:? - Apni :>u, 

Whitney, James L., a.m.. Acting Lfferanan, March 3 1 . 1 899 - Decem- 
ber21, 1899; L.-fcranan, December 22. 1899 - January 31 . 1903. 

Wadlin. Horace G., litt.d.. Librarian, February 1, '9"^-,^^'^^^ 
15, 1917; Acting Librarian, March 15, 1917- June 5, 191/. 

Belden, Charles F. D., ll.b.. Librarian, smce March lU, ivi /• 


■fCenlral Library, Copley Sq. 
fEasl Boston Branch, 216-2^2 Meridian St. 
§South Boston Branch, 372 Broadway 
IIRoxbury Branch, 46 Millmont St. 
tCharlestown Branch, Monument Sq. . 
tBrighton Branch, Academy Hill Rd. . 
$Dorchester Branch, Arcadia, cor. Adams St, 
§South End Branch, 397 Shawmut Ave. 
tJamaica Plain Branch, Sedgwick, cor. South St 
JWest Roxbury Branch, Centre, near Mt. Vernon St. . 
JCodman Square Branch, Washington, cor. Norfolk St. 
■fWest End Branch, Cambridge, cor. Lynde St. 
JUpham's Corner Branch, Columbia Rd., cor. Bird St. 
■fHyde Park Branch, Harvard Ave., cor. Winthrop St. . 
tNorth End Branch, 3a North Bennet St. . 
§SlationA. Lower Mills Reading Room, Washington St. 
§ " B. Roslindale Reading Room, Washington St., cor 
land St 

Mattapan Reading Room, 727 Walk Hill St. 

Neponset Reading Room, 362 Neponsel Ave. 

Mt. Bowdoin Reading Room, Washington, cor. 

Allston Reading Room, 6 Harvard Ave. . 

Mt. Pleasant Reading Room, Vine, cor. Dudley St. 

Tyler Street Reading Room, Tyler, co). Oak St 

Warren Street Reading Room, 392 Warren St 

Roxbury Crossing Reading Room, 1 1 54 Treemont St 

Boylston Station Reading Room, The Lamartine, De- 
pot Sq. ....... 

Andrew Squaie Reading Room, 396 Dorchester St. 

Orient Heights Reading Room, 1030 Benniugton St 
23. City Point Reading Room, Municipal Bldg., Broadway 

Parker Hill Reading Room, 1518 Tremont St. 

Faneuil Reading Room, 100 Brooks St. 

§ • 


§ * 


§ • 

' F. 

§ • 

• G. 

t ' 

* N. 

% ' 

• P. 

§ ■ 

* R. 

§ ' 

* S. 

§ ' 

' T. 

§ * 

• Y. 

§ * 

• Z. 

t ' 

• 23 

§ ' 

• 24 

t ' 

' 25 




May 2, 1854 

Jan. 28, 1871 

May I, 1872 

July. 1873 

*Jan., 1874 

*Jan.. 1874 

Jan. 25. 1874 

Aug.. 1877 



6, 1880 
1. 1914 
1, 1896 

Mar. 16, 1896 

*Jan. 1. 1912 

Feb. 27. 1913 

June 7. 1875 

Dec. 3. 1878 
Dec. 27. 1881 
Jan. 1. 1883 

Nov. 1. 1886 

Mar. 11. 1889 

Apr. 29, 1892 

Jan. 16, 1896 

May 1, 1896 

Jan. 18, 1897 

Nov. 1, 1897 

Mar. 5, 1914 

June 25, 1901 

July 18, 1906 

July 15. 1907 

Mar. 4, 1914 

If In the case of the Central Library and some of the branches and stations the opening 
was in a different location from that now occupied. * As a branch. t I" building 
owned by City, and exclusively devoted to library uses. J In City building, in part 
devoted to other municipal uses. § Occupies rented rooms. II The lessee of the 
Fellowes Athenaeum, a private library association. 


Report of the Trustees . 

Balance Sheet 
Report of the Examining Committee 
Report of the Librarian . 
Index to the Annual Report 1917-1918 




Central Library Building 
Map of the Library System 

At the end 

To His Honor Andrew J. Peters, 

Mayor of the City of Boston: 

Sir, — The Board of Trustees of the Public Library of the 
City of Boston present the following report of its condition and 
affairs for the year ending January 31, 1918, being their sixty- 
sixth annual report. 


The Board organized on May 11, 1917, by the election of 
William F. Kenney as President, Samuel Carr, Vice President, 
and Delia Jean Deery, Clerk. 

Josiah H. Benton, President of the Board, died on February 
6, 1917, and at a special meeting on February 13, William F. 
Kenney was elected President and Samuel Carr, Vice President 
for the remainder of the year. To the vacancy on the Board 
the Mayor appointed, on February 12, Daniel H. Coakley 
for the term ending April 30, 1919. Rev. Arthur T. Connolly 
was reappointed for the term ending April 30, 1 922. 


The receipts of the Library are of two classes: First, those 
which are to be expended by the Trustees in the maintenance of 
the Library. They consist of the annual appropriation by the 
City Council, and the income from Trust Funds, given to the 
Trustees but invested by the City Treasurer under the direction 
of the Finance Committee of the City. During the past year 
these receipts were as follows : 

Annual appropriation $424,476.09 

Income from Trust Funds ......... 21,627.10 

Unexpended balance of Trust Fund income of previous years . . 43,010.42 

Total $489,113.61 


Second, receipts which are accounted for and paid into the 
City Treasury for general municipal purposes. These receipts 
during the year have been as follows : 

From fines $7,264.59 

From sales of catalogues, etc. . ........ 71.12 

From commission on telephone stations 321.99 

From sale of waste paper . . . . . . . . ■ . 387.83 

From sale of paper towels ......... 35.04 

From interest on bank deposit ........ 19.83 

From payments for lost books ........ 637.43 

From money found in the Library .... ... 4.81 

Total $8,742.64 

A balance sheet showing all the receipts and expenditures of 
the Library Department in detail is appended. 


Mr. Benton had been a member of the Board since 1894, 
and President since May 8, 1 908. Twenty-three years of con- 
tinuous and conspicuous service to this institution exceeding that 
of any other trustee, with one exception, since the Library was 
organized in 1852, is noteworthy in the annals of our city. He 
always gave freely of his active life as a member of the Board, 
and during the past ten years he devoted practically all of his 
time and great ability to the duties of President. The employees 
of the Library had a firm friend in Mr. Benton, and the welfare 
of the children who frequented it was ever dear to his heart. A 
brief biography of Mr. Benton is appended: 

Josiah Henry Benton was born in Addison, Vt., on August 4, 1843, 
the son of Josiah H. and Martha Ellen (Danforth) Benton. He at- 
tended the Literary and Scientific Institute at New London, N. H., and 
studied law at the Albany Law School, which gave him his LL.B. degree 
in 1866. From Dartmouth he received an A.M. degree in 1869, and 
one of LL.D. from Norwich University in 1908. At the age of nine- 
teen he became a private in Company H of the Twelfth Vermont Volun- 
teers, serving from August, 1862, until July, 1863, in the Civil War. 

He was admitted to the bar in 1 866, and began to practice at Bradford, 
Vt, going from that place to Lancaster, N. H., where he remained until 
1873. In 1869 and 1870 he was private secretary to the Governor of 
New Hampshire, and in 1870 and in 1872 he was clerk of the House 
of Representatives. 


Mr. Benton came to Boston in 1873 and since then had lived in this 
city. He built up an extensive law^ practice, having been general counsel 
for the Old Colony Railroad and Steamboat Companies and later for the 
New Haven interests, and he had been a director and counsel for the 
Northern Railroad of New Hampshire, and in these capacities had been 
engaged in many notable cases of litigation. He lectured on corporations 
and railroads at Boston University Law School from the early nineties 
until 1906. 


Upon the death of Mr. Benton, the Trustees adopted the 
following resolutions: 

The Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston are con- 
scious that in the death of Mr. Josiah H. Benton the Library has sustained 
no ordinary loss. 

Mr. Benton was a Trustee of the Library for twenty years, and for 
nearly nine years he was the President of the Board. It is not, however, 
the length of his term of office which has chiefly impressed us. It is the 
character and ability of the man. Born in Addison, Vermont, August 
4th, 1843, Mr. Benton died in Boston, February 6th, 1917. A Union 
soldier in the Civil War, his whole life was marked by a sturdy Ameri- 
canism, and by an outspoken loyalty to Republican institutions. 

By far the greater part of his Hfe was passed in Boston, and it was 
here that he achieved remarkable success in his profession, and was ranked 
as one of the most brilliant legal minds of his day. 

But Boston to him was much more than a place which had afforded 
him an opportunity to make money and to acquire distinction. Its past 
as well as its present appealed to him, and no man perhaps was more 
familiar with its early history, as his book upon the "Old Town House" 
abundantly shows. 

Of all his civic interests the Public Library stood easily first. He 
ranked it high among the educational forces of the community, and he 
gave to its service all the powers of a highly trained mind, and all the 
practical ability in dealing with men which had marked his career as a 
great lawyer. It is not too much to say that to his wise policy, and his 
untiring efforts the growth of the Library and its increasing service to the 
citizens in recent years are chiefly due. 

And now since his death has come his great gift to the Library, the 
largest in all its history, testifying at once to his devotion to the Library 
and to his confidence in the integrity of popular government. 

So in the light of his long years of service to the Library and of his 
generous provision for its future, Mr. Benton stands out in its history as its 
ablest President and its greatest benefactor. 

We cannot conclude this record without a word concerning our own 
personal relations with Mr. Benton. 


Not only did he impress us all by his knowledge of the Library and its 
needs, and by the practical wisdom of his policy, but we were drawn to 
him by his fairness and his kindness of heart. It is not too much to say 
that his associates on the Board mourn his death not merely as a loss to the 
city of a singularly able public servant, but as a personal sorrow. 

Resolved, that this Minute be placed upon the Records of the Board 
of Trustees. 

His Honor Mayor James M. Curley paid the following tribute 
to Mr. Benton: 

The City of Boston, in the death of Josiah H. Benton, loses the services 
of a highly intelligent, faithful and courageous public official. 

His labors for Boston as chairman of the Library Trustees have been 
of that unselfish character that cannot be purchased at any price and whose 
benefit will be even better appreciated with the lapse of time. 

He possessed that quahty so necessary and yet so often lacking in a 
department head, the courage to do what he believed was right, regardless 
of consequences, and as a result of this qualification, the Library Depart- 
ment, under his administration, has been more efficiently managed than a 
majority of private enterprises. 

That the Boston Public Library should be the best of its size in America 
was a consuming life ambition with him, and that it is such is due to his 
splendid efforts. 

As Mayor of the city, I share with his immediate family and the public 
at large the loss of a citizen whom it was an honor to know intimately as a 

In recognition of his true worth and great service I have ordered the 
flags to be placed at half-mast on the day the funeral services are to be held. 


The following are extracts from Mr. Benton's will which 
relate to the Library: 

* * * ^y collection of prayer books and other Hturgical books, and 
books printed by Baskerville, which I hereby give to the TRUSTEES OF 
THE Public Library of the City of Boston. 

Eleventh: I give to the TRUSTEES OF THE Public Library of 

THE City of Boston one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to be 
held as "The Children's Fund", and the income applied to the 
purchase of books for the use of the young. 

And that it may always be known whether the income of this Fund 
is applied to the purchase of books for the use of the young I DIRECT that 
the provisions of this will giving the Fund for that purpose be printed as a 
part of a library plate and placed in the front of each book purchased from 
said income before it is issued or permitted to be used. 


Twelfth : All the rest and residue of my property and estate I give and 
devise to ARTHUR F. Clarke, of Brookline, and HoRACE G. Wadlin, 
of Reading, IN TRUST, to hold, manage, invest, and reinvest, and to apply 
as follows: 

2. Upon the death of my said wife to pay all of said residue and 
remainder of my estate then remaining, and all interest and accumulations 
thereon, to the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, to 
be held, managed, invested and reinvested in obligations of any of the New 
England States or the States of New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, 
Iowa or Minnesota ; and I DIRECT that the same be held and used in the 
manner following, that is to say : — 

First: — One-half of the net income of such residue and remainder to 
be applied by the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston 
for the purchase of books, maps and other library material of permanent 
value and benefit for said library ; meaning and intending hereby that such 
income shall be applied for books desirable for scholarly research and use. 

Second: — To hold the other one-half of said residue and remainder 
as an accumulating fund, the income and interest to be added to the prin- 
cipal and reinvested as principal, until the total amount thereof shall be two 
million dollars ($2,000,000) and then I direct such total sum of two 
million dollars ($2,000,000) to be applied to the enlargement of the 
present central library building in Boston, or to the construction of another 
central library building in such part of the City as may be then most 
desirable for the accommodation of the people of said City; such new 
building to be constructed under the advice of the Librarian of the Library 
at that time in such manner as may be most desirable for efficient practical 
working of a hbrary therein. 

It is my desire that the income of the one hundred thousand dollars 
($100,000) given by the Eleventh Clause of my will for the "CHIL- 
DREN'S Fund", and the income given by the Twelfth Clause of my will 
for the purchase of books, maps and other library material of permanent 
value and benefit, shall be in addition to the sums appropriated by the 
City for the maintenance of the Boston Public Library, and that the same 
shall not be taken into account in any appropriation by the City for that 

I, therefore, hereby provide that such income of the one hundred 
thousand dollars ($100,000) given by the Eleventh Clause of my will, 
and such income as is given by the Twelfth Clause of my will for the 
purchase of books, maps, and other library material, shall be applied for 
those purposes only in years when the City appropriates for the maintenance 
of the Boston Public Library at least three per cent (3%) of the amount 
available for department expenses from taxes and income in said City. 

In any year when the City does not thus appropriate at least three 
per cent (3%) of the amount available for department expenses from 


taxes and income in said City, the income given in said will for the pur- 
chase of books shall be paid to the Rector of Trinity Church in the City of 
Boston to be by him dispensed in reHeving the necessities of the poor. 

The bequests in this will to the Trustees of the Public Library of the 
City of Boston are to be paid to them only when they are competent to 
hold them for the purposes, and in the manner specified in said will ; and in 
the meantime until they are made so competent, the Trustees named in 
said will are to apply one-half of the net income of said residue and re- 
mainder for the uses and purposes in this will specified. 

I REQUEST the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston 
to publish in their annual reports a detailed statement of the payments of 
the net income of the first one-half of the residue hereinabove provided 
to be expended for books, maps and other library material, and also a 
statement of the investments in and accumulations of the second one-half 
of said residue and remainder hereinabove provided to be accumulated, 
and a certificate that said income is expended and said fund accumulated 
in accordance with the directions of said will, according to their best exami- 
nation and judgment in the premises. 


