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For the Year Ending June 30, ujcSy 



I April 1986-31 March 1987 

Trustees of the Public Library of the 
City of Boston 

Kevin F. Moloney, President 
William M. Buli^er, Vice President 
Berthe M. Gaines 
Doris Kcarns Goodwin 
Marianne Rea Luthin 

Diivctor (Vhi Librarian 
Arthur Curley 

Editor: Lynn Holstom 
Cover photo: Erie Roth 
Desisncr: Richard Zonghi 

Copyris-ht © l^S*^) The Trustees of the Public Library 
of the City of Boston 


Director's Introduction 5 

The Research Library 9 

Community Library Services 10 

Rebuilding the Library 1 1 

The Campaign for the Library 1 3 

New Technologies 1 5 

Collection Development 1 5 

Conservation 17 

Adult Services 17 

Young Adult Services 19 

Children's Services 19 

Special Services 21 

Kirstein Business Branch 22 

Exhibitions and Publications 23 

Special Events 26 

Friends Groups 27 

Committees and Councils 28 

Notable Gifts 30 

Contributors 3 1 

How To Give to the Library 32 

Library Resources and Use 33 

Library Expenditures 34 

Report of the Examining Committee 35 

Director's Introduction 

The yearjust completed inarked the beginning ot one of the most ambitious 
efforts in the Library's liistory: .4 PiV(^}uiii to Rebuild and Revitalise the Resources 
and Services of the Boston Public Library. Tliis long-range plan seeks to reestablish 
the Library as one ot the nation's major cultural and educational institutions 
by rebuilding the collections, restoring children's services, reinstating hours 
of service, alleviating the problem ot illiteracy, computerizing all borrowing 
and catalog-access activities ot the Library, restoring the Library's landmark 
building at Copley Square, and rehabilitating branch facilities throughout 
the city. 

The considerable progress already realized in attainment of these goals 
must be attributed largely to an unprecedented increase of thirty percent in 
operating support trom the City of Boston and the establishment of a 
$28,000,000 capital program tor improvements to library buildings 
throughout the city All users ot the Library will share my deep gratitude to 
Mayor Raymond L. Flynn tbr this extraordinary support. In addition, the 
leatiership ot Senate I-Vesident William M. Bulger helped gain a major increase 
in support trom the Commonwealth to help the Library improve the research 
resources which are used by citizens from all parts of the state. 

Ot the many achievements of the past year to be found throughout this 
report, one which I consider most meaningtlil is the restoration of children's 
services at the Library. Two years ago, more than half the community 
libraries were functioning without a children's librarian. This situation, 
dictated by unavoidable budget cuts ot the past, was particularly tragic tor a 
library which had been in the vanguard oi services to children for over a 
century. As ot the end ot this year, children's librarian positions have been 
reestablished in all twenty-five neighborhood libraries. The appeal that 
books hold for children is remarkable in our age, when one considers the 
competition. Television, complex video games, skateboards, computers, 
sports, and brightly colored plastic toys all vie with the printed word for the 
attention of the young. And yet, nearly 50,000 children and young adults 
now have active borrowing privileges at the Boston Public Library. 

hi conjunction with the plan outlined above, the Trustees commissioned 
a professional feasibility study to determine the potential effectiveness of a 
major tundraising campaign. Forty corporate and civic leaders interviewed 
tor the study considered the Library an invaluable cultural resource; they 
were enthusiastic about the long-range plan and felt that private sector 
support was both essential and appropriate to the revitalization program. 
With the heartening results of that study in hand, the Trustees decided on 
October 2.S, 19X6 to embark on what will be this institution's first major 
capital campaign. Known as "The Campaign for the Library," this endeavor 
aims to generate $50,000,000 over the next five years. Its goal is not only to 
restore the Library's services and facilities, but also to equip the institution 
so that it will be able to meet the demands of the approaching century. 

Recognizing the importance of the Library, the Boston Globe Foundation 
came forth with a leadership gift of $1,000,000. William O. Taylor, publisher 

of The Boston Globe, announced the five-year pledge, which was given in 
memory of his grandparents, Mary and William Osgood Taylor. It is des- 
ignated for the McKim building restoration project and for literacy and 
reading enhancement programs. The city and state also responded with 
alacrity, pledging support of 824,000,000 and $9,000,000 respectively. 

This year we planned extensively for new technologies that will help us 
to improve service to the pubHc and its changing informational needs. When 
implemented at a cost of $3,000,000, the Metropolitan Boston Library 
Network will allow users of six public libraries — Boston, Brookline, Cam- 
bridge, Chelsea, Maiden, Newton — to have automated access to these 
institutions' circulating collections. Advanced technologies will also play a 
critical role in enabling the physically handicapped to make use of library 
resources when our new Access Center for the Disabled opens in the fall ot 
1987 on the Concourse Level of the General Library. 

The accomplishments that follow in this Annual Report could not have 
been realized without the dedicated efforts of our Trustees and staff, the 
Mayor and members of the City Council, the Friends and Associates ot the 
Library, and dedicated citizens who keep alive the faith and optimism of 
their visionary ancestors who created this very special public institution. 

The cornerstone of the Library's fimous building at Copley Square was 
ceremoniously put in place in the year 1SS8. As we approach the looth 
anniversary of that occasion, we hope the public will join us in rebuilding 
this great institution so that it may resume its eminent position in our 

changing world. 

Arthur Curley 
Director and Librarian 

Annual Report 

Bates H.ill. the main reading . 
Massachusetts, to become a we 

room ot the Research Library, honors Joshua Bates, who lett a hte ot poverty m 
/ealthy hanker in London. 


The Research Library 

The past year has been one of the best in iiieinory 
for the Research Library. The largest book budget 
in the history ot the Library, long-awaited compet- 
itive salaries for the staff, an increase in public use 
of the collections, and several exciting programs 
have made it clear that the Library is incieed begiiuung 
a new era. 

