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1 920-1921 





MPS : 6.28.21 ; 25C. 


ON FEBRUARY 1. 1921. 


Term expires April 30, 1925. 


Term expires April 30, 1921. Term expires April 30, 1923. 


Term expires April 30, 1922. Term expires April 30, 1924. 



The Trustees of the Pubhc 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 1878, as amended. The Board for 1852 was a prehminary or- 
ganization; that for 1 853 made the first annual report. At first the Board 
consisted of one alderman 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 1878 the organization 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 
representation of the City Government upon the Board by an alderman 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., 1865-67. 

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

Boyle, Thomas Francis, 1902-12. 

Braman, 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, 1917-19. 

Connolly, Arthur Theodore, 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, Richard, 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- 

KiRSTEiN, Louis Edward, 1919- 

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. 
Prince, Frederick Octavius, a.m., 1888-99. 
Putnam, George, d.d., 1868-77. 
Richards, William Reuben, a.m., 1889-95. 
Shurtleff, Nathaniel Bradstreet, ll.d., 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. 

The Hon. Edward Everett was President of the Board from 1852 
to 1864; George Ticknor, in 1865; 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, 
1 899 ; Solomon Lincoln, May 1 2, 1 899, to October 15, 1 907 ; Rev. 
James De Normandie, January 31, 1908, to May 8, 1908; Josiah 
H. Benton, May 8, 1908, to February 6, 1917; William F. Ken- 

NEY, February 13, 1917, to May 7, 1920; Rev. ALEXANDER ManN, 
since May 7, 1920. 


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

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

Jewett, Charles C., Superintendent, 1858- January 9, 1868. 

Winsor, Justin, ll.d.. Superintendent, February 25, 1 868 - Septem- 
ber 30, 1877. 

Green, Samuel A., M.D., Trustee, Acting Librarian, October 1, 
1877 -September 30, 1878. 

Chamberlain, Mellen, ll.d.. Librarian, October 1, 1878 -Sep- 
tember 30. 1 890. 

DwiGHT, Theodore F., Librarian, April 13, 1892 -April 30, 1894. 

Putnam, Herbert, ll.d.. Librarian, February 1 1, 1895 -April 30, 

Whitney, James L., a.m.. Acting Librarian, March 31, 1899 -De- 
cember 21, 1899; Librarian, December 22, 1 899 — January 31, 

Wadlin, Horace G., LITT.D., Librarian, February 1, 1903 -March 
15. 1917; Acting Librarian, March 15, 191 7 -June 15, 1917. 

Belden, Charles F. D., ll.b.. Librarian, since March 15, 191 7. 


tCentral Library, Copley Sq. 
'('East Boston Branch, 276-282 Meridian St. . 
§South Boston Branch, 372 Broadway . 
IJRoxbury Branch, 46 Millmonl St. 
fCharlestown Branch, Monument Sq. . 
fBrighton Branch, Academy Hill Rd. . 
JDorchester Branch, Arcadia, cor. Adams St. 
§South End Branch, 397 Shawmul Ave. 
tJamaica Plain Branch, Sedgwick, cor. South St 
JWest Roxbury Branch, Centre, near Mt. Vernon St. . 
tWest End Branch, Cambridge, cor. Lynde St. 
JUpham's Corner Branch, Columbia Rd., cor. Bird St. 
f Hyde Park Branch, Harvard Ave., cor. Winlhrop St. . 
fNorth End Branch, 3a North Bennet St. . 
|:Codman Square Branch, Washington, cor. Norfolk St. 
:j:Roslindale Branch, Washington, cor. Ashland St. 
§Warren Street Branch, 392 Warren St. . . . 

§Station A. Lower Mills Reading Room, Washington St. 

Mattapan Reading Room, 7 Babson St. 

Neponset Reading Room, 362 Neponset Ave. 

Mt. Bowdoin Reading Room, Washington, cor. 

§ * 

' D. 

§ ' 

' E. 

§ * 

' F. 

§ • 

* G. 

t ' 

' N. 

t ' 

' P. 

§ ■ 

' S. 

§ ' 

' T. 

§ • 

• Y. 

§ ' 

* Z. 

t ' 

' 23 

§ ' 

' 24 

t * 

* 25 



AUston Reading Room, 138 Brighton Ave. 

Mt. Pleasant Reading Room, Vine, cor Dudley St 

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

Roxbury Crossing Reading Room, 208 Ruggles St, 

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

Andrew Square Reading Room, 396 Dorchester St. 

Orient Heights Reading Room, 1030 Bennington St, 

City Point Reading Room, Municipal Bldg., Broadway 

Parker Hill Reading Room, 1518 Tremont St. 

Faneuil Reading Room, 100 Brooks St, 



























































































^ 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. 1| 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 
Appendix to the Report of the Librarian 
Index to the Annual Report 1920-1921 



Central Library 

Map of the Library System 

At the end 

To His Honor Andrew J. Peters, 

Ma'^or of the Cil'^ of Boston. 

Sir: — The Board of Trustees of the PubHc Library of the 
City of Boston present the following report of its condition and 
affairs for the year ending January 31, 1 92 1 , being their sixty- 
ninth annual report. 


The annual meeting of the Board was held on Friday, May 7, 
1920, when the Rev. Alexander Mann, D.D., was elected Presi- 
dent, Mr. Samuel Carr, Vice President, and Miss Delia Jean 
Deery, Clerk. Rev. Alexander Mann, D.D., was reappointed 
a trustee for the term ending April 30, 1925. 


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

Annual appropriation ......... $667,936.16 

Income from Trust Funds ......... 23,216.81 

Unexpended balance of Trust Funds income of previous years . . 40,629.14 

Total $731,782.11 

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 $11,103.24 

From sales of catalogues, etc. ........ 49.89 

From commissions on telephone stations ...... 406.93 

From sale of waste paper ......... 684.67 

From payments for lost books 62 1 .86 

Interest on bank deposits 104.55 

Money found • 5.10 

Total $12,976.24 



The home use of books from the Central Library, branches 
and reading rooms during 1920-21 was 2,448,776 volumes, 
an increase of 148,044 over the previous year. These figures 
do not include the very large use of books and periodicals in 
Bates Hall, the Patent Room, the Children's Room, the Fine 
Arts and other reference departments of the Library where the 
open shelves exist. Thousands of books, of which no record 
is kept, are called for in these departments during the year. 

The accessions of the year numbered 59,731 volumes, of 
which 46,809 were acquired by purchase. Because of the num- 
ber of books lost, missing or worn out, the net gain of volumes 
added to the collections numbered 20,798 at the Central Li- 
brary and 6,214 at the branches. The following comparative 
table shows the home circulation for the past five years: 

1916-17. 1917-18. 1918-19. 1919-20. 1920-21. 

Central circulation, direct 273,493 264,840 272,953 307,745 319,369 

Branch circulation, in- 
cluding books received 
from Central . . 1,776,745 1.809,615 1,755,100 1,992.987 2.129.407 

Total circulahon . 2.050.238 2.074.455 2,028.053 2,300.732 2.448.776 


At a meeting of the Board of Trustees on April 9, 1 920, a 
representative committee of citizens of West Roxbury, known 
as the West Roxbury Library Committee, appeared before the 
Board in reference to the proposed purchase of a site for a new 
library building in West Roxbury. At a meeting of the Board 
held on April 23, the Trustees formally voted to approve the 
recommendations made by the West Roxbury Library Com- 
mittee and so informed His Honor the Mayor. On June 7, the 
City Council voted an appropriation of $7,000 for the purchase 
of the site proposed, and this was approved by His Honor the 
Mayor on July 6. 

In this connection it may be said that the Trustees receive a 
number of requests during the year for the establishment of 
branches or reading rooms from various parts of the city. The 
prompt and signal success which crowned the efforts of the 


citizens of West Roxbury is largely due in our opinion not only 
to the intrinsic merit of their request but to the fact that the 
committee which urged it upon the Trustees and the City 
Council was one which represented practically every religious 
and secular interest in West Roxbury. 

The Roxbury Crossing Reading Room was removed to new 
quarters at 208 Ruggles Street on April 1 , 1 920. The change 
was neither an improvement nor an enlargement of the old quar- 
ters at 1 1 54 Tremont Street, but was found necessary as it was 
impossible to renew the lease. 


TTie report of the Examining Committee of the Library again 
emphasizes the need and value of a branch of the Library in 
the centre of the business section of the city, to be known as 
the Business Branch. If, as has been suggested, this Business 
Branch can be placed in the new building of the Boston Chamber 
of Commerce, the location would in the judgment of the Trustees 
be an ideal one. The Trustees renew the recommendation 
which has been made for several years past for this much needed 
library extension, and earnestly hope that it may receive the early 
consideration of His Honor the Mayor and the City Council, 
as a special appropriation will be necessary in order to carry 
out the undertaking. 

ESTIMATES 1921-22. 

The estimates of the Trustees for the maintenance of the Li- 
brary for the coming year forwarded to His Honor the Mayor 
in budget form as usual, amount to $786,688, of which $550,000 
is for personal service and $236,688 for general maintenance. 

The estimate for salaries includes $30,703 to provide for 
twenty-seven additional assistants to take care of increased work 
throughout the system. By direction of His Honor the Mayor 
no allowance for increases in salaries over present rates was 
included in the estimate. On April 1 , 1 920, a general salary 
increase was allowed to employees in the regular library service, 
and on July 1 , 1 920, to employees in the Printing and Binding 


Departments, amounting in all to approximately $70,000 for 
the year. Of this amount, practically four-fifths was expended 
in increasing the compensation of the more poorly paid positions. 
The Trustees felt that this should first be done, but they also 
feel that they would fail in their duty if they did not point out 
the vital importance of increasing the salaries of the heads of 
departments, branch librarians, and the better educated and 
more highly trained members of the staff at the earliest possible 
moment. If the efficiency of the whole Library system is to be 
not merely maintained but increased we must be able to offer 
salaries that will attract library workers of education and ex- 

The estimate for general maintenance includes a sum neces- 
sary to cover the absolutely essential repairs and improvements 
at the Central Library and branches, based on a careful study 
of conditions made by Messrs. Fox and Gale, architects, at the 
request of the Board. 

The Trustees have asked for $100,000 for the purchase of 
books, an increase of $40,000 over the amount allowed last 
year. In this connection the Trustees call the attention of 
His Honor the Mayor and the City Council, and through them 
the attention of the public, to the reiterated statements in the 
very able report presented this year by the Examining Committee 
to the effect that the pressing need of the Library today is more 
books. This need has been emphasized again and again by the 
Trustees in their annual reports, and they are grateful for the 
strong reinforcement of their request which is given in the report 
of the Examining Committee. The Trustees also call attention 
to the fact that the appropriation of the Library having been less 
than 3 per cent of the amount available for department expenses 
from taxes and income of the city, the income of the Benton 
Fund of $100,000 for the purchase of children's books was 
again not available for library purposes. 


The Board of Trustees accepted on December 31,1 920, a 
marble bust of Jared Sparks, bequeathed to the Library by the 


late Lizzie Sparks Pickering, wife of the late Edward C. Pick- 
ering. The bust is a copy of the original executed by Hiram 
Powers in Florence in 1857, and now occupies a pedestal in 
Bates Hall. 

Under the direction of the Librarian the three rooms to the 
right of the main stairway have been opened to provide ac- 
commodation for a general Library Information Office, a current 
Government Documents Service Room, and an Open Shelf 
Room. The Documents Room, established during the latter 
part of 1919, was described in the report of the Librarian of 
last year, and also in the October-December, 1920, Bulletin 
of the Library. The important service daily rendered to the 
business men of the community well justifies its continuance and 
development. We believe that it occupies an unique place in 
forward-looking library work. The Information Office ren- 
ders first-aid to all who come to the Central Library seeking any 
kind of information, and from the start has met with unques- 
tioned success. The Open Shelf Room is perhaps the most 
interesting experiment undertaken for some time. In specially 
designed cases some 2,500 selected volumes of non-fiction repre- 
senting over twenty classes of literature have been placed for 
the convenience of those persons who wish to find with the least 
trouble something good to read. The service is calling atten- 
tion to many good books that have either been forgotten or 
have escaped the notice of the general reader. Two full sec- 
tions of the shelving are filled with the new purchases of non- 
fiction. The use of this room is growing steadily and it is to 
be regretted that more space at the present time cannot be given 
thus to bring the Library and many of its resources in so simple 
a manner to the attention of the public. 


The Trust Funds, that is, property given to the Trustees in 
trust for the use of the Library amount to $674,532.63. They 
are by law required to be invested by the City Treasurer. 


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 : 

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 Long- 
fellow 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 use of the young. 
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. 

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. 




$ 10,000.00 





Billings . 




Bradlee . 


Center . 


"Children's" (under 

Benton Will) . 


Clement . 




Cutter . 


"Elizabeth" (undei 

Matchetl Will) 


Ford . 


Franklin Club 


Green . 


Charlotte Harris 


Thomas B. Harris 


Hyde . 


Knapp • 


Abbott Lawrence 


Edward Lawrence 




Loring . 






Carried forreard 



Brought fonvard 


Phillips . 


Pierce . 


Scholfield . 


Sewall . 


Skinner . 


South Boston . 


Ticknor . 


Todd . 






Tufts . 


Twentieth Regiment 


Wales . 


Alice L. Whitney . 


James L. Whitney . 


Wilson . 


Total . 


"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 the purchase of books. 

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 the Charlestown 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 purchase of books. 

For the benefit of sick and needy employees and 
the purchase of books. 
For books and manuscripts. 
For the purchase of books. 


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

Mrs. Patrick H. Batts. 
Miss Jessica Carr. 
Mrs. Edward J. Carroll. 
Miss Frances G. Curtis. 
Mr. John J. Dailey. 
Mr. William H. Downes. 
Mr. James E. Downey. 
Mrs. David A. Ellis. 
Rev. Harold L. Hanson. 
Mr. William V. Kellen. 

Mr. Joseph E. Kelly. 
Mr. William A. Leahy. 
Rev. Henry Lyons. 
Mrs. H. F. Lougee. 
Rev. Thomas J. MacCormack. 
Mr. Francis A. Morse. 
Mrs. Everett Morss. 
Rev. Charles E. Park. D.D. 
Mr. F. Nathaniel Perkins. 
Mr. E. Sohier Welch. 
Robert Woods. 


The report of this Committee is appended hereto and in- 
cluded as a part of the Trustees' report. 

In calHng the attention of His Honor the Mayor to the report 
of the Examining Committee, the Trustees desire to place on 
record their own high appreciation of the zealous and pains- 
taking labors of the Committee, and the helpful and practical 
nature of their recommendations. Such constructive criticism 
is always helpful. The Trustees, however, have not been un- 
mindful in the past of the needs which this report points out, 
but would remind both the Examining Committee and the Mayor 
that to carry these recommendations into effect involves a con- 
siderable increase in the Library appropriation. 

In conclusion, the Trustees have noted with satisfaction the 
increasing loyalty and esprit de corps which has marked the 
Library service during the past few years. We congratulate 
the Librarian and his assistants upon this happy condition which 
more than any other one factor determines the efficient adminis- 
tration of a great department of public service. 

Alexander Mann, 
Samuel Carr, 
William F. Kenney, 
Arthur T. Connolly, 
Louis E. Kirstein. 



Central Library and Branches: 
To expenditures for 

Permanent employees (exclusive of Printing and 

Binding Departments) 

. $335,107.08 

Temporary employees 89,723.01 


Service other than personal: 

P°f»«g« $ 1,478.91 



Transportation of persons 


Cartage and freight . 


Light and power 


Rent, taxes and v^ater 


Premium on surely bond 




Cleaning, towels, etc. 


Removal of snow 


Removal of ashes 




Expert and architect . 


Extermination of insects 


Boiler inspection 


General plant repairs 



To expenditures for equipment: 

Motorless vehicles $ 63.00 

Furniture and fittings ...... 2,361 .45 

Educational and recreational ..... 1,300.00 

Office 62.00 

Library (books and periodicals) : 

City appropriation .... $54,567.10 

Trust Funds Income . . . 15,549.75 

70 I 1 ^ R "i 

/U, 1 1 O.OJ 

Newspapers (from Todd Fund Income) . . . 2,192.22 

Periodicals 6,645.63 

Tools and instruments ...... 365.22 

General plant equipment 331.44 


To expenditures for supplies: 

Office $ 3,595.47 





Forage and animals . 


Laundry, cleaning, and toilet . 


Agricultural .... 


Chemicals and disinfectants 


General plant .... 



Carried forward .... 




ByCity Appropriation 1920-21 $667,936.16 

Income from Trust Funds ...... 23,216.81 

Income from James L. Whitney Bibliographic Account . 700.00 

Interest on deposit in London ..... 560.33 

By balances brought forward from February 1, 1920: 

Trust Funds Income, City Treasury .... $40,629.14 

Trust Funds Income on deposit in London . . . 10,018.82 

City appropriation on deposit in London . . . 6,886.32 

James L. Whitney Bibliographic Account . . . 2,460.61 




Carried forward 




Brought forruard ....... 

To expenditures for material: 

Building .........$ 

Electrical ........ 

General plant ........ 

Special items: 

To expenditures from Alice L. Whitney Fund . 

To workingmen's compensation ..... 

Binding Department: 

To expenditures for salaries 

Stock . 

Equipment . 

Contract work 



Small supplies 

Printing Department: 
To expenditures for salaries 
Stock . 
Equipment . 

Contract work 
Small supplies 

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

To BALANCE, January 31, 1921: 

Trust Funds Income on deposit in London . 
City appropriation on deposit in London 
Interest on deposit in London 
Trust Funds Income balance. City Treasury 
James L. Whitney Bibliographic Account 



















$ 3,747.12 











Balance unexpended 




Brought forrvard 

By receipts: 

From fines ..... 

Sales of catalogues, bulletins, and lists 

Commission on telephone stations 

Sale of waste paper 

Payments received for lost books 

Interest on bank deposits 

Money found 









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


The Examining Committee adopts and presents as its joint 
report the reports prepared by its various sub-committees sub- 
stantially in their original form, with one exception. The sub- 
committee on Branches and Reading Rooms necessarily covered 
so much ground and offered so many and such various sugges- 
tions that it has seemed best in the interest of effectiveness as 
well as of brevity to combine its principal observations into a 
more compact statement. Accordingly a summary has been 
made of the reports drawn up by the several sections of this 
sub-committee. The detailed reports, however, will be sub- 
mitted to the Librarian personally and it is hoped that a number 
of the practical and definite recommendations which they con- 
tain will meet with his approval. 

We desire to express our unanimous appreciation of the courte- 
sies we have received from the Chairman of the Board of 
Trustees, the Librarian and Assistant Librarian, and those mem; 
bers of the staff with whom we have come in contact in the course 
of our investigation. 

Committee on Finance and Administration. As a result, per- 
haps, of searching criticisms made some three years ago, the 
Library today shows gratifying signs of progress. A large num- 
ber of the staff have taken and are still taking courses in Library 
Administration and in cultural subjects related to their special 
duties. A more liberal, though still inadequate, scale of salaries 
has been made possible through increased appropriations re- 


quested by the Trustees and voted by His Honor the Mayor 
and the City Council. New departments have been created, -^ 
the Information Bureau, the Government Document Room and 
an Open Shelf Collection, — each of which appears already to 
have justified its existence by the eager response of the public. 
The reference collection in Bates Hall has been carefully sifted 
and rejuvenated. The Catalogue Department has published 
an excellent series of reading lists and has added valuable edi- 
torial matter to the Quarterly Bulletin. A leaflet giving direc- 
tions for the use of the Library may now be had for the asking. 
The limit of the home use privilege on ordinary cards has been 
raised from two books to four. Several thousands of cards have 
been issued to children under ten years of age. Throughout the 
established departments one meets evidences of quickened zeal 
and a finer spirit of service. 

It seems to us, however, that there still remain opportunities 
for growth in certain directions which have not yet been fully 
realized, partly, no doubt, because of financial limits set by the 
appropriating power and partly because of the necessarily gradual 
and unequal development of so many-sided an institution. We 
venture to set down certain observations which we have made, 
accompanied by constructive suggestions. 

The final test of the value of the Library as an operating 
system is its use by scholars and by the public. The annual 
reports and other evidence kindly supplied by the Librarian show 
three conditions to exist : 

Eighty-five per cent, of the home circulation is from the branch libraries. 
Probably eighty-five per cent, of the card-holders are women and minors. 
There is a wide variation in the patronage of the branches in different parts 

of the city. 

