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Annual Report 1984-1985 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 
ANNUAL REPORT 

For the Year Ending June 30, 1985 




Document 15—1984-1985 



Trustees of the Public Library 
of the Gitv of Boston 



Kevin F. Moloney 
President 

William M. Bulger 
Vice President 

Berthe M. Gaines 

Doris Kearns Goodwin 

Marianne Rea Luthin 



Liam M. Kelly 
Acting Director 



As I approached my second year as acting director, the positive 
momentum for change and growth accelerated. In a pattern of 
assessing where we were and where we are heading, which we started 
in FY84, department heads and branch Hbrarians thoughtfully spelled 
out their goals and — in some cases — the perceived obstacles to 
achievement. 

For example, Codman Square Branch anticipated increased 
attendance at programs, staffing by full-time children's and young 
adults librarians, and an increase in circulation. Among the obstacles: a 
high level of illiteracy and residents who do not read or speak English. 
The goal of Hyde Park Branch was painted with a broad brush stroke: 
"to extend and improve library service to all of Hyde Park." Jamaica 
Plain/Connolly Branches looked forward to becoming "more involved 
with the community." The Acquisitions Department looked forward to 
examining vendor performance and foreign blanket orders, improving 
the automated acquisitions system, and acquiring and processing 
blanket orders more efficiently. The Fine Arts Department delineated a 
wish list for FY85 that outdistanced even the skills and dedication 
within that department — from collection development to inter- 
departmental sharing of resources, to solution of a cramped space 
problem, to a uniform library policy on photoduphcation of materials. 
Codman Square Branch expressed its positive view most vividly: "May 
all our banners continue to wave: circulation, readers services, 
programs, community outreach." 

And so it went: each unit planning on performance by objective 
even as I subscribed to management by objective. As acting director, I 
assembled a long list of goals. My main targets were continued staff 
development, more community outreach in branches, immediate 
response to the entering public in the General Library by expansion of 
the information desk, a continued move toward modem automation, 
an increase in circulation, and maximizing efficiency within budget 
constraints. 

Literacy 
The Library's intensified concentration on literacy in FY85 responded 
to two major goals: outreach and increased circulation. Surely there is 
no more significant effort for libraries than expanding the number of 
readers by finding nonreaders and awakening them to the skills and 
glories of the written word. 



As the result of a grant proposal funded by the Library Services 
and Construction Act in the amount of S58.500, we were able to move 
ahead in literacy activities. The grant encompassed programs and print 
and audiovisual materials geared to functionally illiterate adults. The 
funding covered Januar>' through September 1985. By the time we 
commenced the funded period, staff of the General Librar>' and eight 
branches had attended a training workshop, nearly fifty reading centers 
had been apprised of our program, and half of the materials had been 
ordered. Catherine Clancy, Special Projects Librarian in General 
Librar>' Services, has been charged with overseeing all this activity. 

The project work has moved slowly but effectively. 
Understaffed reading centers are unable to bring students to library 
sites as often as librarians would like to see them. On the positive side, 
three additional branches have joined the program. The Adult New 
Readers sites in the Librar>^ now include the central librar>\ Brighton, 
Charlestown, Codman Square, Dudley, East Boston, Fields Comer, 
Jamaica Plain, Grove Hall, Parker Hill, South Boston, and South End 
Branches. 

As FY85 comes to an end, all materials have been ordered, 
librar>' programs and orientations scheduled, and plans made to create 
low-reading-level bibhographic aids of our own since such existent 
materials are sparse. 

In reporting on their efforts, branches expressed mixed results. 
Codman Square commented that "much community visiting is 
necessar>' to generate interest." East Boston: "The Adult Literacy 
Project is moving slowly." Fields Comer noted that "response has been 
strong and positive." 

The report adds that at Fields Comer work is being done v>ith 
Mujeres Unidas En Accion, holding monthly programs with films and 
discussions. At Brighton Branch, in addition to activities with ESL and 
ABE classes, joint cooperation is moving forward with Boston 
University's Collaborations for Literacy Project. The branch has served 
as a site for Boston University tutors and new readers who view the 
Reading Rainbo\\' tapes and books. New readers register for libran' 
cards and receive a tour. Parker Hill Branch sees a potential for serving 
new readers and has already built up a fine collection of books. 

