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Full text of "Annual report"

(DOCUMENT 15 - 1981) 




ANNUAL REPORT 

of the 

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 

For the Year Ending June 30, 1980 



TRUSTEES OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ARTHUR F.F.SNYDER 
President 

PAUL PARKS 
Vice President 

MICHOF. SPRING 

JAMES V.YOUNG 



PHILIP J. McNIFF 
Director, and Librarian 



4 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

To the Board of Trustees of the Boston PubUc Library: 

As Director, and Librarian, I have the honor to 
submit my report for the year July 1, 1979, to June 30, 
1980. 

In this year of mounting energy costs and increasingly 
severe budget constraints, the Library nonetheless wit- 
nessed positive developments in acquisitions, services, and 
modernized systems. In this latter area it should be pointed 
out how the Library's adoption of this decade's technology 
is contributing to heightened efficiency and cost-saving in 
record keeping, cataloging, information retrieval, and 
public service. 

Most significant in this use of the latest technology is 
the installation of the new DEC System 2020, an advance 
supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Board of 
Library Commissioners. This computer allows the Library 
to move its bibliographic support systems from a 
commercial time-shared Digital Equipment Corporation 
PDP 10 to a dedicated in-house time-sharing system. This 
move was critical to further development of the biblio- 
graphic software and to make extensive on-line biblio- 
graphic data-file interaction financially viable. The Li- 
brary administration hopes that the dedicated control 
system will eventually facilitate the transition from 
manual-based catalog systems to in-house and remote 
information retrieval. 

In addition, with the installation of three IBM term- 
inals, the Library moved to having on-line access to bor- 
rower related information. This move accelerated the 
search of the borrower registration file, master delinquen- 
cy file, and master circulation file. The result is faster, con- 
siderably more efficient service to the public. This public 
numbers at this time 317,669 library card holders. 

Other expedited service which can be credited to 
advances in technology occurred in the Microtext Depart- 
ment with the installation of new readers, reader/printers, 
and a Duplifiche printer and developer. 

FY79/80 saw the major Research Library catalog 
project, funded by a Title II-C grant from the U.S. Office 
of Education, moving toward completion. The project has 
as its goal the total rehabilitation of the more than 7 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 5 

million cards in the Research Catalog and ultimate listing 
on microfiche. 

In another federally funded grant, the National 
Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, the 
Library was proud to reach its mandated three-to-one 
match several months ahead of schedule. 

GENERAL LIBRARY SERVICES 

Despite reduced staff in Central and branches, the 
Library maintained a high level of service to individuals 
and groups from pre-school child to senior citizen. In the 
face of impending cutbacks and the obvious need for 
current statistics, the Library updated studies of each 
branch unit in terms of staffing, population served, ethnic 
makeup, book stock, circulation count, and operation 
costs (salaries, books, heat, light, telephone, etc.). In 
addition, each branch conducted a four-times-a-day use 
survey during the second weeks of November, February, 
May, and August. One consistent finding among branch 
units was the diminution of night-time use by patrons. 

Like the branch libraries, the Central Library proceeded 
with necessary evaluation of service, specifically with an 
in-depth study of periodicals. Considered in the study 
were problems of room arrangement, the binding of 
current periodicals, the evidence of much theft and mutila- 
tion, the use and relevance of certain periodical titles. As a 
result of this study, recommendations were made to drop 
many specialized /scholarly titles and to plan for more re- 
stricted use of current serials. 

The activities calendar of the Central and branch li- 
braries was highlighted with several key annual lectures 
and events. In the first annual Marjorie Gibbons Lecture, 
South Boston Branch hosted a lecture by Capt. Albert 
Swanson on Castle Island. The 2nd Annual Mildred 
Kaufman Program at Roslindale Branch was devoted to a 
slide sequence on the Boston Ballet, a special interest of 
Mildred Kaufman. Book award programs were held at 
South End and North End Branch Libraries. Retired child- 
ren's librarian Martha Engler delighted young guests at the 
4th annual South End program with storytelling. Speaker 
for the 32nd Annual Mary U. Nichols program at North 



6 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

End Branch was Dr. Anthony Cortese, Commissioner of 
the Department of Environmental Quality Engineering for 
Massachusetts. 

Black History Month was observed in many ways: in 
Mattapan Branch Library, author Robert Hayden spoke 
on endeavors to resurrect some of America's greatest 
persons from obscurity; the branch also sponsored a dem- 
onstration/The Art of Black Dance and Music"; Uphams 
Corner Branch offered special film screenings on such 
Black notables as Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, 
Jr., and Malcolm X; Grove Hall featured films and storytel- 
ling for adults by Linda Eubanks; Dudley Branch observed 
the month with "Cinematic Black History Experience." In 
the Central Library Dr. Walter J. Leonard, President, Fisk 
University, lectured on "Some Missing Pages in American 
History: The Black Contribution to American Life." 