Or to put the same facts conversely : 
The Central Library, which contains over 900.000 volumes has a relatively 

small home circulation. 
There is comparatively little use of the Library system, taken as a whole, by 

Certain districts remain comparatively indifferent to the advantages of this 

great institution. 

In illustration of the first condition we may cite the following 

figures of home circulation from the latest annual report: 



Central Library 904,016 307,745 

Branches and stations 293.482 1,728,590 

Schools and institutions (chiefly through the branches) . 264,397 

The figures for a single district, which is not exceptional in 
character, bring out in striking relief the condition to which atten- 
tion is directed: 


Central Library . . 904.016 307,745 

3 Dorchester branches 36,204 264,605 

All Dorchester 46,997 386,874 

In other words the great collection in Copley Square, one of 
the important libraries of the world, has a much smaller home 
circulation of its volumes than the seven minor collections in 
Dorchester. Even when all the obvious allowances are made 
and the subsidiary uses of the Central Library duly considered, 
the comparison discloses what seem to us rare possibilities of 

The percentage of men (over twenty) who hold cards is 
not definitely known but may be estimated from the following 
table of card-holders: 


Under 10 years of age 12,139 11.5 

From 10 to 16 years of age 41,526 39.5 

Males over 16 years of age ...... 22,596 21.5 

Females over 16 years of age ...... 28,620 27.5 

Total 104,881 lOO.O 

As the number of males over 16 is only 22,596, the number 
of men over 20 cannot greatly exceed the number of children 
under 10. Apparently not more than one man in fifteen in 
Boston holds a library card, and this small proportion consists 
largely of members of the student and professional classes. Me- 
chanics, clerks, salesmen and business men do not take books 
out for home reading to any great extent. Though boys at school 
generally hold cards, they gradually drop them and depend for 
their reading on the nev/spapers and other casual sources. 

According to the tables published in the Annual Report for 
1917-18, the different districts of the city vary widely in the 


number of card-holders. The percentage ranges from 6 per cent 
of the population in East Boston to 20 per cent or more in the 
Back Bay and Hyde Park. 

It seems to us that while the Library is ably and zealously 
administered according to its present conception, the time has 
come for a broadening of the conception itself, — in a word for 
a definite abandonment of the reserved and expectant attitude, 
in so far as this obtains, and an entrance upon the field of active 
missionary effort. It is certainly desirable that the treasures of 
the Central Library should be more widely known; that the 
resources of the whole system for adult education should be fully 
utilized ; and that the people in certain backward districts sh'ould 
be roused to an appreciation of the opportunities offered them. 

For the accomplishment of these ends we suggest a continu- 
ous campaign of publicity, making use of all suitable agencies. 
Display cards in conspicuous places are valuable. Illustrated 
articles in the Sunday papers would be read by hundreds of 
thousands. Talks might be given at large stores and factories, 
evening schools, settlement houses, American Legion posts, labor 
union meetings, Y. M. C. A. buildings, and elsewhere, the 
speaker on each occasion being provided with facilities for regis- 
tration. A mail canvass, conducted through the branches, would 
be of value as an experiment. Leaflets setting forth the advan- 
tages of the Library and emphasizing the resources of the Central 
Library should be widely circulated. Some of the reading lists 
might be published in large editions and distributed where they 
would be likely to make a special appeal. Each backward dis- 
trict should receive sympathetic attention, according to its needs. 
Among the improvements which would appeal particularly 
to men the proposed Business Men's Branch holds a foremost 
place. This should be projected as soon as possible and should 
be located in the new Chamber of Commerce Building. Under 
an able Librarian it might render notable service to commerce 
and industry in this city. Its plan should be as broad as that of 
the commercial library recently established at Manchester, Eng- 
land, of which the London Times for April 4, 1919, says : 

This library will keep up to date with information on customs and excise 
and the commercial side of means of communication by land and sea and 


air; will know all that can be known of harbors and ports; will keep 
abreast of commercial travel and supply geographical data for assistance 
of commerce, will give instruction in botany to textile traders on the 
character of the raw materials which make up their finished goods and in 
chemistry to describe the processes through which they pass; will keep in 
touch with banking and finance, bookkeeping, accounting and commercial 
law; will search the daily press for the latest facts and opinions and 
probe into technical and scientific works to extract the kernel that will help 
to feed the commerce of the country; will amass information on business 
organization and management and show its appreciation of the importance 
of advertising in the development of business enterprises. 

Trade papers, catalogues, consular reports from every quarter of the 
globe, home and foreign directories, telephonic and telegraphic codes will 
be ddily selected, classified and revised. Large-scale maps and atlases 
will be a special feature. 

Turning from problems of circulation to those of equipment 
and service, we observe that the Library buildings are not all in 
good condition or provided with modern accommodations. The 
Central Library, by far the most beautiful municipal building in 
Boston, needs a cleansing of the exterior. Its lighting system is 
defective in certain respects and there is complaint of poor venti- 

The principal point of contact between the Library system 
and the public is the delivery desk. Prompt and accurate ser-" 
vice here calls for a trained personnel, ramifying through many 
departments, and an efficient mechanism. It is agreed that the 
mechanism is no longer adequate. We recommend that in due 
course an appropriation be requested for repairing and modern- 
izing the existing tube and carriage systems and for the installa- 
tion of a tube system establishing direct communication between 
the Bates Hall desk and the stacks. The deterrent effect of 
even slight delays is an important factor affecting the use of the 
library. A separation of the two tube systems would relieve 
the existing tubes of approximately half their burden and sensibly 
increase the despatch of business. With the present mechanism 
the average time consumed in the delivery of a book for home 
use is ten minutes and for hall use in Bates Hall fifteen minutes. 

As to the personnel in general we have noted that members 
of the staff are still underpaid, strikingly so when comparison is 
made with the wages of artisans and watchmen in the Library 


itself. In the interest of justice and indirectly of efficiency a 
pension system has been proposed by the Trustees. We believe 
such a system is needed to compensate for the deficiencies of 
emoluent which still oblige a large percentage of the employees 
to work evenings and Sundays in order to round out a moderate 

Viewed in its primary aspect as a collection of books, the 
Library is one of the monuments of which Boston is justly proud. 
It stands as a sort of lay cathedral, built up by successive genera- 
tions, and expressive of all that is best in the civic and secular life 
of New England. It serves the scholar by its ample range and 
its great special collections and the casual reader by its abund- 
ance of recreative material. Nevertheless the recent increase 
in the price of books has caused a corresponding shrinkage in the 
purchasing value of the annual appropriations, and the Library 
now needs generous financial support if it is to maintain its own 
high standard. We believe that the city government should 
exercise the utmost liberality consistent with its resources and 
with its other responsibilities in making appropriations. We 
know that it may do so in full confidence that the funds appro- 
priated will be carefully husbanded. We venture to suggest an 
advisory committee of scholars, selected perhaps by the presi- 
dents of universities in Greater Boston, to present from time to 
time, lists of works that might profitably be added to the Library. 
Such a committee by its authority and prestige would bring 
pressure to bear on public opinion in support of the Library 
Trustees in their requests for larger appropriations for books, 
and would emphasize constantly the highest function of the 
Library, suggested in the legacies of several of its benefactors, 
as a collection of works "of permanent value and authority." 

Our chief recommendations may be summed up as follows : 

The Library should undertake and maintain a vigorous campaign of pub- 
licity with a view to increasing its use, particularly by men. 

A Business Men's Branch should be established as soon as possible in the 
New Chamber of Commerce Building. 

Larger appropriations should be granted for the purchase of books. 

A rounded development in the collection at the Central Library should be 
assured by enlisting the advice and support of a committee of scholars. 


The underpaid members of the staff, especially the expert heads of depart- 
ments, should be rewarded and encouraged by further Increases of salary. 

A tube system should be installed, connecting the Bates Hall dehvery desk 
directly with the stacks. 

Committee on Books. Since one result of the war has been 
a distinct increase in the use of the Library, it becomes desirable 
to meet the greater demand not only by the purchase of new 
books but by the better lighting and ventilation of Bates Hall and 
by making more easily available the less obvious portions of the 

New books are needed, adapted ( 1 ) to children of the first 
three grades; (2) to prospective citizens of foreign birth, in- 
cluding books written in their own languages; and (3) to studi- 
ous and inquiring minds, who seek not only technical knowledge, 
but a groundwork in general culture, literature, and history. 

The Library, as at present administered, represents a vast 
amount of thought and care and devotion. The staff-spirit is 
of the highest order. This spirit of service, intelligently guided, 
has produced in the Library a machine capable of functioning 
much better than it does at present. It is suggested that, since 
the great obstacle to its perfect usefulness is the popular ignorance 
of its opportunities or indifference to its resources, some method 
of publicity be adopted by which the people of Boston may be 
made aware of what they have in the Library and what variety 
and thoroughness of service it offers them. 

A brief, tersely phrased, legibly printed statement, published 
either in the daily press or as a broadside, might serve to inform 
people of the wealth of advantages at their disposal. This in 
turn ought to awaken a more general interest and pride in the 
Library, and ought to constitute precisely that background of 
popular demand which would justify our City Government in 
being more generous. 

This suggestion is made on the assumption that the amount of 
money appropriated for the support of the Library is a fairly ac- 
curate co-efficient of the degree of popular pride and interest in 
the Library; and that the only sound way in which to secure 
the larger appropriation needed is to increase the degree of ac- 
quaintance with the Library on the part of the people of Boston. 


More specifically it is suggested that the stacks should be put 
under the supervision of a responsible head, as they were at one 

There is great need of more reference books for use in Bates 
Hall ; not only more in number, but of more recent authorship. 

The problem of the theft and mutilation of books is accepted 
as insoluble. It is suggested that while no adequate remedy 
appears, the fact is of too serious a nature to be taken permanent- 
ly for granted, and should be kept well in the fore-front of our 
attention, in the hope that some solution may appear. 

Committee on Fine Arts and Music. The sub-committee on 
Fine Arts and Music has the honor to report as follows: 

It does not seem to the committee to be of any use to make 
recommendations that obviously involve considerable extra ex- 
penditures at this time, but the matter of the artificial lighting of 
the Fine Arts Exhibition Room calls for action, and it might be 
materially improved by provisional measures which would not be 
costly. The lamps at present are hung in such positions as to 
bring the light directly in the eyes of the visitor. The lamps 
should be placed higher and provided with shades so that the 
light would fall on the walls rather than in the eyes of the visitor. 
This re-arrangement would not be expensive and would be a 
much needed improvement. 

The general re-arrangement of the exhibition room recom- 
mended by last year's sub-committee on Fine Arts is certainly to 
be desired, but it would doubtless cost a considerable amount, 
and would better be postponed until it can be effected in a perma- 
nent manner, without interfering with the frequent and valuable 
temporary exhibitions held in this room. 

These exhibitions of pictures, prints, etc., and of materials in 
the special libraries, are highly commended, and are most timely 
and useful to the public. Their continuance is taken for granted. 

We would respectfully suggest to the thoughtful consideration 
of the Trustees the possible improvements to be made in the 
beautiful Court of the Central Library. The fountain ought 
to be embellished, whenever it shall be feasible, by the erection 
of a suitable bronze figure or group; and the grass plats should 


be more carefully and systematically attended to. This matter 
demands the study of experts, but it should be kept in view as a 
future policy. The severe character of the architecture should 
not, of course, be in any degree diminished by extraneous em- 
bellishments, but the details above mentioned are, in the opinion 
of your committee, worthy of attention and study. 

In general, we wish to place on record our judgment that 
the service rendered to the Boston public by the fine arts and 
music departments of the Library is of incalculable worth, and 
too much can hardly be said in praise of the unfailing courtesy, 
consideration, and devotion to the interests of specialists and 
students shown by the staff. 

Committee on Printing and Binding. The Printing Depart- 
ment is a small department of 6 employees. The Binding De- 
partment has 39 employees. 

The question of abandoning these two departments was pre- 
sented to the Library Trustees recently by the Finance Com- 
mission. At that time an expert was sent to the Public Library 
for an investigation into these departments. The report of this 
expert and the comments of the Heads of the two departments 
on this report are on file with the Board of Trustees. 

Accordingly it would seem as though much of the investiga- 
tion ordinarily expected from this Sub-Committee had already 
been done. 

While, on general principles, the Committee feels as though 
the Printing and Binding Departments should be kept under the 
roof of the Library Building, it realizes that this question is being 
given most serious consideration by the Finance Commission and 
the Board of Trustees; and that these two bodies are being 
aided in their consideration by the advice of technical experts. 
Apart from this general expression of opinion your committee 
has no specific recommendation to make. 

Committee on Children's Department and Work Toith Schools. 
The report on the Children's Department must repeat practically 
what was said last year — that the overwhelming need is for 
more books and more trained assistants — in spite of what the 
Trustees have done for this Department in the past year. 


As for the work with schools it is evident that the next step 
should be made by the school end. This Committee recom- 
mends that the School Board should institute a course of lectures 
for teachers on Library appreciation — or the use of books — 
and also organize a mass meeting for teachers, to present the 
opportunities of the city in the matter of books and pictures, 
with addresses by Library and Museum heads. 

In the same connection it would be well to advertise such 
lectures on Boston, — especially those relating to its history, 
geography and industries, — as the Library gives. 

Summary of Reports of Sub-Committees on Branch Libraries. 
In the brief time allowed since the appointment of the Examining 
Committee all of the thirty Branch Libraries and Reading Rooms 
have been visited and considered by members of the committee. 
The results emphasize recommendations made in the past and 
the importance of policies outlined in reports of previous years by 
the Librarian. There is a strong feeling that the continuation 
of the Examining Committee in active service throughout the year 
would make its work more effective, especially as it might be of 
help to the Branches. 

The system of the Branches reaches out to serve any home in 
every quarter of the city. To do this there must be not only 
more and more books, as each report urges, but books that are 
adapted to a most varied demand. The Branches are not li- 
braries for a fairly uniform service to scholars and students but 
for the citizen and his children. In view of this fact it is worth 
while to call attention specifically to some of the ways in which 
the supply of books most urgently needs reinforcement. 

In addition to a considerable increase in the supply of juvenile 
literature to keep pace with the growing attendance at many 
stations, the following requirements are of great importance: 
The renewal of many of the best standard books which because most read 

are most worn, and an increase in the number of copies of each. 
More copies of new books available when the new library lists are issued 

and a more rapid increase in the numbers of those found to create a 

special demand. 
More scientific and technical books particularly in districts where they will 

serve men in the skilled trades. 


A carefully chosen selection to meet the very considerable demand of adults 
of foreign origin who have not enough English to read in it easily. 
Such a selection would give these foreigners an introduction to a great 
American institution and could be made to promote a better reading 
knowledge of English among them. Some translations of standard 
American literature would offer acquaintance with the best traditions of 
the country. 

More books of attractive appearance for the recreational reading of boys 
and girls who are passing from juvenile interests but are not yet ready 
for the reading of grown-ups. This should include much educational 
material. It should be possible for the librarians to devote a set of 
shelves to this purpose as is done for the required reading of the High 
Schools, keeping in mind that some part of the patronage will come from 
those who are no longer students but have left school to go to work. 

Appreciation for the intelligence and devotion of the libra- 
rians of the Branches and Reading Rooms is expressed in the 
reports of the committees. The handicap of lack of books and 
the often inconvenient arrangement of their buildings and equip- 
ment has but served to stimulate their efforts to make the service 
as effective as possible but means too heavy a burden for con- 
tinued endurance. An increase in the amount of assistance is a 
matter of first importance. 

One half of the quarters occupied are reported as being in 
good condition; a third requires so much done that a change 
seems to be necessary in most cases. In a number of cases the 
the lighting arrangements can be readjusted to give better results 
and greater economy. The promise of new accommodations in 
conjunction with new municipal buildings to be erected this year 
in at least two districts is a source of satisfaction. 

Adopted as the Report of the Examining Committee, Febru- 
ary 10, 1921. 


To the Board of Trustees: 

I respectfully submit my report for the year ending January 
31, 1921. 


The need for more books throughout the Library System is 
just as pressing as it was last year. If the quantity and quality 
of its collections are to be maintained, if the demands of the 
reading public are to be even reasonably met, a decided in- 
crease in the book appropriation must be made. Although the 
expenditure of an unusual amount of money was made for the 
purchase of books for children during the past year, the children's 
rooms in many branches show empty shelves. It is estimated 
that only fifty-six per cent of the number of school children under 
sixteen years of age are card-holders Notwithstanding this low 
percentage there is a natural hesitation to advertise the Library 
more fully through school visiting or through the story-hour 
since it would be simply impossible to supply the call thus created 
for more books. The children come in larger numbers than ever 
before in the history of the institution and their eager appeal for 
good books emphasizes not only the necessity for providing them 
but the v/ant of a trained force of sufficient size to give the proper 
and necessary attention to the younger children. 

It is a significant fact that more men have made use of the 
Library and its branches and reading rooms than in previous 
years. There is an increased call for technical and trade books 
which are now bought in numbers insufficient to meet the con- 
tinuing requests. The Central Library during the year has 
been unable to comply with the frequent requests for book de- 
posits ; it has even been found necessary to curtail materially the 


sending of books to other libraries as inter-library loans because 
the books asked for are in circulation or in use in the reference 

A much greater measure of satisfaction in the Library on the 
part of the residents of Boston can be gained by the provision of 
good books in larger numbers. The prestige and usefulness of 
the institution can be indefinitely increased if means can be found 
to gratify the insistent demand by all classes of citizens for more 


The lack of a suitable number of copies of certain books has 
a direct bearing on the matter of library publicity. If, in gen- 
eral, the new books, fiction and non-fiction, now purchased are 
insufficient to meet the present call for them, the demand resulting 
from a vigorous campaign of deliberate publicity would only 
lead to greater embarrassment on the part of the Central and 
Branch Librarians. Such a campaign would lead the public 
to expect a kind and an amount of service which the Library 
at present is not equipped to render. The Library desires and 
should seek to obtain such publicity as may come from the recog- 
nition of service rendered. Rather than a multiplication of 
placards, posters, or other general notices of library service, 
greater use should be made of the advertising possibilities of the 
present library publications. The weekly list of new books can 
be enlarged so as to contain announcements of general or local 
interest, including lectures, exhibitions, and any significant new 
feature or extension of library service. Increased publicity can 
be obtained through the publication of a greater number of se- 
lected lists of books on topics of current interest, or of appeal 
to special classes of persons. Such lists in many cases need not 
contain more than twenty or twenty-five titles, but should be 
dependent in every case on the Library having a sufficient num- 
ber of copies of each title listed reasonably to satisfy the demand 
likely to be created. Practical publicity, can also be secured in 
larger measure than at present through the agency of the thirty 
branches and reading rooms. With the librarians and their 


assistants lies the opportunity of explaining the resources of the 
Library System as a whole, the helpfulness of current publica- 
tions, and the willingness to aid all classes of readers in every 
part of the city. 


The outstanding event of the year has been the opening of the 
Information Office and Open Shelf Room on the ground floor 
adjoining the room devoted to Federal and State Document 
Service established last year. The Information Office, serving 
as a new instrument of prompt service to the public, is under the 
immediate direction of the Supervisor of Circulation, and is a 
first-aid station to all who seek information of any kind. If 
enquiries cannot readily be answered, the visitor is directed to 
the department of the Library or an outside source of information 
where he may in all likelihood find what he desires. The room 
contains, in addition to the most necessary works of reference 
selected with the view to answering commonly asked questions; 
time-tables and railway guides, maps, guide-books and road- 
books, bulletins and catalogues of local educational institutions, 
lecture and current events announcements and the latest direc- 
tories of important cities. The room also contains a series of 
filing cases in which are placed, properly classified, a great 
variety of circulars, pamphlets, clippings and other material of 
a more or less ephemeral character of current interest. This 
collection is constantly changing in order to meet the demands 
made upon it and that it may be closely responsive to ever varying 

A valuable collection of literature on the various vocations has 
been assembled in the Information Office under the direction of 
the Association of Collegiate Alumnae with the co-operation of 
the Women's Municipal League, the Young Women's Christian 
Association, and the Girl's Trade Educational League. Pam- 
phlets and clippings from periodicals and newspapers, supple- 
mented by references to books in the Library, give data in 
regard to work, qualifications, duties, conditions, opportunities 


and compensation, as well as information where vocational train- 
ing may be obtained. Miss Ethel M. Remele, a representative 
of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, spends a good part 
of each week at work on the collection. The service is much 
appreciated and represents a fine example of co-operation of an 
interested outside body with the Library itself. 