Worthy of inclusion here as a more detailed description of the 
Library's program design and success in literacy programs is a letter 



sent to Dr. David Rosen from an instructor in an ESL/ABE course. 
Rosen is a member of the Library's grant steering committee. 

In mid-May Sheila McCormack, a hbrarian at the 
Sedgwick Branch [Jamaica Plain Branch] made two 
visits to our program to introduce herself and to 
present some of the Adult New Reading Books 
available. This visit was very important before our 
students visited the library as our students needed to 
feel that they were going to a friendly place where they 
alreadv knew someone. 



Collaboration/Outreach 
Like our literacy program, communication and collaboration emerged 
again and again in FY85 as vitally important in our outreach efforts to 
bring readers — and non-readers — into libraries. Each library unit 
cannot stand unilaterally within a neighborhood and wait to be 
discovered and used. Effective library service mandates working with 
community agencies, colleges and universities, and specialists to 
spread the word about library resources and events. 

Charlestown Branch turned to the National Park Service for its 
presentation, "The Life of a Colonial Soldier." Godman Square joined 
with the \^IGA for a professional puppet production. Several branches 
worked with School Volunteers of Boston in that group's Reading Aloud 
Program. Dudley Branch offered an exhibit. "Famine in Africa" in 
cooperation with the United Nations Association of Greater Boston. 
Dudley also developed a "Natural Food Festival" with the Suffolk 
Gounty Extension Service and called upon a police detective from the 
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for a program about safety 
aboard the MBTA. Fields Gomer Branch turned to the Family Services 
Association for a six-week workshop on child rearing. 

Our efforts in collaborative programming were not completely 
successful this year, but in their shortcomings they suggested areas of 
improvement for future efforts. Such a series was the National Issues 
Forum, co-sponsored with the Domestic Policy Association. Each 
participating branch chose one of three issues on jobs and joblessness, 
environmental concerns, or soaring costs of health care. Under a 
discussion leader from the community, groups met in branches in 



small forums culminating in panel forums at the central library and 
finally at the J.F.K. Presidential Library later in the spring. 

In their end-of-year evaluations of the project, some branches 
were thoughtful and less than sanguine. Parker Hill found that the 
"program lacked the vigor to carry it through to another season." East 
Boston noted that "it was not a success." Hyde Park said that "the 
community lacked interest." In contrast. West End Branch noted that 
their series was well attended. Special Projects Librarian Catherine 
Clancy, who coordinated the project for the Library, concluded that 
despite low participation, "the participants were articulate, informed, 
politically active people." On the plus side, several branches included 
presentations by local politicians who gained first-hand knowledge of 
one more role of their library. 

Except for the Domestic Policy programs, there were hundreds 
of others that demonstrated the effectiveness of outreach and 
cooperation. And an essential by-product is the collection building 
essential to buttress the subject focus of each program with current 
books, pamphlets, and films. 



Extension Ser\dces 
A major effort to reach the unreached is carried out by the Library's 
Extension Services. The service takes two forms: reachout by a vehicle 
designated a Homesmobile, and by book deposits. 

In FY85 the Homesmobile scheduled 75 stops during each four- 
to-six week period to some 600 readers in nursing homes and small 
housing projects for the elderly. Circulation of materials, half in large- 
type, has been approximately 3,000 monthly. This popular service 
commenced in 1971. The book deposit service reaches 24 locations on 
a three-month rotational schedule. 



Ethnicity 
The Library has always demonstrated awareness of the ethnic plurality 
of Bostonians. Historically, the Boston Public Library was a pioneer 
among urban libraries in sponsoring citizenship/language classes for the 
early flow of immigrants to the city. 

Already noted in this report is our present attention to 
ESL/ABE students in terms of reading and writing. Equal attention is 



accorded the cultural backgrounds of Bostonians. To cite a few 
examples: The Audio-Visual Department sponsored a Mexican film 
series in cooperation with the Consulate of Mexico. Roslindale Branch 
celebrated Japanese Children's Day by making koinobori carps. Parker 
Hill gave special attention to its neighborhood. The following quote 
explores the content of ethnic awareness in that branch: 

Another group of adults who are not library users are 
the parents of the hundreds of Hispanic children who 
borrow books from the library regularly. "Celebracion 
Navidenas," a family Christmas party with a traditional 
Puerto Rican theme, was planned in an effort to reach 
those adults through their children. "Las Tainas," 
performing folkloric dances of Puerto Rico, and the 
festive singing of "Parandas" were the highlights. A 
similar celebration is being planned for Hispanic 
Heritage Week next fall. 