Activities and special programs and events in the 
Library were diversified in content and appeal. For the 
senior citizen or Never-Too-Late audience the range of 
programming moved from Social Security to literature to 
travel to the process of aging. To cite examples of such 
programming: traveler Stephen McCloskey spoke on "A 
View of Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia"; 
Mark William Sheehan, Director of Development for 
Earthwatch, gave a rare view of African wildlife in "On 
Safari"; Ruth Harriet Jacobs, Professor of Sociology, 
Boston University, dealt with "Life after Youth: Ten Ways 
of Being an Older Person." 

With equal diversity and awareness of patron's inter- 
ests, branch libraries and Central reached out to children, 
teenagers, and adults. For children there were story hours, 
puppet shows, holiday celebrations, play production, film 
events — with books and reading always major elements 
around which each program was designed. Children cele- 
brated the Chinese New Year with a traditional dragon 
dance, decorated eggs for Easter, and learned about farm 
animals from a 4H agent for Suffolk County. 

Several lively programs were offered to young adults 
with films frequently integrated into teen events. Codman 
Square Branch conducted workshops for teenagers in 
cooperation with the Roxbury Comprehensive Commun- 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 7 

ity Health Center; the Young Adult Room at Central spon- 
sored its popular annual Creative Writing Workshop with 
guests: author Hila Colman, poet Elizabeth Galloway, and 
book reviewer Floyd Kemske. 

The vitality and relevance of branch library program 
efforts deserve emphasis here. West End Branch Library 
sponsored two series (Summer and Fall) titled"Moving 
into Poetry." In these literary encounters, groups of adults 
explored the creative arts as inspiration for their own 
writing which they pursued (and shared) with diligence 
and delight. As Paula Posnick, the staff member directing 
the activity, described the series, "It encourages people to 
find and explore the many facets of themselves." 

Adams Street Branch sponsored a program on 
"Understanding Your Aging Parents"; Jamaica Plain 
presented a psychologist from Massachusetts Mental 
Health speaking on "Educational Testing and Your Child"; 
Orient Heights held energy workshops; Egleston Square 
Branch Library featured an officer of the New York 
Housing Authority on protecting oneself from mugging; 
Faneuil Branch conducted a chess tournament; North End 
offered a presentation on wills and trusts; Parker Hill 
Branch joined with Affiliated Hospitals Center, Inc. to 
present "A Heart to Heart Talk" on heart disease. In 
deference to the multilingual backgrounds of many 
patrons, branch library programs were offered sometimes 
in other languages, with Spanish presentations, for exam- 
ple, at several libraries including Connolly, South End, 
Uphams Corner, and Egleston Square. 

Major programs in the Central Library brought a suc- 
cession of distinguished speakers to the Lecture Hall. In a 
remarkable two-day conference, "The Sacco-Vanzetti 
Case: Developments and Reconsiderations — 1979," scho- 
lars came together "to assess the relevance and signifi- 
cance" of the Felicani Archive and other recently released 
papers. Donated to the Library by his sons, Anteo and 
Arthur, the Felicani Archive consists of thousands of 
papers assembled during the years of the historic trial by 
Aldino Felicani, who served as Treasurer of the Sacco- 
Vanzetti Defense Committee. 



8 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

The eighth annual Maury A. Bromsen Lecture in Hu- 
manistic Bibliography brought the preeminent historian of 
photography, Beaumont Newhall, to the Library podium. 
Dr. Newhall lectured on "Photography and Book Illustra- 
tion." The 15th annual Albert H. Wiggin Symposium as- 
sembled a knowledgeable group of panelists. Dr. Clarisse 
A. Poirier (Merrimack College), Katie Kenneally (Law 
Clerk to the Justices, Massachusetts Superior Court), and 
Martha Davidson (picture researcher and art historian). 
The panelists centered their discussion on the Library's pic- 
torial archives. 

In the seventh William Addison Dwiggins Lecture, 
publisher David Godine presented an illustrated talk, "The 
Life and Works of Rudolph Ruzicka, Illustrator and 
Designer." This major annual lecture, co-sponsored by the 
Library and the Society of Printers, marks the anniversary 
of the gift of the Dwiggins collections to the Library in 
1974. Ruzicka illustrated many books including Whitehill's 
history of the Boston Public Library with "rare distinction 
and typographic understanding." 

This year marked the launching of a program and 
special collection which promises much influence in the 
area of public education. In conjunction with the Eunice 
Kennedy Shriver Center for Mental Retardation in 
Waltham, the Library acquired an extensive book 
collection, supplemented with films, related to mental 
retardation. To mark the beginning of this important 
cooperative program. Dr. Raymond D. Adams, Director 
of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, spoke on "Contem- 
porary Approaches in the Study and Care of the Mentally 
Disabled." 