Tlirough purchases, wc were able to acquire a 
number of important items, such as a large collection 
of Russian folklore, a collection of works by Ireland's 
most illustrious living poet Seamus Heaney, more 
than 6,400 recordings and Soo compact discs, and 
significant holdings ot Judaica. 

The collections also grew through the generosity 
of donors, 85 percent of whom chose to remain 
anonymous. It was in this manner that the Library 
came to acc^uire an onginal Ansel Adams photograph 
this year, which was found tucked between the leaves 
of an anonymously donated book. Among other 
notable gifts were most of the contents of the General 
Electric Library in Fittsfield; the Charles J. Connick 
Collection of materials from the famous stained glass 
studio that was in existence from 191 3 to 1986; some 
40 cartons ot books on the American Revolution; 
three volumes of microfiche on Armenian architec- 
ture; 30 Braille Bibles, and even a collector's set ot 
100,000 comic books in prime condition. 

To share the Library's great holdings with a 
broader audience, staff mounted }} exhibitions, 
including a display of the venerable Magna Carta, 
the document upon which our Constitution, Bill of 
Rights, and Declaration of Independence are based. 
During the months before and after April, the Library 
assisted taxpayers by distributing over 65,000 federal 
forms and more than 10,000 state forms. In acldition, 
it met the increased demand arising trom Boston's 
building boom to supply patrons with architectural 
plans and photographs of buildings in the city. 

Readers reattirmed the Library's importance 
through increased use of the collections this year. 
As in the past, the Kirstein Business Branch contin- 
ued to be the most heavily used ot all the Research 
Library departments, followed by the Microtext 
and Government Documents Departments. The 
Humanities, Rare Books, and Social Sciences 
Departments also reported an increased use of their 
holdings and services, and interlibrary loan requests 
reflected a rise ot 9 percent over last year's figure. 

Collaborative efforts were many and varied. Pro- 
grams, exhibitions, and lectures were jointly con- 
ducted with organizations such as the Boston Ballet, 

the Association of Latin Americanists, the New 
England Sculptors Association, the Lewis Carroll 
Society, the Delta Society, the Consul General of 
Portugal, the Museum of Science, the Association 
of Bookplate C'ollectors and I3csigncrs, Massachu- 
setts Institute of Technology, and the Archaeological 
Society of America. 

Finally, while statl members engaged in extensive 
planning tbr the many changes that will take place 
in the vast rebuilding program of the Library, some 
were involved in significant activities to preserve 
the past. The planning phase ot the Massachusetts 
Newspaper Program was completed in May. 
Referred to as "a major detective effort," this project 
aims to identify, locate, microfilm, and catalog extant 
copies of every newspaper published in the Com- 
monwealth. Ciuided by a distinguished Advisory 
Committee, the program is part ot a national effort 
to make America's newspapers — both historic and 
current — available to the public. Massachusetts' 
contribution to tliis national program is particailarly 
significant, as the nation's first newspaper started 
here: Pitblick Oicuiraurs Both Foivii;ii and Donwstick 
dates to 1690. 

All of these accomplishments would not have 
been possible without the dedicated staff of the 
Research Library. Their efforts have been critical 
this year and will be needed even more as we assume 
the challenge of revitalizing this great institution 
over the next few years. 

The facade ot the McKini building showing sculptor Bcia L. 
Pratt's heroic figure, Art. 

Community Library 

How can a community library system, once the 
mociel for branch hbraries throughout the nation, 
function ettectively with a nine-year vacancy in the 
leadership post, with half of its branches devoid of 
children's librarians, and a third of the branches 
functioning without even a branch librarian? This 
was the silent question posed to the Library's Trustees 
and its newly appointed director in 19^5. 

As a result of increased funding from the city and 
state, the Library has been able to take an active step 
in beginning to fill these critical vacancies, hi June 
iy86, Lesley Loke was appointed Assistant Director, 
Community Library Services. By the end ot this 
fiscal year, each branch library haci positions for 
cliilciren's librarians, and several ot the branch librarian 
positions had been tilled. 

With the increased statL, a distinct note of optimism 
permeated the Community Library Services this 
year. The 12 months were spent in extensive plan- 

Boston school children learn how to write C'hinese at a pro- 
gram in the Children's Resource Center. 

ning, in an attempt to redress the problems created 
by past budgetary cuts and to plan for the future. 

Art expositions, summer reading clubs, film 
series, crafts and hobbies, book discussion groups, 
and parenting sessions were just a few of the more 
than 5,600 activities that attracted 182,339 people 
to their community libraries this year. The number 
of those with active borrowing privileges increased 
over last year, with the children's segment of the 
reader population showing the most dramatic 
increase, 13 percent. 

And when these readers came to use their cards, 
there was more choice on the shelves: 112,358 new 
volumes were available in the branches and the Gen- 
eral Library by the end of the year. Boston's new 
residents from Thailand, Vietnam, the U.S. S.R., 
and Cambodia discovered works in their own lan- 
guages. Also, 10,000 volumes were ordered tor West 
Roxbury's new addition, which will have its 
groundbreaking in the spring of 1988. 

Another group in need of specialized materials, 
the physically impaired, received consideration this 
year. Planning was completed for the Library's Access 
Center tor Disabled People. When it opens in the 
fall of 1987, the Center will be equippec^ with a 
variety of new teclmologies that will greatly ficilitate 
access for disabled individuals to the Library's vast 
holdings, hiitially planned to serve the physically 
handicapped, the Center will expand its services in 
the future to accommodate people with other 

Another area of concern this year was the nation- 
wide problem ot illiteracy. In the spring of 1987, a 
group of librarians from the branches and General 
Library established the Community Library Services 
Coordinating Committee for Literacy. It will provide 
intbrmation exchange on program development 
related to literacy It augments the Library's current 
joint ettorts with organizations such as Collabora- 
tions for Literacy and PLUS-Project Literacy U.S. 
to combat this serious issue. 