TTie Board of Trustees in making their estimates for 1918-19 
have taken into consideration, besides other important matters, 
the expectation that the City will appropriate for the Library 
Department at least 3 per cent of the amount available for City 
departments directly under the control of the Mayor and City 

The Trustees have asked for $570,096 for 1 91 8-1 9. While 
they have no means of knowing just what sums the other depart- 
ments have asked for, and certainly cannot tell what ultimate 
apportionment will be allowed to the Library Department, they 
feel justified, in view of all the facts and conditions, in asking for 
a sum which will permit the Library to enjoy, beginning this 
year, the income from a portion of the Benton bequest. 


The Benton collection of editions of the Book of Common 
Prayer and books connected with its origin and growth com- 
prises all the important editions of that liturgy, from its first issue 
March 7, 1549, to the In Memoriam Edward VII edition, of 


The earliest documents in the collection are a set of rare 
Prymers, ranging from 1526 A.D. to 1557 A.D., and preparing, 
in the gradual replacement of the original Latin by the vernacular 
English, the way for the complete liturgy in English. The 
religious settlement under Queen Elizabeth, King James I, and 
Charles II, is exemplified by some of the finest editions printed 
in England, Scotland and Ireland. 

The missionary activities of the Church of England called 
forth the many translations incorporated in this collection, while 
exigencies of a political, social or domestic nature have given 
rise to the hundreds of special forms of prayer and to the State 
prayers, which may here be found. 

Along with the liturgy of the Church of England the collec- 
tion contains liturgical monuments of the Church of Ireland, 
the Church in Scotland, and the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in the United States of America. The Nonjurors' liturgy 
and devotional literature, the Book of Common Order of the 
Puritan Church of Scotland, and the Directory of the Common- 
wealth, together with much additional literature illustrating these 
periods, are added for the sake of completeness. 

The Collection of Books of Common Prayer and books on 
the same (bound volumes and pamphlets unbound) consists of 
564 volumes, and the Baskerville editions, not including the 
Books of Common Prayer printed by Baskerville, but several 
books on Baskerville, number 57 volumes. 


On January 26, 1917, the Trustees elected Charles F. D. 
Belden, Librarian to succeed Horace G. Wadlin, who had re- 
signed on December 22, 1916, after fourteen years' service. 
Mr. Belden's appointment dated from March 15. He was 
given a leave of absence for three months, and did not assume 
the duties of the position until June 1 5. 

Mr. Belden after graduation from the Harvard Law School, 
served as secretary to the law faculty at Harvard, and as assistant 
librarian of the Harvard Law School Library from 1898 to 
1908, when he became librarian of the Social Law Library in 
Boston. In June, 1909, he was appointed State Librarian of 


Massachusetts a position which he held at the time of his appoint- 
ment as librarian of the Boston Public Library, Mr. Belden 
has been chairman of the Free Public Library Commission of 
Massachusetts since 1 909. 

Mr. Belden has taken hold of his duties with enthusiasm and 
firmness and has already shown administrative qualities of high 


The Trustees have received during the past year requests for 
new reading-rooms as follows : From the Harvard Improvement 
Association of Ward 1 9, Dorchester ; and from the Community 
Improvement Association of Ward 20, Dorchester. Renewals 
of requests previously made have been filed by the residents of 
the Forest Hills section and also of the Mount Hope section. 
It has not been the policy of the Board to promote the settle- 
ment of any particular locality by the establishment of a new 
reading-room in advance of its actual need. The Trustees 
realize, however, the importance of the reading-room as the 
nearest library agency to the public. The opening of a new 
reading-room involves an initial cost of about $3,500 which 
is provided by a special appropriation of the City Council on 
recommendation of the Mayor. Once the reading-room is estab- 
lished it becomes a part of the regular library system and its 
maintenance must be provided for in the annual estimates of the 
Trustees. Careful consideration is given to the requests for 
increased service of this character. 


The Trustees urge an appropriation to establish a business 
men's branch of the Public Library in the down town district, 
just as soon as the condition of the City's finances will permit the 
addition of this important department to the library's activities. 


The Roslindale Reading Room, which now occupies rented 
quarters in an old and shabby building, will be moved before 
long into the new Municipal Building on the corner of Washing- 


ton and Ashland Streets, just across the street from the present 
location. The new building contains an assembly hall, ward 
room, gymnasium and a library room with a separate entrance 
on Washington Street. The reading room is fifty-six feet long 
by forty-seven feet wide and is divided by a low book case into 
an adults' room and a children's room. 

The children's room has a seating capacity of about sixty and 
the room for adults, forty. The furniture will be new and of 
the best library type. There will be shelf room for over 8,000 
volumes. The new quarters are attractively finished and well 
lighted. The date of moving depends upon the acceptance of 
the building by the Public Buildings Department and the arrival 
of the furniture. 


There is need of new library buildings at South Boston and 
West Roxbury. The Trustees have called attention to the 
conditions existing in these localities in previous reports. 


During the year 43,330 volumes have been added to the 
Library collection, as compared with 43,574 added in 1916. 
Of these, 30,912 were purchased, 9,205 were given to the 
Library, and the remainder were received by exchange, binding 
of periodicals into volumes, etc. There were purchased for 
the Central Library 16,473 volumes and 14,439 for the branch 
libraries and reading-room stations. 

The total amount expended for books, including $6,326.69 
for periodicals, $1,962.03 for newspapers, and $444.25 for 
photographs and lantern slides, was $50,193.50. TTie cor- 
responding expenditure for the year 1916 was $46,381.56, in- 
cluding $6,656.53 for periodicals, $1,805.73 for newspapers, 
and $962.80 for photographs. 

The average cost of all books purchased was $1.34 per vol- 
ume, as against $ 1 .2 1 in 1 9 1 6. Of the books purchased 24,5 1 
were bought from money appropriated by the City, at an average 
cost of $0.97 a volume, and 6,402 were bought with the income 


of Trust Funds, at an average cost of $2.74 a volume. The 
corresponding figures for 1916 were : bought from City appro- 
priation, 26,426; average cost $1.01. From Trust Funds in- 
come, 3,928; average cost $2.70. 


The Trustees continue to cooperate with the educational work 
of the schools, and during the past year the Library has supplied 
with books 30 branches and reading-room stations, 1 79 public 
and parochial schools, 60 engine houses and 39 other institutions, 
and sent out, upon the average, from the Central Library, about 
400 volumes every day by its delivery wagons. The number of 
volumes sent on deposit from the Central Library through the 
branch system was 54,126, of which 1 1 ,843 were sent to schools. 
There were also sent from the branches themselves and from two 
of the largest reading-room stations 58,722 volumes on deposit, 
distributed among 221 places. Of these, 26,064 were sent to 
schools. That is to say, not only is the collection of the Central 
Library used as a reservoir from which books may be drawn for 
use in the branches and reading-room stations, but each of the 
branches and reading-room stations is in itself a reservoir from 
which books are drawn for use by teachers in schools in the imme- 
diate vicinity. 


The addition to the Central Library building on Blagden 
Street is nearly completed and partly occupied and is a suitable, 
well-arranged, well-lighted structure. Heat and power are to 
be transmitted to the main building, thus doing away with the 
menace to the paintings and beautiful marbles that existed for 
years from the boilers placed in the main building. 

Ample room has been provided in this addition for the Deposit 
Collection from which books are sent to the various branches, 
reading-rooms and deposit stations of the Library. Enlarged 
space and proper equipment for the handling of the large business 
of the branches will make more effective the service rendered 
to the public through this important department. Additional 


stack room provided in this new building will relieve the Fine 
Arts Department and afford it an opportunity to carry out much 
needed improvements. The new stacks will accommodate about 
450,000 volumes. 

The Printing and Binding Departments have ample, well- 
lighted quarters on the top floor of the building, and greater 
economy and efficiency will come as a result of bringing these 
departments into closer affiliation with the Central Library. 


During the year 44,721 volumes have been bound in the 
Bindery, as against 4 1 ,863 in 1916. Beside this, a large amount 
of miscellaneous work has been completed, such as the folding, 
stitching and trimming of 1 67,935 library publications, compared 
with 164,973 in 1916, and the mounting of maps and photo- 
graphs, the repairing of books, and making of periodical covers, 
etc. The expense of performing this necessary miscellaneous 
work is equivalent to about 1 7 per cent of the total expense of 
the Department. The ability to do it promptly in our own 
Bindery, greatly promotes the convenience, economy and effi- 
ciency of the library work. 


On September 10, 191 7, the Trustees held a special meeting 
for the purpose of taking action regarding the proposed cam- 
paign to raise one million dollars to establish and equip libraries 
for American soldiers and sailors at home and abroad. The 
following resolutions were adopted : 

Resolved, that the welfare of American soldiers and sailors during 
their leisure hours is closely related and but little subordinate to their 
military efficiency at all times. 

Resolved, that the work of providing and circulating suitable reading- 
matter among our soldiers and sailors both at home and abroad is particu- 
larly appropriate for all friends of books and of fighting men, and that the 
assumption of this work by the American Library Association at the 
request of the Secretary of War and the appointment of a National War 
Council to commend this undertaking to the public are assurance that a 
high purpose will be effectively carried out. 


Resolved, that this special meeting of the Trustees of the Public 
Library of the City of Boston called by their President, Mr. William F. 
Kenney, approves the plans of the American Library Association for 
securing donations of suitable reading matter and not less than one million 
dollars in money contributions. 

Resolved, that the Trustees of this Library pledge the institution 
to bring before the public both the need of donations and the readiness of 
the Library to receive and apply them suitably. 

Resolved, that the Chairman of the meeting forthw^ith appoint a 
committee to organize and effect the raising of municipal Boston's pro- 
portion of the said sum which means not less than $50,000. 

A local War Library Committee was appointed with the 
President of the Board as its chairman. The services of Mr. 
James D. Henderson were graciously given as its Campaign Di- 
rector, with the result that Boston raised the sum of $58,37 L2 7, 
an amount not only in excess of the city's quota, but larger than 
that raised by any other city of its size in the country. 


The visit of the French Mission aux Etats-Unis in the spring 
of 1917 was an event not only of national and civic importance, 
but happily gave this institution an opportunity to express its 
gratitude for the service rendered nearly eighty years ago by 
a citizen of France in laying the earliest foundation of this 

On April 29, 1917, the Trustees addressed a letter to His 
Honor the Mayor calling attention to the fact that the presence 
in the United States as the guests of the Nation of the distin- 
guished delegation of French diplomats and officers, headed by 
the former premier, Rene Viviani, and Marshal Joseph Joffre 
reminded us that Boston was deeply indebted to an honored 
son of France, Alexander Vattemare, for the initial idea re- 
sponsible for the establishment of the Boston Public Library, 
the first great institution of its kind in the United States. 

Marshal Joffre arrived in Boston on Saturday, May 13, and 
was presented with an illuminated address and a gold casket 
containing a parchment bestowing on the fatherless children of 
France the gift of $1 75,000. 



On Sunday morning M. Viviani arrived at 8.30 from Mont- 
real, and was accorded a reception at the Public Library, which 
began shortly before two o'clock. On each side of the staircase 
was a detail of Regulars from Fort Warren. Above in the Chil- 
dren's Room, the Union beige, headed by Modeste Alloo of the 
Boston Symphony Orchestra, played Belgian airs at intervals 
during the ceremony. On the same floor were the chairmen 
of twenty committees of various organizations for French and 
Allied Relief, and other guests including Ex-Senator Crane, 
Major H. L. Higginson, Hon. Andrew J. Peters, Assistant 
Secretary of the Treasury, Ex-Mayor Josiah Quincy, grand- 
son of the mayor who had welcomed Vattemare, Justice Loring 
of the Supreme Court, and members of the families of the Li- 
brary Trustees. As the visitors entered the building, greeted by 
the Marseillaise, they passed beneath the following inscription 
which had been placed across the fagade: 






The Trustees of the Public Library were introduced to 
M. Viviani and his suite. Then followed introductions to the 
chairmen of the French relief organizations in line, extending 
from the north end of the corridor of the second floor into 
and around the Delivery Room. His Honor the Mayor 
opened the brief ceremonies by paying tribute to the Public 
Library, and then introduced the President of the Trustees who 
spoke of the debt Bostonians owe the Parisian, Alexandre 
Vattemare, whose gift of books, together with the gift of fifty 
books from the City of Paris, may be regarded as the first step 
toward the foundation of the Boston Public Library. 


The President of the Trustees then presented Governor 
McCall who in turn introduced M. Viviani amidst great en- 


After expressing his regret at the delay which prevented his 
arrival in Boston in the company of Marshal Joffre, M. Viviani 
said, speaking in French : 

I wish I could find suitable words to express our emotion and our common 
gratitude for all that has been accomplished in the City of Boston, a centre 
of intelligence and beauty, a city where everything has a spiritual founda- 
tion. In this sacred hbrary we have the joy of knowing that all which 
is best in modern and ancient books is to be found ; and that the splendor 
of antique beauty is added to all the grace of modern beauty. It is in 
these wonderful surroundings that you have been kind enough to receive 
me; and from the very moment of my arrival, even before I passed, full 
of emotion and gratitude, before the memorable committees that have 
heaped so many good deeds upon our wounded and upon our orphans, 
it seemed to me that I beheld the radiance of French genius in these won- 
derful frescoes which our great painter, Puvis de Chavannes, sent to your 
City, and which in no way diminish the merits of the decorations of your 
great painter, Sargent, a native of Boston, who studied art in Europe. 

The illustrious population in which I find myself today, live for thought, 
and in thought, and it was natural that it should be drawn nearer to 
France. And not alone for that reason, but also because it has remem- 
bered ever the lesson of duty that was given to it by its Puritan fore- 
fathers. It was not unmindful that it was from Boston that came the 
first wave of liberty which burst, not only on America, but on the whole 
of Europe, in 1776, at a time when our philosophers, by their writings, 
were merely preparing the way for the French Revolution. It is in this 
City, where by a moving contrast, power, intellect and refinement meet: 
in this City which thinks it is not enough for a man to attend to his business 
and then go home, but that men and women have only fulfilled their 
missions when through unremitting study they have sought to raise their 
consciences and actions to a higher level. 

The close of this speech, in the course of which M. Viviani 
placed his hand with emotion on the shoulder of the Marquis de 
Chambrun, great grandson of La Fayette, who stood beside him, 
was an eloquent appeal for the support in both countries of our 
common democracy. When he had finished Master Charles 
Henry Leland, the grandson of Mr. Samuel Carr, Vice-Presi- 
dent of the Board of Trustees, presented M. Viviani with a 
set of resolutions, enclosed in a gold box, expressing sympathy 
with the French nation in its struggle for the preservation of 
democratic liberty. M. Viviani made a brief reply and kissed 
the lad on both cheeks. 



The Trust Funds, that is, property given to the Trustees in 
trust for the uses of the Library amount to $539,707.01 . They 
are by law required to be invested by the City Treasurer under 
the direction of the Finance Committee of the City. 

A detailed statement of these funds, and the income therefrom, 
is contained in the report of the City Auditor, but a condensed 
statement of them is as follows : 




$ 10,000.00 

Bates . 




1 ,000.00 

Billings . 