The programs here enumerated have proved instruc- 
tive, sometimes unique, always an important dimension 
in library service. Also necessary to pinpoint here is the 
continuing evidence of the Library's interrelationship, 
involvement, partnership, reachout with community 
agencies, with colleges and universities. In addition to 
representing the creative voices and authorities behind 
books, the Library turns to contemporary contributors to 
knowlege in its programming. To cite a few cooperatively 
planned and sponsored programs: with the Boston Society 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 9 

of the Archeological Institute of America, the Library 
presented Dr. Peter Wells, Assistant Professor of Anthro- 
pology^ Harvard University. Dr. Wells delivered an 
illustrated lecture on "Excavating in Iron-Age Bavaria." 
Moving to a more recent time frame, the Massachusetts 
Historical Society and the Library co-hosted the William 
Ellery Channing Bicentennial Lecture. Noted historian 
Henry Steele Commager addressed himself to the subject, 
' Our Age is an Age of Moral Revolution." 

In still other jointly sponsored programs: Irish poet 
Desmond O'Grady gave a reading of his works (with the 
Eire Society); Paul Raabe, Director of Herzog August Bib- 
liothek spoke on rare books (with The Rare Books and 
Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and 
Research Libraries). In other co-sponsored programs the 
Library joined forces with the American Lung Association, 
New England College of Optometry, Massachusetts 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the 
Street Feet Workshop, Tufts University Psychiatric Unit, 
Boston Edison Company, Consulate of Chile, Masaryk 
Club of Boston and the Czechoslovakian Embassy, Child 
Study Association, Consulate of Denmark, Boston by 
Foot, the People's Theater of Cambridge. 

FY79/80 saw the continuation of the Writer in Society 
series, originally developed as part of the National Endow- 
ment for the Humanities Learning Library. Guest speakers 
for these perceptive lectures on belles lettres were David 
Macaulay, "Buildingbooks: How an Author-Illustrator 
Puts a Book Together"; Millicent Bell, "The Life of John P. 
Marquand: A Fable of American Success"; Doris Kearns 
Goodwin, "The Johnson and Kennedy Biographies: A 
Study in Contrasts"; Ifeanyi A. Menkiti,"The Black Poet in 
Africa and America"; Isaac Asimov, "Escape to Reality"; 
John P. Roche, "The Scholar in Politics"; Robert Pinsky, 
"An Explanation of America"; and Boston's own poet, "An 
Evening with David McCord." 

In branches and the Central Library, programs and 
exhibits gave testimony that the city was celebrating a 
birthday. Jubilee 350. Charlestown Branch joined Boston 
by Foot to present an architectural history, the "Four 
Shapes of Boston"; also at Charlestown, Bradley Clarke, 



10 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

President of the Boston Street Railway Association, 
described three centuries of transit in a slide lecture. Fields 
Corner Branch sponsored a series of panel discussions on 
"Dorchester in the 80's" with focus on delivery of health 
care, the cultural scene, the press, housing, and business. 
West End Branch directed attention in its programming to 
key sites in the history of Boston — including the Public 
Garden and the Harrison Gray Otis House. Several Jubilee 
350 programs highlighted the calendar of the Central 
Library, among them "Dearo Family," a musical about 
Irish immigrants in the North End. 

Much of the Library's program activity was built 
around spoken presentations — lectures, panel discussions, 
conferences; but music and the arts were also featured, pro- 
jected through concert and exhibit formats. Among the 
concerts offered were performances by the Radcliffe 
Choral Society, Chorus pro musica. New England 
Conservatory Chamber Singers, the Yale Russian Chorus, 
Boston Conservatory of Music, and the Longy School of 
Music. Other musical events featured Daniel Spiegelberg, 
French concert pianist from Geneva, and cellist Roberto 
Gonzalez and pianist Oscar Gacitua from Chile. 

Many exhibitions served to interpret and enhance 
library collections and events. Exhibitions included: "Isaac 
Asimov: 20th Century Renaissance Man"; "Medicine 
in Boston, 1630-1980"; "Drawings and Prints by Paul 
Hogarth, Naoko Matsubara and Barbara Westman";"Six 
Centuries of Book Binding"; "Working in Boston, 1920 
-1970"; "Judaism and Christianity in the Catacombs of 
Rome"; "Toys, Games, and Books for the 19th/early 20th 
century Child"; "Three Centuries of Constantinople, 1600- 
1900"; "John Quincy Adams: Pioneer of German-American 
Literary Studies"; "Space Revisited (celebrating the 19th an- 
niversary of the Apollo Lunar Landing)"; "Americans in the 
20th Century"; "David McCord: The Art of the Broadside"; 
"The Pilot of Boston" (on the occasion of the 150th anni- 
versary of Boston's nationally-known newspaper. The 
most extensive exhibition was the annual Children's Books 
International which assembled more than 3,000 books 
from more than thirty nations. Interpreting the exhibit was 
a colloquium probing the conference theme of children and 
poetry. 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 11 

This fiscal year marked the return of a permanent ex- 
hibition to public view. Cleaned and restored, the diorama 
of ten scenes from the Arabian Nights was created many 
years ago by Louise Stimson of Concord. Each exotic min- 
iature scene depicts one tale told by Queen Scheherazade 
to King Shahriyar — as she charmed her way to survival. 

RESEARCH LIBRARY 

The rehabilitation of the Research Library catalog 
moved toward completion in its editing/maintenance 
phases with 1981 targeted as the date for the photoduplica- 
tion phase. 