The year's achievements were very much bolstered 
by the increasing support provided by Friends 
groups, which play an active role in assisting the 
neighborhood libraries in programming, tundrais- 
ing, and public relations. Dunng the past 1 2 months, 
two new groups were formed — at Roslindale and 
South Boston. In addition, a new, city-wide group 
was created in June to coordinate the activities of 
the individual groups. 

As is true with the Library m general. Community 
Library Services is at a new crossroads. We look 
forward to the challenge of preparing ourselves for 
the century to come. 


This lyth century photograph provides a rare glimpse of how the Research Library appeared to passersby before its 
completion in 1S95. 

Rebuilding the Library 

The Research Library Building 

The challenge handed to architect Charles Follen 
McKini in the late 19th century was daunting indeed: 
design a building to house the first large free munic- 
ipal library in the United States. As no precedent 
existed for such a structure, McKim incorporated 
elements from vastly diflerent models: a French 
library (the Bibhothcque Saint-Genevieve), an Italian 
Renaissance himily memorial (the Tcmpio Malates- 
tiano in Rimini), and an American store (the Marshall 
Field Wholesale Store in Chicago). 

The result was a magnificent Beaux Arts structure, 
one that set a standard for municipal architecture 
throughout the country for decades to come. Even 
today, over nine decades after its opening, the noted 
architect Philip Johnson has referred to it as "the 
tmest public building in the United States." 

Although it was placed on the National Register 
of Historic Places in 1973 and became a National 
Historic Landmark in 1986, nothing has been done 

to restore this 92-year-old edifice. Most of its heating, 
mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are 
original and are now in a serious state of deterioration. 
In addition, many of the once beautiflil public rooms 
have acquired a shabby appearance, and new ways 
of managing information now dictate the need for 
different allocations of space in parts ot the building. 

In view o( this, the Library has embarked on a 
vast restoration and renovation project. The design 
development stage of this project was completed in 
the spring of 1987; the actual work will begin in the 
spring of 1989; and the project will be completed 
by 1995- The project has three main aims: 

• to restore the timewoni building and its celebrated 

• to increase pubhc access to the building's historic 
and beautiful spaces 

• to reorganize functions within the building to 
provide more efficient and effective working 

The Library has engaged leaders in the fields of art 
and architectural preservation to carry out the work: 


Architectural historian Douglass Shaud-Tucci will advise on the restoration project. He is 
shown here with (left to right) Library Trustees Berthc Gaines, Doris Kearns Goodwin, 
Rene Franks ot the Friends ot the Dudley Branch Library, and Dina Malgeri, Director of the 
Maiden Public Library and friend of the Boston Public Library. 

• Daniel Coolidge of Shepley Bulfinch Richardson 
and Abbott Architects of Boston will serve as 
project architect. 

•The Conservation Department of Harvard 
University's Fogg Art Museum v^ill restore the 
murals of John Singer Sargent, Puvis de Cha- 
vannes, Edwin Austin Abbey, and John Elliot. 

• The Society for the Preservation of New England 
Antiquities will oversee all phases of restoration 
of interior finishes and furniture. 

• Architectural historian Douglass Shand^ucci will 
serve as special advisor to the Trustees for the 
restoration project. 

The Coniniimity Libraries 

Like the Research Library building, the tacilities of 
many of the branch libraries have long been in need 
of repair and renovation. This year, significant 
progress was made on a number ot fronts. 

• At the West Roxbury Branch Library, planning 
continued tor a major new addition that will be 
flinded by the Ciry of Boston. To be constructed 
on land generously donated by the West Roxbury 
Congregational Church, the addition will atford 
the tbllowing: a threefold increase in space (from 
7,000 to 22,984 square feet), a threetold increase 
in book capacity (space for 97,000 volumes), 30 

reading carrels, and a new lecture hall to seat 
150. Groundbreaking is scheduled for the spring 
of 1988. 

' At the General Library, plans were finalized for 
the new Access Center for Disabled People. To 
be located on the Concourse Level, this facility 
wiO provide disabled individuals with increased 
access to Library and community resources. It 
will be equipped with a wide array of techno- 
logical advances, such as a Kurzweil Reading 
Machine to translate print into speech, a VTEK 
electronic magnifier to enlarge the size of original 
text up to 60 times, and a VersaBraille computer 

' Air conditioning was installed in 1 2 branch 
libraries as of the end of the fiscal year. With the 
exception of the East Boston Branch, which 
presents special architectural considerations, all 
community libraries now have air conditioning. 

' Renovation work was begun on the Connolly 
Branch Library in Jamaica Plain. The work 
includes repairs to the front facade, entrance 
stairway, a new roof, restoration of its interior 
leaded-glass windows, and installation ot a 
security system. 

At the Hyde Park Branch, plans were made to 
install a ramp on the Everett Street side for the 
physically impaired. 


The Campaign for 
the Library 

What took place in Boston m the mid-iyth century 
was to set the stage for the library movement 
throughout the nation in subsequent years. Founded 
in 1848, the Boston PubUc Library was America's 
first tax-supported free municipal library. 

Its strength has always derived from a combination 
ofpubHc and private support. Nearly 140 years ago 
the institution was launched with a public appro- 
priation of $1,000 and private gifts amounting to 
some 10,000 volumes. Today, as a result of this con- 
tinuing public/private partnership, the Library now 
makes available to its readers 6,200,000 books plus 
17,000,000 items in other formats in its 25 com- 
munity libraries, its business branch, and its main 
facilities in Copley Square. 

In 1981 the Library was forced to assume a position 
of retrenchment as a result of budgetary cutbacks 
dictated by Proposition 2 'A. Despite the public's 
increasing demands for library services, the insti- 

tution was forced to impose reductions in staff, pro- 
grams, and hours of access. 