Extensive programming in central and the branches was built 
around Black History Month in February. Such consciousness-raising 
focus on ethnicity in Boston formed the total component of Children's 
Books International 10, "Boston: An International Neighborhood." The 
program for adults — librarians, teachers, parents — highlighted ethnic 
children's literature resources in greater Boston, illustration and 
ethnicity, international films, and humor. 

Branch libraries developed their Children's Books International 
activities around national heritages. For example. North End Branch 
included several elements in its program: an Italian folktale, girls in 
costume dancing the tarantella, and a singer of Italian songs with 
accordion accompaniment. 

Other ethnic programs for children in branches included 
Spanish-centered films; Cambodian films, temple dances, and art 
displays; and a Haitian story hour, all at Brighton Branch. 

Learning Library' Programs 
The many-faceted college-style offerings of the Boston Public Library 
as a National Endowment for the Humanities Learning Library 
continued successfully in FY85. The following courses were offered: 

"The Archeology of the Boston Area." Gregory 
Laden, Harvard University (Brighton). 



"Jazz." Ron Delia Ghiesa, WGBH (Brighton). 

"City Architecture." Michael and Susan 
South worth (Gharlestown). 

"Songs of Innocence and Experience in Modem 
American Fiction." Shaun O'Gonnell, University 
of Massachusetts/Boston (Godman Square). 

"The Many Roxburys." Andrew Buni, Boston 
Gollege (Dudley). 

"Boston's African-American History: The Struggle 
in Freedom's Birthplace." Author Robert G. 
Hayden (Dudley). 

"Gonstancy and Ghange in Boston." Roger 
Prouty, University of Massachusetts/Boston (West 
End). 

"Mission Hill/Parker Hill: Neighborhood History 
Through Architecture." Ed Zimmer (Parker Hill). 

"Impressionism: Strokes of Light." Aileen 
Gallahan, Boston and Regis Golleges (Roslindale). 

Reports on the impact of the NEH series were sanguine. 
Godman Square Branch concluded: "All in all this lecture series is one 
of the best things to have happened to the BPL and its branch system 
in a long time. The quality of the lectures, the obvious profundity and 
expertise of the lecturers have greatly enhanced our image as a 
medium for continuing education, information, and recreation a la 
lyceum movement of the 19th century." And Roslindale noted: 
"Because of the high quality of the speaker, the audience grew from 
program to program, starting at 20 and expanding to 50 by the end of 
the series." Typical comments from the audience were "I've never seen 
anyone so knowledgeable before" and "This is like a free course." 

In annual lectureships, Rosemarie E. Sansone of the Mayor's 
Office of Business and Gultural Development addressed the annual 



Man^ U. Nichols program at North End Branch. Robert Toland spoke 
on "South Boston Remembered" at South Boston Branch's 6th annual 
Marjorie Gibbons Memorial Lecture. 



Service to Cliildren and Young Adults 
The lively tempo of service to young people in FY85 has already been 
cited under outreach and ethnic activities. Children's librarians this 
year continued to emphasize visits to and from schools, group 
activities, and programming. As a sample, Charlestown Branch offered 
everything from a Christmas Singalong to programs on juggling and 
model train collecting. With very few Young Adult specialists on the 
staff, the Library endeavored to reach as many high school students as 
staffing permitted. 

At Brighton Branch three "Career Awareness" programs were 
offered. A talk on young adult books was presented by Mrs. McDonald 
to a professional teachers' conference at Boston Latin School. The 
librarian at Codman Square reported that the young adult librarian was 
"engaged in a school visiting offensive that left students and teachers 
reeling — right to the Library." 



Higher Education Center 
Estabhshed in August and formally opened in October 1984, the 
Center is a collaborative project of 25 Boston area colleges in 
cooperation with the Boston Public schools and the Massachusetts 
Education Assistance Corporation. The Library provides space: and 
financial support comes from the sponsoring colleges, the U.S. 
Department of Education, the Bay State Skills Corporation, the 
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and the Massachusetts 
Higher Education Assistance Corporation. 