The Open Shelf Room has on its shelves a constantly chang- 
ing, classified collection of general literature for circulation, in- 
cluding many of the newly purchased volumes of non-fiction, 
consisting in all of some 2,500 volumes which serve as a valuable 
reminder of the Library's great collection of books. For the 
first time since the Library was opened, books easily available 
are among the objects first to be seen by a person entering the 
Central Library. 


During the fiscal year 59,731 volumes have been added to 
the Library System, or 5,957 more than in the year 1919—20. 
Of these 1 0,806 were given, 46,809 were acquired by purchase, 
227 were received through exchange, and 1,889 consisted of 
bound newspapers and periodicals. The purchased books in- 
cluded about 20,000 volumes of children's books of which 2,000 
were placed in the Central Library, 2,941 in the Central Deposit 
Collection, and 15,059 in branches and reading rooms. 2,000 
volumes on Americanization and 5,076 volumes of new fiction 
were distributed throughout the system. Of the total number 
of volumes bought, 35,722, or 73 per cent, were placed in 
branches, reading rooms, and in the Central Deposit, and 1 1 ,087 
in the Central Library. 

The acquisitions at the Central Library include two collec- 
tions of several hundred volumes each, one relating to Ireland 
and one of modern Italian literature; a number of devotional 
and controversial works of English and Scotch writers from 
1533 to 1612, factors in the background of Pilgrim history, 
obtained chiefly at the sale of the Pembroke Library in London ; 
examples of early printing, notably a copy of Decor puellarum, 
printed in Venice in 1461 by Nicolas Jensen, and an original 


leaf from John Gower's Confessio Amantls, printed by Caxton 
at Westminster in 1483. 

Other acquisitions include two long sought volumes of King 
Philip's War narratives in the original folio editions: (1 ) The 
present state of New England with respect to the Indian War 
. . . composed by a gentleman of Boston . . . London, 1675, 
and (2) A continuation of the state of New England, London, 
1676. The Library already possessed narratives 3 and 4 in 
the original editions. 

To the accumulating war and post-war material has been 
added a collection of broadsides, posters, etc., issued by the 
different political parties in Germany in the Reichstag elections 
of 1 920, and one hundred Hungarian posters said to be a com- 
plete series issued during the war. 

Among the reference works acquired have been the 1920 
completed edition of the Encyclopaedia Americana in 30 vol- 
umes; the (Bromley) Atlas of the City of Boston, the so-called 
"real estate atlas," giving the area of each lot, name of its owner 
and character of the buildings upon it, in six folio volumes com- 
prising Boston proper, Brighton, Dorchester, Hyde Park, South 
Boston, and Roxbury, each in the latest edition published; Ham- 
mond's Railway System map of the United States and Canada 
in two sections; the Mercantile Marine atlas of the world, 1 920; 
and two sets of the New- World loose leaf atlas, by which the 
latest information is assured. 

The total amount expended for books, periodicals, newspapers, 
photographs and lantern slides was $78,954.70, including 
$17,739.97 from Trust Funds Income. The corresponding 
expenditure for the preceding year was $68,627.13, including 
$18,401,65 from Trust Funds. Of this amount $40,195.94 
was expended for branch and deposit books and $1,722.79 for 
branch periodicals (six months' subscription) making the total 
for branch and deposit $41,918.73. 

There was expended for 5,076 volumes of current fiction 
comprising 405 titles, $6,387.91; for music scores, $696.15; 
for photographs and lantern slides, $400.93. 

For further details of accession, see page 86 of the Appendix. 



The number of volumes and parts of volumes catalogued 
during the year was 76,924 representing 5 1 ,035 titles. The 
number of cards added to the catalogues was 242,026, of which 
number 22 1 ,040 were added to the catalogues in the Central 
Library, As is customary, temporary author and subject or 
title cards were filed in the Bates Hall Catalogue within a few 
days after the receipt of each new bound volume, to be replaced 
later on by the usual permanent printed cards. 

One card for each title printed was sent to the Library of 
Congress, as in the seventeen preceding years, in return for which 
the Boston Public Library has received galley proofs of that 
library's cards. One card of each work catalogued has also 
been sent to the Harvard College Library, for which the Boston 
Public Library has received its printed cards. 

The Italian and Irish lists of books, described in the report 
of last year have been withheld from publication in order that 
the collections on these topics might be rounded out through the 
purchase of several hundred other titles. Both lists are now 
nearly ready for the press and should soon be available for 

Interesting tables relating to the cataloguing and shelving of 
books for two successive years may be found on pages 86—88 of 
the Appendix. 


Although there have been no new children's rooms opened 
during the year in the Library System, enlarged facilities have 
been provided in several places for juvenile work. At Roxbury 
Crossing the new quarters of the reading room are better adapted 
for library work and more easily made attractive to the children, 
who form in this section the majority of readers. On the expi- 
ration of the lease of the room used for the Story Hour in South 
Boston another room, which accommodates a larger number amid 
more attractive surroundings, was secured next door to the branch 
library. While it is by no means an ideal situation it is an 


improvement over the former location. The Children's Room 
at the West End Branch now receives better supervision by a 
re-arrangement of desks which allows the return of books upstairs, 
and an additional assistant has been appointed who has had some 
training and experience in the Children's Room of the Central 

The training of the staff engaged in work with children has 
continued throughout the year with definite results. Eight li- 
brary assistants completed the course given by the Supervisor 
of Work with Children which ended in June, 1920. Four 
assistants enrolled in the course begun at Simmons College by 
the Supervisor in September. Monthly conferences on Work 
with Children are attended by the assistants from the Central 
Children's Room and the branches including usually certain of 
the librarians from the reading rooms. These meetings bring 
about closer relations between the Supervisor and those doing 
work with children, strengthening and unifying the work through 
the discussion of books and of aims common to all. 

The circulation of children's books during the year was 
1 , 1 02,608, representing nearly one half of the total circulation. 
It should be borne in mind that this number does not include 
43, 1 96 books sent on deposit to the schools. 

The Supervisor calls attention to the fact, already emphasized, 
namely, that more books are needed everywhere, but that to- 
gether with this need is an equally pressing one for additions 
to the personnel. Books are not infrequently held back from 
circulation even after reaching the branch libraries and reading 
rooms because the under-manned staffs cannot hasten the process 
of preparing them for the shelves. One boy in a section already 
short of books describes conditions by saying: "There is nothing 
on the shelves and there is nothing on the tables and soon there 
will be nothing in our heads." Figures in the East Boston 
Branch indicate an average circulation of 18 times for each 
juvenile book, or 63,998 for the year. The West End Branch 
with a somewhat larger stock of books, had an average circula- 
tion of 1 7 times for each juvenile book, or 74,9 1 8 for the year. 
Such active use means great wear and tear on the books and 


insufficient opportunity to repair such of them as might be pre- 
served for further use. Many of the branch hbrarians with 
commendable ingenuity succeed in stretching their inadequate 
book supply to its utmost; some by limiting the children to one 
book at a time, others by setting aside Saturday forenoon for those 
just beginning to use the library. 

During the year special attention was given in several districts 
to teaching the care of books. An excellent exhibit, planned 
by Miss Marion A. McCarthy of the Branch Department of 
the Central Library, to which the different assistants contributed, 
was shown in the majority of the branches, and talks on the care 
of books were given in connection with it. Certain schools bor- 
rowed the exhibit and the instructors emphasized its teaching in 
their classes. It is generally felt that the effort was well worth 
while although it is difficult to instil the care of books when 
those at present available are, generally speaking, in such poor 

The National Children's Book Week again afforded the op- 
portunity for stimulating the reading interest in many neighbor- 
hoods and was more widely observed by exhibits of attractive 
books than in many previous years. Recent acquisitions were 
brought together in order that parents and teachers might have 
the opportunity of examining and enjoying some of the choice 
additions of new and old favorites. The libraries at Codman 
Square, Warren Street and Boylston Station were especially 
fortunate in the collections they were able to exhibit. In the 
Lecture Hall at the Central Library, Mr. Henry B. Beston, 
of the Atlantic Monthly Press, gave a talk on "New Children 
and Old Books" to an appreciative audience of parents and 
teachers, thus contributing unusual interest to the observance of 
the week. 

In East Boston the campaign for Americanization by a com- 
mittee of the Boston Chamber of Commerce was effected largely 
through the children who acted as messengers for their parents. 
This is generally true wherever foreign speaking people prevail. 
Simple American histories and biographies used in school are 
often most useful for adults beginning to learn English, con- 


sequently such books everywhere serve a double purpose and 
have been generously duplicated in order that they may be 
available for the older people. 

The usual good relations with the public schools prevail 
throughout the city but library school work is capable of far 
greater development. Visiting classes have been received at the 
Codman Square Branch as well as at the Central Library during 
the year. Sixteen groups from the Dorchester High School 
came to that Branch with their teachers for instruction in the use 
of reference books. The teachers requested specific illustrations 
from material applicable to school subjects and the instruction 
was followed up by the assignment of problems in which the 
knowledge acquired was tested. The use of encyclopaedias in 
school work was also taught at the Roxbury Crossing Reading 
Room. Whenever opportunity, time and strength permit the 
librarians of the branches and reading rooms are encouraged to 
develop relations with the public schools. Many libraries cannot 
undertake this work because of insufficient staffs. 

The Supervisor in her report notes that one entirely new 
aspect in the relation of the Library to the City was the assistance 
the Public Library has rendered the Children's Wards at the 
City Hospital. The Children's Department shared in the 
establishment of the Hospital Library under the direction of 
the Social Welfare Department of the Hospital. Project lists 
were prepared, general advice given, and during the summer 
months assistants from the Central Library and from one of 
the branches aided in distributing books through the children's 
wards and reading and telling stories each week. Small though 
the Library's part has been, it has served to connect the hospital 
library work with that of the Public Library and prepares 
the way for a larger measure of responsibility for the little chil- 
dren in such institutions. 


The Children's Room has shown the same general increase in 
circulation that is noticeable elsewhere throughout the Library 
System. Direct circulation of books from the room was 83, 1 65, 


with an issue through the Branch Department of 4,406. In 
1919-20, the direct circulation was 76,027 and 3,51 1 through 
the Branch Department. The Supervisor states: 

Since the acquisition of a display case in the fall, the Central Children's 
Room has shown three exhibits, all of which have proven attractive not 
only to the children but to their elders. These have been a selection of 
the old children's books owned by the Library; specimens of plants used 
as Christmas greens ; and school projects prepared under the direction of 
the Supervisor of Manual Training in the Boston schools. 

In a year of somewhat taxing changes in the routine work in the Chil- 
dren's Room, the assistants have shown themselves ready and cheerful and 
have manifested an excellent spirit toward the work and toward each other. 

Practical experience in the Central Library and in a few branches has 
been given those students at Simmons College, who were enrolled in the 
course in Work with Children. In several instances the students have 
been of real help in crowded hours of the afternoon when the regular force 
was insufficient to meet the demands made upon it. 

No small amount of the time of the Supervisor goes toward 
the answering of letters of inquiry that come to the department, 
the preparation of book lists, and to the speaking incidental to 
her position as representative of work with children in a great 
public library. In addition to her work of Supervisor, she has 
repeated her course in Work with Children at Simmons College 
and has spoken twenty-five times to audiences interested in one 
or another phase of library work. 

The growth of the Children's Department at the Central Li- 
brary points to the Teachers' Room as the logical direction for 
expansion and it should be toward that end rather than toward 
giving increased attention to the older students and teachers that 
the Children's Department should aim. No other space in the 
building forms so natural an outlet for the overflow of children. 


Regular story-hours have been held during the year at the 
Central Library, at fifteen of the branches, and at two of the 
reading rooms. The number of weeks given to this work is 
usually decided by the need of each district, the suitability of 
the place of meeting and the response of the children. 


A departure from the usual custom was undertaken in the 
story-hours held in the schools, notably in the Jeffries' Point 
district of East Boston where the desire for a reading room 
has been so keen that the introduction of story telling by the 
Library in the Samuel Adams School serves to bridge the time 
until the Library room becomes an actual fact. A most cordial 
welcome was extended and the master of the school feels that 
the work has been of inestimable value in this extremely foreign 
district. It is a satisfaction to know that the story-hour was 
held in this school before the Boston Chamber of Commrece 
began its admirable campaign for Americanization in East Bos- 
ton and that it was in a large measure the success of the experi- 
ment which induced the Americanization Committee of the 
Chamber to finance three other school story-hours in the same 

The following extracts from the report of Mrs. Mary W. 
Cronan explain the object and show the results of the story- 
hours held in the schools during school sessions : 

School story-hours can never take the place of Library story-hours but 
they do have a proper function of their own. The Library gives an 
intimate group, maintains a close relation w^ith books, provides a social 
centre and strengthens the friendship between the children and the libra- 
rians. Wherever a school story-hour is established the nearby Library 
story-hour becomes more effective. While it is never a substitute it in- 
creases the number in the other group and promotes a more intelligent 
use of the Library.. It also provides an hour of relaxation and pleasure 
for the children and teachers which is none the less delightful because 
it is educational. "Monday is not Blue Monday now. You put us in 
tune for the week's work," said one teacher. Indeed so many expressions 
of appreciation have come from teachers that it is now felt that they 
understand what the Library is trying to do for their pupils. The effect 
of their quickened interest may be seen in the library attendance. 

One great advantage of the school story-hour is that it is given a place 
in school hours and thus indirectly the Library is able to reach more 
children than it can during the hours from four to five and from seven 
to eight now given to the library story groups. It is estimated that the 
story-tellers meet in the library rooms and elsewhere 1 800 children a week. 
With the added opportunity afforded by the schools, stories are presented to 
over 4,000 pupils. How the children enjoy the books introduced through 
the story-hour may be illustrated by one boy's words "I read the book 
first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I read the story 


through and then I read it kind of zigzag. I trace the pictures with pencil 
and tissue paper so that I can keep them. At last my mother said, 'You 
take that book back to the library and don't get it out again for six months.* 
But I guess I know it most by heart." One mother told us that she had 
purchased for a Christmas gift for her boys, a children's classic they 
had grown to love through the storj'-hour. They read it during Christmas 
afternoon and stayed up an hour later that night in order to finish it. 

While the East Boston section has been the most completely 
covered because the Library groups have been extended through 
the enterprise of the Chamber of Commerce, the work in other 
parts of the city is marked also by gratifying results. One of 
the branch librarians writes: "It is the greatest single force I 
know for developing morale, offering wholesome recreation and 
furnishing progressive literary standards." The same opinion 
expressed by teachers is constantly heard. 

Club work in the North End Library, the only section of the 
city where it is a regular feature of library work, has been re- 
organized on a new basis. The rooms fitted up in the basement 
primarily for club use are now available at all times for library 
purposes. The present clubs are now intimately connected with 
the work of the branch library. The boys have well-organized 
debating and dramatic clubs and a twelve piece orchestra which 
is making excellent progress. The girls have several clubs, two 
of which are studying American history. The librarian states : 

During the year one group made a study of the Pilgrims. They listened 
to the reading of "The Courtship of Miles Standish" while they dressed 
clothes-pins in Pilgrim and Indian costumes and made an attractive Indian 
village. They learned and danced the minuet, singing a song and imitating 
Priscilla, "modest, simple and sweet." 

The Community Club of Roslindale presented the Roslindale 
Branch with a gift of books for the children's section and a book- 
case in which to keep them. It is a gratifying evidence of com- 
munity interest and most welcome because the books were choice 
illustrated editions of literature used in the story-hour and desired 
for immediate use by the children of the district. 



In the Bates Hall Reference Department no less than in other 
portions of the Library System, the year has been one of activity 
and progress. The Chief of the Department states : 

The work of Bates Hall has developed steadily through the year. 
Never has the number or the variety of its readers been so large. A part 
of the growth is due to the increased enrollment in the schools and colleges 
of Boston and its neighborhood and to the habits of study along practical 
lines which remain as a legacy of the great war. A part is probably also 
to be attributed to the increase in cost of books which sends many a person 
to the Library for a book, which five years ago would have been bought 
without question. 

The revision of the Bates Hall Reference Collection has made 
progress. The work of revising the main hall is now practically 
complete; the ranges in the enclosures in the ends of the Hall 
have not yet been systematically overhauled, though very few 
ranges have failed to receive some new books during the year. 
Current books are constantly chosen to replace those out of 
date or little used on every subject represented in the Hall.. 

The changes in the collection in the Hall for the year aggre- 
gate 1,829 volumes covered by 1,371 titles. The Reference 
collection is now thoroughly alive and is steadily approaching 
a well rounded character. 


The use of Bates Hall, the reference centre of the Library, 
is constantly increasing. The actual count of readers shows a 
constant gain over previous years. A comparative table, pre- 
pared by the custodian, giving the number of users of books in 
the Hall at 5 p.m. during the first five days of each month from 
December to March inclusive for the period of five years shows 
an enlarged average attendance of 247 over any of the four 
previous years. The freedom of access to some 1 0,000 reference 
books on open shelves makes it impossible to give an accurate 
statement of the number of volumes consulted, but it is significant 


that 224,501 books were sent to students and readers at the 
Bates Hall tables from the Library stacks. The recording by 
geographical location of the Hall slips presented demonstrates 
that a considerable per centage of those making use of the reading 
room in the Library are non-residents. During a two week 
period, as an illustration, there were 2,223 readers and students 
from 86 cities and towns of the Commonwealth, other than Bos- 
ton, and 69 from 1 7 cities and 1 2 other states and Canada. 
The resident users during the same two week period were 8,119. 

Newspaper Room. At present there are 276 papers regularly 
placed on file in the Newspaper Room. Of this number 1 98 are 
American papers and 78 foreign papers. In the course of the 
year four papers were added to the files and seven were 
either consolidated or ceased publication. German and Austrian 
papers are now regularly received. Sixteen newspapers in 
foreign languages and published in the United States are re- 
ceived; their distribution by languages being as follows: Ar- 
menian 3, Albanian 1 , French 1 , German 3, Greek 2, Spanish 1 , 
Swedish 2, Syrian 2, Welsh 1 . The foreign printed papers 
represent 32 countries with the total of 77 titles. 

The Library binds, for preservation, 30 papers. The list 
includes all Boston papers and a selection of some of the im- 
portant papers published in this country and other parts of the 
world. The Library receives monthly a bound volume of the 
New York Times, Index edition. During the year 79 volumes 
were added to the collection making a total of 8,506 volumes. 

Readers applying for newspapers during the year numbered 
19,184; these readers consulted 32,508 bound volumes, a de- 
crease over 1919-20 of 98 readers and an increase of 142 
volumes consulted. 

Patent Room. The Patent collection has been increased by 
the addition of 549 volumes; the total number of volumes in 
this collection is now 1 5,3 1 5. Readers applying for bound vol- 
umes in the Patent collection during the year numbered 18,243, 
and consulted 106,891 volumes, an increase of 1,005 readers 
and an increase of 2,734 volumes consulted over 1919-20. 



The number of readers in the Periodical Room, Central 
Library, at certain hours, as totalized in each of two successive 
years, is shown in the following table : 

10 12 2 4 6 8 10 

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

1919-20 . . 11,340 13,467 21,761 27,934 19,572 23,821 9,347 
1920-21 . . 12,372 14,726 22,653 29,801 20,617 24,514 10,413 

The use of bound files was as follows : 

Bound volumes consulted during the year: 1919-20. 1920-21. 

In the day time (week days) 32,273 36,578 

In the evening and on Sunday ...... 13,207 15,361 

The use of unbound files was as follows: 

Unbound volumes consulted: 

In the day time (week days) 37,124 41,823 

In the evening and on Sunday ...... 18,936 19,745 

Current periodicals, exclusive of those issued by the State and 
Federal governments, regularly filed for readers, are distributed 
as follows: 

Periodical Department . . . . . . . . . • .1,155 

Fine Arts Department and Music Room ....... 140 

Statistical Department ........... 56 

Teachers' Reference and Children's Room ....... 50 

Ordering Department ........... 27 

Total 1.428 

The figures given above show substantial gain over the year 
1919—20 in the number of readers and in the number of bound 
and unbound magazines used. The figures, however, like those 
of other departments of the Library, do not tell of the efficient 
service of the attendants, the amount of research work that is 
constantly carried on, or the volume of special information that 
is daily at the service of the readers. 

The convenience of those who have occasion to use the bound 
files of magazines has been materially increased during the 
year through the utilization of a portion of the basement under 
the Periodical Room. This new room, properly lighted and 
equipped, together with the space in the annex of the Periodical 
Room, contains with the exception of the more specialized peri- 



odicals, found in the various special departments of the Library, 
all the bound periodicals indexed in the Reader's Guide and 
the magazine subject indexes. By bringing together the great 
mass of the bound and unbound periodicals much time is saved 
the reader and student. 