The departments of the Research Library uniformly 
reported substantial increases in use and service in the face 
of diminishing staff and space. Humanities Reference 
noted a 7. 2% rise in telephone reference and a 10% increase 
in in-person service, with October and April the busiest 
months. Tours (including 6 groups of regional librarians) 
and exhibit preparation occupied much staff time. 

The Microtext /Newspaper Department continued, 
despite staffing and space shortages, in its multi-service 
capacities: in Microtext, the delivery of microforms to 
patrons, reference activity, photocopy center, patent 
reproduction center, and consultant service; the Newspaper 
Room in its delivery service to patrons in their diverse 
needs. An unseen role of the department relates to 
conservation /preservation — binding, wrapping, or micro- 
filming newspapers for future researchers. 

Acquisition of microfilm materials in FY79/80 streng- 
thened library resources in many disciplines. To illustrate 
the range of acquisitions, among them: Greenwood Press's 
]azz Periodicals; English Cartoons and Satirical Prints, 
1320-1832 (Somerset House); Historical American Build- 
ings Survey (Library of Congress); National Women's 
Party Papers, 1913-1972 (Research Publications); Indian 
Claims Commission (Greenwood Press); Marburger Index 
(Bildarchiv Foto Marburg and Reinisches Bildarchiv). The 
Marburger Index is an overwhelming pictorial archive of 
everything of merit in Germany — buildings, paintings, 
sculpture, artifacts. 

As of this year the holdings of the Music Department 



12 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

nudged the 100,000 figure (actually 99,713, not including 
rare collections such as the Walter Piston and Handel and 
Haydn Society collections which are in the Rare Books and 
Manuscripts Department). In addition to servicing this 
significant music library and providing extensive reference 
assistance, the department cooperated in the production of 
a Boston area composer's directory. 

The Fine Arts Department devoted much time to col- 
lection development, working to fill in retrospectively 
major gaps in research materials. Major efforts were 
directed to strengthening holdings in exhibition catalogs, 
serials, specialized bibliographies, reference works, and 
microfiche items. Staff projects in the department included 
shelf reading of the LC portion of the collection, assisting 
in collection of data for the Artist and the Child catalog, 
retrospective indexing of one-man shows in Boston, 
continuing compilation of the Boston Art Archives and 
indexing of materials for inclusion in the Boston Architec- 
ture Index. 

This year Fine Arts acquired many significant items 
through purchase and donation. A major gift included a 
portfolio of 43 prints by Boston-born artist Irwin 
Hoffman. The gift has since been expanded to include 73 
watercolors, most of Hoffman's sketchbooks, and numer- 
ous books, journals, photographs, and exhibition cata- 
logs. Several gifts were received by the Department related 
to architecture: files surveying downtown Boston from the 
Boston Landmarks Commission; surveys of Massachusetts 
from Massachusetts Historical Commission; and their arch- 
itectural holdings from the library of the Society for the 
Preservation of New England Antiquities. 

Beyond attention to internal organization, processing, 
cleaning, labeling, shelving of materials and services to 
researchers, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department 
was involved in numerous other activities: receiving, 
checking, and storing the Treasure Collection of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society; preparing an exhibition 
catalog for The Artist and the Child; preparatory work for 
the Boston Public Library as host institution of the 
ALA/ACRL Rare Book Section Preconference; contribu- 
ting to exhibitions of other institutions; and preparing a 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 13 

series of exhibitions (cited under Exhibits). 

FY79/80 brought a substantial number of significant 
rare acquisitions to the Department. Among them: Taxae 
cancellarie sequunt {Rome, ca.l490); Pierre de Rosnel's Le 
Mercure Indien ou Le Tresor des Indes (Paris, 1672); 
Samuel Pepys' The Portugal History (London, 1677); El 
triunfo de la Cruz de Cristo by Girolamo Maria Francesco 
Matteo Savonarola (Valladolid, 1548); Voltaire's Merope 
(London, 1749); also, important Lincolniana items includ- 
ing a rare leaflet (item #1 in Monaghan's Bibliography of 
Lincoln) which Lincoln presented to the Illinois Legislature 
when he served as a member of the Finance Committee. 

Science Reference this year acquired a microfilm and a 
microfiche reader which has made it possible to service all 
patent-related reference tools in the Science Reference 
Department. Program activities of the department 
included sponsorship of a Workshop on Patents and 
Patent Searching in cooperation with U.S. Patent and 
Trademark Office; a medical history program on the 
occasion of the annual meeting of the American 
Association for the History of Medicine— with Dr. Philip 
Cash speaking on "Health Problems of the Continental 
Army at the Seige of Boston" and J. Worth Estes speaking 
on "Medical Skills in Colonial Boston"; and preparation 
and execution of program and bibliography on mental 
retardation in conjunction with the Eunice Kennedy 
Shriver Institute on Mental Retardation. The department 
mounted exhibitions on the lunar landing and on the 
history of medicine (described in Exhibits). 