Center . 






Cutler . 





Will) . 


Ford . 






Green . 



Charlotte Harris . 


Thomas B. 

Harris . 


Hyde . 



Knapp . 



Abbott Lawrence . 


Edward Lawrence . 





For the purchase of valuable and rare editions of the 

writings, either in verse or prose, of American and 

of foreign authors, "to be known as the Longfellow 

Memorial Collection." 

To buy "books of permanent value." 

Purchase of books. 

For the purchase of books. 

For "the purchase of books of permanent value and 

authority in mathematics and astronomy," to be 

added to the Bowditch Collection. 



For the purchase of books. 

For the purchase of books upon landscape gardening. 

For the purchase of books and for binding for the 

Abram E. Cutter Collection. 

For the purchase of books of "permanent value and 



Books of permanent value, preferably books on 

government and political economy. 

Books relating to American history. 

Books for Charlestown Branch, published before 


For benefit of the Charlestown Branch. 


For the purchase of books. 

Books having a permanent value. 

' To hold and apply the income and so much of the 

principal as they [the Trustees] may choose to the 

purchase of special books of reference to be kept 

and used only at the Charlestown Branch of said 

Public Library." 

For the purchase of old and rare books to be added 
to the John A. Lewis library. 

Carried forward $294,537.55 


Brought forroarJ $294,537.55 

i-.oring . . 
Mead . 






Pierce . 


Scholfield . 


Skinner . 


Soulh Boston . 




Todd . 






Tufts . 


Twentieth Regiment 


Whitney, Alice 



Whitney, James 



Wilson . 




Memorial Fund, from the income of which books 
are to be bought for the West End Branch. 

From the Papyrus Club for the purchase of books 
as a memorial of John Boyle O'Reilly. 
"To the maintenance of a free public library." 
"Purchase of books." 

"Books of permanent value for the Bates Hall." 
To be used for books of permanent value. 

For benefit of the South Boston Branch. 
Books in Spanish and Portuguese, five years old in 
some one edition. 

The income to be expended annually for current 
newspapers of this and other countries. 
Books five years old in some one edition. 

For the benefit of Charletown Branch. 
"For the purchase of books of a military and pa- 
triotic character, to be placed in the alcove appro- 
priated as a Memorial of the Twentieth Regiment." 
For the benefit of sick and needy employees and 
the purchase of books. 
For books and manuscripts. 
For the purchase of books. 


The Library, in common with all consumers of fuel, has suf- 
fered from the shortage of coal this winter, and the situation 
shows no indication of improvement. In compliance with the re- 
quest of the United States Fuel Commissioner for this district, 
the Trustees have closed the branch libraries and reading-rooms 
except for two hours each day to allow the collection and de- 
livery of books for home reading. The Sunday service in the 
branches has been suspended but the Central Library is open 
during its regular hours on week days and Sundays. 

The coal supply is sufficient only for daily needs, and unless 
conditions improve the public is likely to be even further re- 
stricted in the use of this institution. 

During the unprecedented cold weather at the beginning of 
the year the Library and branches and reading-rooms rendered 


a distinct service to the community by providing comfortable, 
well-lighted rooms where children and adults were sheltered, 
and at the same time could profitably occupy their time. 

Public libraries should be closed only as an emergency meas- 
ure. The problem is one that has more than local significance. 
The libraries of this country are doing work for the nation, some 
of which is officially recognized and much of which is necessarily 
unknown. If factories, business houses and shops of all kinds 
are closed earlier than usual, the people will have more leisure, 
enforced though it may be, to read and it will furnish a good 
opportunity for many of them to get acquainted with the Public 
Library and its wonderful collections and advantages. 

The Trustees are in complete sympathy and accord with the 
Fuel Commission in its efforts to conserve the resources of the 
country. We urge their cooperation to keep the Library and 
its branches open as long as it is possible to do so. 

ESTIMATES FOR 1918-1919. 

The Trustees have already transmitted their estimate of the ex- 
penses of the Library for the ensuing year, in the form required by 
the budget schedule sent to them by the Budget Commissioner. 
The salary schedule for 191 8, based on present pay and author- 
ized increases to go into effect February 1, 1918, is $354,195, 
which is $41,209 more than the amount that was spent for 
salaries (estimating the last two months) last year. This sum 
of $41,209 is divided as follows: $16,354 is required by the 
enlargement of the service under the normal growth of the Library 
system, and $24,855 is required to meet salary increases adopted 
by the Board of Trustees and put in partial operation last year. 
In addition, the Trustees ask for $53,129, which is 15% of the 
estimated actual requirement under present conditions for 1918; 
this additional sum to be applied in increasing salaries of the 
Library employees now receiving low wages, and in adjusting 
existing inequalities in the salaries of the higher grade employees. 
This 1 5 % increase will make the total amount asked for salaries 

The question of increasing the wages of the employees other 
than those working under union scales (which is already provided 


for) is now urgent because the war has produced extraordinary 
Hving conditions. A staff that has been poorly paid even under 
normal times is at present subjected to a state of affairs which 
demands relief. Considering the qualifications required of per- 
sons in the library service, and the poor pay which they receive in 
comparison with that of many other City employees and of those 
engaged in private employment an increased remuneration is 
justifiable. Many of the library staff are forced to work over 
hours, nights and Sundays to earn living wages. 

The Librarian is now at work on a plan for standardizing the 
various grades and salaries in the library service, which will cor- 
rect many of the inequalities that exist under the present arrange- 
ment, if the necessary money is secured. 

In the item for the general maintenance of the Library apart 
from the expense for personal service, there is an increase of 
$46,565, which is a trifle above 40% over the expense for that 
item last year, but which is required by the increase in prices of 
materials and supplies, the present needs of the enlarged Central 
Library building, and by the natural growth of a great library 

Some of the larger increases may be enumerated as follows: 
General plant repairs, $4,922. This year outside painting at 
the Central Library is required; also reconstruction of the Fine 
Arts Department and additional shelving for this department and 
the Statistical Department, and also the fitting of a room to house 
the Josiah H. Benton Collection. There is a $20,000 increase 
under the heading of library equipment. Last year the estimated 
expense for books was $29,444, and this year the Trustees ask 
for an increase of $2 1 ,000. This item covers books and peri- 
odicals for circulation, fundamental necessities of a public library. 
Year after year the Trustees have called attention to the insig- 
nificant amount which they are enabled to spend for books in 
comparison with the sum necessary to run the institution. The 
Board has annually included in its estimates more money for 
books than has been allowed. There is a constant demand for 
more copies of standard books and publications in the branches 
and reading-rooms. The Examining Committee for this year 
in their investigation into the conditions of the branches and 


reading-rooms report to the Board of Trustees that the crying 
need is "Books, Books, and More Books." The criticism so 
freely expressed by the public that there are not enough copies 
of standard works in the branches and reading-rooms is justified 
by the facts ; the Trustees are prepared to meet this criticism if the 
City will supply them with the necessary funds to augment the 

Under the head of general plant equipment there is an increase 
of $3,000. This year a new heating apparatus is needed at 
Faneuil Reading Room; a new pressure tank is wanted at the 
Central Library, and new machinery and motors are needed to 
properly equip the new quarters of the Printing and Binding 
Departments. Under the head of fuel is included one of the 
principal items of increase. Last year the estimated expense for 
fuel was $17,609, and the Trustees now ask for $32,000 an 
increase of $14,391 . This is due to the increase in cost caused 
by the war, and must be met. 

The total amount required for all purposes is, therefore, 

In submitting these estimates we desire to call attention again 
to the language of the Charter of the Library Corporation which 
requires the appropriation for personal service in the Library to 
be made in one gross sum and not in the terms submitted in the 
budget schedule. This matter was called to the attention of the 
City Council in 1915 and in 1916, and in both years the appro- 
priation for salaries was made in one sum. We trust that similar 
action will be taken this year. 

As to the estimate for the general maintenance of the Library, 
other than expense for personal service, we submit that the Char- 
ter of the Corporation also requires this appropriation to be made 
in one sum. This Charter gives the Trustees the "control of 
the moneys appropriated" for the maintenance of the Library, 
and any division by the appropriating power takes the con- 
trol away from the Trustees to the extent that such sub-division 
is made. We respectfully ask therefore, that the appropriation 
be recommended by you to the City Council and be made in two 
lump sums, one for salaries and one for maintenance. 


Convinced that the Boston Public Library would be benefited 
at this time by a survey of its buildings and equipment, collec- 
tions, methods of acquisition, classification, catalogues, publi- 
cations, the service in its inner relations, the service to the 
public, the Trustees, with the hearty approval of the Librarian, 
Mr. Belden, have voted to have a careful investigation made of 
the entire library system. Every large institution, public and 
private, should have periodically an examination by disinterested 
experts. Our library possesses advanced methods which other 
libraries might well adopt, and there are policies and improve- 
ments elsewhere to which we may well give careful consideration. 
This decision of the Board is in no sense a reflection on any past 
administration of the Library, but is designed to take advantage 
of any improved systems of administration and service in use 
elsewhere which could intelligently be given consideration in 
planning a constructive policy for the Boston Public Library. 
Library methods are constantly changing to meet the demands 
of an ever growing cosmopolitan constituency. The problem 
confronting library authorities everywhere to-day is to place, as 
quickly as possible, in the hands of the reader the book he needs 
and wants, by simplifying the catalogue and eliminating red tape 
and technical machinery. 

We want the best wherever we can find it. This institution 
has a proud place in the public library world. Its reputation as 
a scholar's library is known far and wide, and the popular side of 
its activities has kept pace with the progress of the people, meeting 
the varied problems with consistent policy. A library should be 
a little in advance of the people, anticipating their wants and sup- 
plying those wants with foresight and intelligence. The Boston 
Public Library has done this in the past, and is aiming to do it 
now. " ■> 

In order that this survey may be conducted by men eminent 
in the library world, we have extended invitations to two of the 
most competent librarians in the United States to act as members 
of this commission, Edwin H. Anderson, director of the Public 
Library, New York City, and Arthur E. Bostwick, librarian of 


the Public Library, St. Louis, Mo. These gentlemen will select 
a third member of the commission, a librarian of some large 
public library, and the survey will be made as soon as it is practic- 
able for them to begin their duties. 


As required by the City Ordinance, we appointed an Examin- 
ing Committee for this year, and joined the President of the 
Library Board with it, as Chairman. TTiose who were appointed 
and who have served as members of the Committee are as 
follows : 

Miss Eleanor W. Allen. 
Mr. Ezra H. Baker. 
Mrs. Abraham C. Berman. 
Henry A. Callahan, M.D. 
Rev. Thomas C. Campbell. 
Mr. J. Randolph Coolidge, Jr. 
Mr. James E. Cotter. 
Mr. Arthur G. Everett. 
Rev. Paul Revere Frothingham. 
Hon. Robert Grant. 
William P. Hammond, M.D. 
Mrs. Emma B. Harvey. 
Rev. George A. Lyons. 

Mr. James E. McConnell. 
William H. McMann, M.D. 
Mrs. Hugh Nawn. 
Mr. Robert Treat Paine. 
Rev. W. DeWees Roberts. 
Mrs. William R. Rush. 
Rev. Henry Sartorio. 
Mr. John A. Scahga. 
Mr. Daniel J. Shea. 
Mrs. Edwin A. Shuman. 
Miss Amelia W. Stockwell. 
Hon. David I. Walsh. 
Miss Mary R. Walsh. 

The Trustees have been very fortunate in bringing to this 
service for several years, a large number of our best known and 
most capable citizens. Their work is necessarily confined to 
a brief period. 

To enable this Committee to perform its duties with con- 
venience and efficiency the following sub-committees were 
appointed : 


This Committee considered the administration of the Library, its work- 
ing as an entire system, including the Central Library and all branches and 
reading-room stations, and, in connection with this, its financial manage- 
ment, including the sources from which its revenue is derived, and the 
manner in which it is expended. Its members were: 

Mr. Everett, Chairman. 

Mr. Coolidge. Mr. Walsh. 

Mr. McConnell. 



This Committee gave attention to all matters connected with the acqui- 
sition and use of books and other library material, in the Central Library 
and Branches. Its members were: 

Mr. Shea, Chairman. 

Miss Allen. Miss Walsh. 

Rev. Mr. Frothingham. 

fine arts and music. 

This Committee gave attention to these Departments, including the 
circulation of pictures from the Central Library and Branches. Its 
members were : 

Rev. Mr. Frothingham, Chairman. 

Judge Grant. Mr. Baker. 

Mr. Paine. 

printing and binding. 

This Committee examined and considered all matters connected with 
the Departments of Printing and Binding, with special attention to the 
expenses of the Departments and the products of each of them. Its 
members were : 

Mr. Scanga, Chairman. Dr. McMann. 


It was thought best to divide the branches and reading-room stations 
into groups in different parts of the City, and to appoint a Committee to 
examine and report with regard to each group. These groups and the 
several committees thus appointed were as follows: 


Rev. Father Lyons, Chairman. Mrs. Nawn. 


Rev. Mr. Roberts, Chairman. 

Dr. Hammond. Mrs. Rush. 

Mrs. Berman. 




Mr. Cotter, Chairman. 

Dr. Callahan. Mrs. Shuman. 

Rev. Mr. Campbell. 





Miss Walsh, Chairman. 
Mr. Shea. Mrs. Nawn. 


Rev. Mr. Sartorio, Chairman. Mr. Paine, 

children's department and work with schools. 

This Committee gave special attention to the work which the Library is 
doing for children, and also to what it is doing in connection with the 
schools, with regard not only to the way in which the work is done, but 
also as to its extension and its limitation. Its members were : 

Rev. Father Lyons, Chairman. 
Miss Stockwell. Mrs. Harvey. 

general committee. 

For the purpose of receiving the reports of the work of the various other 
sub-committees, and preparing a draft report of the Examining Committee 
to be considered by it in a meeting of all its members, and for any other 
general purpose connected with the examination of the Library system, a 
sub-committee, called the General Committee, was appointed. Its members 

Mr. McConnell, Chairman. 
Judge Grant. Mr. Coolidge. 

The report of the Committee is appended to our report in 
accordance with the provisions of the City ordinances. 

William F. Kenney, 
Samuel Carr, 
Alexander Mann, 
Daniel H. Coakley, 
Arthur T. Connolly. 



Central Library and Branches: 

To expenditures for 

Pennanenl employees ...... $218,240.83 

Temporary employees ...... 55,207.42 


Service other than personal 

Postage $ 1,359.21 

Transportation of persons 


Cartage and freight . 


Light and power 


Rent, taxes and water 




Premium on surety bond 






Removal of ashes 


Removal of snow 








Boiler inspection 


General plant repairs 



To expenditures for equipment 

Motorless vehicles .......$ 32.00 

Furniture and fittings ...... 1,224.21 

Office . . . 240.21 

Library (books and periodicals): 

City appropriation .... $23,947.18 

Trust funds income . . 17,921.15 

Carnegie gift, Galatea Collection . 36,45 



Newspapers (from Todd fund income) ... 1 ,962.03 

Periodicals ..... 