Dr. Winthrop Holt Chenery, Chief of the Special Libraries 
Department, comprising the divisions of Fine Arts, Industrial 
Arts, Music and the Special Collections, assumed the duties of 
his position on January 3, 1921. Mr. Chenery was graduated 
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S. (1896), 
Harvard A.B. (1897), A.M. (1898), Ph.D. (1904). From 
1 905 to 1 920, Mr. Chenery was on the faculty of Washington 
University, Missouri, as professor of romance languages, also 
1912-1919 as librarian. During the World War, he was in 
charge of camp libraries, sucessively, at Camp Pike, Camp 
Greene and Camp Dodge. During the year 1 920 Mr. Chenery 
was engaged in advanced study at the New York State Library 
School at Albany ; in the course of this work he made thorough 
surveys of the library systems of Springfield and Cleveland, 
the latter of which will soon be published by the University of 
the State of New York. Mr. Chenery's familiarity with many 
languages and his wide travel experiences in foreign lands will 
add materially to the value of his services. The Library is 
fortunate in having added to its staff a scholar of such equipment 
and experience. 


The number of volumes issued for "home use" during the year 
was 22,949, as compared with 22,783 for the previous year. 
During a trial period of three months the circulation was found 
to be divided as follows: fine arts books, 44 per cent; technical 
books, 56 per cent. The apparent smaller use of fine arts books 
is explained by the fact that a majority of these books are limited 


to use in the department by their character and cost. In the past 
twelve months 597 lantern slides have been added to the collection 
which now numbers 8,547. The slides loaned during the same 
period numbered 3,644. In the Fine Arts Department there 
are now 56,751 pictures, 1,197 of which were added during the 
year. The number of portfolios of pictures sent out on request 
from schools, clubs and classes was 2,223, compared with 1 ,854 
the previous year. 


The number of volumes and pieces added to the Music 
collection during the year was 311. For "home use" 5,436 
volumes were issued, compared with 5,048, and for "hall use 
1 4,024, compared with 1 4,3 1 2 volumes last year. The gift of 
1 36 bound volumes of modern French and Russian music avail- 
able for circulation from Mrs. George P. Sanger has been warmly 
welcomed by the public. 


The Department although still struggling in crowded quarters 
and inconvenient location is continuing its useful work in reference 
and home circulation of documents, and statistical and collateral 
books. Certain foreign exchanges and other material deposited 
in the library by the American Statistical Association, which 
were formerly received directly, are now to be forwarded from 
the New York headquarters of the Association. It would seem 
worth while to make some arrangement whereby those publica- 
tions at least of which files have been started, should be received 
regularly as issued. 


On January 31 , 1921 , there were outstanding 105,458 "live" 
cards, a gain of 3,067 over last year and 10,801 over the year 


The new registration begun on August 1, 1919, described 
in the report of last year, has been continued. The registration 
of the year amounted to 52,284 cards, or an average of over 
1 ,000 a w^eek. Covering a period of seventeen months the new 
registration cards number 85,163, of which 8,660 are non- 
resident cards, representing for the most part students attending 
educational institutions in Boston. The "live" teachers cards 
in use number 1,549; the "live" special privilege cards 309. 
Teachers' cards are granted by the Librarian upon written appli- 
cation to persons giving instruction in any recognized institution 
of learning in the city, while special privilege cards are granted 
only on application to the Board of Trustees. 


During the year, the Supervisor has made notes on the branch 
libraries and on several of the departments of the Central Li- 
brary. These are serving, with the approval of the Librarian, 
as a basis for certain changes of method and the introduction of 
new processes of work in line with those which have been adopted 
by other libraries with similar problems. 

The following pieces of constructive work have been effected : 
( 1 ) the development of the Information Service and the Open 
Shelf Room, fully described in the October-December Quar- 
terly Bulletin, 1920, and referred to on page 27 of this report; 
(2) the reorganization of the printed forms section of the Stock 
Department of the Central Library which necessitated the intro- 
duction of a perpetuating stock invoice system and a yearly ac- 
counting sheet as a basis for trustworthy estimates; (3) the 
planning and editing of the A^eiPs Notes on Government Publi- 
cations, a monthly bulletin, which, by request, is now sent to 
libraries in 30 states. Beginning with the twelfth issue, January 
15, 1921, the last page of the bulletin was given over to staff 
news of the Library. 

Under the direction of the Librarian, the Supervisor of Circu- 
lation has the task of initiating and forwarding such plans of 
organization and service as will ultimately aid in the more con- 


venient and efficient use of books and printed material. With 
the help of department heads and specially appointed committees, 
plans are submitted for co-ordinating the work of the various 
departments in order that more harmonious team-play throughout 
the Library System may be made possible and that quick, intelli- 
gent and cheerful service to the public in the circulation of books 
and the dispensing of information may result. 


The Branch Department consists of 1 6 branches and 1 4 
reading rooms, in number the same as a year ago. The sub- 
sidiary agencies include fire engine houses, 58; other institutions, 
36 ; parochial schools, 1 7 ; public schools, 1 76. The total 
number of agencies therefore is 3 1 7, the same as a year ago. 

The number of volumes issued from the Central Library on 
borrowers' cards through the Branch Department was again the 
largest number ever issued in one year, 1 08, 1 69 as against 96,000 
in 1919-20. Of these 86,316 volumes were issued from the 
Branch Deposit Collection in the Central Library. The num- 
ber of cards representing unsuccessful calls for books, 120,286, 
has unfortunately increased nearly 4 per cent, from 55 per cent 
last year to 58.8 per cent this year. Of the total number un- 
successful cards 80,947 represented requests for fiction. As 
stated last year and as emphasized earlier in this report, the only 
remedy is a greater number of copies of the volumes most in 

Only 7 of the branches and 7 of the reading rooms show an 
increase in the number of volumes sent in the daily issue from 
the Central Library as compared with the totals for last year, 
but some of them show material gains. The North End Branch 
had an increase of over 3,000 volumes and City Point Reading 
Room a gain of over 6,000 volumes. 

There have been sent out on deposit from the Central Library 
46,972 volumes, as against 43,012 volumes in 1919-20. The 
deposit collection now numbers 56,606 volumes, a net gain for 
the year of 2,061 volumes. 


tfinided pn rffr^k k mtmhi 37.970. hvre 
-' to die follovniig pbccs: die Penal iDSlkuboDS Deput- 
f Qukbea^s InslitaltiQits Department (SufcJk Sdiool 
:: r 5). the Infinnaiy Department, ti»e Qiaries Street 
jaii. me Stale Pison (Qiaikstown), die Piison Camp and 
Ho^ibl (Riiftlaiid). the PsvdicfMAic Department of the B<»- 
IM Ckv Ho^Mtal. tfee J Sailois* Qdb (Qiariesto\\-n) , 

rie Bo^xa Seam.. ~ f ?r. and die Consaoptive Ho&- 

r::-\ !3eoarimeBt 

r r the yei iff r f sent to liniies in Massatdnsetts 

: ; ^ - ' ' blames oonqpared to 1 ,236 

i ;. : --:.:5 0iilside erf Massachosctts 

27S : _: ApplkatioBs \H-ere refused 

:: f ' a Massadmsetts com- 

7 ^ ^ ^ : ._■ . i--. __^ : ?c?»tions woe refused 

of 54 coHfiarec : vohmes last year. 

- the ■rter-t: .rcoimt donig 

V - ■ — -v^l^.sM. ^'^Til" : - i ^"^"^t^ 39 Tol- 

. f -_-;:;::: _rf^r-- -; '920-21 was 

-■ -_■-_- - - ^ _~rrr of inct- 

"■"1- :_:r..r2 L. ;::-.- :^i . r is against 

11.040 B 1919-^. 

^~T 'Dtal cvcidatiim <rf the brandi ttirary system was 
2 - ratlines, as agak^ 1.992,987 Wanes in 1919-20, 

run of 136,420 Tolnmes. All die branches, bat one, and 
1 _ idbgroc»s.biitdiree.sho%%- gains. 

_zJ>Er cf vclmDS cf uevc books bought for the branches 

' -34 in 1919-20, and replace- 

r _:*:_-— as against 9,606 the 

r il_l;-5 f : f iTient ctJlecli<»s of the 

5 7,731. - ar: ; fin 1919-20. Books 

- 1 an mterest-g 
:-? widk a state 
:- DT their liDra- 



The chief work of the editor's year was the preparation and 
issuance of the Quarterly^ Bulletin. On account of the illness 
of Mr. Swift from January through March, the first number 
of this publication was prepared and put through the press by 
Miss Mary H. Rollins, with such assistance as the editor could 
render on the telephone and by letters. The total number of 
the pages of this volume (Fourth series. Vol. II) was 416. 
Each issue was printed in an edition of 2,000 copies, plus 75 
copies on better paper. 

The "Editorials" in the Bulletin have been continued as 
follows: A Brief Sketch of the Public Library, second period, 
in the March number; Government Information Service of the 
Library, in the June number; The Public Library and one of 
its Auxiliaries, in the September number; and An Extension 
of the Library Service, in the December number. The aim of 
these editorials is to keep the public informed as to various phases 
of library activity. 

During the year the Bulletin also contained the following 
illustrations: Ruins of the Winthrop House, burned in 1864 
(in March number) ; Hotel Pelham before razing in 1869 (in 
June number) ; Tremont Street looking north from Eliot Street 
before widening in 1 869 (in September number) ; and Tremont 
Street looking north from Hollis Street before widening in 1 869 
(in December number). Reproductions of manuscripts, etc., in 
this Library have been as follows: (In March number) Petition 
for a Bridge between Boston and Charlestown, 1 720, with names 
of the petitioners; Letter on Church Attendance, 1639, from 
Plymouth to the Massachusetts Bay Colony (with facsimile). 
(In the September number) Harvard College in need of help, 
1672; Inauguration of a Pastor at Duxbury, 1680 (with fac- 
simile). (In December number) Two Days before Bunker 
Hill, Resolve of the Committee of Safety of the Provincial 
Congress, June 15, 1775 (with facsimile). The List of New 
Books, and other divisions of fresh accessions are as usual, except- 
ing that in the December number all titles relating to Music 


have been placed in a separate list, next to the Allen A. Brown 
Music Room titles. 

Although the editor was directly responsible only for the 
Bulletin, it is proper in this place to mention other Library publi- 
cations which appeared during the year, and with certain of which 
he had some connection. The publications are as follows : 

Weekly Lists, 52 numbers in editions of 2,500 each; now 
edited by Lucien E. Taylor of the Catalogue Room. 

Brief Reading Lists. Four of these popular and convenient 
lists (nos. 14 to 17 inclusive) have been issued during the year, 
and are as follows: 

No. 14. One-act Plays in English, published since 1900. 
Compiled by Michael J. Conroy, and printed in an edition of 
1 ,000 copies. 

No. 15. The Pilgrims of Plymouth. Compiled by Mary 
Alice Tenney, and printed in an edition of 2,000 copies, and a 
second edition of 2,000 copies. 

No. 1 6. New England. This list was prepared, at the 
instance of Mr. J. Randolph Coolidge, Jr., at the Public Library 
of Brookline, and revised and enlarged at this Library. 1 ,500 
copies were printed. 

No. I 7. Presidential Elections. Printed in an edition of 
2,000 copies. 

The most notable single publication of the year was the 
Finding List of Books Common to the Branches, containing 
vi, 283 pages with folded sketch map of Boston and the Public 
Library System, issued in May, in an edition of 1 ,400 copies, 
and 1 00 copies on special paper. 

During the year there were also published the Annual Report 
for 1 9 1 9—20, and, under the direction of the Supervisor of Cir- 
culation, the monthly NeTPs Notes on Government Puhlications^ 
published for the Staff of the Boston Public Library. 


The lecture courses in library science for the Library staff, 
inaugurated last year, have been continued. Simmons College 


has again opened its courses both in the Library School and 
in the College, to Library employees having the recommendation 
of the Librarian. Six members of the Library staff have regis- 
tered in library courses, two in French, four in history and 
one in sociology. A special course on reference work for 
the benefit of the Library employees is being conducted at the 
Library one hour each week by Miss June R. Donnolly, the 
Director of the School of Library Science. There are regu- 
larly registered in this course 15 members of the staff. Miss 
Alice M. Jordan, Supervisor of Work with Children for the 
Boston Public Library, continues her course in children's work. 
Last Spring two members of the library force availed themselves 
of the privilege of taking a course in Accounting at the College 
of Business Administration of Boston University. The officials 
of the University were glad to welcome members of the staff 
as a partial return for courtesies extended by the Library. It 
is difficult to measure in specific terms the value of the training in 
Library work thus open to the employees of the Library, but 
it is believed that it will lead not only to a higher average grade 
of intelligence in library work, but that it will tend to strengthen 
the esprit de corps of the staff, and that the public will receive 
better and more intelligent service. 


As in previous years the account of lectures and exhibitions 
does not cover the fiscal year February 1, 1920, to January 31, 
1 92 1 , but gives the events of the lecture season from the Fall of 
1920 through the Spring of 1921. 

The Lecture Hall is utilized to its capacity and frequently it 
has been found necessary to refuse its use on account of con- 
flicting dates. 

Two new classes in the University Extension Course of the 
Massachusetts Board of Education, namely Oral English and 
American Citizenship, proved very popular, the latter especially 
so among the new women voters. Another new feature in this 
series was the Story Telling Class. Many civic associations. 


teachers' clubs, art clubs, etc., continue to use the Lecture Hall 
for their meetings and, since they are frequently addressed by 
eminent speakers and since the meetings are always open to the 
public, the service to the community at large is obvious. 

As in former years the Field and Forest Club provided valu- 
able lectures, mostly on out-door subjects; the Drama League 
course and the lectures on music are adding more and more to 
the popularity of the Sunday afternoon lectures. The semi- 
monthly Monday afternoon meetings of the Boston Ruskin 
Club have also been well attended. 

The Tercentenary of the landing of the Pilgrims has been 
extensively observed in the lecture course and in the exhibitions. 
Fifteen of the lectures during the season were closely related 
to the history of the Pilgrims in England, Holland and America, 
and especial thanks are due to the gentlemen from Harvard 
University and other institutions of learning who have generously 
given their time to these lectures. 

The Pilgrim Exhibition was arranged at an early date to be 
ready for the meeting of the Congregational Council in Boston 
in July 1920. It consists of an extensive collection of books 
and tracts relating to the Puritan and Separatists movements 
before the sailing of the Pilgrims for America. To these has 
been added material on the many religious controversies in New 
England, original printed sources of New England history, the 
Indian wars, the Evangelization of the Indian, early publica- 
tions in the Indian dialect, the witchcraft delusion and the perse- 
cution of the Quakers. 

The pictorial portion consists of photostat reproductions of 
contemporary views in England and Holland, also views of 
Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Pilgrims in art. Two minor 
sets of the illustrations have been sent to the branches and reading 
rooms for exhibition in rotation during the winter. The Central 
Library exhibition will remain open during the summer of 1 92 1 
to cover the closing festivities at Plymouth in July and August. 

Another outstanding event was the loan exhibition commemo- 
rative of the 100th anniversary of the death of the poet, John 
Keats, held from February 21 to March 14, 1921, consisting 


mainly of the well-known collection of Keatsiana belonging to 
Mr. Fred Holland Day of Norwood, and the pictorial collec- 
tion of Keatsiana belonging to Mr. Louis A. Holman of Boston. 
Other Keats collectors of Boston contributed valuable first edi- 
tions, manuscripts, and letters. 

The Library course of free lectures given during the season, 
the lectures given under the auspices of the various civic bodies, 
and a list of public exhibitions held during the year, may be found 
on pages 86-91 of the Appendix. 


Owing to the severe and continuing storms early in the year, 
extensive repairs were found to be necessary on the main roof 
and gutters of the Central Library. On recommendation of the 
Finance Commission and under the authority of His Honor the 
Mayor, the work was executed by John Farquhar's Sons, Inc. 
All gutters have been relined with new copper, flashings and tiles 
have been replaced wherever necessary and it is believed that, 
with the exception of occasional minor repairs, the roof is in 
good condition for some years to come. 

Following a four years' retrenchment, a period during which 
only the most pressing repairs and improvements have been made, 
the time has now come when as a matter of economy a thorough 
"house cleaning" and "putting in order" should be undertaken 
throughout the Library System. Roofs of a number of branches 
must be repaired, and the outside iron and grill work wherever 
existing needs attention. Electric lighting at the North End 
Branch and the Tyler Street Reading Room is inadequate and 
calls for changes. 

At the Central Building there is pressing need of a new pas- 
senger elevator and a thorough overhauling of the tube system 
and the book railway which in late years have given much dis- 
satisfaction. The lighting needs to be improved, especially in 
Bates Hall, the Special Libraries, and the Catalogue Room. 
Inside shades are much to be desired for the large windows in 
Bates Hall. The walls and ceiling of the third Hoor of the 


Central Library, constituting the Special Libraries Department, 
are badly in need of cleaning and repainting. 


If the year has brought its progress and encouragements it has 
also brought its sense of limitation due particularly to the need 
of sufficient money to make out larger programmes and to the 
haunting sense of how much good might be done were there 
open opportunity to do it. One instance of this sense of restric- 
tion is to be found in the work of the branches and reading rooms. 
The clientele throughout the entire system is increasing and, 
though it may not be importunate, would greatly appreciate much 
that it cannot now have. The chance for improving the situation 
is limitless, but no real advance can be made unless the number 
of Library helpers is increased. As a matter of fact the libra- 
rians of some of the branches have borne a responsibility, includ- 
ing detail work and long hours, in excess of their strength. Unless 
relief can soon be found a number of the branches and reading 
rooms must of necessity be closed. New assistants when found, 
however, must be so well equipped by previous training and ex- 
perience that they will cherish an enthusiasm for their work 
beyond the mere point of rendering service for money received, 
but to obtain this sorely needed enthusiasm means that a sufficient 
salary must be paid to secure the right sort of helpers. What 
the Library is at present able to pay does not invite the desired 
quality of devotion and attainment. 

In contrast to this grave need in the System at large it is a 
pleasure to speak not only of the faithful and intelligent assistance 
given to the public by the staff of the Library during week days, 
but also by those employed in the Sunday and evening forces. 
The latter selected by necessity from the day-time ranks, as- 
sisted by those in the "extra" service, do their work well and 
zealously. Changes in personnel during the year have given 
an opportunity for some deserved promotions. With the ex- 
ception of a few hours on Sundays, the resources, mental and 
physical, of the various employees are seldom taxed beyond the 


reasonable limit outside of which the best work cannot be done. 
It is possible that this freedom from excessive tension will explain 
the increasing excellence of the service rendered on Sundays and 
during the evenings. 

The Librarian not only acknowledges his debt of gratitude 
to the library workers in the branches and reading rooms, to the 
members of the regular day and evening forces at the Central 
Library, but he is specially beholden to the chiefs of depart- 
ments and to the Assistant Librarian. To the members of the 
entire staff, each in his or her apportioned share, belongs the 
credit for the effective operation of the Public Library System. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Charles F. D. Belden, 




The following reports from the thirty branches and reading 
rooms show the development of the branch system from 1871 
to the present time, a period of fifty years. They show the 
different beginnings from which the branches arose. Some were 
originally shop stations dependent on neighboring branches, some 
were reading rooms founded because of gifts from local associa- 
tions, and some were branch libraries from the beginning. The 
East Boston Branch was the first branch library of any size 
in the country. Many shop stations and some reading rooms 
were established and lived for some years only to be discontinued 
or replaced by others as the City grew and changed. Several 
of the branches came into being because of the annexation of 
towns to Boston. Others which began as shop stations have 
developed into reading rooms and finally into branches. Several 
places owe their beginnings to the gift of free quarters by citizens, 
and some to a similar offer on the part of the City through the 
Public Buildings Department. Only a few of the branches are 
in buildings erected for their exclusive use, with money provided 
by the City, while several branches and many reading rooms are 
still in rented quarters. In order thoroughly to understand each 
branch, its history must be kept in mind. Present conditions are 
the result of a natural development. 

In the growth of the branch system two or three dates are 
especially noteworthy: the enlargement of the functions and 
equipment of the branches and reading rooms and the organiza- 
tion of the Central Department in 1 896 and 1 897, including 
the daily delivery by the wagons in the form in which we have 
it now, and the development of the work with schools from 1 898 
onward; the formal agreement with the School Committee for 


united effort was made in 1 90 1 ; and the abolition of the last 
shop station took place in 1 907^ 

The chief function of a branch is to bring the resources of 
the whole system to the district which the branch serves. But 
this means far more today than it did twenty-five years ago. The 
branches do many things that were not considered necessary or 
possible then. Almost all the systematic work with children, 
the systematic reference work, and the work with schools have 
come into existence in the branches since 1895. 