In FY79/80 Government Documents was responsible 
for the completion and distribution of the important tool. 
Government Publications in Microform in the Boston 
Public Library /A Partial List, June, 1980. The Department 
also conducted a workshop, "Sources of Marketing 
Information," in cooperation with the U.S. International 
Trade Administration. The need for additional shelving 
space became urgently apparent in FY 79/80. 

Activities within Interlibrary Loan centered around 
making the service more efficient and educating users of 
this service. To this end several orientation tours and 
meetings with members of Eastern Region libraries were 



14 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

conducted. The Department surveyed its responses to ILL 
requests from Massachusetts public libraries in one-week 
periods within each of four three-month time slots, ana- 
lyzing the books requested in terms of location and availa- 
bility. The Department found its services assisted and 
expedited by the distribution of the General Library book 
catalog and COM Supplements, resulting in more than 50% 
of requests now bearing call numbers. 

Social Sciences Department undertook a major 
project this year: a bibliography of books, periodicals, 
newspaper articles (1930-80) on Boston history, events, 
personages. Also in process is a chronology of Boston 
events. Sound Archives continued its inventory of 
holdings, now counted at 192,344. This department also 
developed a closer working relationship with the 
Audiovisual Department in terms of evaluating and 
sharing collections. 

PUBLICATIONS 

Library publications were numerous and diverse this 
year. Among the booklists and bibliographies: "What's 
Up? Science and Science Fiction for Those Who Love It 
and Those Who Wish They Did," compiled by Mary Jo 
Campbell; a new edition of the popular "Boys and Girls 
with Hang-Ups," compiled by Catherine Clancy, Paula 
Todisco, and J. Ron Brown; "Special People — Getting to 
Know Them: Resources on Mental Retardation," an 
annual reading and film list with Introduction by Eunice 
Kennedy Shriver, compiled by Lilla Costello, Jane 
Manthorne, Ruth Marshall, Marilyn McLean, Euclid 
Peltier, and Beverly Spencer under the chairmanship of 
Suzanne Gray; "Black Is— 1980," an annual list in celebra- 
tion of Black History Month, compiled by Gwendolyn M. 
Crockett, Elaine P. McLean, and Karen L. Williams; 
"Children's Books for Year-Round Giving," prepared by 
Irenemarie H, Cullinane; "Books about China," compiled 
by Paula Hayes and May Lo and published in Parents 
Choice and Episcopal Times; a supplement to "Children 
with Handicaps," prepared by May Lo; "Books to Think 
By" (reading recommendations for grades 7-12), compiled 
jointly by staff members of the Children's and Young 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 15 

adult sections. General Library. Once again the staff of the 
General Library put together a timely, comprehensive an- 
notated list for the reading program of the Massachusetts 
Federation of Women's Clubs. 

A highpoint in the Library's publication program this 
year was three books representing lecture series of the 
National Endowment for the Humanities Learning Library 
courses: Humor and Social Change in Twentieth-Century 
America by Joseph Boskin; From Common School to 
Magnet School, edited by James W. Fraser, Henry L. 
Allen, and Sam Barnes; and Boston's Workers: A Labor 
History by James R. Green and Hugh Carter Donahue. 
Each of these volumes contributes — as did the lectures on 
which they are based — to interpretation of singular forces 
or changes in American history. 

EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS REGIONAL LIBRARY 
SYSTEM 

Significant in FY80 was the passage by the General 
Court and the signing by Governor Edward King of legis- 
lation to increase the state appropriation for the regional 
library systems beginning in FY81. This long-awaited 
funding suggested an increased awareness in legislative/ 
executive leadership of the needs and services of the 
regional systems. 

In the Audiovisual Center improvements in service 
were provided by enlarged stack and work area, made 
possible in part by a federal Library Services and 
Construction Act grant; a cumulated list of feature films 
available for public library programs; and improved time 
management in personnel assignments. Interlibrary Loan 
service from the Headquarters Library showed an increase 
statistically, reflecting changes and improvements in a 
number of activities within the Headquarters Library. 
These include catalog searching, shelf checks, improve- 
ments in the reserve process, and follow-up on orders in 
Book Receipts. 

A wide range of activities was undertaken by Eastern 
Region staff in an equally wide range of formats. More 
than one hundred and fifty appointments involved staff 
in field visits; office interviews and consultations; attend- 



16 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

ance at conferences and conventions; planning and 
participation in workshops; and speaking engagements. In 
addition, staff sliared in the preparation and distribution 
of booklists prepared in /by member libraries and arranged 
tours of the Headquarters Library for member librarians. 

BOSTON LIBRARY CONSORTIUM 

In 1979-1980 the Boston Library Consortium presen- 
ted two major program series. The Preservation series of 
five programs included lectures by Paul Banks of the 
Newberry Library, Chicago, and Gay Walker, Yale 
University; a hands-on workshop by Doris Freitag, 
Harvard University; a tour of the New England Documents 
Conservation Facility in Andover; and a showing of related 
films. The second series featured workshops on AACR2 
(Anglo-American Catalog Rules, 2nd edition.) The first 
workshop brought Paul Winkler to Boston to deliver a 
tutorial. Winkler is co-editor of the second edition of the 
catalog rules and is Principal Descriptive Cataloger at the 
Library of Congress. Subsequent programs were directed 
to Consortium catalogers as well as public service and 
acquisitions personnel. 