Tools and instruments 


Wearing apparel .... 


General plant ..... 



To expenditures for supplies 

Office $ 2,684.96 



Fuel .... 


Forage and animal . 


Medical .... 


Laundry, cleaning and toilet 




Chemicals and disinfectants 

- ^126 

General plant . 




Carried forward . . .... 



By City Appropriation 1917-18: $424,476.09 

Income from Trust funds ...... 21,627.10 

Income from James L. Whitney bibliographic account 700.00 

Interest on deposit in London ..... 118.29 

By Balances brought forward, February 1, 1917: 

Trust funds income on deposit in London ... $ 1,315.33 

City appropriation on deposit in London . 3,049.75 

Trust funds income, City Treasury .... 43,010.42 

Carnegie gift for Galatea Collection .... 36.45 

James L. Whitney bibliographic account . . 360.61 




Carried forward 




Brought forward .... 

To expenditures for material 

Building ...... 

Electrical ...... 

General plant ..... 

Binding Department: 

To expenditures for salaries . . 
Stock ....... 

Light and power ..... 

Contract work ..... 


Cartage and freight .... 

Insurance ...... 

Cleaning ...... 

Small supplies, furniture, repairs and ice 

Printing Department: 

To expenditures for salaries . 

Stock . 

Equipment . 

Light and power . 

Contract work . 

Rent . 

Cartage and freight 



Small supplies, repairs and ice 

To Amount paid into City Treasury: 
From fines ..... 
Sales of catalogues, bulletins and lists 
Commission on telephone stations 
Sale of waste paper 
Sale of paper towels 
Interest on bank deposits 
Payments received for lost books 
Money found 

To Balance, January 31, 1918: 

Trust funds income on deposit in London 
City appropriation on deposit in London 
Trust funds income balance. City Treasury 
James L. Whitney bibliographic account 












1 57.22 











$ 2,060.80 



1 ,060.61 





Balance unexpended 





Brought formard . 
By Receipts: 

From fines ..... 
Sales of catalogues, bulletins and lists 
Commission on telephone stations . 
Sale of waste paper . . . 
Sale of paper towels . . . 
Interest on bank deposit 
Payments received for lost books . 
Money found .... 














To THE Trustees of the Public Library of the 
City of Boston, 


We beg to transmit to you the report of the Examining Com- 
mittee appointed by you according to Ordinance. 


It is well at the outset to consider the organization of the 
Boston Public Library as stated in previous reports. The Li- 
brary now consists of a Central Library in Copley Square, 14 
branch libraries and 16 reading-rooms in locations chosen for 
their adaptability for service to the people. The Central Li- 
brary is the center of administration, a collection of reference 
works, special collections and the main artery of distribution. 
The branches and reading-rooms are not merely distributing 
depots for the Central Library, but are libraries themselves, 
wherein about 80% of the books given out are from their own 
shelves and about 20% drawn from the Central Library. 
Besides, books are distributed among 1 79 public and parochial 
schools, 60 engine houses, 39 institutions and many other deposi- 
tories and stations. 

A city ordinance passed on Oct. 11,1 852 requires the appoint- 
ment of a committee of citizens annually as an Examining 
Committee of the Public Library. This committee In recent 
years has consisted of 25 citizens whose work has been done by 
sub-committees, to whom the work has always been one of 
interest and pride, but we question whether, in the interest of 
efficiency and good administration, the time has not come for 
the repeal of this old ordinance, and the substitution therefor of 


a method of examination by experts qualified for such work, 
or if such change is not deemed wise as a permanent poHcy, 
then we emphatically call attention to the recommendation of 
the survey, the subject of another paragraph. 

In comparison of cost and expense with cities of similar popu- 
lation it must be borne in mind that Boston, the pioneer among 
municipalities in this country in the establishment of a great 
public library, has erected its buildings and branches and pur- 
chased most of its books at its own expense, whereas in other 
cities, like New York and Brooklyn, branches have been erected 
by philanthropists, and in New York books have been mainly 
purchased from the income of the great Astor, Tilden and Lenox 

The Central Library has a two-fold purpose. It is not merely 
a library to serve the reading public, but it is a great museum of 
art, and while it may be profane to speak of art in a commercial 
sense, the investment by the city in a building, recognized as a 
masterpiece of library architecture, wherein the walls are 
adorned with the mural art of Sargent, Abbey and Puvis de 
Chavannes, will attract visitors to our city somewhat as the art 
of Rubens and DaVinci attracts people to Antwerp and Milan. 

The value of the Library is in direct proportion to the extent 
of its use by the public. Its service is largely measured by the 
number of registrants and the circulation of books. We regret 
that our library, with its history and tradition of past service, 
should be surpassed by other cities in the proportion of popu- 
lation making use of its facilities. We earnestly recommend 
that ways and means be devised to increase the number of regis- 
trants and the circulation of books. 

No service of the library exceeds in importance its co-opera- 
tive work with the schools. The librarians and their assistants 
in the various branches have paid special attention to the study 
of books for children suitable for the different grades. The 
branch libraries now furnish to the schools books for supple- 
mentary reading whenever required. In the promotion of 
economy and efficiency, why should not the purchase for supple- 
mentary reading, now undertaken by the schools, be transferred 
to the Library and its several branches? The transfer of this 


expenditure from the schools to the Library Department involves 
no additional cost to the taxpayer and helps to bring the library 
appropriations to the point at which the income of the Benton 
bequest becomes available. 

In 1915 from the school appropriation $25,758.89 was ex- 
pended for books for supplementary reading and $6,975.67 for 
reference books. In 1916 the figures were $10,415.97 for 
supplementary reading and $4,215.92 for reference books. 
In 1917 the figures were $13,663.15 for supplementary reading 
and $3,398. 1 9 for reference books. We believe it is practicable 
to formulate a plan of closer co-operation between the teachers 
and the librarians, which will produce greater efficiency both on 
the part of the schools and the library. The more intimate the 
association of the children with the libraries, the greater is the 
opportunity of the library to reach the parent. 

Our Committee in the past has called attention to the fact that 
library service is underpaid. If this has been true heretofore, 
how much more imperative the question is today with increased 
expenditures for living. Attention is directed to that part of 
the report of the Committee on Administration and Finance 
which deals with this question: and also with the question of 
increasing individual salaries by reducing the number of em- 

We believe that the Trustees have done all that is possible 
with the funds at their disposal, but as time goes on not only 
the natural growth of population but the assimilation of our 
foreign born will require more books and increased service to 
meet an ever increasing demand. 

Hie Committee on Administration and Finance visited many 
of the rooms of the Central Library and several of the branches, 
and corresponded with librarians in other large cities to find a 
basis for comparison of efficiency and of salaries. They recom- 
mend printed instructions, available for those unfamiliar with 
the method of using the Library, readjustment of the system now 
in effect between the Trustees and the Ordering Department to 
effect an earlier placing upon the shelves of new books available 
for circulation and the establishment of a business man's library 
in the business section. Attention is directed to the data and 


tables appended to the report of this Committee and we quote 
from this report as follows : 

13. In a comparison of I 5 large cities Boston owns more volumes than 
any other municipal library, 1,139,682 at the latest report. New York 
is second with 1,109,547. (The Reference Department in New York 
is not included in this total nor in any of the other figures relating to that 
city.) The other libraries of the series have from 873,792 volumes 
(Bjfooklyn) down to 170,885 (San Francisco). 

14. Boston is second in amount of taxation raised per capita for 
library purposes, second per capita in its library income from taxation 
and endowment together. It is second in per capita expenditure for library 
salaries and wages. It is 9th in per capita expenditure for books and 
periodicals. It is 15 th and lowest in the proportion of book expenditure 
to salary-and-wages expenditure. 

15. Boston spends only 17 4/10 per cent on books of the amount it 
sp)ends for services; the other cities, from 20 per cent to 53 per cent, 
average 35 per cent, twice Boston's proportion. 

1 6. This high per capita expenditure for service does not put Boston 
high in registration (total number of library cardholders) in proportion 
to population, Boston has 13 8/10 per cent of its population registered 
in the Library; Brooklyn has 18 per cent; Minneapolis 28 2/10 per cent; 
New York's registration is not given. The average for the 1 3 cities 
not including Boston and New York is 17 5/10 per cent. 

1 7. This high per capita expenditure for service does not put Boston 
high in the number of books for home use circulated by the Library. 
Boston circulates 2 7/10 volumes per inhabitant per annum ; 7 other 
cities do more, 7 not so much. The average of 1 4 other cities is 2 8/10 
per cent, but New York, Brooklyn, Cleveland and Los Angeles are among 
the cities that surpass Boston in this particular. Cleveland alone has a 
higher per capita expenditure for service than Boston, but Cleveland's 
registration is 75 per cent above Boston's and Cleveland's circulation is 
5 volumes per annum against Boston's 2 8/10. 

1 8. The cost of service per 1 ,000 volumes circulated is a means of 
measuring public library efficiency which experts recognize as vahd. The 
service cost in Boston is $129.00 per 1,000 volumes circulated, nearly 
1 3 cents per volume. In Providence (a small city with a large income 
from library funds and low per capita tax levy for library purposes) the 
service cost is larger still; but it runs as low as $50.00 in New York and 
$48.00 in San Francisco; and the average for the fourteen cities compared 
with Boston is $71.00. 

19. Since it may be said that the service cost includes printing and 
binding in some libraries but not in others, the totals of ordinary expendi- 
ture of all kinds per 1 ,000 volumes circulated for Boston $204.00 (second 


highest; Providence $251.00); New York $83.50 (lowest); and the 
average outside of Boston, $130.00. 

20. Since the exceptionally high per capita income and expenditure 
for library service in Boston are coincident with ( 1 ) a low proportionate 
expenditure for books; (2) a middhng number of registered card holders 
and a middling number of volumes circulated; and (3) an extremely 
high apparent cost per thousand of circulation the question arises. What 
does this exceptional expenditure represent? 

21. Another question in this connection is whether the efficiency of 
the service is affected by a low average of individual salary and whether 

.the total amount now paid in salaries might be allotted to a smaller number 
of selected employees without impairment of the efficiency of the service 
as a whole. These are matters for the judgment of the Trustees and of 
specialists in library work. 

22. Relative to the agitation for increased remuneration of employees 
the Trustees should consider either a careful reorganization and reduction 
of the working force at a time when positions are easily obtainable by 
young people of fair education and good will; or else, a considerable 
increase in the annual appropriation at a time when the public burdens 
are exceptionally heavy, — Either of which alternatives will result in better 
remuneration of the employees of the Boston Public Library. 

23. In view of the apparently insufficient expenditure for books and 
for maintenance of the property, it seems probable that both a reorganiza- 
tion within the Library, together with additional income from tax levy 
and bequest, are the right way out. 

This Committee concludes its report by the observation that 
"Discipline and efficiency are highly essential to make the library 
useful and unrivalled in service to the public. TTiese can be 
obtained best when ample authority is confirmed upon the Libra- 
rian and all chiefs of departments who are entrusted with the 
general policies of management adopted by the Trustees." 

The Committee on Books in their report approve the selective 
method by which books sent on approval are purchased, but 
recommend greater expedition in their progress to the reader. 
They further say : 

Branch libraries are almost self-sufficient with their collections for their 
communes. Out of the 1 5,043 books distributed at the Neponset Library 
but 1177 came from the Central Library. To this branch are coming 
men from Squantum and Lawley's seeking books on naval science. A 
permanent collection on this subject should be placed there. At all 
branches, foreign books are obtained from the Central Library on request. 
Temporarily there is a halt in the arrival of these books. 


The law library at the foot of Bates Hall requires renovation. An 
attendant should be seated at this station to encourage readers and to 
prevent thefts. 

Genealogical and heraldic collections should be removed to a special 
room, and the space acquired given over to literature. Missing books 
are not replaced fast enough. At the moment there are at least fifty 
missing. We suggest that bags, etc., should be checked at the coat room. 
Should this space prove too small, we suggest that there are two rooms 
at the right of the great stairway practically unused, which might become 

The Committee on Fine Arts and Music make the following 
suggestions with reference to the West Gallery of the Library: 

1 . The large portable cabinets should be removed. 

2. The eleven alcoves in the gallery should be opened. Each 
alcove might be devoted to some special branch of art with books on the 
subject within easy reach. As things are at present the place is neither 
convenient nor attractively arranged for students. 

3. If possible, the volumes of public documents should be removed 
and the entire gallery given over to art. 

The Committee on Printing and Binding made an examina- 
tion of this Department of the Library and commented on the 
efficiency with which this department was conducted. They 
made certain recommendations and we refer the Trustees to 
their report. 

The Committee on Children's Department and Work with 
Schools expressed great satisfaction with this department, and 
highly commended the work of the newly appointed Supervisor. 
It emphasized the importance of this department of the Library 
and attested its great popularity. They found the relation 
between the library attendants and the various schools both 
public and parochial harmonious and satisfactory. Their 
recommendations were : 

1 . There should be more books — additional works and duplicates 
of books already in the library. 

2. The issuing to the children of parents cards, which would enable 
children, under the guidance of their teachers, to select and bring home 
books to their parents, who would otherwise never have recourse to the 


The thirty branch libraries and reading-rooms have been 
examined by the different committees appointed for each branch. 


The condition of buildings, details of management, and effi- 
ciency of employees have been closely studied and many valuable 
suggestions made. These reports abound in studied analysis of 
the needs of the various branches, and attention to details which 
need not be the matter of record in this report, but should invite 
the close attention of the Trustees to whom the reports are 
referred. We deem it wise, however, to note suggestions from 
several reports of these sub-committees as indicative of the work 

The Hyde Park Branch while well supplied with fiction and light 
reading needs governmental, scientific, mechanical and historical publica- 
tions. The boiler is inadequate for the enlarged building, and other 
needed repairs are pointed out. 

The Parker Hill Reading Room should be discontinued at the present 
location and suitable quarters selected at the junction of Huntington 
Avenue and Tremont Street, as the librarian in charge avers that about 
ninety per cent of the patrons come from the section between the Mission 
Church and South Huntington Avenue. 

When the sub-committee visited the Jamaica Plain Branch thirty-five 
children and fourteen adults were found using the reading room. The 
lighting facilities here are criticized. 

The branch at West Roxbury in the judgment of the sub-committee is 
poorly located in an old building close to a wooden garage, and poorly 
lighted and heated. This branch would seem to need the immediate 
attention of the Trustees. 

The Dorchester Branch Library is unsuitably located oh the second 
floor of the Municipal Building over the Police Court, and criticism is 
made of its small size and cleanhness. The lack of a pleasant reading 
room is particularly lamentable. The room was never intended for more 
than temporary use and other or improved quarters should be provided. 
Children, and others using the library, should not be obliged to use a hall- 
way in common with those attending the Criminal Court. 

The sub-committee had praise for the Neponset Branch. Here was 
library atmosphere — in the pleasant room many children were reading 
fairy tales. 