The Center provides a wide range of services on a walk-in 
basis, by appointment, or through workshops. People throughout the 
commonwealth can phone in questions about education through a toll- 
free hotline, (C.A.L.L.), acronym for the Career and Learning Line. 
Still another service, ACCESS (Action Center for Educational Services 
and Scholarships) works in cooperation with high school guidance 



counselors to spread the word on financial aid opportunities and to 
offer scholarship assistance. 

In FY85 nearly 1,600 people visited the center; staff responded 
to 1,800 phone calls; and 800 high school students and adults 
participated in workshops. ACCESS served 465 high school students. 



Social Sciences Department 
As Coordinator of Social Sciences Edwin G. Sanford expressed it, "The 
year might be described as a year of transition... from a book-oriented 
department in all of the social sciences to a marked increase in 
business reference and an increased use of various microforms." 

Filing of the U.S. Topographical Maps by Curator Martin 
Waters has progressed with unresolved questions related to the most 
practical, useful system: by document number or by state and map 
quadrangle within each state. At present the department is 
experimenting on the better system, also checking with other library 
map curators. 

Departmental projects and special events included a program 
and exhibit honoring President Harry S. Truman and an exhibit on 
"The Presidency" related to the presidential election, the challenges, 
events, and issues. Tours and talks were offered to the South Shore 
Genealogical Group, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 
and to staff of the Higher Education Information Carter. 

Work continued in FY85 on the department's long-term 
project, "Bibliography of Boston, 1930 to the Present." According to 
Sanford, "To the best of our knowledge there is nothing currently 
available on the scale of this bibliography." 

The trend continues to acquire major works in micro-formats, 
among them: the Local History and Genealogy Collection published by 
the Xerox Corporation, Dun's Business Identification Service, 
Disclosure Collection of annual reports and companies on the New 
York and American Stock Exchanges, and college catalogs. 

Reference questions this year reached 12,159 in-person queries 
and 422 responses to reference letters. Telephone inquiries reached a 
dramatic rise to 20,648 calls. Fifty-three percent of reference queries 
relate to genealogy, coats-of-arms, and biography. 



8 



Government Documents 
Microforms marked the most extensive growth in the department 
collections this year, both privately and government-produced 
microfonns. As an example of the scope of the microforms, the 
following were acquired: FBI Files, Irish Censuses, and Annual 
Reports of the World's Central Banks. 

Two gifts of documents from the Massachusetts State Library 
enhanced our collections: microfilms of U. S. Department of State 
Consular Reports from 1790 through 1906 and 400 shelves of foreign 
government publications from the early 1800s through the 1940s. 

The department continued its record of publication. In 
addition to the recently released "Law Materials at the Boston Public 
Library," a reprint of the 1982 pamphlet describing government 
documents was published. Three items are in preparation: revision of 
"Government Publications in Microform at the Boston Public Library"; 
"Finding List to the City of Boston Numbered Documents (1910- 
1969)"; and a pamphlet on Library business resources. 

Government Documents this year assumed responsibility for 
serving the Geologic Survey deposit maps. At this time all geologic map 
backlogs are filed by state, and work is now in progress to file by 
quadrangle name within each state. 

In addition to attendance at task force meetings and seminars, 
staff conducted two tours: a reference class from Simmons College and 
Harvard Law School librarians. 

Interlibrar>' Loan/Catalog Information 
The second year of circulating Research Library books to regional 
libraries and branches proceeded with few problems and many grateful 
acknowledgments. 

At long last a terminal giving access to the online catalog was 
installed at Catalog Information. A short time later a Faxon Linx 
terminal was installed. Both arrivals have considerably expedited 
service. The Faxon system is described by staff as "very useful for 
untangling knotty serials problems. The availability of key word 
searching has helped to solve many mysteries." 

While lending activity has remained fairly constant, photocopy 
requests have increased by 400, requiring nearly a full-time staff 
member's attention. Such work includes verification and location of 



obscure serials, correcting citations, photocopying, billing, and mailing. 
The work load has increased since the contract with Readex was not 
renewed. 

While turnaround time for filling loan requests has somewhat 
decreased, there remains — according to the department head — "a 
great deal of room for improvement" in speeding up department and 
General Library ordering and elimination of backlogs in processing and 
cataloging. 



Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts 
Much time was occupied with the crucial daily nitty-gritty of cataloging 
and preservation. The micro-computer expedited systems of cataloging 
and accessing holdings and producing print-outs. A backlog of 
manuscripts has been accessioned, and the micro-computer will be 
used for inventory lists and indexes to the collections. 

After decades, the Prince collection of manuscripts has been, in 
the words of the keeper of rare books, "meticulously cataloged, as the 
collection deserves." The Conservation Center, much depleted in 
staffing, has proceeded slowly in its goals. A video on conservation is in 
its final stages of preparation. Visitors from China, Australia, England, 
and .Japan came this year to examine the methods of the center. 

Again this year the use of rare books and manuscripts was 
acknowledged in publications emanating from scholars around the 
world. To name a few: 

Captain Charles Stuart: A Biography by Anthony J. 
Parker, University of Western Australia. 

Witchcraft and the Nature of Man by Mark Greenbard, 
University of Minnesota. 

Sharing Tradition: Five Black Artists in 19th-century 
America by the National Museum of Caribbean Art. 

The British Army in America by Stephen R. Conway, 
University College of London. 



10 



Ezra Heyvvood: 19th-Gentury Performer by Martin 
Blatt, University of Illinois Press. 

Not surprisingly, researchers came from afar to do their 
probing, much of which resulted in publications. Scholars registered 
from Canada, France, Italy, India, Bermuda, Israel, and Honolulu. 

Several unique items were loaned for exhibitions — to the 
Boston University Art Gallery: the first American star map for its 
exhibit "Celestial Images"; to the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite 
Masonic Museum and Library: Useful Knowledge and Publick Good: 
Dr. Franklin Considered for an exhibit on Benjamin Franklin; to the 
Museum of National Heritage: several important works on Lincoln; to 
the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute: a 16th-century work by 
Daniel Barbaro, La Prattica Prospettiva; and to the Bell Gallery of 
Brown University: Luca Paccioli's Divina Proportione (Venice 1509). 

Acquisitions continued to expand and enhance the collections 
of the department. Notable additions included 

Luna, Miguel de. La verdadera hystoria del Rey Don 
Rodrigo (Granada, 1542). 

Erasmus. Moriae encomium (Basel, 1540). 

Statham, Nicholas. (Abridgment of cases] (Rouen, 
Guillaume Le Talleur for Richard Pynson, 1490). 
Incunabuluin. 

Chytraeus, Nathan. Variorum in Europa idnerum 

deliciae. 1594. 
In addition to books, acquisitions extended to rare pamphlets, letters, 
and manuscripts. 



Music Department 
Positive, forward motion marked FY85 in the Music Department. 
Staffing reached a number adequate for coverage of hours of service. 
Cataloging of a backlog commenced. 

Many needs are still not appropriately addressed, particularly 
conservation and preservation work, a tie-in with Sound Archives, and 



11 



more institutional priorities for such an important holding as the Allen 
A. Brown Music Collection. In the words of Ruth M. Bleecker, curator, 
"Music lovers and scholars from universities in the area, opera goers 
and students, music critics and composers still spend many hours 
pouring over our scores and musicological materials, complaining all 
the while about the difficulties of using the catalogs and the lack of 
contemporary music. With the excellent staff we have now, we could 
do so much more toward fulfilling Allen Brown's dream if we could get 
more support." It remains evident from quotes such as this, that our 
efforts in reaching goals go on and on. 



Sound Archives 
In FY85 planning continued for the day when the department will be 
functioning as a research center. Consideration centered on such 
priorities as relocation to the Johnson Building, budgeting for 
continued acquisition, cataloging, preservation, and coordination with 
the Audio-Visual Department. 

The Sound Archives Department was in receipt of several gifts 
important to its archival focus including 270 sound recordings, gift of 
Caroline Bochman, and 20 recordings by Quebecois artists from the 
Quebec Government Office in New England, 

Alice M. Jordan Collection 
Much was accomplished in this "non-public" department in responding 
to reference questions, aiding researchers by appointment, and in 
cataloging. In fact, the cataloging of the juvenile foreign language 
material that commenced at the end of 1983 is nearing completion of 
the Roman alphabet languages. Work on organization and creation of a 
finding aid for the archives of the New England Round Table of 
Children's Librarians has also been completed. 