Following a comprehensive feasibility study, the 
Trustees unanimously agreed at their meeting on 
October 18, 1986 to embark on an ambitious pro- 
gram to revitalize the Library. With a five-year goal 
of $50,000,000, The Campaign for the Library will 
equip this institution to reassert its place as one of 
the nation's foremost educational resources. Specif- 
ically, the Campaign seeks to: 

• Restore the landmark Research Library building 
and its artistic treasures and render its space more 

• Revitalize the community library system by 
renovating its facilities and enhancing its literacy 
and reading programs 

• Strengthen endowments for scholarly resources, 
special collections, and related curatorial activity 

• Incorporate new technologies systemwide, 
including automated circulation, book security 
systems, and on-line access to bibliographic 
holdings of the community libraries. General 
Library, and Kirstein Business Branch. 

"The Law," a lunette decoration in John Singer Sargent's murals on Judaism and Christianity. 


Following his announcement of Tlic Boston Globe Foundation's leadership gift to the Library's Campaign, William O. 
Taylor {second from left), publisher of The Bcshnt Globe, convenes on the steps with (from left) Kevin F Moloney. President 
of the Library's Trustees; Mayor Raymond Flynn; and Library Director Arthur Curley 

This is the first time the Library has embarked 
on a major private sector campaign. The success of 
this effort hinges on the continuation of the pub- 
lic/private partnership that traditionally has been 
critical to the Library. Already, governmental funding 
sources have done their part, pledging $33,000,000 
of the total goal. Most of this sum will be designated 
for basic renovation of facilities at the Research 
Library and in the community libraries. 

The private sector, too, was quick to demonstrate 
its initial support. On the same day that the library's 
Trustees voted to proceed with the Campaign, 
William O. Taylor, publisher of The Bostcvi Globe, 
announced a gift of Si, 000, 000 from The Boston 

Globe Foundation. The five-year pledge was given 
in memory of his grandparents, William Osgood 
and Mary Taylor, who were lifelong residents of 
Boston. This generous donation has been designated 
tor both preservation of the McKim builtling and 
programs to enhance reading and literacy. 

These gifts have provided important impetus to 
this fuiulraising effort. Individuals, corporations, 
and foundations will be asked to contribute the 
remaining amount of Si 6, 600,000, which will be 
used to restore the artistic treasures ot the Research 
Library building, enhance the Library's etTorts to 
promote literacy, strengthen endowments, and pro- 
vide for new technologies throughout the system. 


New Technologies 

We are in the midst of an information explosion, a 
phenomenon that becomes more readily apparent 
and, for librarians, more imwicldy, with each passing 
decade. To acquire, catalog, store, and provide access 
to the plethora of published intbrmation now available 
is a Sisyphean task without the assistance of new 
technologies. This year, the Boston Public Library 
came of age in this technological era in a number of 

• Metro Boston Library Network (MBLN). 
During the fall of 1986, five public libraries — 
Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Maiden, 
Newton — chose to collaborate with the Boston 
Public Library in developing a comprehensive 
automated circulation and on-line catalog sys- 
tem. To be known as the Metro Boston Library 
Network (MBLN), this $3,000,000 projert will 
ensure increased public access to the resources 
of these six institutions. Once implemented, 
the system will allow staff and patrons at all 
locations to determine the holdings and avail- 
ability of any item and will enable staff to deter- 
mine if a patron is eligible for service, hi addition, 
this system will be accessible to other library 
clusters nationwide through DATALINK tele- 

• InterUbrary Loan. In a continuing effort to make 
its holdings available beyond Boston, the Library 
gained dial-up access to the data bases of local 
circulation clusters: the Memmack Valley Library 
Consortium (MVLC), North of Boston Libraries 
(NOBLE), and the Minuteman Library Network 
(MLN). It also installed an Online Computer 
Library Center (OCLC) terminal in the Interli- 
brary Loan Department, thereby enabling the 
Library to expand its ongoing national interli- 
brary loan. 

• The Science Reference Department was selected 
as one of ten places nationwide to acquire the 
automated Classification and Search Support 
hiformation System (CASSIS) as a pilot pro- 
gram. This system on CD-ROM was developed 
some years ago by the U. S. Patent and Trademark 
Office. Because the Boston Public Library is 
one of the most frequent users of CASSIS, the 
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is funding 
this pilot project to create more efBcient service. 

' New technologies were acquired to increase 
access for the disabled. They include the Echo 
voice synthesizer (which vocalizes computer 
data), a Braille computer and printer, and com- 
puter hardware/software which produces large 
print/Braille. With the installation of this 
equipment in the General Library's new Access 
Center for Disabled People, the visually impaired 
will have greater access to information and will 
be able to organize research and to print data in 
Braille format. 

Collection Development 

To keep pace with the demands of this age of infor- 
mation — in which the world s published information 
is bchcved to double every decade — the Library 
places a high priority on collection development. 
To augment its impressive holdings, it relies on two 
major activities: the purchase o{ items and the 
acquisition of notable gifts. 

This year's success in developing the collections 
was due to a number of factors. Among these were 
the largest book budget in the Library's history, a 
much-needed increase in staff in the Acquisitions 
Department, a new automated acquisitions system, 
the relocation of the Acquisitions Department to a 
quieter space in January, and the acquisition of several 
important gifts by the Gifts and Exchange 

The Research Library welcomed the following 
additions to its impressive holdings. 

Through purchases, it obtained 69, 863 new items, 

• Material by and about Seamus Heaney, Ireland's 
most renowned living poet 

• A large collection of books on Russian folklore 
and Russian theatre 

• Judaica collections consisting of smaller press 
pubHcations by noted Jewish authors 

• A Yiddish collection, comprised of famous short 
stories, folklore, humor, children's literamre, and 
some Holocaust materials. Included are the 
complete works o{ some of the most distin- 
guished Yiddish writers, including Sholem 
Aleichem and YL. Peretz 

• A Pohsh collection of reference and literary 


All Item troiii tlic Charles C~onnick Studio's rich archives, which 
were donatecl this year to the Library. 