The Branch Department, Central Library, is the centre of 
the branch system, and through automobiles and the telephone 
is able to instruct, advise, and co-operate with the branches in a 
variety of ways. Some of the most important functions of this 
department are the supplying new books, sending deposits of 
books to the reading rooms, the schools, and to certain institu- 
tions, and the daily issue of books on borrowers' cards by the 
wagons. Besides the great general collections of the Library, 
from which the branches draw, there is a deposit library of 
nearly 60,000 volumes, on which the sending out of deposits 
and the daily issue on borrowers' cards depend to a great extent. 

These thirty reports are not intended to be uniform either in 
form or content, except in the most general way. The individu- 
ality of each writer expresses itself freely. 

Marian W. Brackett, Librarian. 


1919-20 72.738 

1920-21 ■. 76,112 

Under the will of James Holton the sum of $6,000 was left to the 
town of Brighton to be used for a public library. The Brighton Library 
Association made a gift of its collection of books. This served as a 
nucleus for the library, which was maintained for a while in the town hall. 

In 1874 the present building, called the Holton Library, was dedicated, 
and the library became a part of the Boston Pubhc Library when the 
town of Brighton was annexed to Boston in the same year. 

The population of Brighton, including the Allston and the Faneuil 
districts, is about 36,000. 


Brighton is almost wholly a residential district with only a small foreign 
population in North Brighton made up of Armenians, Poles, Finns, Swedes 
and Italians. There are a few bus!tiess places, such as the Brighton Stock 
Yards, Fuller's Lumber Yard and the New England Warehouse of the 
Carnegie Steel Corporation. The business department of the New Eng- 
land Telephone Company is also located in Brighton. 

But Brighton is best known for the great number of its rehgious and 
educational institutions. In Brighton proper there is the Bennett School, 
Brighton High School and St. Columbkille's Parochial School; also Mt. 
St. Joseph Academy, St. John's Seminary, Cenacle Convent, St. Gabriel's 
Monastery and Brighton Catholic Institute. There are four churches: 
Congregational, Unitarian and Episcopal and St. Columbkille's Roman 

The clubs in the district include the Brighthelmstone, Women's Muni- 
cipal League and the American Legion of Honor. 

A great deal of work is done in North Brighton by the Women's Muni- 
cipal League and the Brighton Branch, working together to supplement the 
work that the schools are doing for the children, and to help the adults who 
cannot speak Enghsh. 

The Branch has sent a deposit of 500 books to the League, and they 
are given out to the children two days a week, and to the adults on one 
evening. Books which tell how to become a citizen and easy books on 
learning the English language are in great demand. 

A collection of 6,000 pictures which the Branch now possesses is 
circulated very freely among the schools to supplement the work in history 
and geography. The pictures on industries are most in demand. The 
circulation this year was 8,000. Pictures and books relating to the Pil- 
grims have been asked for constantly, and the schools have been supplied 
with such material. 

Katherine S. Rogan, Librarian. 


1919-20 83,238 

1920-21 93,637 

The Charlestown Public Library was opened in I 862 with a collection 
of 6,000 books. In 1874, when the district was annexed to Boston, the 
library became a branch of the Boston Public Library. 

The present building, erected in 1913 and owned by the city, has a 
separate room for adults, one for children, and a good lecture hall. The 
Branch contains about 1 6,000 volumes, 5 1 periodicals, and a collection of 
1 ,800 pictures for circulation. There are three funds for special books. 


The community is about evenly divided among laborers, clerks, and 
business men, with a few persons of the leisure class. The population is 
39,600, and the Branch serves a district of a little over a square mile. 
There are eight grammar schools, one high school, an evening centre, eight 
churches, two women's clubs, two clubs for sailors, a Y. M. C. A. build- 
ing, and a boys' club. 

The principal occupation is freight handling, because of the docks and 
railroad terminals in the district. In addition there are the shops of the 
Navy Yard, several factories, two milk depots, spice and flour mills, and 
a sugar refinery. Among the adult borrowers we circulate many books 
on machinery, engineering, electricity, and accounting, and a large per- 
centage of fiction. For the children, the library is the natural centre 
for school work and reading as well as for the circulation of books. The 
homes are, in most cases, crowded and poorly lighted, so that each after- 
noon and evening the rooms are filled with students and readers ranging 
from early grade to college age. The circulation is distributed between 40 
per cent adult readers, and 60 per cent juvenile. 

The population of 39,600 is 71 per cent native born. Of the 6,708 
foreign born, 2,481 are English speaking, coming from Ireland, Great 
Britain, and Canada. The remaining 2.300 are made up of Russians, 
Italians, Poles, and Armenians. The Russians number 507, and the 
Italians 647. This year among our books on citizenship, we have several 
volumes printed in two languages, and we circulate them, but the Ameri- 
canization field is, of course, not so wide here as it is in some districts. 

Our few books of fiction in Yiddish are in use all the time among the 
Hebrew parents. 

Collections of supplementary reading are lent by the Branch to the 
schools, at the request of the teachers. Last year, we lent 2,138 vol- 
umes to 58 teachers. In connection with these deposits of books, the 
teachers find the Branch pictures useful. There were two hundred re- 
quests for these last year and a total of 4,128 pictures were circulated. 

Teachers and children are interested in the Pilgrim Tercentenary this 
year. Each class had an exercise on the Pilgrims, which required a visit 
to the library for poems, stories, and pictures of the Pilgrims. 

We have a weekly Story-Hour for the boys, with an average attendance 
of 100. 

The special feature of this year's work is the plan to open a library 
room at the Bunker Hill Evening Scl.jol Center in the form of the usual 
deposit. This school is at quite a distance from the Branch, and those 
who attend it will get an opportunity once a week to take or return library 
books there. The Evening School Department will provide the room, 
heat, and light, and plans are under way to secure furniture and an 
attendant, on the part of the Library. 


Elizabeth P. Ross, Librarian. 


1919-20 92,000 

1920-21 ■ . . 99,475 

In 1905, the Codman Square Branch was opened to the public in the 
Municipal Building which it now occupies. From 1905 to 1914 it was 
a reading room, Station J, taking the place of two shop stations, one at 
Ashmont and one at Dorchester Station, which were discontinued. On 
November 1, 1914, because of the rapid growth of the reading room it 
was regraded as a branch. The building is on the site of the old Town 
Hall of Dorchester, a framed picture of which together with printed notices 
of the old town meetings is owned by the Branch. 

The section of Dorchester which the Codman Square Branch serves 
is residential, including apartment houses, large single houses with grounds, 
and everything between the two extremes. In the squares and on the main 
streets are groups of little shops which serve each community and which 
make frequent shopping trips to Boston unnecessary. Here we have 
numerous women's and men's clubs, for example: the Dorchester Women's 
Club, the Athena Club, the Women's Catholic Guild, the Harvard Im- 
provement Association, the Book Review Club, the Colonial Club, the 
Dorchester Club, and others. 

We have also many churches and schools. The Dorchester High 
School is just across the square, and often pupils are allowed to come 
to the Branch in their study periods to look up some reference question. 
Our nearness to the schools gives us an enormous amount of reference work 
to do all the time. We have had classes come over from the Dorchester 
High School for little practical talks about the reference books. These 
classes came to the library with their English teacher during the English 
period. After the talk questions were distributed so that the pupils might 
actually use the reference books. Then if there were points to explain 
further it could be done on the spot. This helps the individual to help 
himself. There has been a marked improvement in the way the pupils use 
the books after these reference talks. Thirteen classes were taken care of 
in this way; each class having from 30 to 35 members. 

We have people here who are interested in teaching the aliens of our 
city, and people who are studying Americanization with the idea of teach- 
ing. For these people we have a number of books which they need to use. 
The titles of these books were given to us by a lady who was taking the 
Americanization course at Harvard. She seemed to be very glad to sug- 
gest books to help fill out our collection. 


Elizabeth T. Reed, Librarian. 


1919-20 68,795 

1920-21 69,275 

In 1 874, the City Council made an appropriation for a branch in 
Dorchester and quarters were found in the city building at Field's Corner. 
The branch was dedicated January 18, 1875, by services held in the 
First Parish Church. On the 25 th of January, the Branch, which con- 
tained about 4,000 volumes, was opened to the public, and circulated 
for home use, during its first year, 15,675 volumes. In 1875, a delivery 
station at Dorchester Lower Mills was established. Through the inter- 
vention of the Rev. H. G. Spaulding, the proprietors of a circulating library 
gave approximately 2,500 volumes to the Dorchester Branch, on condition 
that a delivery station should be established at the Lower Mills. The 
plan was tried experimentally, and in the first year the station received 
8,504 volumes from the Dorchester Branch, and 1 32 volumes from the 
Central Library. 

In 1881, a delivery station was opened at Mattapan; in 1883, one 
at Neponset; in 1890, one at Ashmont; in 1896, one at Upham's Cor- 
ner; and these were served from the Dorchester Branch. 

The population of Dorchester in 1915 was 138,1 19. 

This Branch is in a thickly settled district, the population being largely 
of Irish extraction, mostly working people. There are few Jews and 

The schools assigned to us are the Mather, John Marshall, Mary 
Hemenway, and Minot. We also serve St. Peter's School, the Daly 
Industrial School, and the Industrial School for Girls. The churches in 
this district are three Roman Catholic, two Unitarian, one Baptist, one 
Methodist Episcopal, and a Jewish Synagogue. 

This is a business section, with many provision and grocery stores, etc. 
Here too are the Sturtevant Mill Company, the Boston Insulated Wire 
and Cable Company, the Educational Publishing Company, the "Dor- 
chester Beacon" office, the Dorchester Telephone Exchange, the Dor- 
chester Board of Trade, the Dorch:3ter Rehef Society, branches of the 
Red Cross and Instructive District Nursing Association, Division 1 of the 
Boston Elevated Railway Company, a fire engine house, Gordon House, 
and the Dorchester Theatre. 

The general library room on the second floor, and a children's room, 
Inadequate for the purpose, on the third floor of the building which con- 
tains also the Police Station and Dorchester Municipal Court, are incon- 
veniently placed for the objects they seek to serve. 


The books on citizenship and Americanization have been collected 
and conveniently placed, and have had some circulation through the schools. 

Books on Plymouth and the Pilgrims have been placed together. 
Teachers are using them, and they are circulating well. 

Laura M. Cross, Librarian. 


1919-20 124,955 

1920-21 121,566 

The East Boston Branch was the first branch of the Boston Public 
Library, as well as the first branch library in the United States. Its 
earliest home was in the old Lyman School building, where the collection 
of books purchased from library funds, in addition to those given by the 
Sumner Library Association of East Boston, was accessible to the public 
in 1871. 

During the first year of the branch 74,804 books were circulated for 
home use. 

In 1912, after having been forty-one years in its first home, the branch 
was moved to the Austin Schoolhouse, and two years later, in 1914, the 
new building on Meridian Street was occupied. 

Isolated from the city proper until the building of the tunnel. East 
Boston had to be sufficient to itself. Evidences of this are seen in the 
social life of the district, its libraries, its seventeen churches and numerous 
clubs, the most important of which is the Home Club. This organization, 
consisting of women banded together to promote the welfare of the com- 
munity, has always suppxjrted the Branch in every movement. 

Originally a residential suburb with beautiful gardens. East Boston is 
now an industrial centre. Here are large lumber and ship building yards, 
knitting mills, shoe shops, foundries, and boiler works, as well as engineer- 
ing plants. 

It is the home of the new American also, for many strangers from 
foreign shores settle here near the immigration station. The population 
of 63,023 is cosmopolitan; the Italian and Jewish people predominate, 
but there are many of Portuguese, Irish, Scandinavian, and Canadian 
birth, as well as some of the descendants of the old settlers. 

This branch has all the problems of a city library, but the most im- 
portant phase of its work is that with children who come to us from 
seventeen schools (public and private) for books and for material to help 
them with their studies. Often 800 or 900 children under sixteen years 
of age will visit the branch during a single day. 

This year the Boston Chamber of Commerce has had its East Boston 
headquarters for Americanization work at the East Boston Branch. 


Through its outdoor moving pictures, silent talks in foreign languages as 
well as English, its story-hours and English classes, the Chamber has 
advertised the benefits of American citizenship and incidentally the library. 
Lists of books in the Yiddish and Itahan languages and of books on citizen- 
ship to be found at the East Boston Library have been printed at the 
expense of the Chamber of Commerce and distributed to the public. 

The result has been most gratifying. Adults of foreign birth have 
visited the Branch in greater proportion than ever before, and have applied 
for library cards and books, as well as for information in regard to natural- 
ization. The large number of books on citizenship added to the branch 
this year have been of great value in this work. 

Elizabeth Ainsworth, Librarian. 


1919-20 79,135 

1920-21 80,186 

At a town meeting held in 1 871 , three years after the incorporation of 
the town, a committee was appointed to begin a movement in favor of a 
public library. The library was opened in 1 874 in small rented rooms, 
with William E. Foster, now of the Providence Public Library, as li- 
brarian. In 1 883 the library was removed to larger quarters, where it 
remained until 1 899 when it was transferred to the new library building, 
a structure of simple interior with dignified exterior proportions, of which 
the citizens were justly proud. On January 1, 1912, by annexation, the 
library became a branch of the Boston Public Library. The Branch con- 
tains nearly thirty thousand volumes. Two daily papers are taken, with 
forty-nine different periodicals. 

The population of Hyde Park is about 20,000. There are 3.000 
pupils in the public schools. There are six grammar schools and one 

high school in the district. Pupils are helped with reference work and 
deposits of books and pictures are sent to the schools when they are needed 
and can be suppHed. Eight hundred and forty-three pictures were lent last 

The Branch has assisted the high school library by classification of its 
books and in the completion to date of the dictionary card catalogue. 

A summer review school is held here each year, and also evening schools 
from October to April. Ambitious young and older men and women 
from among our foreign population avail themselves of this opportunity to 
get an elementary education or to increase their knowledge of mechanical 
and industrial arts. 

There are ten churches in the district, with which clubs and societies 
are connected. The Current Events Club, composed of a few hundred 


women, and the Thought Club, organized for literary study, constitute the 
women's clubs, which the Branch aids in every way it can. 

Business of various kinds is here, and there is also a Board of Trade. 
The manufactories are numerous and draw a foreign population. Nearly 
every nationality is represented, Italians and Poles predominating. The 
books on Americanization are used. A history of the United States and 
a life of George Washington have been first among the books called for 
by foreign readers. Children of foreign parentage frequent the library 
and read our best literature. 

The Pilgrim club connected with one of our churches has recently 
dramatized the early history of Boston. Much of the material for this 
purpose the Branch was able to supply. 

Mary P. Swain, Librarian. 


1919-20 56.836 

1920-21 59,334 

A delivery station, supplied with books from the Roxbury Branch, was 
opened in one room in Curtis Hall in 1876. In December of the next 
year a regular branch library of about five thousand volumes was estab- 
lished in rooms occupying most of the lower floor in Curtis Hall. The 
circulation the first year was 28, 1 74 volumes. Books were sent twice 
each week to Roslindale and West Roxbury, and these deliveries were 
continued for many years until the permanent collection of books at each 
of these places had so increased that this service was no longer necessary. 

The library was in a flourishing condition, the circulation for the 
previous year having been 53,493, when on the night of December 15, 
1908, a fire which originated in the hall above, caused much injury to 
our books and obliged us to find a new location. The next morning 
a small hall and adjoining rooms were hired, and fitted with rough shelving 
and tables. The books were removed as rapidly as possible, those that 
were water soaked were dried, and all were sorted out and rearranged, 
so that In two weeks we opened again in our new quarters where we spent 
two years and eight months under very trying conditions. 

We moved in 1911 to the new building devoted wholly to library uses. 
The spacious sunny rooms are highly appreciated by our patrons and the 
library employees. 

The section of Jamaica Plain served by our library is mostly residential. 
The entire population is estimated at about thirty thousand, but this in- 
cludes many residents who make use of the Boylston Station Reading 
Room, which is much nearer their homes. 

Our population is so entirely American-born that we have, as yet, no 


Americanization problem, and consequently the books which we have 
displayed on Americanization and citizenship have been but little used. 

Since the Hbrary was opened, in 1877, the number of volumes has 
increased from about 5,000 to 16,000 volumes.. 

We have always had a large number of readers who desired standard 
books in history, biography, and literature, as well as the best fiction. 
We send to the schools in our district books on deposit and many col- 
lections of pictures to illustrate the subjects studied. 

Josephine E. Kenney, Librarian. 


1919-20 63,433 

1920-21 76,765 

In October, 1 882, a reading room and delivery station was opened in 
the Hancock School building on Parmenter Street. After various changes 
and removals the Branch moved into its present quarters in 1913 and is 
now wholly supported by the City. For a time it was unique in having 
a roof garden which was used as a reading room in summer. 

The Branch has a special collection of several hundred Italian books 
and has been enriched by many gifts of books, a statute of King Humbert, 
and a fine bas relief. It consists of two floors and a basement which 
has been fitted up for clubs and small assemblies. 

We are surrounded by wholesale houses, factories and wharves. Food, 
furniture, and clothing are manufactured and have their markets here. 
Wherever a brick building can rise or space be found for a tenement our 
people live. 

In the immediate neighborhood are two large public school and two pa- 
rochial districts. All are overcrowded. Every denomination has a foot- 
hold in the North End. All the churches have various organizations for 
young people. 

The North Bennet Industrial School has many fine cultural clubs; the 
North End Union and other agencies contribute to the welfare of the 
residents. The Michael Angelo School Center is the strongest com- 
munity force. 

From small commercial beginnings the people advance to the status of 
merchants. The women employ their skilful fingers in many ways. Print- 
ing, engraving, and other arts and professions have their following. 

The majority of the residents are of Italian descent, but there are Poles, 
Greeks and Spaniards. The Italians are sensitive, grateful for favors, 
and mindful of injuries. 

Italians throughout the city use the Branch. Our district lies in Ward 5 
of which precincts 1 and 2 belong to us. In the 1915 census the popu- 


lation was 23,383. The natural growth of the section must bring our 
total population up to 24,000. 

The keynote of the year's work has been an effort toward better 
service, first, by building up a good community feeling, second, by increas- 
ing the knowledge and love of books, and third, by installing methods of 
work which save time and money. 

During the summer close acquaintance with groups of children was 
gained by holding a Children's Hour in the Branch. Book knowledge 
comes, also, through the Story Hour. 

There have been eight Library Clubs this year ranging from the younger 
groups up through the Debating Club and the City History Club to the 
Rossi Dramatic Club and the twelve piece Orchestra. 

Various labor-saving methods and rules of procedure which allow us 
to handle crowds and speed up the issue of books have been adopted. 

A conspicuous section in the adult room has been filled with books on 
citizenship and learning English. We attempt to supply in ItaHan books 
that express American ideals, such as lives of great Americans or standard 
delineations of American life. 

Pictures, posters, booklists and a Pilgrim village, made by the City 
History Club, have called attention to the Pilgrim celebration. Pilgrim 
life has been lived again in song and story by the children. 

Fairy tale posters and illustrations of the proper care of books have 
been made. We have tried to exhibit in the Library and supply to the 
schools only the highest grade of pictures. 

A brief report cannot express the vivid color, the humor, the seething 
life, the struggle with inadequate resources and the joy of expressed appre- 
ciation that dwells in the North End Branch. 

Grace L. Murray, Librarian. 


1919-20 67,629 

1920-21 74,242 

Roslindale is a part of Ward 23 and has a population of about 1 8,000, 
a large percentage being either foreign born or of foreign parentage. None 
of the residents are very wealthy, but nearly all have comfortable homes. 
No large business of any kind is carried on, but there are many small 
stores. There are seven churches, including a German Lutheran, two 
large public schools, one parochial school, and a moving picture theatre. 
The clubs and societies are numerous. 

The first step towards estabhshing a Hbrary in Roslindale was taken 
in 1878, when a delivery station for books from the Jamaica Plain 
Branch was opened on Florence Street, at the house of the agent. There 


followed, in 1 893, a shop station in a dry-goods store at 19 Poplar Street. 
This was transferred, in 1896, to a variety store at 25 Poplar Street. 
In addition to a regular delivery of books from the Central Library and 
the Jamaica Plain Branch, a deposit of 300 books was placed here. The 
success of this station soon showed the need of better Hbrary facihties, 
and through the efforts of the leading citizens, $5,000 was granted by 
the City Council for the purchase of books. In December, 1 900, the 
reading room called the Roslindale Reading Room was opened to the 
pubhc in the Wise Building on Ashland Street. In a few years these 
quarters became inadequate, so rapid was the growth of this station. 
In May, 1918, the library was removed to its present home in the new 
Municipal Building. This room is spacious, well heated and lighted, and 
the equipment is nearly all new. The disadvantages are a gymnasium 
overhead, and large posts and high bookcases which so obstruct the view 
as to make it impossible with a small force to exercise proper supervision 
over the children. In September, 1919, the station was made a branch. 