In addition to the displays cited under Exhibitions, some 90 
editions of Mother Goose books were loaned to a major exhibit of that 
children's classic in the Thompson Gallery of Massachusetts College of 
Art. 

Gifts vital to the collection continued to be added to the 
Jordan Collection. Items not added to the department — usually 
duplicates — were shared with several institutions including Boston 



12 



Children's Floatin;^ Hospital, the International Youth Library in 
Munich, and to Trinidad in response to requests from the joint 
Trinidad and Natick (MA) Kiwanis Clubs. 

A background brochure on the Jordan Collection was published 
this year and promises to increase awareness of the existence of this 
resource. 

Microtext/Newspaper Department 
These two departments, unconnected and non-contiguous, continued 
to be intensive in services and acquisitions. Microtext circulated 
67,500 microforms as the result of a new policy instituted in FY85 
which permitted some loan of microforms. In addition, 6,328 orders 
were placed for 27,872 photocopies. The department sent out 323 
reference letters and responded to 4,641 telephone calls. 

A milestone was reached this year with the acquisition of the 
one millionth microfiche. Among the additions to the collection in 
business and economy were Thomas's Register of American 
Manufacturers; Moody's Manuals on Microfiche; The U.S. National 
Economy; and Cambio 16 (a weekly Spanish journal). The Rutherford 
B. Hayes Papers were added to the nearly complete collection of 
presidential papers. 

The Library's holdings were considerably buttressed in other 
fields as well — in missionary work, science and technology, genealogy, 
anti-slavery, music and fine arts, native Americans. A major addition 
augmented women's studies with the diaries of eight women who lived 
on the Eastern seaboard during the 18th to 20th centuries, American 
Women's Diaries, Segment 1: New England. 

The Newspaper Room, devoted to making the current world 
press available, responded to 6,468 telephone calls this year. 
Newspaper resources grew with microfilm of the London Gazette 
(1665-1800) and the Jerusalem Post (1970 to date). 



Science Reference 
FY85 was marked by filling of vacancies and, resultantly, a steady 
increase in online searching services and special events. 

The Inventors Weekend, scheduled for the first weekend in 
February at the Museum of Science, drew an attendance of 12,000 



13 



people. Participating department staff enjoyed great public relations 
opportunities — performing computer demonstrations on CASSIS, 
distributing the list "Notable Women Inventors," and informing 
attendees of patent and trademark search capability at the Librar>\ 

A further opportunity to spread the word of the Library's 
strong posture as a patent/trademark depository took place in April 
with a Patent Depository Library Open House attended by Consortium 
librarians. 

Staff attendance at the 8th Patent Depository Library 
Conference in Virginia considerably expanded their background and 
training in CASSIS, problem solving, and more. 

The expansion of online searching has mounted to 100 to 200 
searches a month. Suggested for the future is formal publicizing of the 
searching capability. The department has implemented the use of 
DIALOG in the Research and General Libraries and has introduced it 
to many patrons, but publicity and demonstrations for the general 
public are necessary. 



Fine Arts Department 
"By all accounts," noted Coordinator Tess Cederholm, "1984-1985 
was the busiest and most productive year for the Fine Arts Department 
yet." In summation: staff continued active involvement in professional 
and community organizations, mounted five library exhibits, directed 
13 student intern projects, and carried on aggressively building 
collections. 

Testifying to department activity were the following statistics: 
telephone reference: 13,653 calls; letters: 303; interlibrary loan and 
photoduplication requests: 517 and 139; in-person reference questions: 
13,986. Ninety-four percent of the items requested from the 
bookstacks were delivered, a total of 20,192 items. 

Beyond the daily, ongoing service demands of the department 
were several events and special projects: Appraisal Day, Art Newbury 
Street, the Franklin Park Centennial Lecture Series, and COBRA 
(collaboration on Bibliographic Records on Art). 

Department staff amassed an impressive record of 
achievements in FY85 in the areas of writing, lecturing, and service on 
local and national art/architecture committees and panels. To cite 
only one major accomplishment: Tess Cederholm served as executive 



14 



producer for a film funded by the National Endowment for the 
Humanities on social realist painter Jack Levine. The film will be aired 
on PBS in 1986. 