Mr. and Mrs. |ohn K. Rivers gave the Library a 
significant collection of drawings and designs by 
Bertram Grosvcnor Goodhue, among which were 
intricate bookplates such as this. 

Gitts to the Research Library totalled 131,333 
items, including these items of particular interest: 

• Archives of the Charles Conmck CJlass Studies 
which was in business from 1912-1987 

• Most of the contents of tiie General Electric 
Company Library in Pittsfield, Massachusetts 

• 100,000 comic books frcim Simon Tenenbaum. 
These heroic comics, which are in excellent 
condition, may become a Special Collection. 

• An important collection of lirawings aiul designs 
by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, donated by 
Mr. and Mrs. John R. Rivers 

• A large collection of grotesque borders for rooms, 
halls, screens. These caricature sequences were 
drawn by Woodward, etched by Rowlancison, 

and hand colored in London m lyyy and 1800. 
They augment the Library's outstanding Row- 
landson collection. Gift of Dr. Mark Altschule. 

• 1,276 lantern slides of Europe from 1890-ca. 
1910. This gift, cionated by Charles Harte of 
Illinois, will be called the Edward F Wilder 
Collection of Lantern Slides. 

The Community Libraries and the General Library 
adcieci 1 12,3 Si^ new books to their shelves this year, 
including works by Latin American authors in 
Spanish, and publications in Thai, Vietnamese, 
Cambodian, and Russian. A major effort in building 
community collections was the acquisition of 
approximately 10,000 volumes for the expanded West 
Roxbury collection, wliich will be lioused in the 
new adtlition planned for the existing facility. 



An estimated 77,000,000 books arc slowly disinte- 
grating across the nation. They are victims of the 
higli acici content ot most commercial papers made 
since the mid-iQth century. To preserve the written 
legacy of past generations, the Boston Public Library 
conducts an ambitious program of conservation, hi 
fiscal year 1987, its Conservation Center 

• Continued a major effort to restore one t)f this 
institutions most esteemed holdings: the private 
library of America's second president, John 
Adams. Hundreds ot books from this collection 
received treatment that ranged from cleaning 
and oiling to rebinding (using the original bind- 
ings wlienever possible). 

• Preserved 2,613 non-book items, including 643 
letters of John Ruskin, 139 Civil War photo- 
graphs, and 1,070 Boston theatre programs. 

• Conducted a four-week workshop to instruct 
Library statt on the proper hanciiing and protec- 
tive measures for library materials. 

hi addition, three grants enabled staff to focus on 
other conservation-related concerns: 

• The National Endowment for the Humanities 
(NEH) awarded a grant of $66,000 tbr a survey 
of the Library's important collection of over 1300 
rolls ot drawings by the Boston architectural 
firm of Peabody and Stearns (1870-1917). With 
this funding, staff will also conduct preliminary 
methods to safeguard these drawings and will 
begin to microfilm them. 

• The Library has become the coordinating insti- 
tution for the Massachusetts Newspaper Pro- 
gram, which IS under the aegis of the United 
States Newspaper Program. With a $10,000 
grant from NEH, the Library is attempting to 
identity, locate, and microfilm extant copies of 
every newspaper published in the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts. This institution also 
received a grant of $174,500 from the U.S. OfFice 
of Education's Title II Program tbr microfilming 
the newspapers. 

• With funding tVom the Massachusetts Council 
on the Arts and Humanities, the Library engaged 
a specialist to survey the preservation needs of 
its celebrated Brown Collection of music and 
musical literature. The preliminary report rec- 

ommended that these irreplaceable holdings be 
cleaned, prioritized for conservation treatment, 
and be restricted with regard to public access, 
particularly in the area of photocopying. 

Adult Services 

Throughout its history, the Library has made a con- 
certed etTort to stay attuned to the needs of its broadest 
constituency. At present, adults comprise 78 percent 
ot those with active borrowing privileges, and the 
Library responds to this major part of its readership 
by offering a wide variety of services and programs. 
This year 1,012 programs drew a total audience of 
43,463 individuals, who came to participate in 
activities such as the following: 

• At the East Boston Community Library, contacts 
were made with the Asian Task Force to encour- 
age more Vietnamese and Cambodian adults to 
use the library. 

• The Brighton Community Library planned and 
hosted the second annual Allston Brighton Art 
Exposition. The day-long event drew a crowd 
of 300 and featured clemonstrations of stained 
glass, watercolor and printmaking, music, a 
poetry reading, and an exhibition of works by 
16 local artists. 

• A Dialog with Ishmael Reed was one of Codman 
Square Community Library's most successtiil 
programs this year. The noted black author 
addressed an enthralled audience on a hot Sat- 
urday morning in June. - 

• Parent's Programs, held concurrently with pre- 
school story hours, continued to be successful 
at a number of community libraries. These pro- 
grams focused on a diverse range of topics, such 
as Heimlich maneuver training, dental health 
for chikiren, and Christmas cratts workshops. 

• The Best of Boston Author Series at Lower Mills 
Community Library consisted of two programs. 
"Evenings With" featured three authors: Melissa 
Scott, Paul Walkowski, and lone Malloy, while 
the crime series entitled "Murder, Ink!" had crime 
historian and newswoman Pamela Blevins as its 
guest speaker. 

• Culture in and Around Boston at the West End 
Community Library brought representatives 
from various cultural and historic institutions 
to discuss the history ot these institutions and 


their airrcnt services. There are plans to continue 
this series next year. 