The improved accommodations have attracted many new patrons and 
the past year has been a very busy one. The books on citizenship have 
been constantly used by the children, some taking them home for their 
parents to read. Adults, with the exception of teachers,, seldom apply 
in person for these books. The books on the Pilgrims have been in great 
demand. Few pictures have been added to our collection this year, yet 
the circulation has increased. Those illustrating industries have been most 
called for by the schools. The reference work has been one of continual 
activity, but it could have been made much more helpful with better re- 
sources on many subjects. 

The Community Club gave twenty-one handsomely illustrated books to 
the children for hall use, and one of its members, Mrs. Wilkinson, gave 
a small bookcase in which to keep them. 

There are great opportunities for increasing the usefulness of this 
library, if only the books so much needed for this purpose could be provided. 

Helen M. Bell, Librarian. 


1919-20 74,873 

1920-21 81,312 

This, the third branch to be established, was the first to occupy a 
building especially erected for a library. It is an interesting fact that this 
was one of the first library buildings in the country in which the books were 
arranged in a stack. 

Caleb Fellowes of Philadelphia bequeathed money for a library in 
Roxbury, then a separate municipality. When a branch library in 


this district was proposed this money had become available. Therefore, 
an arrangement was made between the Trustees of the Public Library 
and those of the Fellowes Athenaeum by which the latter agreed to erect 
a building that the former should rent. The rental money, after the 
payment of taxes, insurance and repairs, was to be spent for books and 
periodicals, and the library was to be managed as a branch of the 
Boston Public Library. As the result of this co-operation this Branch 
is the largest in the system and now contains over 36,000 volumes. 

Roxbury had 50,000 inhabitants in 1873 when this Branch was 
opened. The population is about I 30,000 at the present time. Other 
Library agencies have been established, but the character of the neighbor- 
hood that this Branch chiefly serves has entirely changed. There are 
now few families of native Americans and the names of the card holders 
show representation of many nationalities. This section appears to receive 
the foreign born who desire to change their environment after they have 
become somewhat acquainted with American life and customs. 

The associations of Roxbury with Governor Dudley, John Eliot, Joseph 
Warren and with events in the early settlement of the country and the 
Revolutionary War are of interest. 

Although remote from the business section there are in this vicinity In 
addition to churches, schools, both public and parochial, homes for the 
aged and convalescent, a social center, a boys' club, and charitable and 
social organizations. 

To sixteen school buildings class room libraries are supphed from our 
resources. During the school year over two thousand volumes are sent 
out to about sixty teachers. Our collection of 30,000 mounted pictures 
is used by the teachers as aid to their pupils in the study of geography 
and history. 

Scrap-books made of pictures collected from various sources have been 
found useful in work with children. 

In our daily service to the public there are ever new problems to be 
solved and help to be given in the selection of books for home reading or 
study, from the child who says he is "struck on the birds" to the adults 
who seek information on many different subjects. 

M. Florence Cufflin, Librarian. 


1919-20 105,227 

1920-21 108.897 

This was the second branch library to be established by the Trustees. 
It was opened in 1 872 in the same leased quarters it now occupies, on the 
second floor of the Masonic Building. In 1 872 there were 4,400 volumes 


in the branch including about 1 ,400 volumes contributed by the Mattapan 
Library Association. On Jan. 16, 1 92 1 , the collection had increased to 
1 7,085 volumes. The Branch has received two bequests, amounting to 

Our community is really a small city in itself, having an approxi- 
mate population of 89,000. Within its confines there are 23 public and 
5 parochial schools and not less than 20 churches, representing at least 7 
denominations, as well as all kinds of clubs, social, business and fraternal. 
The people have their own banks, with the co-operative banks in the 
majority. Scattered throughout the district are large manufacturing con- 
cerns, some of which employ more than 1 ,000 persons. Many oppor- 
tunities for recreation are provided by the City in the way of public baths 
(5), playgrounds (6), tennis courts (6), ball fields (3), parks (3), 
community center, gymnasium and salt water bathing facilities. The 
"residents" spread out in all directions towards the water's edge while 
the tenement population is crowded around the business section and it is 
here that the library is located. The people are of the hard working class 
in which only the children have leisure and inclination to read, and for this 
reason our patronage is 73 per cent juvenile. There is a large alien 
population in our neighborhood and there come to us children of Polish, 
Lithuanian, Irish, and Italian extraction; we are beginning to have some 
French-Canadians and Hebrews. These different groups come together 
at the Story Hour and it is a joy to watch their faces, as the stories are 
told. During the year, the branch has circulated books through a total 
of 36 agencies. 

We have given assistance to many men taking out naturalization papers, 
and we have guided and directed the reading of others who "had no 
time to go to night school." Additional copies of books on Americaniza- 
tion have been added and these reach the parents through the children, 
who usually take out one book for themselves and one for father or mother. 
Late in December, the Boston Chamber of Commerce organized a com- 
mittee to carry out a plan to promote citizenship in this district. 

Special programs were prepared in the schools in honor of the Pilgrim 
Tercentenary and the library was asked to provide plays, music for dances, 
pictures of costumes, etc. One school had a pageant in which most of 
the children took part. 


Margaret A. Sheridan, Librarian. 


1919-20 96,634 

1920-21 102,139 

The South End Branch of the Boston Public Library is at present oc- 
cupying its third home at 397 Shawmut Ave., in the building formerly 


known as the "Every Day Church." This branch library came Into 
existence 43 years ago, in 1877, when the Mercantile Library Associa- 
tion made a gift of its library of 1 8,000 volumes to the City of Boston. 
One of the conditions of this gift was, that part of the collection be used 
as a nucleus for the establishment of a branch library at the South End. 
The gift was accepted, and the South End Branch was opened that year 
in the basement of a house owned and occupied by the Mercantile Library 
Association on the corner of West Newton and Tremont Streets. Two 
years later, in 1 879, having outgrown its first home, the Branch was moved 
to quarters in the newly erected English High School building on Mont- 
gomery Street, where it remained for 25 years. 

In the early days the Branch library served a community very different 
from the present one. The South End was a residential district, where 
American merchants, bankers, and well to do business men and their 
famihes lived. But long ago the change in the character of the population 
began, and for some years it has been largely a lodging house district. In 
1904 the South End Branch moved into the present home at 397 Shawmut 
Avenue, a building which it entirely occupies. At present a lively hope is 
entertained that the Branch will soon find a permanent home in the South 
End Municipal Building about to be erected in the district. 

This branch library, although used by many who live in other parts of 
the city, serves directly the congested section south of Dover Street to 
Northampton Street, and from Albany Street on the east to Tremont 
Street on the west. Washington and Tremont Streets are chiefly devoted 
to business while some factories and wharves are located on Albany Street. 
East of Washington Street to Albany Street is a tenement district. Here 
are found all the racial elements that go to make up our population: — 
Russian Jews, Armenians, Syrians, Italians, Chinese, some native Ameri- 
cans and a rather large percentage of Irish. Just south of the branch on 
Shawmut Avenue is a rapidly growing Negro colony. West of Wash- 
ington Street is largely a lodging house section with a floating and con- 
stantly changing population. A clergyman at one of the churches here, 
described rather clearly the restless character of this section, by stating, 
he always felt that he was preaching to a procession. 

The religious needs of the people are served by four Roman Catholic 
churches, a Jewish synagogue, a Baptist church for colored people, several 
Protestant churches of different denominations, the Morgan Memorial and 
the Salvation Army. In the district are five grammar schools, two pa- 
rochial schools, three high schools and a Latin school. 

This year a more definite effort has been made to help the foreign popu- 
lation by adding to our collection more books in Russian, Yiddish, Italian 
and other languages. Much of the Americanization work here is carried 
on in clubs, and there have been special courses for the foreign women. 
The Library co-operates by sending books to the clubs, and by helping the 
individual at the Library. 


Besides the schools, to all of which the Branch Library sends deposits 
of books and collections of pictures, there are several institutions which are 
supplied, — St. Vincent's Orphanage, Home for Aged Men, South Bay 
Union, the Ladies' Catholic Club, and the Jewish Welfare Centre. 

The social settlement work here is well organized and very successful. 

It is interesting to note here that the Library Story Hour, now so impor- 
tant a factor in the work with children at the branches, really originated 
at South End Branch several years ago as volunteer work before the 
library system adopted it. 

With all the educational and social activities around us the Branch 
Library has a very important and sympathetic part. It not only provides 
books and information, but is a centre to which all the different elements 
and types come with an equal right and receive an equal welcome. 

Mary F. Kelley, Librarian. 


1919-20 119,899 

1920-21 122,766 

The Uphams Corner Branch was opened in the Municipal Building, 
Columbia Road, in 1904, after the discontinuance of a shop station on 
Dudley Street. The first annual report showed a circulation of 24,660. 
When this is compared with the circulation of 1920 the growth of the 
Branch is apparent. The library was opened with the status of a reading 
room but so rapid was its growth that in 1907 it took on the dignity of a 
branch, and up to date has achieved and far surpassed its earliest hopes 
and aspirations. 

At first it occupied only one large room, which served as a general 
reading room for children as well as adults, but later it was given the use 
of one-half of the Ward Room in the building and the worst half at that, 
for a children's room. Although the circulation has mounted the quarters 
are still archaic and the children's room is quite inadequate as to space, 
light, and ventilation. 

Originally the library was considered to be in the midst of a typical 
American neighborhood, but the finger of time has pushed forward business 
enterprises rapidly in the Uphams Corner section, and with the advance 
many of the older American families have departed and newer American 
families, of many strange tongues, are coming into our district and we are 
anticipating and preparing for more changes. So far the Jews and the 
Italians seem to be the principal newcomers. 

Recently from the Phillips Brooks Night School there were obtained 
69 adult registrations, all among the foreign born, few of whom speak 
anything but the simplest of English. As a result our citizenship books are 


in constant demand and this part of our work is becoming an important 

Having a large school population to deal with, the work among children 
is of vital importance. Our deposit work is heavy and our picture cir- 
culation runs up into the thousands each month. The Story Hour group, 
one of the largest in the City, averages 200 weekly. 

Our Library, situated as it is in a Municipal Building where there are 
many other activities, naturally has a large percentage of adult readers. 
For instance on class day in the gymnasium many women make it a point 
to return and taken out books. Likewise on Saturday night many men 
who come to the shower baths feel the need of a little mental relaxation 
and at such a psychological time O. Henry and his hke are in demand. 
The Uphams Corner Branch has the largest circulation of any of the 
out of town branches. 

Beatrice C. Maguire, Librarian. 


1919-20 96,796 

1920-21 103,964 

Some years ago, a wise librarian of Boston planted library seeds in 
sections of the city, where book collections were few. They were called 
"shop stations," and in them people learned to cultivate the love for 
books, although the meagre accommodations did not permit the luxury 
of "browsing." These plants, as might be expected, did not all attain 
the same growth. Some few "fell upon stony places." The majority, 
however, throve amazingly and "brought forth fruit an hundred fold" 
completely outgrowing the first sowings long before their most ardent sup- 
porters had dared to predict the results. Such was the beginning of the 
Warren Street Branch. It must not be supposed that it reached the latter 
status quite untouched by interfering weeds. 

In 1905, the library opened in its present location as the Warren 
Street Reading Room, with a collection of 933 volumes, which included 
400 on deposit from the Central Library, 300 from the Roxbury Branch, 
and 233 volumes of its own. The growth was rapid. In nine years, 
the increased circulation warranted leasing the adjacent store. This 
arrangement gave space for a children's room, a larger reading room for 
the adults, and a work-room. It is not surprising, therefore, with this 
continued upward and onward movement that in September 1919, the 
Trustees decided to confer upon the Reading Room the dignity of a 
branch. This remarkable expansion of service may be attributed in 
large part of the changing character of the neighborhood. Beginning with 
a small community of American families only, it has today a population of 


approximately 25,000, largely Jewish, with a fair representation of Irish, 
Italian, Swedish, and English. In recent years, there has been some use 
by the colored people. 

The schools in the district include the Roxbury High School (for 
girls), Latin School (for boys), several large grammar and primary build- 
ings, besides two Parochial and Hebrew schools. 

Work in Americanization is one of the most important features of the 
Branch, on account of the large percentage of foreign born people. In 
this vicinity are two sc'^ools which conduct classes in English for foreigners, 
and where many people take advantage of the opportunities afforded 
them. Our growing collection of books on this subject is divided into 
two classes, adult and juvenile. From them the library is enabled to 
supply much of the pupils' reading matter, and every facility is offered to 
this particular class of borrowers. Appropriate posters and leaflets further 
assist in placing Americanization matter before the public. 

The picture collection, numbering more than 2,000 plates, is used 
extensively in the schools. At the beginning of each term it is the custom 
for a majority of the teachers to furnish lists of subjects, in order that we 
may supply pictures on the dates requested. Pictures are also lent to 
High School pupils for use in oral composition and to Normal School 
students, who are frequently required to illustrate their talks. 

Florence M. Bethune, Librarian. 


1919-20 115,321 

1920-21 124,139 

At the corner of Cambridge and Lynde Sts. stands the West Church, 
long a landmark of the West End. In 1 894 the property was purchased 
under an appropriation made by the City Council, was placed under 
the control of the Trustees, remodeled internally in a style which care- 
fully preserved its original architectural character, and reopened in 1 896, 
as the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library. It provided 
accommodations for 250 readers, and contained at that time 8,600 vol- 

Today this building, described as "an open-hearted church," stands 
in the midst of a crowded business and residential district, with an approxi- 
mate population of 1 00,000, in which, it is said 22 different nationalities 
are represented. 

The seating capacity has been Increased by converting the balcony into 
a Children's Room, where hundreds of children come daily, where they 
have free access to the shelves, where attendants give special attention 
to the wants of the young visitors and as far as possible guide them in 
the selection and use of books. 


The Adults' Reading Room is always well filled, and at certain times 
it is crowded to its capacity with people from all walks of life. 

On account of its location, and because of the historic interest in the 
building, strangers and visitors from all parts of the city use this Branch. 
We, therefore, have a large and cosmopolitan constituency, whose demands 
are varied. It may well be said that this is a smaller Central Library. 

The district has many settlement and community houses, churches, 
clubs, with welfare workers representing various organizations, but the 
library, because of its neutral attitude, is the one place where all the 
people meet on common ground, where they can get material to assist 
them in their work, and where they can come for recreation. 

Always, since its beginning, this Branch has been doing Americaniza- 
tion work, but this year a special emphasis has been placed upon it. A 
collection of books on citizenship has been built up and a prominent 
place assigned it. Books in Yiddish, Russian, and Italian have been 
added for the adult foreigners who cannot read English. 

An effort to meet the demand for books on business administration 
has been made by the addition of several up-to-date books, by well- 
known authorities, on accounting, salesmanship, office management, practi- 
cal psychology, and of the periodicals "System" and "Industrial Manage- 

There are 4 large school districts, including 10 buildings, with a 
registration of 6,400 children in the West End. The relation between 
the schools and the library is very close. Books and pictures are sent 
regularly, and both teachers and pupils come to the Branch. 

The Story Hour for children has grown this year from a small group 
of 24 at the beginning to 1 50 at the present time. 

What this library means to the community is shown by the immense 
use that is made of all its privileges. There are no dull times at the 
West End Branch. 

Carrie L. Morse, Librarian. 


1919-20 57,026 

1920-21 56,692 

The first library in West Roxbury for general use was started by the 
Rev. John Flagg, a minister of the First Parish Church. It was known as 
"The Spring Street Social Library." Any person became a proprietor 
by paying three dollars and an annual assessment. The first catalogue was 
printed in Boston in 1841 and represented about 475 volumes.. 

The library was first placed in Mrs. Benjamin Corey's house, and was 
afterwards removed to Miss Betsy Draper's store. After the store was 


given up the collection was removed to Westerly Hall, where it remained 
under changed conditions until the present time. 

In 1 863 an association was formed under the name of the West Rox- 
bury Free Library, which finally owned 3,000 volumes. In 1876 the 
books were taken over by the Boston PubHc Library which established a 
Delivery Station, and in 1 896 this became a Branch. At the present 
time it has over 1 1 ,000 volumes, with a yearly circulation of over 57,000. 

The population of this residential district at present is about 8.000, 
with four schools, six churches, the Citizens' Association, the Highland 
Club, the Woman's Club, and many other clubs, hterary, etc. West 
Roxbury is known as a club district. 

The extreme southerly end of the territory, which is called German- 
town, has quite an alien population, and gives us work in Americanization 
and a chance to use the new books recently added for that purpose. 

The Pilgrim Tercentenary has awakened interest in books on the history 
of the Pilgrims. Pictures are in great demand. Books of plays and 
pageants are in constant use, and a number of plays which have been 
given at the schools, were taken from the books at the Hbrary. 

The picture circulation is a large feature, for over seven thousand 
pictures circulate each year, not only in West Roxbury but in all parts of 
the City. 

A Business Directory was started by the branch this summer. It con- 
tains cards of all the various occupations in the district, and also the names 
of the prominent people residing here. This is found to be of great use, 
and we have cards sent to us with requests that the senders' names may be 
inserted in the index. 

The work with the schools and the Story Hour in the school hall each 
week, with an attendance of over three hundred show the co-operation 
of the Hbrary with the master and teachers. 

M. Addie Hill. Librarian. 


1919-20 18,983 

1920-21 . 18,545 

This Library was first opened in 1875 as a delivery station of the 
Dorchester Branch. Mr. J. C. Talbot gave the use of a room in his 
store for one year. The room, which had been used many years before 
for a reading room, was now open three hours daily, to register borrowers, 
receive appHcations for books, and deHver books when received. An 
express box passed daily to and from the Dorchester Branch, and com- 
munication was established through the branch with the Central Library. 
At the end of the year the Library had proved successful, and the room 


was hired. We remained there till 1 883, when we moved into the building 
where we are now. 

In 1 884 the delivery station was made a deposit station and reading 
room. We then received books from the Central Library twice a week, 
and later every day. In 1 895 we began to have a permanent collection 
of books, first reference books, and then books of fiction and children's 
books. The collection at the present time comprises 1 280 volumes. 

The district has two schools, the Gilbert Stuart and Stoughton; Baptist, 
Catholic, Methodist, Orthodox, Unitarian, and Congregational churches, 
and the Dorchester Woman's Club. The principal business firm is the 
Walter Baker Company, chocolate makers. The alien population con- 
sists of Greeks, Italians and Jews. The majority of the foreigners are 
now American citizens. 

Reference work is an important function of this reading room. The 
schools send to the Central Library for deposits of books and pictures 
through this reading room. 

Emma G. Capewell, Librarian. 


1919-20 18,808 

1920-21 19,495 

A delivery station of the Dorchester Branch was opened in Mattapan in 
1881. It occupied one corner of a store in the Oakland Hall Building, 
Mattapan Square. This was the beginning of the branch system of the 
Library for the citizens of that quite remote district, which is situated on 
the banks of the Neponset River, the dividing line between Boston and 
Milton. For a number of years this was the only library service, books 
being sent from the Dorchester Branch three times a week. Eventually, 
a number of the leading citizens of Mattapan and Milton came together 
with the purpose of providing a reading room, with the result that the 
Mattapan Library Association was formed. A room was secured in the 
same building, magazines and papers furnished, and the library desk was 
also moved in. This was in 1 889. A few years after, I entered the 
service, and soon the City took over the whole. In 1 896 the deHvery 
station became a reading room and a good number of reference books 
were supplied and also a small deposit of books for circulation, while other 
books were received from Central every day by express, although I cannot 
say with precise regularity. Meantime it was found to be advisable to 
move to a more central part of the community, and in 1907 a somewhat 
larger place was found nearer the residential section. So from serving 
a small country town of one school, one church, and only a few stores, 
we are now near four primary and three large grammar schools, four 
churches, and many stores. 


The population has increased largely. There are many Jewish families, 
and some Italian and Swedish. There is not yet any special Americaniza- 
tion work, though there is some call for Pilgrim books and pictures, and 
always a demand for books and pictures for schools. 