Exhibitions 
Special exhibits transmit visually quick, often memorable, messages to 
the patron passing by on other informational missions. Exhibits 
highlight a given time or person or event. They target elements in the 
Library's collections that may be otherwise invisible. They link 
materials together that are apart in the classification system. They 
support programs. Among the major exhibits of FV85 were the 
following: 

"The Written Word of Christian Faith," including 
illuminated manuscripts from the 11th to 15th 
centuries (Rare Books). 

"The World Beyond." including books that shaped 
the discovery of America — works by Ptolemeus, 
Strabo, and Aristotle (Rare Books). 

"Boston Latin School: 350th Anniv^ersary 1635- 
1985" (Rare Books). 

Exhibit honoring Boston Pops Centennial 
(Music). 

'''La Bande Dessinee: Belgian and French comic 
books" (Jordan Collection). 

"Children's Books International 10" (Jordan). 

''Omnium Lux Civium: The Light of All Citizens." 
Histor>^ of the McKim Building" (Fine Arts). 

Franklin Park on the 100th anniversary of F. L. 
Olmsted's "crown jewel in his emerald necklace" 
(Fine Arts). 



15 



Grants and Gifts 
During FY85 changes were instituted in the structure and staffing of 
gift receipts. Mainly, the activity was transferred from Book 
Preparation to the Research Library Office. As the year drew to a close, 
there remained a backlog of approximately 50,000 unsorted and 
unsearched volumes. The planned addition of a computer terminal to 
the operation in August 1985 promises to expedite the searching of 
materials. The number of gifts received in FY85 totaled 29,117. 
Notable items included: 

Art library of dealer Gustav D. Kliman 

Art library of sculptress/educator Beatrice Whitney 
VanNess 

270 sound recordings, gift of Caroline Bochman 

300 professional brochures of American, Japanese, and 
European architectural firms given by the Planning 
Office of Harvard University 

Several remarkable collections of photographs donated 
by Mrs. Winslow Warren, Mrs. Horace Kenney, former 
Herald photographer Gal Hutchinson, Mrs. Warren 
Guild, Richard Heath, and Robert Severy 

Papers from Chief Justice Elijah Adlow 

148 items on computers donated by Mini-Micro 
Systems 

223 items on Ireland and Irish culture from the 
Consulate of Ireland 

113 books from the Goethe Institute of Boston 

Other gifts and royalties included: Nason Fund: ^32,926.66 
Wiggin: » 1,200; Edinburg: 8300; Avantaggio; 8500; Boston Authors 
8250; Fred Allen: 81,000; Marjorie Gibbons: 8175; Rita Dinneen: 8450 



16 



Ester Peer: ^47,597.28: Friends of Kirstein: 816,321: Msgr. Murray: 
81,000: Antiquarian Booksellers: 81,201.97; Senator Bulger: 81,000. 
An elegant Royal Windsor tea service, one of only three in the world, 
was the gift of Ignatius Jerome O'Connor. 

Among the grants received: 

MURLS (Metropolitan/Urban 

Research Libraries) 818,000.00 

LSGA grant to establish a handicap 

access center 853,000.00 

Title II-G grant for newspaper 

preservation 8175,000.00 



Buildings 
FY85 began with grim assessments of their units by branch librarians. 
East Boston commented on the fence in need of repair and the outside 
litter and trash. Connolly noted that the "building is less than 
shipshape inside." Roslindale called attention to failure of its air 
conditioning system, noxious aromas from corroded batteries for 
emergency lights, and burned out heaters." South Boston was equally 
distressed by "worn out heating and the air conditioning unit, boarded 
up back windows, worn linoleum, leaking roof, and a sign with missing 
letters." 

The last three months of the year, .July through September, 
saw a heartening turnaround to many problems. The work completed 
by carpenters, painters, and custodians led to repair of broken 
windows, painting several units, installation of new floors, and 
contracts for other improvements and restorations. 

Once again this year the Library submitted to the Public 
Facilities Department a program of essential projects falling within the 
purview of that department. Among them: attention to the roof and 
interior lighting of Grove Hall, repair of rear wall of the Charlestown 
Branch, air conditioning at several branches, and access for the 



17 



handicapped at several branches. Public Facilities responded positively 
that all projects were being addressed. 