' The National Endowment for the Humanities 
Learning Library ftogram. One ot the Library's 
most popular continuing series, this program 
has offered adults college-level, non-credit courses 
free of charge since the early 1970s. The topics 
of these five-session courses, which are held in 
the community libraries, reflect a broad range, 
as evidenced by this year's series: 

Anicriai hi the jo's 

Frecierick E. Danker, University of Massa- 

Anicriavi Art 

Aileen Callahan, Boston College and Regis 


The American Musical Theater, ig20-ig6o 
Frederick E. Danker, University of Massachu- 

At Home in America: Domestic Settings 1620-1^^^0 
Myrna Kaye, Museum of Fine Arts 

American Paintings: From Cohviial Be^innin^s to 

Contemporary Times 

Miriam Braverman, Museum of Fine Arts 

Boston's Soutli End: A Social History 
Will Holton, Northeastern University 

The Life and Times of James Michael Ciirley 
Michael J. Ryan, Boston University 

D/^^'i»(^ into Boston 

Steven Pendery, City Archaeologist, Boston 

Glimpses of South Boston: Past and Present 

The Honorable Thomas H. O'Connor, Boston 


A Sense of Place: 20th Century American Voices 

Shaun O'CoimeO, University of Massachusetts/ 


\lsionary Plans and Practical l^isions in the Shaping; 

of Boston: Two Centuries of Inun^inini;, Plamiiin^and 

Desi<^ning the City 

Alex Krieger, Harvard Gratluate School of 


Witclicraft in New England 

Helen A. Berger, Boston University 

Women in Film 

Robert G. Goulet, Stonehill College 

Women of Mystery and Wonder: Black Women Writ- 
ers, 193 J- 198 J 

Mary Helen Washington, University ot 





In addition to these programs, the Library made 
an important contribution to the adult community 
by continuing to provide space for the Higher Edu- 
cation Information Center. Now in its third year of 
operation, the Center serves as a free clearinghouse 
tor information on career and Inigher education 


Young Adult Services 

To meet the constantly changing needs of the 14- to 
18-year-old patron, the Library held 208 programs 
which drew audiences totalling 3,226. The topics 
of these programs were highly varied, ranging from 
career options to film series to readings of horror 
stories. Among the year's many activities were the 

• Three Career Awareness programs at the 
Brighton Community Library focused on 
photography, hotel and food administration, and 
travel and tourism. 

• At the General Library, author Lois Lowry taught 
a Creative Writing Workshop for young people; 
Patricia Pickett of Jobs for Youth offered a pro- 
gram called "How to Find a Summer Job"; and 
"A Morning with Margaret Mahy" provided 

This year the popular Lc.irmug Library Program, founded 
several years ago under the National Endowment for the 
Humanities, otTered adults 14 free, college-level, non-credit 
courses such as this one on Boston's South End. 

the opportunity for teenagers to talk with the 
noted New Zealand author of young adult fantasy 

' Librarians from the Young Adults Room of the 
General Library produced or collaborated on 
the following booklists: Women, To Form A More 
Perfect Union, Black Is . . ..and The World of Anne 
Frank, 1^25-194$. 

•2,078 high school students made 136 visits to 
the libraries, while young adult librarians paid 
visits to 685 students in 31 of Boston's schools. 

•Over 7,500 books and audio-visual materials 
were added to the young adult collections during 
the year. 

' A new publishing venture was launched this 
year with the first mailing of From the Youms; 
Adults Room. This bimonthly newsletter is 
designed to promote the Library's collections 
and programs to young adults and youth 

Children's Services 

In the latter part of the 19th century, the Boston 
Public Library was a pioneer in children's library 
service, a tradition that continues today. This year, 
children's librarians met with more than 23,000 ele- 
mentary and middle school children in their class- 
rooms and welcomed 17,825 schoolchildren at the 
libraries to hear stories, and talks, and to learn about 
library services and programs. 

The year's outreach eftbrts were greatly expedited 
by the addition of several new children's librarians, 
some of whom came to fill positions that had been 
left vacant for years due to budgetary constraints. 
As in the past, some of this year's programs were 
designed for children of specific ages or with special 
needs, such as toddlers or the physically impaired. 
Other programs were created with parents, teachers 
or other caregivers in mind. Some noteworthy 
aspects ot the year include the following: 

• Children comprised nearly 16 percent of Boston 
Public Library cardholders, numbering 36,139 
of a total of 229,292 active cardholders. 

• Over 24,000 new children's books were added 
to the collections during the year. 

• 135,650 people attended the year's 4,459 public 
programs. Among the programs were: 


Children who participated iii tins year's Reading Is Fnndaniental preigranis were able to select hooks to keep. 

• Reading Is Fundamental (RIF). The first year 
of this enormously successful reading moti- 
vation program drew over i,ooo participants. 
Four corporate sponsors — H.P Hood Inc., 
Digital Equipment Corporation, Fidelity 
Investments, and B. Dalton Bookseller — made 
the program a reality at four community 
libraries, which were, respectively, Charles- 
town, Dudley, Fields Corner, and South End. 
The children who participated in these pro- 
grams were able to select books to keep. 

• Summer Stories m the Courtyard brought 
children to the Library at Copley Square. 
Community library storytellers conducted the 
programs, two of which were sign interpreted 
— courtesy ot the Library's Access Center — 
tor the hearing impaired. 

• "Treasures from the Sea" was the topic of the 
Summer Reading Program. Using books, 
puzzles, games, and activities, this program 
helped young children to maintain their read- 

ing skills through the languid days of summer. 

• At the Mattapan-Grove HM Community 
Library, the legal and physical dangers of drugs 
was the topic for a well-received program. In 
the course of it, a member of the Boston Police 
Department showed the children what drugs 
lookecl like and gave suggestions on how to 
avoid the peer pressure to experiment. 