The Committee on the South Boston, and South End Branch Libraries 
and Reading Rooms at Andrew Square, City Point and Tyler Street dwell 
with force upon the necessity of books in foreign languages for the various 
nationalities in these sections. As an illustration the Tyler Street Reading 
Room is greatly used by members of the Armenian and Syrian colonies, 
most of whom read Arabic. Hence the need above referred to. Em- 
phasis is laid on the fact that in the City Point Reading Room with a 


circulation of about 50,000 books only 30 or 35 new books were added 
during the year. 

The North End and West End Branches have excellent lo- 
cations, attractive and quiet rooms, and service that is highly 
commended. These library branches are frequented by foreign- 
born readers and the children of the foreign bom. The num- 
ber of children of Jewish and of Italian extraction that use them 
is very large, and the work done for these children, the Com- 
mittee says, "is simply wonderful." It will show itself in the 
public life of the future ; it is one of the finest elements in training 
for citizenship. 

On the other hand, the adult population in the North End 
could probably be brought into the library's sphere of influence 
more fully than has been done heretofore. The sub-committee 
would like to see the Giornale della Sicilia in the North End 
Branch as well as the Corriere della Sera. It is desirable that 
more copies of standard and popular works should be available 
for the branch libraries generally than is often possible at present. 
We find, however, that the Library owns eleven copies of 
Thayer's Life of Cavour, and this Committee cannot doubt 
that such a volume can be had whenever there is an available 
copy on the shelves of the Central Library. We recommend 
that at least one additional copy of this history be permanently 
placed in the North End Branch, together with other standard 
works of modern Italian history and biography. 

Recognizing the value of a society such as the Dante Alighieri 
in the North End, the Committee believes that lectures under 
the auspices of that Society can and may well be given at the 
North End Branch as has been done in recent years; but recog- 
nizes a duty of the Trustees to safeguard the use of all their 
premises against propaganda, religious or anti-religious. 

The printing of separate lists of books owned by the Library 
in Italian, in Yiddish and in other foreign languages should be 
continued until all such books are so listed. 

The reports on the Branch Libraries and Reading Rooms 
abound with suggestions of importance concerning the extension 
of the facilities of the libraries and the comfort and convenience 
of the patrons. These branches are the arteries through which 


flow from the central sources to the child and adult, in which- 
ever part of the city he may reside, the great educational and 
intellectual force and spirit of an institution we are justly proud 
of. The Boston Public Library. 

The Committee recognizes that in this year as in past years 
the needed improvements of the Library and its branches are 
not the result of want of attention or lack of initiative on the part 
of the Trustees and the various employees. It is the want of 
necessary funds. The Library cannot stand still; to maintain 
its pre-eminence and its past traditions it must go forward, and 
it cannot go forward without more liberal appropriations. 

The Examining Committee cannot conclude its report without 
a final caution and recommendation. The Committee is not im- 
pressed with the value of its contribution to the administration 
of this great Library. It is not a body of experts. It is not a 
continuing body. Its recommendations may serve to call the 
attention of the Trustees to certain matters of detail but if the 
Trustees take no action, the Committee has no method of repeat- 
ing its recommendations, and the Trustees will often have good 
reasons for omitting to follow them. At this particular moment 
we believe that something more efficient and more convincing is 
needed than the work of an examining committee. The Library 
seems to be greatly in need of still larger appropriations, but 
the question is insistent whether full value is received from the 
expenditure for services and whether there is unnecessary or 
unprofitable service. The Librarian is not yet fully familiar 
with the personnel of the institution. Assuming on the part 
of the Trustees and of the Librarian the purpose of maintaining 
a high standard of library administration, we urge that this is an 
opportune moment for a survey of the Boston Public Library 
by highly qualified experts; that such a survey, even at con- 
siderable cost, might well save in one year more than the cost 
in the total annual expenditure of over $400,000; that no 
question of politics or persons would enter into such a survey 
and that its findings could be made public and should be the 
basis of new and progressive policies to the credit of the adminis- 
tration and the advantage of a highly enlightened citizenship. 

Adopted at a meeting of the Committee on January 21, 1918. 


To the Board of Trustees: 

I respectfully submit my report for the year ending January 

In view of the economic situation, the brief time that I have 
been administrative head of the Library, and the general survey 
of the entire library system in immediate prospect, this report is 
advisedly limited to a record of operations. It is especially 
appropriate that the report for the year just ended should be so 
curtailed, since my predecessor in his last report as Librarian 
traced the growth and development of the Public Library System 
for a period of fourteen years. 


At the Central Library only minor repairs necessary to keep 
the plant in normal operative condition have been made. 

Since the Blagden Street Addition to the Central Library 
Building is now practically completed, it is an opportune time 
to call attention to the fact that no repairs of consequence have 
been made in the Central Library building since 1895, the year 
of its occupation. A careful examination by the proper authori- 
ties should be authorized at an early date and as soon as practic- 
able thereafter repairs and structural changes undertaken. If 
this work, in many instances obviously necessary, is much longer 
delayed the expense will be materially increased. 

The most important repairs and improvements at the branches 
include the following: Roxbury, installation of electric lights 
(by the landlord) ; South Boston, installation of electric lights 
and interior repainted (by the landlord), enlargement of the 
children's room and re-arrangement of the issue desk and floor 


by the Library; Roxbury Crossing, interior repainted (by the 
landlord), new shelving by the Library; Boylston Station and 
Parker Hill, new shelving; Codman Square and Upham's Cor- 
ner, extensive repairs of furniture. 


The circulation of books during the year, for use outside the 
library buildings, usually termed "home use" circulation, was 
2,074,455, as against 2,050,238 for the year 1916-17, and 
2,135,100 forthe year 1915-16. 

Although statistics of circulation are of value in showing the 
home-use made of books, they do not show the reference use 
of books in the various reading rooms of the library system, the 
use of books by students, scholars, teachers, and those readers 
who in preference use books in the library building instead of at 
home. The library use of books undoubtedly outnumbers the 
recorded home use circulation. 

The usual statistical tables, which follow, present the details 
of the recorded circulation. They are taken from the report 
of Mr. Frank C. Blaisdell, Chief of the Issue Department at the 
Central Library, and, so far as they relate to the branches, from 
the monthly reports of their librarians : 










February, 1917 . 





March, " . 





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July, ;; . 















October, " . 















January, 1918 . 











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The figures are condensed into the following : 

Bool(s lent for Home Use, including Circulalion through Schools and Insliluiions. 
From Central Library (including Central Library books issued through the 

branches and reading-rooms) ........ 439,627 

From branches and reading-rooms (other than books received from Central 

Library) 1,634,628 

Total number of volumes lent for home use and through schools and 

institutions 2,074,455 

Comparative. 1916-17. 1917-18. 

Central Library circulation (excluding 
schools and institutions) : 
Direct home use ... . 273.493 264,840 

TTirough branches and reading-rooms 

for home use 73,343 80,975 

346,836 345.815 

Branch Department circulation (exclud- 
ing schools and institutions) : 
Direct home use 

From branch collections . . 945,416 945,878 

From reading-rooms . . . 543,330 544.290 

1,488,746 1,490,168 

Schools and institutions circulation (in- 
cluding books from Central through 
the Branch system) . . . 214.656 238,472 

2,050,238 2,074,455 

Under the inter-library loan system with other libraries the 

following use of books for the purpose of serious research is 

shown for two successive years : 

1916-17. 1917-18. 

Volumes lent from this library to other libraries in Massachusetts 
Lent to libraries outside of Massachusetts . 












Applications refused: 

F^rom libraries in Massachusetts . 
From libraries outside Massachusetts 

Totals ...... = 

Borrowed from other libraries for use here 

The classified "home-use" circulation of the branches (read- 
ing-rooms not included) was as follows, for two successive years: 

1916-17, 1917-18. 

Fiction for adults ........ 

Fiction for juvenile readers ...... 

Non-fiction for adults ....... 

Non- fiction for juvenile readers ..... 

100.0 100.0 












At the Central Library the classified "home-use" circulation 
shows the following percentages : 

1916-17. 1917-18. 


Fiction 45.5 472 

Non-ficrion 54.5 52.8 

100.0 100.0 


TTie total number of volumes acquired for the year (by pur- 
chase, gift, or otherwise) was 43,330, besides 892 acquired for 
the Fellowes Athenaeum and deposited in the Roxbury Branch. 
The details relating to these accessions are shown in the follow- 
ing tables : 

Boo^s acquired tp purchase. 

1916-17. 1917-18. 

For the Central Library: 
From City appropriation 
From Trust funds income . . 

For branches and reading-rooms: 
From City appropriation . . 
From Trust funds income 










By Fellowes Athenaeum (for the Rox- 
bury Branch) ..... 

Totals 31,222 31,756 

Of the 892 books acquired by the Fellowes Athenaeum during 
the past year, 844 were purchased, 34 were gifts, and the remain- 
ing 1 4 volumes were of periodicals bound. 

The following statement includes the accessions by purchase 
combined with books received by gift or otherwise : 

Accessions by purchase (including 844 volumes by 
Fellowes Athenaeum for Roxbury Branch) . 

Accessions by gift (including 34 volumes through 
Fellowes Athenasum for Roxbury Branch) 

Accessions by Statistical Department 

Accessions by exchange .... 

Accessions of periodicals (bound) . 

Accessions of newspapers (bound) . 




















27.800 16,422 44,222 


The total cost of books, periodicals, newspapers, photographs 
and lantern slides for the year was $50,193.50, divided as fol- 
Books $41,460.53 

Periodicals , 6,326.69 

Newspapers 1,962.03 

Photographs and lantern slides 444.25 

Total $50,193.50 

Of the sum spent for books, $3,874.61 or 10%, was paid 
for new fiction (3,614 copies, comprising 206 titles selected 
from 684 books reviewed by the Fiction Committee) and 
$10,880.25 was paid for renewing worn-out fiction (14,507 
copies averaging $0.75 a volume) making a total of $14,754.86 
for fiction or 28% of the sum spent for all classes of books. 

The emphasis on the general purchases since April has been on 
books grouped about the subjects of national defense and military 
training, many of which, such as the technical service manuals, 
have been bought in a large number of copies. 

At the same time, the collection of material gathered from 
various sources since 1914 which registers to some extent the 
literature of the war, has been enlarged, arranged, and put in 
order for cataloguing. Perhaps the most important additions to 
this have been the war emergency legislation of the allied nations, 
and several hundred colored posters issued in France. 


Hie report of Miss Theodosia E. Macurdy, Chief of the 
Ordering Department, notes that the gifts from 4,312 givers 
comprise 9,360 volumes, 12,512 serials, 692 photographs and 
70 newspaper subscriptions. 

Following are the noteworthy gifts of the year: 
Benton, Josiah H., Estate of. The Benton Collection of Books of 

Common Prayer comprising 564 volumes; and 57 volumes printed by 

Bernhardy, Miss Amy. Italian material relating to the European War, 

consisting of 56 volumes, 17 photographs, and 42 post cards for the 

North End Branch; and 1 7 volumes for the Central Library. 
Boston Advertiser. The Boston Daily Advertiser and Boston Evening 

Record. 49 volumes. 


Boston Browning Society, Original manuscript poem on "A Star," by 

Robert Browning, April 27, 1878. 
Morgan, J. Pierpont, New York City. 

Bode, W. Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. Bronzes of the Renais- 
sance and subsequent periods. Paris. 1910. 2 v. Illus. 
Murray, C. Fairfax. Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. Drawings 
by the old masters, formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London. 
(1909?-) 1912. 4v. Plates. 
Smith, Sir Cecil Harcourt. Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan. 
Bronzes: antique Greek, Roman, etc. Paris. 1913. Illus. 
O'Reilly, Miss Mary Boyle. 64 publications relating to the European 

War. (Many of them very difficult to obtain.) 
Putnam, Mrs. J. Pickering. 464 volumes of miscellaneous works, in- 
cluding the Century Dictionary in 10 volumes and Nations of the 
World in 20 volumes. 
Widener, Joseph E., Philadelphia. Pictures in the Collection of P. A. 
B. Widener. Early Italian and Spanish schools, with descriptive text 
by B. Berenson. 


Mr. S. A. Chevalier, Chief of the Catalogue Department, 
reports that 76,007 volumes and parts of volumes have been cata- 
logued during the year. These represent 46,684 titles. De- 
tails follow for two successive years : 

VOLS. AND __,„„ VOLS. AND _,^, ,. 


PARTS. "'"-o- PARTS. ""-*•»• 

Calalogued (new): 1916-17. 1917-18. 
Central Library Catalogue . . 20,267 11,841 26.284 15.376 
Serials 4,040 ...... 5,811 

Branches 17.941 16,196 16,272 14,979 

Re-catalogued 36.967 13,426 27,640 16,329 

Totals 79,215 41,463 76,007 46.684 

There have been 237,902 catalogue cards added to the cata- 
logues during the year. Of these 219,776 were added in the 
Central Library and 1 8, 1 26 were added in the Branches. Of 
the cards filed in the Central Library 69,557 were placed in 
the Bates Hall and Issue Department Catalogues; 68,317 in 
the Official Catalogue, and 81,902 in the Catalogue of the 
Special Libraries and used for bulletins and lists in process. 
Temporary author, subject, and often title cards, have been filed 
in the Bates Hall Catalogue within a few days after the receipt 
of every new bound work. 



The statistics relating to the number of volumes shelved and 
thus made available for public use, taken from the report of Mr. 
W. G. T. Roffe, in charge of the Shelf Department, are as 

Placed on the Central Library shelves during the year: 

General collection, new books (including continuations) .... 21,613 

Special collections, new books and transfers ...... 2,060 

Books reported lost or missing in previous years, but now found, transfers 

from Branches, etc. .......... 1,093 


Removed from Central Library shelves during the year: 

Books reported lost or missing, condemned copies not yet replaced, trans- 
fers, etc. ............ 7,753 

Net gain, Central Library 

Net gain at branches (including reading-rooms) 


Net gain, entire library system 1 7,644 

The total number of volumes available for public use at the 
end of each year since the formation of the Library is shown in 
the following statement : 








. 377,225 























1885 . 












































































1 904-05 

Volumes in entire library system . 

Volumes in the branches and reading-rooms 
















These volumes are distributed as follows ; 

Central Library . 






Codman Square . 


Dorchester . 


East Boston 


Hyde Park 


Jamaica Plain . 


North End 



Fellowes Athenaeum 29. 1 0. 


Owned by City 6,895 

Total, Roxbury . 


South Boston 


South End . 


Upham's Corner . 


West End . 


West Roxbury . 
Lower Mills (Station A) 
Roslindale (Station B) 
Mattapan (Station D) 
Neponset (Station E) . 
Mt Bowdoin (Station F) 
Aiiston (Station G) . 
Mt. Pleasant (Station N) 
Tyler Street (Station P) 
Warren Street (Station R) 
Roxbury Crossing (Station S) 
Boylston Station (Station T) 
Andrew Square (Station Y) 
Orient Heights (Station Z) 
City Point (Station 23) 
Parker Hill (Station 24) . 
Faneuil (Station 25) . 