Mattapan has been said to be "off the map," but it has found a place, 
and we hope for still better things in the near future. 

Beatrice M. Flanagan, Librarian. 


1919-20 20,507 

1920-21 23.682 

In answer to the public demand for a better library than the shop station 
which had existed since 1 883, the Neponset Reading Room was opened 
in 1907 in a one-room, one-story structure, equipped with four large oblong 
tables, and with a seating capacity of forty. About 250 volumes, com- 
prising a fine collection of reference books, were placed on the shelves. 
The original building is still in use, but the number of books now at the 
disposal of the public has increased to 1,939. The importance of the 
library is shown by the constant use of the reference books and magazines, 
and by the increase in the yearly circulation from 6,068 in 1 907 to 

23,682 in 1920. 

The Minot School and St. Anne's Parochial School are in the district. 
The librarian has visited both from time to time, books have been sent 
to them on deposit, pictures lent, and the spirit of cooperation between the 
library and the schools maintained. 

The churches include the Episcopal, Methodist, Congregational, and 
Roman Catholic. It is not unusual for a clergyman to call for some 
reference book which will furnish him with material for his sermon. 

Lumber deaHng, ship-building and piano-making are the chief indus- 
tries. Because of the two latter, many Poles, Greeks and ItaHans are 
coming into what formerly was an entirely American community. 

Books on Americanization have been placed on plainly labelled, ac- 
cessible shelves. These books are constantly used by men quahfying for 
citizenship and occasionally by teachers. 

The picture collection, although rather a small one, has proved of great 
value. We have been able to supply some requests, while others have 
been referred to the Central Library. 

Special work with the younger children has been attempted, and an 
occasional story read to the youngest children on a Saturday afternoon. 
The high school pupils have been aided in their selection of books for 
supplementary reading by the arrangement in one particular section of 
books entered In the supplementary list. 


Isabel E. Wetherald, Librarian. 


1919-20 71,611 

1920-21 77,842 

This reading room was founded in 1 886, in the present location, through 
the efforts of General Hazard Stevens and other public spirited members 
of the Mt. Bowdoin Library Association. In the appeal to the public 
it was said, "The library is situated upon the natural, the strategic, the 
fittest and best point for an institution of such far reaching influence for 
good. It is at the junction of two great lines of travel . . . The 
whole region will be densely built up, and there is no reason why Mt. 
Bowdoin should not have the best, the model branch library in the city, 
if all will help with the foundation." The opinion as to probable use 
has been confirmed. From a circulation of 1 4,000 a year to the approxi- 
mate 75,000 books circulated in the current year seems a far cry. How- 
ever, the Board of Trustees, the Association, and the first librarian, Mrs. 
Elizabeth G. Fairbrother, whose personality, wise administration of the 
Reading Room, and intense love for the service are worthy of remembrance, 
together built a firm and permanent foundation which permitted the growth 
during the service of the present hbrarian. The section which it serves 
has grown, is cosmopolitan in character, and has a good proportion of dis- 
criminating readers. 

The library is in close cooperation with the schools of the Oliver Wen- 
dell Holmes, the Christopher Gibson and the Sarah Greenwood districts. 
Members of the Baker Memorial Church, the St. Marks Episcopal and 
Harvard Congregational Churches, and the Grove Hall Universalist 
Church are in the vicinity and use the library as individuals to some extent 
and for material for church activities. In common with the other branches 
it has an excellent reference library and a good general collection of books. 
It contains much material suitable for members of clubs and debating so- 
cieties, and many take advantage of it. The business interests of the 
vicinity consist mainly of stores supplying every day needs, but these stores 
are numerous. Contact between the library and local interests comes 
about through trade, the use of the library by families, and in various other 

Picture exhibits representing the fine arts, travel and history are given 
monthly. Pictures are lent from the Fine Arts Department through the 
reading room to schools, to lecturers, club members and others, to illustrate 
their work. This is one of the great privileges which the Central Library 

The Pilgrim Tercentenary has brought a demand for material concern- 


ing the Pilgrims and the new list on Pilgrim literature is gladly supplied 
upon request. 

Since we all desire to be good citizens, and the question of Americaniza- 
tion is just now a live topic, the library is fast becoming equipped with 
special books on the subject of citizenship, civics, and books easy and 
interesting for the study of English, and of American institutions and 
patriotism. Books in foreign languages may be drawn on library cards 
as well. 

The work with children is important at this reading room, and many 
new children's books are constantly added. 

Katharine F. Muldoon, Librarian. 


1919-20 47,227 

1920-21 44,909 

Succeeding a shop station opened in 1 889, the Allston Reading Room 
was established at 354 Cambridge St. in 1905. In 1908 it moved to 
6 Harvard Ave., having outgrown its former quarters. This location we 
were forced to vacate in October, 1919, and moved to our present quar- 
ters, 1 38 Brighton Ave. We are now in the centre of the district, in three 
rooms on the second floor; they are entirely too small, but were the only 
ones available. 

We have two grammar schools to be supplied with books and pictures. 
The pupils come for books for home use, and also to study. They also 
come for pictures to illustrate their lessons. I mounted some, and al- 
lowed these pupils to take them to school. One student's mother came 
in later and thanked me for doing this, telling me it assisted her daughter 
in obtaining a better mark. Pictures from the Central Library and our 
own collection are also lent to the teachers. 

From several of the churches in the district we have had calls for books 
on pageants, plays and other means of entertainment. Teachers also 
have called for material when writing up special subjects. We have a 
Woman's Club, many of whose members are our patrons; also several 
men's clubs. There is a Community House here, and a branch of the 
Red Cross. 

The district is a residential one, full of single and two-family houses 
and apartments, but car-shops, box factory, the automobile industry, and 
steel works are to be found here. We have a theatre, several branch 
banks, shops, and markets suitable to a small community, and a local paper. 

Sixty per cent of our readers are adults, two-thirds of them being 
women. A number of our patrons are Jews, with a few Swedish, French, 
Italians, Lithuanians, Polish and Germans, but most of them are Ameri- 


cans. A collection of books on Americanization was placed In a con- 
spicuous place and has been used by teachers. 

To meet a demand for material on the Pilgrims, pamphlets have been 
collected, books placed on a certain shelf, and picture bulletins made. 

Margaret H. Reid, Librarian. 


1919-20 52.707 

1920-21 55,403 

Books are keys to wisdom's treasure. 
Books are gates to lands of pleasure. 
Books are paths that upward lead. 
Books are friends — Come, let us read. 
In a small room at the corner of Magazine and Dudley Streets, in 
1900, the Mt. Pleasant Reading Room was first opened. It succeeded 
a shop station on Blue Hill Avenue. For thirteen years our work was 
carried on in this building, although for some time the Reading Room had 
outgrown its quarters. In 1915, the new Municipal Building on the 
corner of Dudley and Vine streets was opened. The Reading Room 
moved to large, well heated and adequately lighted quarters in this building, 
with a special entrance on Vine Street. The room is the centre of attrac- 
tion in this district. The children find it a good place in which to do their 
home lessons, and the older people enjoy a quiet evening among the books. 
A small case in the room is used for "Clean Hands Books." The 
case is marked with one of Gaylord's posters reading: 
A sunbonnet baby and an overall boy 

Went to live in a book one day 
The book was too dirty for them to enjoy 
So they quickly ran out and away. 
Do you enjoy a clean book? Do try to keep books clean. 

The charging plates of these books bear the heading, "Clean Hands 
Books." Children using this case apply at the desk for the privilege of 
joining the Library Clean Hands Club. A label is put on the side of the 
library cards with the letters L. C. H. C. and entitles the children to the 
use of this special case. Soap and water have been very freely used since 
the club was started. Some of the boys who were never known to come 
to the library with clean hands have hands now that really shine. All of 
the teachers in the district are very much interested in this club. One 
teacher is urging the pupils in her room to have one hundred per cent 
clean hands. Students from the Roxbury High and the Practical Arts 
Schools, and Boston College are making use of the library. All of our 


reference books are in constant use, and, from these books almost any 
subject can be looked up as fully as needed by the students. The 
teachers tell me that excellent results have been obtained. 

Many of the younger children have taken advantage of the new^ rule, 
allowing all in the third grade to have library cards. All enjoy the 
privilege, and the wear and tear on the books is no greater than before. 
This privilege creates in a child a desire for good books, as well as a 
feeling of pride in having a library card that belongs solely to himself. 
He feels the responsibility of keeping the books clean and of returning them 
on time, and he also knows that the assistant at the desk is his friend, ever 
ready to help him select the books most suited to him. In fact, the pos- 
session of a card stimulates confidence, which seems lacking in some of 
the older children. Printed signs reading, "If you cannot find what you 
want the librarian will be glad to help you," are conspicuously displayed. 
We are willing to help those who ask for assistance and to offer help to the 
more reticent. 

During the summer months, when out of door life calls, and the library 
in a measure is forgotten, we put typewritten lists on the bulletin boards: 
"What are you doing this vacation?" "Work a little," "Play a httle," 
and, of course, "Read a little." Then below a list of inviting books. 
Invariably these lists attract attention, and, if the Reading Room does 
not possess the particular book wanted a demand is made on the Central 

Fanny Goldstein, Librarian. 


1919-20 18,797 

1920-21 35.166 

The Tyler Street Reading Room is a development from a small de- 
livery station originally opened on Harrison Avenue twenty-five years ago. 
This Reading Room has been a pioneer in a section of the city that is 
always foreign, with a shifting and heterogeneous population, and is now 
situated in the Municipal Building on the corner of Tyler and Oak Streets. 

As an example of the ingredients of our Tyler Street Melting Pot, the 
different nationalities using the Library are cited as follows: American, 
Armenian, Chinese, French, Greek, Hebrew, Irish, Italian, and Syrian. 
The district is particularly rich in social, political and educational activities. 
There are enough churches to suit all creeds, for the foreigner who retains 
his best spiritual endowment, "Faith," seldom neglects his God here. 

The work with the schools has been greatly improved. We have had 
a most successful Library Day in the School Hall, and are now working 
along special reading lines for the English classes, and using the school 


boys as library volunteers. Our picture collection is a very good ohe 
and is now in constant use. 

Although the Tyler Street district is a particularly fertile field for 
Americanization, we are doing much less work than we should like, because 
the library is hampered in all extension work by the reading room hours. 

With so many different races to deal with, we feel that this library is 
fortunate in its helpful relationship with the various peoples, for we have 
aimed at a broad and sympathetic program without prejudice, a square 
deal, and a warm welcome to all. 

The year has been a most successful one, and we are confident that 
the Tyler Street Reading Room has contributed its full share of construc- 
tive service, for the neighborhood response to our spirit of library hospitality 
has been most encouraging and gratifying. 

Katrina M. Sather, Librarian. 


1919-20 . 44,932 

1920-21 48,470 

The Roxbury Crossing Reading Room was established as a delivery 
station in 1897 in cooperation with the People's Institute of Roxbury. 
The reading room was moved in 1 899 to rented quarters in the building 
occupied by the Boys' Institute of Industry at 1154 Tremont Street. In 
1920 new quarters were leased at 208 Ruggles Street. 

The district served by this reading room is an overcrowded tenement 
district, where large families and small incomes prevail. There are a num- 
ber of churches in the district, both American and foreign, and these are of 
several denominations. The Ruggles St. Neighborhood House, Robert 
Gould Shaw House, Ford Memorial (connected with the Ruggles St. 
Baptist Church), have many clubs, both for adults and juveniles. Our 
district is a manufacturing center. Here carpets, boots and shoes, cigars, 
boxes, machinery, and drug supplies are made. Many small grocery and 
fruit stores, meat markets, pawn shops, and dry goods stores are scattered 
throughout the district. 

Three-fourths of our patrons are children, whose parents are mostly 
foreigners, and for whom they borrow books in easy English. An Ar- 
menian woman, whose mother and brother came from Armenia last spring, 
has been a steady patron of our Americanization books. Many Jewish 
men are card-holders and borrow books on citizenship and naturalization. 

For the Pilgrim Tercentenary a number of pictures have been mounted 
and exhibited in the reading room. These pictures will be lent to the 
schools. Our books on the Pilgrims were placed on a special shelf, and 
some of them were made "Hall Use" because of the demand. 


Edith R. Nickerson, Librarian. 


1919-20 43.258 

1920-21 47.523 

The Boylston Station Reading Room was opened in 1 905 in its present 
quarters. Formerly it was a shop station in the drug store across the 
way. The permanent collection of books came here from the Parker 
Memorial Reading Room which was discontinued ; it began with 1 68 
volumes but has grown to about 2,700 volumes. Twenty-seven periodi- 
cals are regularly taken. 

This Reading Room is situated half-way between Centre and Wash- 
ington Streets, and serves the following schools: George Putnam. Ellis 
Mendell. Lowell. Lucretia Crocker, Wyman, Cheverus and Our Lady 
of Lourdes. It also serves pupils attending the various high schools of the 
city. Near the Reading Room are three German Protestant Churches, 
four Protestant and two Catholic Churches, also one Neighborhood House. 

This is a strong German community. The Jewish people are now 
coming into the district, and also a few French and Scotch families. We 
are using the books on Americanization with the classes held in the neigh- 
boring grammar school and the Neighborhood House. 

The business interests of the district are two shoe factories, an elec- 
trical plant, and a machine shop. 

The circulation has grown from 9,974 in 1905-1906 to 47,523 in 

Edith F. Pendleton, Librarian. 


1919-20 31,113 

1920-21 32,040 

This Reading Room was opened at the request, in 1914. of the people 
of the district, which is both residential and business. In the vicinity are 
three Protestant and two Catholic Churches, and also four schools. One. 
the John A. Andrew School, is next door to the Reading Room, and when 
school is out the children rush from the school into the library. The 
teachers come to us for books for teaching their special subjects, as well as 
for deposits and pictures for classroom use. 

The population of foreign origin is Polish and Irish, and in the district 
are a Polish Church (Catholic), and a Polish School. 


Books on Americanization have been placed by themselves and these 
circulate freely among the Polish people. 

The only organization in the neighborhood resembling a club is the 
American Legion, which occupies the rooms over the Hbrary. 

Catherine E. Flannery, Acting Librarian. 


1919-20 23,203 

1920-21 ....... 24,278 

The addition of $2,000 to the general library appropriation in 1901 
made possible the opening of the Orient Heights Reading Room in that 
year. Although the population of Orient Heights was small at that time, 
a reading room was considered necessary because of the remoteness of the 
district. The building in which the library has quarters was at one 
time the Blackinton School. At first the library occupied one small 
room in the front of the building, but later a back room was added and 
an arch was cut between the two. When the reading room was opened 
there were 1 ,000 books on the shelves, of which 700 were bought for a 
permanent collection. Now there are more than 3,000 books. The 
circulation for the first full year from Jan. 15, 1902, to Jan. 15, 1903, 
was 1 1,574. At present the population of the Heights has greatly in- 
creased and the circulation of the reading room has more than doubled. 

There are five churches in Orient Heights. The schools in the district 
are the Blackinton, John Cheverus, Paul Jones, and St. Mary's Parochial 
School. Although the East Boston High School and the Fitton High 
School are not in the district many children who attend them come to the 

The chief associations of the district are the American Legion, the 
Orient Heights Yacht Club, and the Orient Heights Improvement Asso- 
ciation. The Americanization Branch of the Chamber of Commerce 
has done some work in Orient Heights as well as in East Boston. Last 
summer a children's Story Hour was held in the Legion Hall once a week 
for several weeks. The sisters at the Franciscan Convent do some club 
work with the the younger children on Saturday afternoons. 

The district is residential rather than business. Several stores and 
garages are near the library and four large factories are in the district. 

Quite a few Irish and Italian families live in Orient Heights as well 
as a sprinkling of Canadian French, Portuguese, Swedish, and Polish. 

We have a collection of Americanization books on a shelf by them- 
selves. Our Italian and English books in this collection are used a great 


Alice L. Murphy, Librarian. 


1919-20 39,967 

1920-21 46,780 

The City Point Reading Room was opened in 1 906 on the ground 
floor of the building at 615 Broadway. It was an active reading room 
from the start. The congested quarters were soon outgrown and in 1914 
we moved to the present quarters in the Municipal Building. Here there 
is an ideal opportunity for unified community service. The Reading Room 
is near such organizations as the local branch of the Red Cross, the District 
Nursing Association, the Michael Perkins Post of the American Legion, 
and the Mattapanock Women's Club. In local war "drives" made by the 
library encouraging help was received through the co-operation of these 

The schools on our library list include the Gaston, Thomas N. Hart, 
Frederick W. Lincoln, Oliver Hazard Perry, St. Agnes and Nazareth 
Parochial Schools, — and the Capen, Benjamin Dean, and Pope Primary 
Schools. The churches comprise, St. Eulalia's, Gate of Heaven, Wesley 
Methodist Episcopal, South Baptist and Hawes Unitarian. 

The registration records here show the local industries. We have 
listed a long file of firemen, engineers, chemists, draughtsmen, skilled 
artisans, clerks and stenographers from such neighboring plants as Wal- 
worth's, Edison's, Smith Bros., silversmiths. New England Felt Roofing 
Co., etc. A community house for the bhnd sends us frequent requests 
for reading adapted to its needs. 

A brief community survey brings before us the foreign problem, for 
here at City Point we are in the midst of a large Itahan colony. At an 
Americanization meeting held recently at the Municipal Building, under 
the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, representatives of local organi- 
zations who were present, including several from the Library, were given 
opportunity for further service in this field. The goal aimed at is "to 
English." This is a step towards unification of the Americanization 
work which is already being done in the section, and should result in 
bringing the Library home to all foreign-born adults in the district, which 
includes in its aHen population, not only Italians, but Lithuanians, Poles, 
Armenians, and Czecho-Slovaks. 


Mary M. Sullivan, Librarian. 


1919-20 60,052 

1920-21 55,848 

In compliance with a demand from the community the Parker Hill 
Reading Room was opened in 1907. To describe this district would be 
to give an account of a thickly-populated, hard-working American people, 
mostly of moderate circumstances — people who value a library as a 
source of pleasure and inspiration. 

Parker Hill is quite an educational centre, having within its boundaries 
the following schools: Latin. Normal, High School of Commerce, Our 
Lady of Perpetual Help, Farragut and Martin. An annual visit is 
made to these schools to create or stimulate, as the case may require, a 
hearty cooperation between the teachers and the library; and to soHcit 
new patrons among the pupils. 

The churches are the Mission Church and the Highland Congrega- 
tional Church. 

Perhaps our most successful work is done among the children. In 
many instances the mothers as well as the fathers go to daily work, and 
so, after school, instead of going to their homes the children come to 
the Library, and from four to seven it serves as a juvenile social centre. 
Here much time and attention are given to the reading of these little ones. 
Often by placing a book in a child's hands a line of reading is followed 
which only the suggestion made possible. For instance: One boy came 
in with a cheap but thrilling Nick Carter, and was absorbing its contents. 
I asked him if he enjoyed it. He said "Gee, it's great! Sixteen murders 
and I'm not half through." I told him that I had a book in mind, and 
that I'd like to see what he thought of it. He read the book, and since 
then comes with "Say, teacher, that's great! Please gimme another." 
And I do. 

Gertrude L. Connell, Librarian. 


1919-20 23,744 

1920-21 25,092 

When the doors of the Faneuil Reading Room were first opened to the 
public in 1914 many people looked dubiously upon the location selected 
as being too far from the main thoroughfare. The figures of circulation 
show, however, that these people were mistaken. 


The building now used for the Faneuil Reading Room was originally 
the Faneuil Congregational Church. The City of Boston held the build- 
ing under lease for a year, and then purchased it. 

For the first four years the patrons were chiefly adults, but for the past 
two years children are in the majority. This is perhaps due in large 
part to the issuing of cards to children under ten years of age. 

Unlike most districts containing a library we have no large school near 
by. There are, however, a few higher grades now in the elementary 
schools, and these we supply with deposits of books. 

Except for the teachers and students who daily use our picture collec- 
tion for their reference work, few people realize that we do not deal 
entirely in books. Our picture collection is good but the demand still 
exceeds our supply. 

The past few years have brought to us more desultory readers though 
we have many real and appreciative students. 

It is safe to say that there are fewer foreigners in our community than In 
other districts of the city. 

Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts meet nearby and have deposits 
of books sent here from the Central Library for their use. 

These few successful pioneer years of the Faneuil Reading Room seem 
but a step to a more useful future. 



February, 1920 































1 5,043 




1 5,865 








































Central Library: 

a. Direct 

h. Through Branches 

c. Schools and Institutions 
Branch Dept 



Codman Square 

Dorchester . 