• A Christmas Bilingual Celebration was held 
at the Connolly Community Library, featuring 
a choral group with children from clifTerent 
countries, such as C^hile, Honduras, Puerto 
Rico, San Salvador, and the Dominican 

• In collaboration with the School Volunteers 
for Boston, children's librarians participatecl 
in two outreach programs. The Reading 
Alouti program brought adults into class- 
rooms to read to children, and the Read Alouti 
Workshop introduced parents to the benefits 
ot reatlincr to their children. 


special Services 

The Library's commitment to the community 
extends not only to those who require traditional 
services, but also to those who need special assistance: 
the physically disabled, the hinctionally illiterate, 
and the homebound. 

The Disabled 

During the past year, plans were finalized for the 
Access Center for Disabled People. Its purpose is to 
provide disabled patrons with greater access to 
Library and community resources. The Center is 
scheduled to open in the fall of 1987 in an attractive 
and easily accessible area of the General Library's 
Concourse Level. Although the Center will direct 
its services initially to the physically disabled, in the 
fliturc it will also serve people with other disabilities. 
This much-needed facility will become a reality 
as a result of three federally funded Library Services 
and Construction Act Title I grants administered 
through the Massachusetts Board of Library Com- 

missioners. Once ci)mpleted, it will become an 
integral part of the Library's operations. 

The planning for the Access Center was greatly 
facilitated by the expertise lent by the members of 
two newly created advisory committees: the Advi- 
sory Committee on Library Services to the Hearing 
Impaireci and the Advisory Committee on Computer 
Technology for the Disabled (see the complete listing 
at the end of this Annual Report). 

hi preparation for the Center's opening, a variety 
of new equipment was installed, among which was 
the following: 

• Kurzweil Reading Machine that reads printed 
material aloud 

• VTEK Electronic Magnifier that magnifies the 
size of original text up to 60 times 

• Echo Synthesizer that gives voice to computer 

• VersaBraille Computer/Word Processor that 
translates text into Braille and regular print 

• Versapoint Braille printer 

The Library's nc\ 
fall of lySy.' 

Access Center for Disabled People will offer a broad spectrum of new technologies when it opens in the 


With this new technology, a bhnd person will be 
able to read and write electronically, to organize 
research, to utilize data bases, to obtain both Braille 
and printed copies, and to work together with a 
sighted person on a project. This new equipment 
joins the Library's special formats and services — 
large print books, talking books, audio cassettes oi 
books. Braille publications, assistive listening sys- 
tems, and handicapped parking — to ensure the 
broadest accessibility of library resources to the 

The Adult Nonreader 

Illiteracy has become a serious problem of national 
concern. Recent estimates indicate that 20 percent 
of the population of Massachusetts and up to 40 
percent ot Boston's 250,000 adults are functionally 
illiterate. Simply put, this means that these individuals 
cannot read the instructions on a medicine bottle, 
fill out an application form, or decipher a street 
sign. This problem translates on a broad scale into 
high unemployment; liigh burdens on tax-supported 
social welfare programs; low levels of ability to cope 
with family, work, and social obligations; low esteem; 
and, most important, a tremendous waste of human 

For more than a quarter of a century, the Boston 
Public Library has concerned itself with the problem 
ot illiteracy. Today that concern expresses itself in 
the provision of support for a variety of established 
programs and activities. 

• At the Brighton Community Library, cooper- 
ation continued with Boston University's pro- 
gram, Collaborations for Literacy. Brighton 
provided space for tutoring, and some of its staff 
partiapated on the Advisory Board. In addition, 
staff members also became involved in PLUS — 
Project Literacy U.S., a cooperative effort of 
two television networks, ABC and PBS. The 
aim ot the project is to organize groups concerned 
with literacy so as to increase awareness of the 
problem both locally and nationally 

• The Parker Hill Community Library also col- 
laborated with the Boston University literacy 
program, serving as a site for adult learners and 
tutors to work together. 

The Homcbound 

For the past 1 7 years, the Homesmobile has brought 
a world of fantasy, travel, intellectual pursuits, and 
culture to the doorsteps of readers unable to come 
to the Library. With a staff of three, this program 
delivered more than 40,000 items to 6,000 individuals 
on a regular schedule of visits. In addition to the 
Homesmobile operation. Extension Services pro- 
vided deposit collections to 26 sites, such as nursing 
homes, elderly housing, and rehabilitation centers, 
while an additional 2y sites were served through 
deposit collections of the community libraries. 

Kirstein Business Branch 

The current interest m subjects such as real estate, 
investments, tranchismg, small business operations, 
and marketing is reflected in the statistics of the 
Library's Kirstein Business Branch for fiscal year 
1987. Situated at 20 City Hall Avenue in Boston's 
financial district, it continues to be the most heavily 
used ot the Research Library departments. During 
the year, it: 

• provided readers with 68,2<So items 

• answered 47,708 m-person reference questions 

• responded to 22,485 telephone inquiries 

• filled 708 orders for photoduplication 

• offered on open shelves a heavily used collection 
of over 40,000 volumes of directories, guides, 
books, trade publications, government docu- 
ments, and periodicals 

The Campaign for the Library will provide for the 
following improvements at the Kirstein Business 

• Additional business-related data bases will be 
made available to patrons. 

• The catalog to the collection oi the Kirstein 
Business Branch will be available on-line, along 
with the catalog of all the circulating collections 
of the Central Library. 

Exhibitions and Publications 

C^vcr the years, the Library has found its extensive 
exhibitions and publications programs effective 
means of expanding and interpreting the collections 
to a broader audience. In addition to the numerous 
displays held in the community libraries throughout 
this year, more than 50 exhibitions were mounted 
in the Research Library and the General Library at 
Copley Square. 

The Research Library 

The Research Library building was the setting for 
33 exhibitii->ns in fiscal year 19X7. Freedom was an 
important theme of several of the exhibitions, in 
particular, those that featured the Magna Carta, the 
U.S. Constitution, the Statue of Liberty, and Joan 
of Arc. 