The beginning of an organized structure for the supervision 
and unification of work with children throughout the Library 
system was made on October 1 , 1917, by the appointment of 
Miss Alice M. Jordan as Supervisor of Work with Children. 
To this opportunity for enlarged service Miss Jordan brings her 
experience of sixteen years as Children's Librarian of the Boston 
Public Library; an experience not only fruitful in the results 
achieved in the home library but in the measure of wide recogni- 
tion accorded to her throughout the country as a wise and sane 
leader in work with children. 

Miss Mary C. Toy was appointed Children's Librarian at the 
Central Library by vote of the Board of Trustees on November 

The present report of Miss Jordan, from which I quote, covers 
only the work with children in the Central Library, for super- 
vision of the branch children's rooms has not yet begun. 


There were lent for home use 61,315 books to borrowers applying in 
the Children's Room and 7,339 to those who applied at the Branches 
and Reading-Rooms for books shelved in the Children's Department. 

The previous year the figures were 60,774 and 18,002 respectively. 
A marked decrease in this latter circulation is noted. This is significant 
as showing the effect of supplying Branch requests from the deposit col- 
lection before referring them to the Children's Room, a desirable measure 
which allows the department to retain its books for direct borrowers and 
makes it unnecessary to provide shelf space for a large number of duplicates. 

No record can be made of the number of children who read in the 
Library. Accommodations are greatly over-taxed on Sunday, a day that 
always brings visitors from a greater distance than that traveled by the 
week-day readers. Far-reaching personal work may therefore be ac- 
complished on that day with an adequate force available. 

Before the entry of the United States into the War last April we had 
watched in vain for any effect of the European War upon the reading 
interests of children. Since that time, and especially since September, a 
marked change is noted. To some extent this is due to the demands of 
the schools. In most of the high schools, and in the upper grades of many 
elementary schools, teachers have assigned certain of the War books as 
outside reading on which reports are to be made. These books have been, 
in the main, the personal narratives and more popular accounts of War 
experiences on the different fronts, the same books which are most popular 
with the general reader. Since the steady demand for this material makes 
it difficult for young people to secure their required reading, it has seemed 
best to duplicate for the Children's Room some of the books on the War. 
The War presents a great opportunity to the worker with children to 
stimulate an interest in history and to arouse and quicken a true sense of 
patriotism. By means of bulletins and book exhibits we have tried to 
connect the heroic present with the heroic past in a way which shall make 
both live more truly in the minds of children. Such books as the Joan of 
Arc, made vivid by Boutet de Monvel's wonderful pictures, and The 
Talisman, with fine colored illustrations, have been much enjoyed for 
reading in the room. 

During the Christmas season an exhibit was held which brought together 
books of special beauty and value representative of the work of artists or 
writers of the allied countries. We aimed to secure those books which 
typified the life of each country or illumined its history in an attractive way. 

With a normal staff of five there have been during the year ten dif- 
ferent attendants assigned to the Children's Department. Under such a 
changing, and usually incomplete, p>ersonnel, the work with the schools 
was bound to suffer. Training of new assistants and covering unfilled 
positions have occupied the time usually taken for school visiting and in- 
struction to classes. Five schools were visited and three talks were given 
at the Children's Museum at the request of the Director. Seven addresses 


on Children's books and reading were given to Mothers' Clubs in schools 
and churches. 

The collection of books in the Teachers' Room has been actively used. 
Changes in the subjects offered by teachers for examinations for promotion 
require many new books on the reference shelves and a constant revision 
of the reserved books. 

After conference with the vocational director of the public schools we 
are improving the collection of books on vocational guidance by the inclu- 
sion of valuable pamphlet material from various sources. Existing indus- 
trial conditions make this subject one of vital importance among educators 
and we are asked to prepare reading lists to be used in guiding young people 
in the choice of occupations. 

In conformity with recent practice books are reserved in the Teachers' 
Room for those taking University Extension Courses. 


Among the most successful ways of guiding children's read- 
ing is the weekly story-hour which children attend voluntarily 
for the "sheer delight of hearing a story told." The story- 
tellers who come into weekly contact with groups of children in 
different parts of the city, in addition to the Saturday afternoon 
hour at the Central Library, have the rare privilege of sharing 
intimately in the interests of young people and of observing 
closely their response to the appeal of the story. The Library 
is fortunate in having the aid of experts who are able to change 
a prepared program to meet the events on which the children's 
attention is focused at a given time. It naturally follows that 
the openings to strengthen patriotic sentiments and to establish 
ideals of loyalty offered by the past months have been unusual 
and the children have justified all expectations. Talks on thrift 
stamps, on what children may do in war time, on the principles 
for which America is fighting, on good citizenship, have devel- 
oped freely and naturally. Stories of King Arthur and his 
Knights, Richard the Lion-hearted, Washington, Lincoln, and 
other hero-stories, with many rollicking folk-tales, have been 
drawn upon to meet the need for stories of idealism, stories with 
the right kind of fun to counteract the false sentiment and coarse 
humor of many moving picture exhibitions. 

Among the long stories told from week to week and received 
with appreciation and enthusiasm is "The Coward of Thermopy- 


lae" which contrasts in a dramatic way Spartan and Athenian 
ideals. It has been received from week to week with breathless 
expectation and one of the story tellers was recently greeted on 
Washington Street by a newsboy who asked anxiously, "Did 
Leonidas and all his brave Greeks perish?" "The Talisman," 
by Scott, is another book having a timely appeal in the story-hour 
since it connects so well with the taking of Jerusalem. In the list 
of short stories there have been occasionally included fine instances 
of courage and devotion from life in the trenches. The need in 
Boston for racial sympathy and understanding is always urgent, 
so that many of the stories told are based on the lives of children 
of other lands. 


Last August the reorganization of the classified collection of 
reference and standard books on the open shelves of the main 
reading room of the Library was begun under the direction of 
Mr. Frank H. Chase, Custodian of the Reference Department. 
A new system of records with sufficient flexibility has been de- 
vised so that the collection need no longer be regarded as fixed 
and rigid. The out of date books can now be replaced by the 
up to date books and a selection of volumes on subjects of cur- 
rent interest can find its place on the open and easily accessible 
shelves. In forwarding the work constant use is made of the 
knowledge of the specialists of the Library in their various depart- 
ments of literature. 

The correspondence of the department on every conceivable 
subject has been vigorous throughout the year. Aside from 
inquiries coming personally and by telephone to members of the 
staff, 528 letters have been answered formally through the office 
of the Librarian; these letters have come from forty-two states, 
the District of Columbia, and six foreign countries. Nothing 
could prove more forcibly the wide-spread reputation of the 
Library, both for wealth of material and for courtesy in making 
it available. 


The Special Libraries Department on the third floor of the 
Central Building comprises the following important departments: 


Fine Arts (i.e. painting, sculpture, architecture and building, 
landscape architecture, town planning, etc.). Technology and 
Applied Science ; Music, including the Allen A. Brown Music 
and Dramatic Libraries; the Barton, Ticknor, Prince, Bowditch, 
Artz, Twentieth Regiment, Browning, Galatea and other special 
collections. In the Fine Arts Collection are included 50,048 
photographs, including process pictures, used for circulation in 
the schools; 424 photographs and process pictures were added 
during the year. 

The collection of lantern slides comprises now 7,429, of 
which 529 were added during the year ; this collection is mainly 
used in connection with the lectures given in the Library, but 
4,208 slides were lent to Boston schools, and for other free lec- 
tures in Boston. 

The activities of the Department continue as in former years. 
While the use of the rooms by classes from the art schools, pro- 
fessional men and artisans has grown, and the issue of books 
for hall use in the Barton-Ticknor Room and the Music Room 
has increased over the previous year, the issuance of books for 
home use from the Fine Arts Department, and of portfolios of 
pictures to schools, was less than it was in former years. 

The exhibitions were more varied and more frequently changed 
on account of important events occurring during this important 
year in the Nation's history. 

The need of having a competent specialist in technological 
books becomes more and more evident as Mr. George S. 
Maynard, who was added to the force in 1916, grows better 
acquainted with the Library's collections and is thus able to give 
valuable service in response to the increasing demand for infor- 
mation from the technical departments in the Army and Navy. 

The Department lost heavily through the war by the draft 
and enlistment of two young men who had grown up in it, and 
by the loss of an assistant who attended to the cataloguing of 
the photographs and slides; adding to this the handicap that no 
qualified person has yet been found to take full charge and allow 
Mr. Rowlands to devote his time to reference work, the Depart- 
ment is not as well equipped as it ought to be. 



The following list includes the free course of lectures given 
during the season from October, 1917, to April, 1918, in the 
Lecture Hall on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. 
Included in the list is also the course given by the Ruskin Club 
on Monday afternoons, and a special course on Russia, arranged 
by the Russian Students' Club of Boston. As in former years 
the Field and Forest Club provided a series of six lectures, and 
the Drama League provided a course of Sunday afternoon talks 
on the drama. 

All lectures, except those marked with an asterisk (*) were 
illustrated with lantern slides. 

The lectures on musical subjects were given with musical illus- 
trations, vocal and instrumental, without cost to the Library for 
the services of the lecturer or the performers. 

The use of the Lecture Hall has greatly increased, for pur- 
poses of educational and other public meetings, by teachers' clubs 
and various civic associations. 

Lands of the Anzacs. John C. Bowker. 
*Choosing a Vocation. Louise Cutts Powell. 
*Ruskin*s Message. May Smith Dean. (Ruskin Club.) 
The White House and its Famous Men and Women. Caro- 
line M. Kingman. 
The Dog, Man's Noblest Friend. Ernest Harold Baynes. 
*What of Recent Poetry? Heloise E. Hersey. (Froebel 
The Wonders of the Skies. Michael J. Jordan. 
*The Good First Act. Albert H. Gilmer. (Drama League.) 
22. ^Spanish Literature. Mrs. Saxe Holmes. (Ruskin Club.) 
Sienna and Her Sister Cities. Cora Stanwood Cobb. 
*New Forces in Old China. Woon Yung Chun. 

Brazil and the La Plata Countries. L. Melano Rossi. 
*The Business Side of Literature. Nathaniel Fowler, Jr. 
Preparedness among Animals. Alfred Church Lane. (Field 
and Forest Club.) 
''^Poetry of Scotland before Burns. E. Charlton Black. 

National Parks. Charles H. Bayley. 
*Human Nature in Drama. Stark Young. (Drama League.) 
*The Mountain School of Heilman, Ky. Nellie Stone. 
(Froebel Club.) 
















































America: the Triumph of a Great Nation. George N. 

How Women are Helping to Win the War. Caroline M. 

Rome and Northern Italy. Mrs. Arthur Dudley Ropes. 
(Ruskin Club.) 
^Tragedy and Comedy of Dickens. Francis Henry Wade. 
With illustrative readings. 
The Cathedrals and Civic Buildings of Belgium and Northern 
France. Victor Horta. (Archaeological Institute of 
Dec. 6. Donatello, the Great Sculptor of Florence. Charles Theo- 
dore Carruth. 
*The Power of Music. Margaret Anderton. 
^Canada, the Spellbinder. Lilian Whiting. (Ruskin Club.) 
1 2. *The Political, Social and Economic Development of Russia. 
Robert Joseph Kerner. 
Norway. George E. Davis. (Field and Forest Club.) 
*Folk-Song in America. Constance Ramsay Gideon and 
Henry Gideon. 
Guatemala and the Highest Native American Civilization. 

Ellsworth Huntington. 
Selwyn's Theatre and the Old Globe, Boston. John Bouve 
Clapp. (Drama League.) 
*The General Character of Russian Literature. Leo Wiener. 
"To the Shining Mountains and the Sunset Sea." Gilbert 

*Tolstoi. Nathan Haskell Dole. 
Red Letter Days in Algiers. Francis Henry Wade. 
The Engineers of the Wilderness. (The Story of the Beaver.) 
W. Lyman Underwood. 
*The Constitutional Development of Russia. M. Karpovitch. 
Our Pacific Coast in the Making. Elizabeth F. Fisher. 
(Field and Forest Club.) 
*Plots and Counter-Plots. Frank Chouteau Brown. (Drama 

League. ) 
^Switzerland. Ellen E. Page. (Ruskin Club.) 
*The Problem of NationaHties in Russia. Arthur I. Andrews. 
Rio Janeiro. Rev. H. A. Manchester. 
Boston when FrankHn was a Boy. John C. S. Andrew. 
*The Child's Point of View. Marshall L. Perrin, (Froebel 

*The Russian Revolution of 1917. Arthur I. Andrews. 
The Painters and Engravers of Old Boston. Martha A. S. 

































































Man and his Forerunners. Horace Taylor. 
*Ruskin's Youth. Minnie Meserve Soule. (Ruskin Club.) 
Animal Life. Miss Guyol. 
Early American Life as Portrayed in Contemporary Prints. 

Charles E. Goodspeed. 
Adventures in the Land of Sunshine. (Florida and Nassau.) 
W. Lyman Underwood. 
*Boys' and Girls' Agricultural Clubs in Massachusetts. 
George L. Farley. (Field and Forest Club.) 
The Cathedrals of England. Joseph Williams. 
^Abraham Lincoln. William Henry Lewis. 
*The Social Philosophy of John Ruskin. Joseph C. Whipple. 
(Ruskin Club.) 
Feb. 14. Our National Forests. Philip W. Ayres. (Field and Forest 

Feb. 17. The Boston Theatre. 1854-1901. Quincy Kilby. 
Feb. 18. Ballooning and Aviation. William Carroll Hill. (Field 

and Forest Club.) 
Feb. 2 1 . The Ghent Altar Piece. Burleigh Parkhurst. 
Feb. 24. ^Ecclesiastical Music to the Reformation Period. Benedict 

Fitz Gerald. 
Feb. 25. *The Seventeenth Anniversary of the Founding of the Boston 
Ruskin Club. Clarissa Sears Blackmer. (Ruskin Club.) 
Pre-Revolutionary Boston. Park Pressey. 
Ireland, the Land of the Shamrock. Minna Eliot Tenney 

The Passion Play of Ober-Ammergau. Rev. Arthur T. 
*Ideas in the Theatre. Thomas Crosby, Jr. (Drama 

*The Point of View. (Italian Renaissance.) William J. 
Mann. (Ruskin Club.) 
Vacation Tramps in New England Highlands. Allen Cham- 
berlain. (Field and Forest Club.) 
*Modern Irish Poetry. John J. Walsh. 
Some Problems of City Planning in Boston. Ralph Adams 
^Random Bird Notes. Horace Taylor. 
Cathedral Building and the Story of the Normans. William 
J. Mann. (Ruskin Club.) 
Mar. 28. How the Town of Boston Grew in Three Centuries. Walter 

Kendall Watkins. 
Mar. 31. Jerusalem and its Vicinity. Anton H. Hanania. 
Apr. 4. The Production of a Play. Frank Cheney Hersey. (Drama 

















Apr. 7. *Songs of Russia. Olin Downes. 