Other Consortium activities included an update of 
policy relating to reciprocal borrowing; provision of an 
editorial function for the Consortium office; adoption of a 
serials petition procedure; and exploration of applications 
of automation to library systems in a cooperative setting. 
The U.S. Congressional Committee Prints on microfiche 
was selected for purchase as part of the Joint Acquisition 
Program. 

BUILDINGS 

Three branch libraries figured in building construc- 
tion or renovation this year. The Lower Mills Branch, pre- 
sently under construction, should be completed on 
schedule in September 1980. The Library joined with 
Public Facilities this year in preliminary discussions 
relating to a program for the addition to West Roxbury 
Branch. In still another branch-related program, the 
Library — with the assistance of the Boston Housing 
Authority and Public Facilities — decided on a location 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 17 

(first floor. Old Colony Housing Project) and plans for a 
library reading center in the Washington Village area. 

A matching grant was received this year from the 
Massachusetts Historical Commission to support a 
feasibility study for the restoration/rehabilitation of the 
McKim building. The next step will entail advertising for 
architectural firms to submit programs and cost estiriates 
for such a study. 

FY79/80 represented a year of continuing, stringent 
efforts in energy conservation with substantial cutbacks in 
energy usage in Central and branch libraries. 

PERSONNEL 

Staff activities beyond the Boston Public Library 
were directed to many fields. Kate Waters served as 
Chairperson of the oral history project of the Round Table 
of Children's Librarians, member of the Horn Book 
Council, and speaker at the Springfield Public Library on 
the subject, "Where are they? Young Adults and 
Libraries." Ms. Waters also served as panelist in a program 
on controversial literature for young adults, co-sponsored 
by Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's 
Literature and Lincoln-Sudbury School Libraries. Paula 
Posnick accepted a part-time teaching assignment at Lesley 
College titled "Creative Programming Incorporating Pub- 
lic Library Materials." Edwin G. Sanford described 
methods used in tracing one's family history in "Genealo- 
gy — Your Greatest Adventure," at an Egleston Square 
Branch program; Mrs. Suzanne Gray spoke on the Boston 
Public Library at the Alliance of the Unitarian Church in 
Sharon; Mrs. Gray also served as group facilitator at a 
Special Library Association Roundtable on "Research 
Strategy /Reference Interview: A Challenge in Communi- 
cation." 

Many staff activities related to acquisitions and 
processing. As a member of several professional associa- 
tions, Martha Dukas participated in key conferences and 
programs related to Asian, African, and Middle Eastern 
materials. Stephen Yusko was actively involved in 
meetings of the New England Chapter of the Music Library 
Association and served as Chairman of the Continuing 



18 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

Education Committee. As background to the Boston 
Public Library's move to an automated acquisitions 
program, Joe Raker attended the ALA preconference on 
acquisitions and also visited the University of Massachu- 
setts to study their system. John Pelose served as Chairper- 
son for "AACR2 and You," sponsored at the Boston Public 
Library by the Technical Services section of the Massachu- 
setts Library Association; he also joined with Liam Kelly in 
a presentation on OCLC and Boston Public Library 
systems, a program also sponsored by MLA Technical 
Services. Gunars Rutkovskis served as panelist in a Baltic 
Studies conference in Washington, D.C. He was also 
involved in various meetings with representatives of area 
ethnical groups on library acquisition of their publica- 
tions. 

In other staff activities Rose Moorachian and Jane 
Manthorne addressed the annual conference of the Rhode 
Island Library Association; J. Ron Brown spoke on 
"Coming of Age in Novels for Adolescence" in a program 
jointly sponsored by Simmons College Center for the 
Study of Children's Literature and Lexington Public 
Library. Tess Cederholm continued to be active on several 
art /architectural fronts including service as Treasurer of 
ARLIS/NA (Art Library Society of North America), 
Director of the City Conservation League, and Vice-Presi- 
dent of Massachusetts Committee for the Presentation of 
Architectural Records. Amy Rolnick served as Chairper- 
son of YACBRG (Young Adult Cooperative Book Review 
Group). 

Staff members of the Library contributed much to 
current literature as editors, authors, compilers, or 
translators. Irenemarie H. Cullinane served as Editor of 
the Friends of IBBY (International Board of Books for 
Young People) Newsletter; Judith Friedman as translator 
from the German of G. Mestwerdt's Atlas of Colposcopy 
(W.B. Saunders) and Operative Obstetrics by Gerhardt 
Martius (Stratton-Thieme); Suzanne Gray contributed 
reviews to American Reference Books Annual; Eva 
Murphy was author of several articles in The Dictionary of 
North Carolina Biography jjay Daly, formerly with the 
Boston Public Library and presently Director of the 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 19 

Lincoln Public Library, published his first novel Walls 
(Harper & Row); J. Ron Brown served as Editor of'Adult 
Books for Young Adults" in Bowker's School Library 
Journal with the following staff members as contributing 
reviewers: Mary Jo Campbell, Catherine Clancy, Sylvia 
Pascal, Amy Rolnick, Paula Todisco, Kate Waters; staff of 
Dudley Branch contributed a weekly book review column 
to the Bay State Banner and staff of Brighton /Allston/ 
Faneuil wrote a weekly news column in the Brighton 
Citizen. 