East Boston 

Hyde Park 

Jamaica Plain 

North End. 

Roslindale . 


South Boston 

South End . 

Upham's Corner 

Warren Street 

West End . 

West Roxbury 














1 5,086 





1 5,999 

















Reading Rooms: 

A. Lower Mills 



D. Mattapan . 



E. Neponset 



F. Mt. Bowdoin 



G. Allston 



N. Mt. Pleasant 



P. Tyler Street 




S. Roxbury Crossing 



T. Boylston Station . 



Y. Andrew Square . 



Z. Orient Heights . 



23. City Point . 



24. Parker Hill 



25. Faneuil 



505,136 210 505,346 

These figures are condensed into the following: 

Books lent for Home Use, including Circulation through 
Schools and Institutions. 

From Central Library (including Central Library books issued through the 

branches and reading rooms) . . . . . • ■ • 53I,IVU 

From branches and reading rooms (other than books received from Cen- 
tral Library) ' .897,586 

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

institutions 2.448,776 


Central Library circulation (excluding 
schools and institutions) : 
Direct home use .... 

Through branches and reading rooms 

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

From branch collections . 
From reading rooms 

Schools and institutions circulation (in- 
cluding books from Central through 
the Branch system) 









1 ,227,304 




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: 

1919-20. 1920-21. 

Volumes lent from this Library to other libraries in Massachusetts 1 ,236 1 ,31 1 

Lent to libraries outside of Massachusetts .... 260 278 


Applications refused: 

From libraries in Massachusetts . 
From libraries outside of Massachusetts 









Totals ...... 

Borrowed from other libraries for use here 

The classified "home-use" circulation of the branches and 
reading rooms was as follows, for two successive years: 




Fiction for adults . . 295,343 

Non-Hclion for adults . 125,591 

Juvenile fiction . . . 395,809 

Juvenile non-fiction . . 193,268 

Reading Rooms: 

Fiction .... 420,448 

Non-fiction . . . 206,289 







1 53,478 



At the Central Library the classified 

shows the following percentages : 



Fiction 48.4 

Non-fiction 51.6 

ome-use ' circulation 







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 ..... 















Of the 1,121 volumes acquired by the Fellowes Athenaeum 
during the past year, 1 ,053 were purchased, 62 were gifts, and 
6 were of periodicals bound. 

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

Accessions by purchase (including 1053 volumes 
by Fellowes Athenaeum for Roxbury Branch) 

Accessions by gift (including 62 volumes through 
Fellowes Athenaeum for Roxbury Branch) 

Accessions by Statistical Department . 

Accessions by exchange ..... 

Accessions by periodicals bound (including 6 
through Fellowes Athenaeum for Roxbury 
Branch) ....... 

Accessions of newspapers bound 























Catalogued (new) : 

Central Library Catalogue 
Serials .... 
Branches .... 


Totals .... 











73.468 46.833 








1 1 ,224 

76,224 51,035 



The number of volumes shelved and thus made available for 
public use, taken from the report of the Shelf Department, is : 

Placed on the Central Library shelves during the year: 

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

Special collection, new books and transfers ...... 

Books reported lost or missing in previous years, but now found, transfers 
from Branches, etc. .......... 

Removed from Central Library shelves during the year: 

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




Net gain, Central Library .... 
Net gain at branches (including reading-rooms) 



Net gain, entire library system ......... 27,012 

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: 








































1885 . 












































































Volumes in entire library system 

Volumes in the branches and reading-rooms 



961 ,522 











These volumes are located as follows: 

Central Library 






Codman Square 


Dorchester . 


East Boston 


Hyde Park 


Jamaica Plain 


North End . 


Roslindale . 



Fellowes Athenzeum 30,389 

Owned by City 6,344 

Total, Roxbury . . . 36,733 

South Boston , . . 17,085 

South End .... 15,892 

Upham's Corner 


Warren Street 
West End . 
West Roxbury 
Lower Mills (Station A) 
Mattapan (Station D) . 
Neponset (Station E) . 
Mt. Bowdoin (Station F) 
Allston (Station G) . 
Mt Pleasant (Station N) 
Tyler Street (Station P) 
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 following list includes the free Library course of lectures 
given during the season from October, 1920, through April, 
1 92 1 , in the Lecture Hall on Thursday evenings and Sunday 
afternoons, and occasional lectures, open to the public, given 
under the auspices of various civic bodies. In the list is also 
the course given by the Ruskin Club on Monday afternoons. 
As in former years the Field and Forest Club provided a series 
of lectures, and the Drama League a colrse of Sunday after- 
noon talks on the drama. 

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

Oct. 1 1 . *Books about Ruskin. Mrs. Josiah S. Dean (Ruskin Club) 
Oct. 1 7. *The New America. Constance and Henry Gidean and 
Philip Davis. With musical illustrations. 


Oct. 21. The Special Adaptations of Birds. Manley B. Townsend. 
Oct. 24. *What the Separatists Beheved. John Winthrop Platner. 
Oct. 25. *The Spiritual Significance of Life. Lilian Whiting. (Ruskin 

Oct. 28. The Romance of our Earth. Joseph Williams, M.D. 
Oct. 31. *The Decline of Rudyard Kiphng. Joseph J. Reilly. 
Nov. 4. Out Door Plays and Pageants. Marie Ware Laughton. 
Nov. 7. *01d-Time Thanksgiving Days and Ways. Francis Henry 

Wade, M.D. 
Nov. 8. The Appeal of the Masterpiece. Mrs. James Frederick 

Hopkins. (Ruskin Club.) 
Nov. 1 I . Trail Making on the Mountains. Rev. George A. Barrow. 
Nov. 14. The American Bison. Ernest Harold Baynes. 
Nov. 1 7. New Children and Old Stories. Henry B. Beston. 
Nov. 18. The Pilgrim Colony during King Philip's War and the 

Andros Administration, 1675—1691. Horace H. Morse. 
Nov. 21. ^Reading: Drinkwater's Abraham Lincoln. Mrs. Louisa C. 

Nov. 22. ^Things that make Men Happy. Rev. Joseph P. MacCarthy. 

(Ruskin Club.) 
Nov. 28. *The European Background. Joseph V. Fuller. 
Dec. 2. The Pilgrim Country in England. Frank Cheney Hersey. 
Dec. 4. Paintings Posessing a Dual Personality. Charles Bittinger. 

(Copley Society.) 
Dec. 5. *The Literature of the Pilgrims. George Parker Winship. 
Dec. 9. Forbidden Thibet. Martin Edwards. M.D. 
Dec. 12. ^England from the Accession of Edward VL to Elizabeth. 

Roger Bigelow Merriman. 
Dec. 1 3. Statues to Women and Why. Marion Howard Brazier. 

(Ruskin Club.) 
Dec. 1 6. The Story of the Pilgrims. George G. Wolkins. 
Dec. 1 9. *The Spirit of the Pilgrims. E. Charlton Black. 
Dec. 20. ^Reading: Dicken's Christmas Carol. George Fred Gridley. 

(Dickens Fellowship.) 
Dec. 23. The Story of Saint Francis. Illustrated by the frescoes of 

Giotto at Assisi. Charles Theodore Carruth. 
Dec. 26. *How a Play is made Ready for Performance. Frank Chou- 
teau Brown. 
Dec. 27. *John Ruskin's Ideas of Life. Lilla Elizabeth Kelley, (Rus- 
kin Club.) 
Dec. 30. Giotto at Padua. A study of his Frescoes in the Arena 

Chapel. Charles Theodore Carruth. 
Jan. 2. Journeys with an Indian. W. Lyman Underwood. 


Historic Dress, Wigs and Furbelows. Martha A. S. Shan- 
Yesterday and Today in the Philippines. Mme. J. C. de 
*Poetry and Life. Rev. Benjamin R. Bulkeley. (Ruskin 
Mountaineering in the International Northwest. Leroy Jef- 

Portraits by John Singleton Copley. Frank W. Bayley. 

(Copley Society.) 
The Love of Animals. Guy Richardson. 
Mexican Architecture. Walter H. Kilham. 
Music of our Forefathers. Prof. Leo Rich Lewis. With 
musical illustrations by Glee Clubs of Tufts and Jackson 
^Indian Legends. Elizabeth Helena Soule. (Ruskin Club.) 
*The Immigrant of Today. Frederick A. Wallis. 
An Appreciation of Puvis de Chavannes' Decorations in the 

Boston Public Library. Richard Andrew. 
The New Art of the Theatre in Europe and America. Frank 

Cheney Hersey. 
Early Massachusetts Coinage and Currency. Malcolm 

Storer. M.D. 
Children of the Woods. W. Lyman Underwood. 
Winter Water Birds. Charles B. Floyd. 
^Abraham Lincoln and the Comic Spirit. Horace G. Wadlin. 
14. *Ruskin's Paradoxical Humor. Rev. Davis Wasgatt Clark. 
(Ruskin Club.) 
Old New England Gardens. Loring Underwood. 
America in the Early Nineteenth Century. Horace H. 
^Principles of Industrial Peace. Charles H. Eglee. 
Memories of England. Mrs. Arthur Dudley Ropes. (Rus- 
kin Club.) 
Plymouth before the Pilgrims. Arthur Lord. 
*Sir James Barrie — a Dramatist in Dreamland. Robert 
E. Rogers. 
The Old and the New China. Martin Edwards, M.D. 
13. *The Gaelic Background of Ireland's Literary Revival. Nor- 
reys Jephson O'Conor. 
Mar. 1 4. *The Spirit of Recent Poetry. Rev. Henry Hallam Saunder- 

son. (Ruskin Club.) 
Mar. 1 7. Civilization of Ancient Ireland. Michael J. Jordan. 
Mar. 18. ^Dramatic Reading: Romeo and Juliet. Mona Morgan. 































Mar. 20. *EarIy American Humorists and their Humor. Francis Henry 

Wade. M.D. 
Mar. 23. The Country of Thomas Hardy. Frank Cheney Hersey. 

(Boston Authors' Club.) 
Mar. 28. ^Portrait Painters. Mrs. John L. Stoddard. (Ruskin Club.) 
Mar. 31. *WilI Democracy Live? George Grover Mills. (Bellamy 

Apr. 20. China and the Chinese. Marshall L. Perrin. 
Apr. 23. Garden Design. Mabel K. Babcock. 
Apr. 28. ^Colonial Women. Mrs. Henry C. MuUigan. (Ruskin 













Houses of Moderate Cost. 

French Travel Posters. 

Historical Pictures by Edward Moran. 

Drawings from High School of Practical Arts. 

Fiftieth Anniversary of the Death of Charles Dickens. 

Drawings from Boston Normal and Elementary Schools. 

Pilgrim Tercentenary Exhibition. 

Pilgrim Tercentenary Exhibition. 

Pilgrim Tercentenary Exhibition. 

Pilgrim Tercentenary Exhibition. 

Pilgrim Tercentenary Exhibition. 

Pilgrim Tercentenary Exhibition. 


Pilgrim Tercentenary Exhibition. 

Costume of the Olden Time. 

National Parks. 



Puvis de Chavannes. 

Paintings by Eric Pape. 


American Gardens. 

John Keats, 



Clothing Information Bureau. 


M. S. P. C. A. Poster Designs. 



1919-20. 1920-21. 

Requisitions received and filled . . . . . . 311 320 

Card Catalogue (Central Library) : 

Titles, exclusive of Stack 4 (Printing Dept. count) . . 13,626 14,166 

Cards finished (exclusive of extras) 188,494 214,701 

Card Catalogue (Branches) : 

Titles (Printing Dept. count) 368 408 

Cards finished (exclusive of extras) ..... 27,21 I 20,986 

Signs 861 1,287 

Blank forms (numbered series) 2,370,273 3,543,180 

Forms, circulars, and sundries (outside the numbered series) . 51,186 262,210 

Catalogues and pamphlets 174,375 149,000 


1919-20. 1920-21. 

Number of volumes bound in various styles .... 36,894 43,591 

Magazines stitched ........ 226 280 

Volumes repaired ......... 2,614 2,278 

Volumes guarded ......... 1,203 1,187 

Maps mounted ......... 84 71 

Photographs and engravings mounted ..... 3,462 3,054 

Library publications folded, stitched and trimmed . . . 178,332 163,227 


As at present organized, the various departments of the Library 
and the branches and reading-rooms are in charge of the fol- 
lowing 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. 
Frederic Serex, in charge of Newspaper Room. 
William J. Ennis, in charge of Patent Room. 
Winthrop H. Chenery, Chief of Special Libraries Department. 
Walter Rowlands, in charge of Fine Arts Division. 
George S. Maynard, in charge of Technical Division. 
Barbara Duncan, in charge of Allen A. Brown Music Room. 
Walter G. Forsyth, in charge of Barton -Ticknor Room. 
Francis J. Hannigan. Custodian of Periodical Room. 
Frank C. Blaisdell, Cliief of Issue Department. 


Edith Guerrier, Supervisor of Circulation. 

Langdon L. Ward, Supervisor of Branches. 

Alice M. Jordan, Supervisor of Work with Children. 

Mary C. Toy, Children's Librarian, Central Library. 

A. Frances Rogers, Chief of Registration Department. 

Horace L. Wheeler, in charge of Statistical Department. 

Lindsay Swift, Editor of Publications. 

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 Charlestown 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. 

Mary P. Swain, Librarian of Jamaica Plain Branch. 

Josephine E. Kenney, Librarian of North End Branch. 

Grace L. Murray, Librarian of Roslindale Branch. 

Helen M. Bell, Librarian of Roxbury Branch. 

M. Florence Cufflin, Librarian of South Boston Branch. 

Margaret A. Sheridan, Librarian of South End Branch. 

Mary F. Kelley, Librarian of Upham's Corner Branch. 

Beatrice C. Maguire, Librarian of Warren Street Branch. 

Florence M. Bethune, Librarian of West End Branch. 

Carrie L. Morse, Librarian of West Roxbury Branch. 

Mary A. Hill, Librarian of Station A, Lower Mills Reading Room. 

Emma D. Capewell, Librarian of Station D, Mattapan Reading Room. 

Beatrice M. Flanagan, Librarian of Station E, Neponset Reading Room. 

Isabel E. Wetherald, Librarian of Station F, Mt. Bowdoin Reading 

Katherine F. Muldoon, Librarian of Station G, Allston Reading Room. 
Margaret H. Reid, Librarian of Station N, Mt. Pleasant Reading Room. 
Fanny Goldstein, Librarian of Station P, Tyler Street Reading Room. 
Katrina M. Sather, Librarian of Station S, Roxbury Crossing Reading 

Edith R. Nickerson, Librarian of Station T, Boylston Station Reading 

Edith F. Pendleton, Librarian of Station Y, Andrew Square Reading 

Catherine F. Flannery, Acting Librarian of Station Z, Orient Heights 

Reading Room. 
Alice L. Murphy, Librarian of Station 23, City Point Reading Room. 
Mary M. Sullivan, Librarian of Station 24, Parker Hill Reading Room. 
Gertrude L. Connell, Librarian of Station 25, Faneuil Reading Room. 


Allston Reading Room, 75. 

Americamzation work of Chamber of 
Commerce, 32, 35. 

Andrew Square Reading Room, 79. 

Balance sheet, 10-13. 

Bates Hall. Centre Desk, and Reference, 
37 ; more and newer book needed for, 

Bindery, 22, 92. 

Books, additions, 2, 28, 29, 86; appro- 
priations, 4, 19; expenditures, 29; in 
branches, 43, 44; needs, 20, 25; 
recommended by Elx. Com., 20, 23; 
total mmiber, 87, 88. (See Circula- 

Bcylston Station Reading Room, 79. 

Branch Department, 43, 53. 

Branches and Reading Rooms, 2, 23 ; 
report, 43, 44; development, 52-81; 
books in, 88. 

Brighton Branch, 53. 

Business Branch, 3, 17, 19. 

Carr, Samue!. elected Vice-President, I. 

Catalogue Department, 30, 86. 

Chamber of Conmierce, as location for 
a business branch, 3, 17, 19; Ameri- 
canization work at East Boston, 32, 35. 

Charlestown Branch, 54. 

Chenery, Winthrop Holt, appointed 
Chief of Special Libraries, 40. 

Children's Department, 20, 22, 24, 30- 

Circulation, increase, 2; p>ercenlage, 
15. 16; children's, 31, 33; Bates Hal!, 
Newspaper and Patent rooms, 38; 
Periodical, 39; Special libraries, 40- 
41; branches, 43, 44; lantern slides, 
pictures and music, 41 ; tables, 83-85. 

City Point Reading Room, 81. 

Club work. North End Branch, 36. 

Codman Square Branch, 56. 

Community Club of Roslindalc, gift 
of children's books, 36. 

Courses in library science, 15, 31, 46. 

Cronan, Mary ^ ., ref>ort on Story- 
hour, 35, 36. 

Deposits, 43. 

Dorchester Branch, 57. 

Dorchester Lower Mills Reading 
Room, 71. 

Ea^t Bcslon Branch, 58. 

Employees, 8, 50; salaries and wages, 
3, 4, 18; training classes, 15, 31, 46; 
chiefs of departments, 92, 93. 

Estimates for year, 3. 

Examining Committee, 7, 8; report, 

Exhibitions, 21, 47, 49, 91, 92. 

Faneuil Reading Room, 82. 

Fine Arts, 21. 40. 

Finance, baleince sheet, 10-13; esti- 
mates, 3 ; receipts, 1 ; trust funds, 5-7. 

Hospital library. 33. 

Hyde Park Branch, 59. 

Information Office, 5, 27, 42. 

Inter-library loans, 44-85. 

Jamaica Plain Branch, 60. 

Lectures, 47-49, 88-91. 

Librarian, rep>ort, 25. 

Mann, Rev. Alexander, D.D., re-ap- 
pointed a trustee, and elected President, 

Mattapan Reading Room, 72. 

Mount Bowdoin Reading Room, 74. 

Mount Pleasant Reading Room, 76. 

.Music Room, 21, 41. 

National Children's Book Week. 32. 

Neponset Reading Room, 73. 

Newspaper Room, 38. 

North End Branch. 61. 

Open .Shelf Room, 5, 27, 28, 42. 

Orient Heights Reading Room, 80. 

Parker Hill Reading Room, 82. 

Patent Room, 38. 

Periodical Room, 38. 

Pickering, Lizzie Sparks, bequest of 
butt of Jared Sparks, 5. 

Printing Department, 22, 92. 


Public Documents Room, 5, 27, 42. 

Publications, 42. 45, 46. 

Publicity, 17, 19, 20, 26. 

Registration Department, 16, 41. 

Repairs and improvements, 4, 21, 24, 

Roslindale Branch, 62. 

Roxbury Branch, 63. 

Roxbury Crossing Reading Room, 
moved to new quarters, 3 ; develop- 
ment, 78. 

Salaries and v/ages. (5ee Employees.)j 

Schools, work with, 22, 33. 

Shelf Department, 30, 87. 

Simmons College, co-operation with, 
31, 46. 

South Boston Branch, 64. 

South End Branch, 65. 
Sparks, Jared, bust of, 4. 
Special Libraries, 21, 40. 
Statistical Department, 41. 
Story-hour, 34-36. 
Supervisor of Circulation, 42, 43. 
Trustees, organization of board, 1 . 
Trust funds, statement, 56, 57 ; income 

from Benton Fund not available, 4. 
Tyler Street Reading Room, 77. 
Upham's Corner Branch, 67. 
Vocational information, 27. 
Warren Street Branch, 68. 
West End Branch, 69. 
West Roxbury Branch, site for new 

building, 2; development, 70. 

1 . Central Library, Copley Square. 
Branch Libraries, February 1, 1921. 

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

3. Charleslown 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 Comer Branch. Columbia Road, cor. Bird St. 

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

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

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

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

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

16. Roslindale Branch, Washington, cor. Ashland St. 

1 7. Warren Sucet Branch, 392 Warren St. 

Reading Rooms, February 1, 1921. 

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

D. Matlapan Reading Room, 7 Babson St. 

E. Neponset Reading Room, 362 Neponset Ave. 

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

G. Allston Reading Room, 138 Brighton Ave. 
H. Faneuil Reading Room. 100 Brooks St. 

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

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

S. Roxbury Crossing Reading Room. 208 Ruggles St. 

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

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

X. Parker Hill Reading Room, 1518 Tiemont St. 

Y. Andrew Square Reading Room, 396 Dorchester Si. 

Z. Orient Heigbu Reading Room, 1030 Bennington Si. 

Area of Cily (Land only) 45.60 Square miles. 

Population (Census of 1920). 748.060. 




3 9999 06314 660 7 

2 8 1936 

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