Apr. 8. Niccolo Pisano. William J. Mann. (Ruskin Club.) 

Apr. 11. Sidelights on National Conservation. (Forestry.) Harris A. 

Reynolds. (Field and Forest Club.) 

Apr. 14. *Opera Talk. Meyerbeer's Le Prophete. Henry Gideon. 

Apr. 2 1 . *Opera Talk. Leoni's L'Oracolo. Henry Gideon. 

Apr. 22. *Dante as Interpreter. William J. Mann. (Ruskin Club.) 


The Branch Department consists of 1 4 principal branches and 
16 minor branches, termed reading-rooms, in number the same 
as a year ago. The subsidiary agencies include Fire Depart- 
ment houses, 60; other institutions, 39; public and parochial 
schools, 1 79. The total number of agencies, therefore, is 308 
as against 289 last year. 

Mr. Langdon L. Ward, Supervisor of Branches and Reading 
Rooms, reports that the number of volumes issued on borrowers 
cards from the Central Library through the Branch Department 
was 81,111, as against 73,511 in 1916. Since the branches 
and reading-rooms are from necessity inadequately supplied with 
books for direct issue, the daily issue from the Central Library 
is of vital importance. Although the disappointments of indi- 
vidual borrowers are many and severe, yet thousands do get the 
books they want and which they could not have had without 
this liberal daily service from the Central Library. 

During the year 37,907 volumes were sent on deposit to 
the schools to 980 individual teachers. The total circulation 
of the Branch System was 1,809,615 volumes, compared with 
1 ,776,745 in 191 6. If there had been a more adequate supply 
of books the gain would undoubtedly have been much larger, 
although the war, general business prosperity, and the partial 
closing of the schools had their part in keeping down the circula- 

The number of volumes of new books bought for the branches 
was 4,3 13, as against 5,372 in 1916, and 7,697 in 1915. There 
have been replacements to the number of 7,197 volumes. The 
additions to the permanent collections of the reading-rooms were 
3,873 volumes as against 3,749 volumes in 1916, and 4,875 
volumes in 1915. 


To a reasonable extent the thirty branches and reading-rooms 
meet the wants of the pubHc, and certainly none of them could 
be discontinued without real injury to the district which it serves. 
The chief failure of the branches to satisfy the needs of their con- 
stituents, as has been repeatedly said, is their inadequate supply 
of books. Relations with the public are almost unfailingly 
pleasant. Hie complaints arise from the lack of more books. 
Nothing new can be said regarding this need; it is the greatest 
need of all, — new titles in abundance and many more copies 
of the books in steady demand. There is also a special call for 
more books for the lower-grade school children, more books in 
the foreign languages, and more books in the useful arts and 
reference collections. 

The following passages from the annual reports of the branch 
librarians show certain phases of their service to the public. 

In general the books most in demand are books on the war ; on account- 
ing and civil service examinations; handbooks of engineering; new^ fiction; 
books on wireless telegraphy; manuals of the steam boiler; books on ship- 
building and electricity. A number of men employed in the various shops 
at the Navy Yard want only the books last mentioned. Frequently these 
volumes are stolen or mutilated, and when this happens a number of earnest 
workmen suffer until they are replaced. 

The entrance of the United States into the war in April, and the 
consequent unsettled conditions resulting when a peaceful country takes 
up arms, the enlisting and drafting of so many of our young men, the food 
problem, the work of raising war funds, together with other war service, 
the sewing and knitting for the soldiers by the women and children, 
the suspension of immigration, which makes a decided change in this 
district and especially in the schools here, have all had their influence on 
our reading public. For a time the daily papers and magazines supplied 
the war news and satisfied our people, then the shelf of "books on the 
war" became popular, and all the war maps we could post were consulted 
and studied. Now the reading is becoming more general again, and the 
reaction among our people is manifesting itself in a desire for a Hghter kind 
of reading, — for more fiction. 

The general character of the reference work which we are enabled to 
do is growing more satisfactory to all classes of patrons. In the grammar 
schools I now have in many rooms a room hbrarian appointed by the 
teacher to bring to me topics that are to be taken up the following week. 
Several high school pupils help me. As a result of being able to reserve 


and also procure material from the Central Library in advance, I am able 
to meet demands in a manner hitherto impossible. 

Our constituency consists in part of club members, some students of the 
vicinity from Harvard, Radcliffe, Boston College, Boston University, 
Institute of Technology, normal and parochial schools, together with gram- 
mar and high school pupils. Several salesmen, accountants, and business 
men are also among those who use the library. The demand from the 
latter is for books which will aid them in their specific work and in general 
office management. For these books we depend upon the Central delivery. 
Khaki and college military uniforms begin to appear in the library. We 
hear of trench practice, aviation, the navy yard, shipbuilding, and Platts- 
burg commissions, and we issue books bearing on these subjects. Faces of 
students wont to frequent the room year after year are missing because they 
are "over there." A while ago a young man who had been wounded and 
was just back from the trenches asked for periodicals and books concerning 
the United States during his absence, outside of the war news, because he 
desired to "catch up." With all patrons, from grammar school up, per- 
sonal service is the keynote of such success in pleasing and helping them as 
we hope we are attaining in the reading room. Work with individuals 
rather than the consideration of the public as a unit, gives best results in 
relations with patrons, always keeping in mind, however, the greatest good 
to the greatest number. 

All classes are represented, with their varied needs. We have teachers, 
college students, clergymen, doctors, and other professional men and 
women, with their demands for books on education, vocational guidance, 
sociology, religion, biography, current history, and literature. We also 
have the practical workers, mechanics and others in various industries with 
their demands for books on technical subjects, such as book-keeping and 
accounting, business correspondence, salesmanship, automobiles, plumbing, 
engineering, aeronautics, wireless telegraph and books on the European 

During the year we have made a list of all the important business con- 
cerns in the district with a view to finding out just what our branch needs 
to be of more service to the community. Recently a social service student 
called for a local business directory. Our business list proved to be just 
what she wanted. 

The branches are in close touch with the local Boy Scouts 
and an attempt is made to provide reading suitable for them. 
Some individual scouts having been helpful in matters of disci- 
pline and the recovery of books, an appeal was made to head- 
quarters for co-operation in these matters, and an interview with 
the Scout Commissioner held at the Central Library resulted in 
the promise of future co-operation. 


Reports from the branch and reading-room Hbrarians indicate 
that while the privilege of taking four books for home use on an 
ordinary card has been valued by some persons w^ho are reading 
on a special subject, the public in general has not yet taken ad- 
vantage of the enlarged opportunity of borrowing books. 


Mr. John J. Keenan, Chief of the Registration Department 
reports 101 ,891 "live" cards (that is, cards available for present 
use) outstanding at the end of the year. Compared with the 
"live" cards of a year ago there was a loss of 2,434 as against a 
loss of 7,874 for the prior year. 

The distribution by wards of the holders of "live" cards is 
shown in the following table, in comparison with the population: 

Classification of Holders of "Live" Cards, tp Wards. 

^^^ HOLDERS. IN 1915. 

I 1,690 23,776 

2 2,268 41,904 

3 1,192 21,016 

4 1,346 18,585 

5 1,378 77,573 

6 2,572 37.250 

7 2,592 35,084 

8 4,486 38,317 

9 5,298 33,996 

10 7.193 25,741 

11 7,475 26,234 

12 2,780 29,416 

13 2,692 38,533 

14 3,571 27,799 

15 3,864 26,225 

16 3,792 25,404 

17 2,570 25.853 

18 ■ 2,756 25.877 

19 ■ . 4.556 22.748 

20 ! 7.283 22,958 

21 5,284 26,499 

22 ■ . 3,660 23,812 

23 * • 4,184 21,442 

24 ■ 8.368 22.615 

25 ■ 5,680 16,401 

26 '. '. 3.361 18,381 

Totals 101,891 745,439 

The number of "live" cards held by persons over sixteen years 
of age is 54,820, as compared with 47,071 held by those under 


sixteen. Cards held by teachers number 4,816; by pupils of 
elementary schools (public and parochial) 33,862; and by 
students of higher institutions of learning, 25,126; male card 
holders number 43,264 and female, 58,627. 

Of the 6,961 teachers' cards issued prior to January 15, 1918, 
878 are "live" cards; of these 632 are held by permanent resi- 
dents (in addition to their ordinary cards), and 246 are held by 

Of the 2,694 special privilege cards issued prior to January 
15, 1918, 387 are "live" cards; 276 are held by permanent 
residents, and 1 1 1 are held by non-residents. 

The total number of application blanks, borrowers' cards, 
certificates, etc., filled in, and filed alphabetically, during the 
year, vv^as 1 15,183. 



Under the editorial supervision of Mr. Lindsay Swift the 
following publications have been issued during the year. 
Weekly Lists. From January 20, 1917, to January 12, 1918, 52 num- 
bers. Edition, each issue, 2,500 copies. Consecutive pages in 
all, 292. 
Quarterly Bulletins. Four numbers. Edition, each issue, 2,000 copies. 
Pages, in all, 420. The Bulletin contained the usual announce- 
ments of the University Extension Courses (growing in importance 
each year) in the September and December issues; of the Lowell 
Institute Courses in the September and December issues. In addition 
to these, the Programmes of Exhibitions in the Central Library, 
Branches and Reading-Rooms for 191 6-1 7, was given in the issue 
for March, 1917, and the Programmes for 1917-18, in the Sep- 
tember and December issues. 

As in the previous year a reprint ( 1 ,500 copies) was made of 
all the Free Educational Courses, Lectures, and Exhibitions 
offered by the various institutions above mentioned, and was 
quickly exhausted. This has proved to be a popular under- 
taking, as well as an economical one, for it is useless to give the 
whole Bulletin for September, comprising usually over one hun- 
dred pages, to persons who need only the reprint and have no 
special use for the Bulletin. 


In connection with the Lowell Institute Lectures there were 

issued the following reading lists prepared in each case by the 

lecturer who alone was responsible for the extent and character 

of his list : 

The Power of Dante, by Professor Charles H. Grandgent, Professor 
of Romance Languages in Harvard University (September Bulletin, 
p. 315). 

War and Diplomacy in the Balkans, by H. Charles Woods, F.R.G.S. 
(December Bulletin, p. 416). 

Convention, Originality and Revolt in Poetry, by Professor John Living- 
ston Lowes, Professor of English in Washington University (December 
Bulletin, p. 418). 

The United States and its Sections, by Frederick Jackson Turner, Pro- 
fessor of History in Harvard University (December Bulletin, p. 419). 

In the early part of the year a series entitled Brief Reading 
Lists was begun and met with a decided public approval. Three 
numbers were issued, the first in April, and the others in July. 
No. 1 , of which three editions of five hundred copies each were 
called for, is entitled "A Selected List of Books on National 
Defense, Military Science and Law." It contains something 
over three hundred titles in compact and serviceable form. No. 
2, of which two editions, the first of one thousand, the second 
of five hundred copies, were issued, is entitled "A Selected List 
of Books on Domestic Production and Preservation of Food" 
and contains about 200 titles. This also proved most accept- 
able to the public. No. 3, "A Selected List of Books on the 
Commerce, Industries and Natural Resources of Russia" passed 
through two printings, one of three hundred, the second of five 
hundred copies. 

The Bates Hall Centre Desk, Newspaper and Patent Rooms, 
Central Library^. 

The following statistics are reported by Mr. Pierce E. Buck- 
ley, Custodian: 

Centre Desk. The maximum attendance of readers, 325 on 
January 7, at 5 P.M., exceeds by 10 the maximum reported 
in 1917. The use of Bates Hall for the week of December 


10—15, when every slip presented was recorded, is set forth in 
the following table : 



Monday 784 592 76 

Tuesday 689 549 59 

Wednesday 594 563 67 

Thursday 599 459 72 

Friday 618 564 51 

Saturday 787 619 104 

Sunday 794 597 69 

The large use made of the reference books on the open shelves 
in Bates Hall is not included in the above table, since they can 
be freely consulted without the use of book slips. 

NeXDspaper Room. At present there are 294 newspapers on 
file in this department of the Central Library. Of this number 
226 are dailies and 68 weeklies; 209 are papers published 
in the United States, and 85 in foreign countries. During the 
year 4 papers were added and 10 were dropped. It is now 
over a year since any German, Austrian, Belgian or Russian 
papers have been received. The attendance in the Newspaper 
Room not infrequently exceeds the proper limit. This is es- 
pecially true on Sundays. The maximum attendance was 2 1 4 
at 5 P.M. on November 4; the minimum was 82 at 5 P.M. 
on June 10. During the year 17,998 users consulted 31,815 
bound volumes from the newspaper files, as compared with 
32,633 volumes consulted in the year previous by 19,279 

Patent Room. The collection now numbers 1 3,981 volumes, 

an increase of 374 for the year. The number of volumes added 

would have been larger but for the fact that, as in the case of 

newspapers, the receipt of foreign patents, with the exception of 

the English, has virtually ceased. 

The recorded use of the room was : 

1916-17. 1917-18. 

Volumes consulted, as recorded 108.029 106.033 

Persons using the collection 19,564 19,029 

The Periodical Room, Central Library. 

Mr. Francis J. Hannigan, Custodian of the Periodical 
Room, reports the number of readers making use of the Peri- 


odical Room, at certain hours, in each of two successive years, 

in the following table : 

10 12 2 4 6 8 10 

A.M. M. P.M. P.M. P.M. P.M. P.M. 

1916-17 . . . 9,936 13,783 21,295 26,732 19,331 23,206 8,491 
1917-18 . . . 9,873 12,981 20,673 26.327 18,784 22,701 8,522 

The use of the bound files was as follows : 

Bound volumes consulted during the year: 1916-17. 1917—18, 

In the daytime (week days) ...... 32,647 31,532 

In the evening or on Sundays ... . 13,296 12,119 

It should be remembered that periodicals on special subjects 
may be found in special departments. The distribution of peri- 
odicals open to readers at the Central Library, is as follows : 

Fine Arts Department and Music Room ....... 120 

Periodical Room ............ 1 ,330 

Statistical Department ........... 54 

Teachers' Reference Room .......... 40 

Documents and Statistics. 

Mr. Horace L. Wheeler, in charge of the Statistical Depart- 
ment, reports that the number of volumes on the shelf-list of the 
department is now 20,952. The additions during the year 
chiefly by exchange with and gifts to the collection of the Ameri- 
can Statistical Association, were 280 volumes and 64 1 separate 
parts. From regular sources 500 volumes have been added. 

Although the location of the Statistical Department is in an 
out of the way part of the Library, remote from the main en- 
trance and inconvenient of access, it should be remembered that 
its collection, including the library of the American Statistical 
Association and the large public documents division (municipal, 
state, and federal), is not approached by any other collection in 
America. Its value is known and appreciated not only by 
business men but by an increasing number of students from the 
colleges and institutions of Greater Boston. 