Several staff presentations were made in radio/TV 
programs. In Woman '79 (Channel 4, WBZ-TV) Sharon 
King interviewed children's librarians on how they can 
help parents develop reading skills in their children. 
Participating in five daily sessions were Lilla Costello, 
Jackie Hogan, Lucille LePage, Jane MacFarlane, and Jerrie 
Norris. Raymond Agler described the Pilot anniversary ex- 
hibition on WELL Students from Randolph High School 
interviewed J. Ron Brown on services offered to young 
people by the Boston Public Library. Marilyn McLean was 
featured by both Boston and Quincy radio stations in a 
description of the foster friends program at the Cardinal 
Cushing School and Training Center (formerly St. 
Coletta's) in Hanover. 

These examples of staff contribution to various 
professional fields serve only as selected demonstrations of 
the range of staff expertise and contribution. 

This year witnessed many changes in staffing through 
promotion and retirement. Paula Todisco was named 
Branch Librarian of East Boston /Orient Heights; Mrs. 
Helen Maniadis, Branch Librarian of South Boston /Wash- 
ington Village. J. Ron Brown became Young Adult 
Specialist and Beverly Hall Spencer, Senior Reader and 
Information Librarian, in General Library. Among this 
year's retirees, seven staff members worked more than two 
hundred and sixty-five years in the Boston Public Library: 
Stephen L. Baxter, Bindery Foreman, more than 34 years; 
Frank P. Bruno, Chief, Book Delivery, more than 51 years; 
Anne Crowley, Children's Librarian, more than 42 years; 
Catherine A. Farrell, Principal Accountant, more than 35 
years;Thomas P. Geoghegan, Superintendent of Library 



20 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

Buildings, almost 20 years; Elvira G. Lavorgna, Reference 
Librarian in Fine Arts, more than 41 years; Louisa S. 
Metcalf, Senior Reading & Information Librarian for over 
42 years. 

In special ceremonies this year the University of Mass- 
achusetts granted an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane 
Letters, to Library Director Philip J. McNiff. The citation 
is included in full here, reaching — as it does — beyond the 
honored individual to do honor to the Boston Public 
Library, as well: 

An alumnus of Boston College, Philip ]. McNiff held 
major positions in the Harvard Library before 
becoming Director of the Boston Public Library in 
1965. To these great research institutions he has given 
and is giving wise and dedicated leadership. At 
Harvard he helped to develop the concept of the 
undergraduate library, and the Lamont Library, the 
first of its kind, became a model for the whole 
country. At the Boston Public Library he has 
developed programs for the old and young, opening 
for them exciting new worlds to be explored through 
books. To "Phil" McNiff, librarianship means serving 
the entire constituency of the library. He has always 
put the needs of the users first, and has instilled this 
principle in all who have had the privilege of working 
with him. His vision has not been local; his friends 
include librarians around the world with whom he has 
worked on library problems that call for. national and 
international cooperation. This honorary degree 
expresses the gratitude and appreciation of this 
academic community which benefits greatly from the 
Boston Public Library under the directorship of Phil 
McNiff — doyen of Boston's librarians. 

Other honorary degree recipients on this occasion were 
Florence Luscomb whose life is called a "journey to create 
a just a peaceful world"; Andrew Young, a man of three, 
but overlapping worlds; and I.M. Pei, who "not only 
shapes our environment but creates the best in architec- 
ture." 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 21 

TRUSTEES 

This year marked the culmination of more than fifty 
years of dedicated service from four Trustees who 
completed their service on the Board: Msgr. Edward G. 
Murray, who served from 1958-1979; Augustin H.Parker, 
1961-1979; Patricia H.White, 1972-1980; Frank B-Maher, 
1973-1980. Named to succeed these retiring members were 
Paul Parks, Arthur F.F. Snyder, James V. Young, and 
Micho F. Spring. 

With the submission of this annual report, we note a 
year of increasing austerity and diminishing staff and 
funding; but we note, as well, the undiminished 
commitment of this great library to public service and 
scholarship. 