The restoration of the McWm building made advances this 
year. Architects Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott, Inc. drafted a 
space use tool with a concept plan scheduled to follow. A 12-week 
process will deal with the investigation of mechanical/electrical 
systems. Then a 16-week study will be undertaken by SPNEA (Society 
for the Preservation of New England Antiquities). By fall, the space use 
and concept plans should be ready for authorization by the Trustees. 



Staffing 
From July 1984 to February 1985, the Trustees and their appointed 
citizens' committee functioned, remote from the ongoing 
administration of the Library, in search of a director. They reported 
their progress at each Trustees' meeting — from determination of 
qualifications to advertising of the position, to creating a short list of 
candidates and interviewing them. At a special session of the Trustees 
on February 21, 1985, they met to consider seven finalists. In their 
subsequent vote, the majority of the board voted for Arthur Gurley to 
serve as the next director and librarian, the 13th director in the 
Library's 132 years. Gurley, presently a deputy director at the New 
York Public Library has held leadership positions in Avon (MA), 
Montclair (NJ), and Detroit (MI). He began his career at the Boston 
Public Library. 

Efforts to recruit staff were aggressive this year. Letters were 
written to every accredited library school and interviewing took place 
at the American Library Association convention in Dallas. Recruitment 
remains a problem across the country. There are few library school 
graduates (9,000 in 1974; now only 5,000). Our Library goal continues 
to be strengthening our pre-professional program. A difficulty 
continues in our salary levels which run ^2,300 lower than in 
comparable libraries. 

As we moved ahead in adding new professionals to our ranks, 
the results showed in branches and central. Adams Street commented: 
"Throughout the 1984-85 year we have been fortunate to have had a 
stabilization of the staffing patterns at Adams Street." Brighton/Faneuil 
Branches reported "an exciting year. For the first time in many years 
professional service on all three levels — adult, young adult, and 



18 



children — flourished at the Brighton Branch. Our abiHty to maintain 
consistent staffing during the year helped immeasurably in our efforts 
to improve library service." 

Year End Review of Goals 
FY85 ended on a positive note. General Library's report captured this 
positive mood: "FY85 presented a much more hopeful and successful 
period in the General Library after the stark and lean years beset by 
budgetary problems." Part of the progress noted was attributable to 
enhanced access to data. A DIALOG terminal was added and Wilson- 
line became a permanent tool in the department. 

The Audio-Visual Department continued its successful film 
series including programs on Laurence Olivier, documentaries on how 
films are made, and a summer film festival. 

We began FY85 with the announcement that branch book 
buying quotas would be raised 25%. The response from branches was 
immediate and glowing. From Mattapan/Grove Hall came this com- 
ment: "The book collections have continued to improve. Patrons have 
frequently remarked about the regularity and speed that new books 
have been arriving. And the regular replacement ordering schedules 
have been invaluable in maintaining the quality of the collections." 

In addition, several actions were taken this year relative to the 
circulation of materials. Already noted was the circulation of some 
Research Library items through Interlibrary Loan. It was decided to 
remain with the IBM circulation system for another year and to 
commence conversion from punch card to bar code within the next 
few months. The conversion from Dewey to Library of Congress 
classification continues for the circulating collections. 

Dudley Branch expressed the year-end enthusiasm repeated in 
many units: "Growth in terms of service and use marked the mission of 
Dudley Branch during the past year when there was a noticeably higher 
number of new patrons and a strengthening of relationships with 
community groups." 

In concluding this upbeat review of the year, let me extend 
thanks to all individuals involved in maintaining the Boston Public 
Library's record of prominence in Boston, in the commonwealth, and 
in the nation. 

Liam Kelly 
Acting Director 



19 



Library Resources* 
General Book Collections (volumes) 5,300,000 



Special Collections 




Rare Books and Manuscripts 


1,100,000 


Prints 


798,000 


Patents 


8,000,000 


Maps 


300,000 


Government Documents 


2,300,000 


Periodicals (Current subscriptions) 


14,800 


Non-Print Material 




Audio-recordings 


270,000 


Films and other projected materials 


65,000 


Microforms 


2,800,000 


TOTAL 


20,677,800 



'^These approximate statistics have not been verified 
at time of publication. 



20 





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21 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 9999 06315 058 3