Sunday and Evening Service, Central Library. 

The average number of books lent on Sundays and holidays, 
for use outside the building was 786 (806 in 1916-17). The 
largest number on any single Sunday (or holiday) was 1,424 


(1,380 in 1916-17). The largest number of readers in the 
Bates Hall Reading Room on any single Sunday was 325 on 
January 7 (315 in 1916-1 7, on December 10, 1916). 

The Printing Department. 

The statistics furnished by Mr. Francis Watts Lee, Chief of 
the Printing Department, are given in the usual form, though 
slight changes in the method of compiling them prevent exact 
comparison between the two successive years. 

Requisitions on hand at opening of year 
Requisitions received during the year 
Requisitions on hand at end of year 
Requisitions filled during the year 
Card Catalogue (Central) : 

Titles (Printing Dept. count) • 

Cards finished (exclusive of extras) 
Card Catalogue (Branches) : 

Titles (Printing Dept. count) . 

Cards finished (exclusive of extras) 
Pamphlets not elsewhere enumerated 
Catalogues and pamphlets (1,206 pp.) 
Call slips and other slips 
Stationery and blank forms . 
Signs ..... 

Blank books .... 

The Bindery. 

The usual statistical statement as to the work in the Bindery 
based upon the report of its Chief, Mr. James W. Kenney, fol- 

Number of volumes bound, various styles 
Magazines stitched .... 
Volumes repaired .... 
Volumes guarded .... 

Maps mounted ..... 
Photographs and engravings mounted . 
Library publications folded, stitched and trimmed 




















• . . 


1 .743,666 

























Examinations for library service were given as follows : Grade 
B, February 21, 39 applicants, of whom 1 1 passed; Grade B, 
special examination for position of branch librarian, February 
24, 18 applicants, of whom 5 passed; Grade E, June 9, 85 


applicants, of whom 62 passed; Grade E, October 6, 71 appli- 
cants, of whom 47 passed; and Grade E, January 12, 1918, 
73 applicants, of whom 43 passed. The reason of the small 
percentage of candidates who passed the Grade B examinations 
is easily explainable by the fact that a large number who took 
it were obviously and palpably unqualified by education or 


At at present organized, the various departments of the Library 
and the branches and reading-rooms are in charge of the follow- 
ing persons. 

Otto Fleischner, Assistant Librarian. 

Samuel A. Chevalier, Chief of Catalogue Department. 

William G. T. Roffe, in Charge of Shelf Department. 

Theodosia E. Macurdy, Chief of Ordering Department. 

Frank H. Chase, Custodian of Bates Hall Reference Department. 

Pierce E. Buckley, Custodian of Bates Hall Centre Desk, Patent and 

Newspaper Departments. 
Walter Rowlands, Acting Custodian of Special Libraries. 
Francis J. Hannigan, Custodian of Periodical Room. 
Barbara Duncaij, In charge of Allen A. Brown Music Room. 
Walter G. Forsyth, In charge of Barton -Ticknor Room. 
Frank C. Blaisdell, Chief of Issue Department. 
Langdon L. Ward, Supervisor of Branches and Reading-Rooms. 
Ahce M. Jordan, Supervisor of Work with Children. 
Mary C. Toy, Children's Librarian, Central Library. 
John J. Keenan, Chief of Registration Department. 
Horace L. Wheeler, In charge of Statistical Department. 
Lindsay Swift, Editor of PubHcations. 
Francis Watts Lee, Chief of Printing Department. 
James W. Kenney, Chief of Bindery Department. 
Henry Niederauer, Chief of Engineer and Janitor Department. 
Marian W. Brackett, Librarian of Brighton Branch. 
Katherine S. Rogan, Librarian of Charletown Branch. 
Elizabeth P. Ross, Librarian of Codman Square Branch. 
Elizabeth T. Reed, Librarian of Dorchester Branch. 
Laura M. Cross, Librarian of East Boston Branch. 
Elizabeth Ainsworth, Librarian of Hyde Park Branch. 
Mfery P. Swain, Librarian of Jamaica Plain Branch. 
Edith Guerrier, Librarian of North End Branch. 
Helen M. Bell, Librarian of Roxbury Branch. 


M. Florence Cufflin, Librarian of South Boston Brahch. 
Margaret A. Sheridan, Librarian of South End Branch. 
Josephine E. Kenney, Librarian of Upham's Corner Branch. 
Alice M. Robinson, Librarian of West End Branch. 
Carrie L. Morse, Librarian of West Roxbury Branch. 
Mary A. Hill, Librarian of Station A, Lower Mills Reading Room. 
Grace L. Murray, Librarian of Station B, Roslindale Reading Room. 
Emma D. Capewell, Librarian of Station D, Mattapan Reading Room. 
Mary M. Sullivan, Librarian of Station E, Neponset Reading Room. 
Isabel E. Wetherald, Librarian of Station F, Mt. Bowdoin Reading Room. 
Katherine F. Muldoon, Librarian of Station G, Allston Reading Room. 
Margaret H. Reid, Librarian of Station N, Mt. Pleasant Reading Room. 
Cora L. Stewart, Librarian of Station P, Tyler Street Reading Room. 
Florence M. Bethune, Librarian of Station R, Warren Street Reading 

Katrina M. Sather, Librarian of Station S, Roxbury Crossing Reading 

Beatrice C. Maguire, Librarian of Station T, Boylston Station Reading 

Edith R. Nickerson, Librarian of Station Y, Andrew Square Reading 

Edith F. Pendleton, Librarian of Station Z, Orient Heights Reading 


lice L. ] 

ary F. 1 
Gertrude L. Connell, Librarian of Station 25, Faneuil Reading Room. 

Alice L. Murphy, Librarian of Station 23, City Point Reading Room. 
Mary F. Kelley, Librarian of Station 24, Parker Hill Reading Room. 


The Library war activities have greatly increased since the 
entrance of the United States on the side of the Allies into the 
European War. The Library proudly floats a service flag of 
seven stars, representing the following young men: George W. 
Gallagher, James P. Gannon and James P. Mooers of the 
Bindery Department; Frank J. Krigel of the Patent Depart- 
ment ; James S. Kennedy and Edward F. Sullivan of the Special 
Libraries ; and William A. McGowan of the Shelf Department. 

The campaign for Food Conservation is being materially 
helped by a permanent food exhibit in the Central Library under 
the auspices of the Women's Municipal League, and by frequent 
exhibitions and lectures in the Branches. The Library has 
been honored by the appointment of Miss Edith Guerrier, 


Librarian of the North End Branch, as Chief of the Library 
Section of the National Food Administration. 

Exhibitions of special material illustrating phases and localities 
of the War have been continuous, large additions to the war 
posters and books on the war have been made during the year, and 
new editions of the "List on National Defense, Military Science 
and Law" have been issued. In this connection it may be per- 
mitted to state that the Boston Public Library was probably the 
first library to publish a war book list. War was declared by 
Austria against Serbia on July 28, 1914, and a "List of Books on 
the European Crisis" was issued on August 1 . An added war 
time activity was the establishment of a class in Conversational 
French held in the Lecture Hall of the Library under the direc- 
tion of the University Extension Department of the State Board 
of Education. Early last summer a library deposit station was 
organized on Commonwealth Pier, used as a receiving ship for 
the men in the Naval Reserve. The contribution from the 
Library has been materially supplemented by books purchased 
through the Free Public Library Commission and the American 
Library Association. From the first the collection has had the 
intelligent supervision of Mr. John H. Reardon of the Shelf 
Department. Since the establishment of the library for soldiers 
at Camp Devens the loan of technical and unusual books from 
the Central Library has been continuous. 

The employees of the Library System did sterling work in the 
two Red Cross campaigns for membership, while their record 
in subscriptions for Liberty Bonds is one in which they will long 
have pride. A number of the staff of the Central Library worked 
with unflagging interest and zeal during the September campaign 
for money for libraries for soldiers and sailors at home and 'over 
there'. The measure of success achieved by the Branch and 
Reading-Room Librarians was shown by the fact that of the 
$58,371.27 contributed by Boston, $13,414.89 was turned in 
through their effective efforts. 

Last Fall the War Service Committee of the American Li- 
brary Association designated the Boston Public Library as one 
of a dozen libraries of the country to receive and prepare gift- 
books for shipment to camps and stations in America and over- 


seas. The libraries of New England forwarded their collections 
of books and periodicals to the Boston Public Library where 
they were sorted, and the books labeled and catalogued by volun- 
teer helpers. During the winter 1 75 persons gave their time, 
varying in amount from a few hours to months, to this interesting 
work. The number of volumes contributed by Boston was 
1 8,983 ; the number from cities and towns of New England, 
58,815. These books, together with tons of magazines, have 
been reshipped to army and aviation camps, naval stations and 
forts in various parts of the United States, and distributed among 
battleships, cruisers, coast patrol boats and transports. The 
number of donated books has been all to few. The steady and 
growing demand gives reason to believe that a national drive 
for good books should meet with a ready and liberal response. 

Since the Librarian began his service last June, he has been 
honored in his appointment by the American Library Association 
as a member of the War Finance and War Service Committees 
of the Association; as Division Director for New England in 
the campaign to raise one million dollars; and as State Director 
in the contemplated drive for books for soldiers and sailors to 
be held in March. 


In conclusion I wish to thank those members of the Library 
System staff who, by their spirit of loyalty and devotion to allotted 
tasks, have lightened materially the responsibilities of their Chief. 
In particular I am indebted to Miss Delia Jean Deery, efficient 
Executive Clerk, whose knowledge of administrative detail has 
been most helpful, and to Mr. Otto Fleischner, Assistant Libra- 
rian, ever zealous for the interests of the Library, whose com- 
ment and suggestion have been of the utmost value to a new 

Respectfully submitted, 

Charles F. D. Belden, 


1 . Central Library, Copley Square. 

Branch Libraries, February 1, 1918. 

2. Brighton Branch, HoUon Library Building, Academy Hill Road. 

3. Charlestown Branch, Monument Square, cor. Monument Ave. 

4. Dorchester Branch, Arcadia, cor. Adams St. 

5. East Boston Branch, 276 - 282 Meridian St. 

6. Jamaica Plain Branch, Sedgwick, cor. South St. 

7. Roxbury Branch, 46 Millmont St. 

8. South Boston Branch, 372 Broadway. 

9. South End Branch, 397 Shawmut Ave. 

10. Upham's Corner Branch, Columbia Road, cor. Bird St. 

1 1 . West Elnd Branch. Cambridge, cor. Lynde St. 

12. West Roxbury Branch, Centre, near Mt. Vernon St. 

13. Hyde Park Branch, Harvard Ave., cor. Winthrop St. 

14. North End Branch, 3a North Bennet St. 

15. Codman Square Branch, Washington, cor. Norfolk St., Dorchester. 

Delivery Stations, February 1, 1918. 

A. Lower Mills Reading Room, Washington, cor. Richmond St. 

B. Roslindale Reading Room, Washington, cor. Ashland St. 

D. Mattapan Reading Room, 727 Walk Hill St. 

E. Neponset Reading Room, 362 Neponset Ave. 

F. Mount Bowdoin Reading Room, Washington, cor. Eldon St. 

G. Allston Reading Room, 6 Harvard Ave. 
H. Faneuil Reading Room, 100 Brooks St. 

N. Mt. Pleasant Reading Room, Vine, cor. Dudley St. 

P. Tyler Street Reading Room, Tyler, cor. Oak St. 

R. Warren Street Reading Room, 392 Warren St. 

S. Roxbury Crossing Reading Room, 1 1 54 Tremont St. 

T. Boylston Station Reading Room, The Lamartine, Depot Square. 

V. City Point Reading Room, Municipal Building, Broadway. 

X. Parker Hill Reading Room, 1518 Tremont St. 

Y. Andrew Square Reading Room, 396 Dorchester St. 

Z. Orient Heights Reading Room, 1030 Bennington St. 

Area of City (Land only) 45.60 Square miles. 

Population (Census of 1915), 745/J39. 


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Accessions and Additions. (See 

Addition to Central Library building, 

Belden, Charles F. D., appointed libra- 
rian, 7. 

Benton, Josiah H., death, 1-3; bequest, 
4-6: collection of books, 6-7. 

Balance sheet, 24. 

Bates Hall, 48. 

Bates Hall Centre Desk, 58. 

Bindery, 11,33, 61. 

Books, additions, 9, 41, 53, 59, 60; aver- 
age cost, 9 ; circulation, 38, 39, 40, 46, 
53 ; Examining Committee on, 32 ; total 
number and location, 44, 45. 

Branches and reading-rooms, 33; books 
in, 41, 53, 54; circulation, 38-40, 53; 
curtailment of service on account of 
fuel shortage, 16; Examining Com- 
mittee on, 34; new buildings needed 
for South Boston and West Roxbury, 
9; request for establishment of new, 8; 
Roslindale to be moved to new muni- 
cipal bldg., 8; work with schools, 10, 

Business Men's Branch, 8. 

Carr, Samuel, elected Vice President. I . 

Coakley, Daniel H., appointed trustee, 

Connolly, Arthur T., reappointed trus- 
tee, 1. 

Catalogue Department, 43. 

Children's Department, 33, 45-47. 

Deposits, 10, 53. 

Documents and statistics, 60. 

Estimates, 17. 

Examinations, 61. 

Examining Committee, 21 ; report, 28- 

Finance, balance sheet, 24; Benton be-» 
quest, 4—6; comparative statistics, 31 ; 

estimates, 17; expenditures for books, 
periodicals, etc., 9, 42; receipts, 1; 
trust funds, 1, 10, 15; War Library 
fund, 12. 

French Mission, visit of, 12-14. 

Fuel shortage, curtailed service on ac- 
count of, 16. 

Gifts, 6, 42. 

Inter-library loans, 40. 

Kenney, William F., elected President, 

Lantern slides, 9, 49. 

Lectures, 50-53. 

Librarian's report, 37. 

Newspaper room, 59. 

Ordering Department, 42. 

Patent Room, 59. 

Periodical Room, 59. 

Photographs and other pictures, 9, 49. 

Printing Department, 33, 61. 

Publications, 57. 

Receipts. (See Finance.) 

Registration Department, 56. 

Repairs and improvements, 37. 

Roslindale Reading Room, to be moved 
to new Municipal Building, 8. 

Salaries and wages, increase recom- 
mended, 17. 

Schools, work with, 10, 53. 

Shelf Department, 43. 

Special Libraries, 33, 48, 49. 

Story Hour, 47. 

Sunday and evening service, 60. 

Survey of the Library, 20, 36. 

Trust funds. (See Finance.) 

Trustees, organization, 1 ; powers and 
duties regarding expenditures, 19; reso- 
lutions on death of Mr. Benton, 3; 
resolutions on war library work, 1 1 . 

War Library service, 1 1 , 63. 

Wadlin, Horace G., resignation, 7. 

The Public Library of the City of Boston: Printing Department. 



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