PHILIP J. McNIFF 
Director, and Librarian 



22 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 
Table 1. Circulation 

BOOK CIRCULATION 



Fiscal Fiscal Fiscal 

1978 1979 1980 



Central Library 848,320 809,992 755,733 

Adams Street 53,482 57,470 57,609 

Allston 32,890 28,976 26,395 

Bookmobile Service* 50,835 37,445 37,900 

Homesmobile — — 33,194 

Brighton 67,869 68,606 68,361 

Charlestown 38,956 41,658 43,347 

Codman Square 21,013 33,247 40,158 

Connolly 28,179 28,231 27,079 

East Boston 41,512 41,524 41,694 

Egleston Square 22,896 23,218 24,049 

Faneuil 31,162 30,924 31,117 

Fields Corner 71,429 69,334 66,510 

Grove Hall 24,478 25,419 31,829 

Hyde Park 83,894 88,090 84,940 

Jamaica Plain 42,938 45,968 46,308 

Lower Mills 29,042 30,185 25,458 

Mattapan 20,461 18,288 20,084 

North End 30,453 28,500 28,373 

Orient Heights 33,101 31,345 30,793 

Parker Hill 20,461 19,475 19,933 

Roslindale 71,770 70,652 71,940 

South Boston 60,563 57,906 55,402 

South End 27,086 24,986 22,305 

Uphams Corner 28,593 t 26,773 28,242 

West End 44,131 44,242 46,495 

West Roxbury 115,211 123,224 124,115 

Hospital Library Service 19,457 19,668 17,001 

Multilingual Library — _ 17,516 

Total Branches 1,181,569 1,195,973 1,194,759 

Total, Entire Library 1,979,054§ 1,998,965 1,950,492 



* Suspended service March 30, 1977— March 6, 1978 

t System of tabulating circulation changed to conform with other 

branch libraries 
§ Library System shut down February 6 to 12, 1978 (blizzard) 

Sunday service was suspended March 14, 1977 to February 19, 1978. 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 23 

NON-BOOK CIRCULATION 



Fiscal Fiscal Fiscal 

1978 1979 1980 



Films 48,916 57,096 48,756 

Recordings and Audio Cassettes.. 70,072 61,871 64,732 

Total 118,988 118,967 113,488 



INTERLIBRARY LOAN 



Books 20,180 15,863 14,689 

Photocopies — 126,391 130,674 



Table 2. Growth of the Library 
BOOKS 

General Library: 

Volumes added 176,573 117,944 119,394 

Volumes withdrawn 8,987 18,337 10,352 

Total on Hand 1,950,853 2,050,460 2,159,502 

Research Library: 

Volumes added 68,768 78,398 69,719 

Volumes withdrawn 34 400 — 

Total on Hand 2,521,831 2,599,829 2,699,548 

Total Book Stock 4,472,684 4,650,289 4,829,050 



24 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 

BOOK AND NON-BOOK HOLDINGS 



Fiscal Fiscal Fiscal 

1978 1979 1980 



PRINT MATERIALS: 

Volumes 4,472,684* 

Serial subscriptions — 

Special Collections: 

Rare Books — 

Rare manuscripts, 

letters, etc — 

Letters, books, etc. 

on Prints — 

Patents: USA — 

Patents: Foreign — 

Sheet Maps — 

Government Documents — 

NON-PRINT MATERIALS 

Cassettes 19,561 

Audio-Recordings 225,238 

Films, 16 mm 8,016 

Filmstrips 577 

Slide Sets (including 

lantern slides) 4,884 

Videotapes — 

Video Cassettes — 

Reel-to-Reel Tapes — 

Art Prints 59,254 

Picture Collection 494,615 

Postcards 138,065 

Negatives 2,430 



MICROFORMS 
Microcards (including 

aperture cards) 52,491 

Microfiche (sheets) 422,286 

Microfilm (reels) 87,852 

Microfilm (master 

negatives) 2,430 

Microprints(boxes) 4, 800 

* This count excludes Rare Books 

* * Includes Rare Books 

— Inventory of this item not previously reported 
I This is a partial total, inventory incomplete 



4,650,289* 


4,829,050 * 


— 


16,464 


— 


250,000 


— 


750,908 





2,607 


— 


4,209,857 


— 


2,178,696 


— 


302,500 


— 


2,030,022 


19,035 


22,900 


234,246 


238,472 


8,437 


9,760 


588 


621 


14,884 


17,934 


— 


489 


— 


161 


— 


1,902 


59,254 


162,915 


494,615 


597,371 T 


138,065 


148,999 


2,430 


40,603 



52,491 


52,481 


492,932 


583,120 


93,152 


100,407 


2,430 


40,603 


4,992 


5,312 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 25 

Table 3. Cataloging Statistics 



Fiscal Fiscal Fiscal 

1978 1979 1980 



Volumes processed 245,341 

New Titles cataloged 55,793 

Original cataloging 8,288 

NUC cataloging 5,044 

LC cataloging 35,208 

Rare Book cataloging 1,900 

Films 419 

Recordings 7,485 

Cassettes 975 

Sound Archives — 



Table 4. Binding 



.96,342 


189,113 


54,069 


50,608 


10,794 


7,596 


9,637 


4,340 


32,165 


38,022 


688 


876 


421 


1,323 


828 


362 


38? 


256 


9,055 


5,860 



Volumes Bound 63,700 55,027 48,369 



26 



CITY DOCUMENT NO. 15 



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