• "Magna Carta: The Rare Document Itself." 
Bostonians had the once-in-a-lifetime oppor- 
tunity to view this famous charter. The only 
version in private hands, the item was loaned to 
the Library by Texas patriot L4.R. Perot. Funding 
for the Boston presentation and promotional 
materials was provided by Aldrich, Eastman & 
Waltch, Inc. January 12-February 17. 

• "Are We to Be a Nation?: The Making o{ the 
Federal Constitution." Jointly developed by the 
American Library Association and The New 
York Public Library, this exhibition recounted 
the process, events, and debates surrounding 
the writing and ratification ot the Federal Con- 
stituticMi. March 9-April 18. 

• "Liberty: The French-American Statue in Art 
and History." Organized by The New York 
Public Library anci the OtFicial French-Amencan 
Committee for the Celebration of the Centennial 
of the Statue of Liberty, this show celebrated 
200 years of French-American friendship. Sep- 
tember 1 1 -October 14. 

• "Salute to Liberty," an exhibition of songs and 
musical documents. July i— 31. 

• "Maid of France: Portrait of Joan of Arc." This 
extensive show, which took place on all three 
floors ot the Research Library, displayed many 
items relating to Saint Joan that have been 
donated to the Library by John Cardinal Wright 
and John McKenna. June 1-30. 

A workman prepares the Statue ot Liberty for a tacclitt. 

The year's other exhibitions focused on a broad 
range of subjects, including the book arts, preser- 
vation, prints, animals, and architecture. Some 
highlights were: 

• "Peabody & Steams: Preserving the Records." 
This exhibition underscored the need to preserve 
the Library's drawings of this important tum- 
of-the-century Boston architectural firm. July 
7-September (S. 

• "Drawings from Boston: Selections From the 
Boston Public Library Collection." This exhi- 
bition, the first major presentation of the 
Library's collection of drawings by Boston art- 
ists, opened at the DeCordova Museum in Lin- 
coln. It featured 100 works by 50 living artists. 
April 4-May 31. 


• "Bauhaus Books" provided an interesting 
glimpse of works published by MIT Press and 
other Bauhaus publications by Boston authors. 
October 1-3 1. 

• "The Bauhaus Era in Germany and America: 
Documents from the Archives of American Art- 
Smithsonian Institution." November 12 
-December 3 1 . 

• "Stephen Andrus at Impressions" feamred items 
from Impressions Workshop, one of America's 
major centers for lithographic and copperplate 
printing for artists. April 1-31. 

• "Animals: Inspiration of Man." A display of old 
and precious books and materials from the Rare 
Books and Manuscripts Department. August 

1-3 1- 

• "Contemporary Danish Book Art" presented 
fine bookbinding from contemporary Denmark, 
in conjunction with the Boston Ballet's produc- 
tion of "Tales of Hans Christian Andersen." May 

• "Nina Bohlen: A Retrospective of Works on 
Paper." June 3-September 6. 

• "Fine Bookbindings by Kerstin Tini Miura." 
March 1-3 1. 


The Great Hall and the Boston Room provided the 
settings for most of the 20 exhibitions mounted this 
year m the General Library. Some highlights ot the 
year include the following: 

• "Anne Frank in the World 1929-1945" drew the 
largest audience of any exhibition in the history 
of the Library: 150,000 visitors, including at 
least 200 school and community groups. Orga- 
nized by the Anne Frank Foundation ot 
Amsterdam and New York, the exhibition was 
presented at the Library by the Boston-based 
organization. Facing History and Ourselves. 
April lO-May 4. 

• "Pyramids of Giza," co-sponsored by the 
Archaeological Institute of America, the Boston 
Society of the AIA, and the Boston PubHc 
Library, this exhibition was mounted in con- 
junction with the program "Sacntiiic Solutions 
to the Puzzles of the Pyramids." September 

A springtime exhibition on Anne Frjnk attracted the largest 
audience of any exhibition in the Library's history. 

• "LIFE: The Second Decade, 1945-55" displayed 
200 photographs from the archives ot LIFE 
Magazine. October i-November 17. 

• "Drawing Together: Children's Art from the 
U.S. and 'the U.S. S.R." February 15-28. 

• "The American Constitution: A Bicentennial 
Celebration." April 1-30. 

• "The U.S. Constitution, 1787-178S: From 
Debate to Ratification." April 1-30. 

The General Library collaborated with other 
institutions on several exhibitions during the year. 
Among these were "Bcjart Ballet of the 20th Cen- 
tury," wliicii was sponsored by the Belgian Embassy, 
the Intemational Dance CouiutI, the Wang Celebrity 
Series, and the Boston Public Library. Another col- 
laborative effort was the exhibition, "Drawings of 
Jerusalem," which was co-sponsored by the Israel 
Cultural Center, the Israeli Consulate in Boston, 
and the Bursten Graphic Workshop in Jerusalem. 


One of the lesser known aspects of the Boston Public 
Library is its role as a publishing house, a role which 
dates to the Library's beginnings. To interpret its 
extensive and otten unique holdings, the Library 
publishes books, essays, posters, and bibliographies 
on subjects such as the City of Boston, art, archi- 
tecture, history, literature, and politics. This year's 
publishing efforts included four works significant 
to Boston anci Bostonians. In The Bull and the Gar- 
den, A History of Allston-Brii^hton, author William P. 
Marchione traces the area's transition through time 
from the Indian presence to the modern rise of polit- 
ical awareness. As past School Conunittee member 
and present teacher and historian, Marchione brings 
considerable authority to his work. 

The Library joined the city this year in a major 
publishing effort. This Momentous Affair by Thomas 
H. O'Connor and Alan Rogers, professors of history 
at Boston College. Timed for release during the 
bicentennial of the Constitution and the Bill of 
Rights, the book focuses on Massachusetts and the 
ratification of the Constitution. O'Connor was 
named by President Reagan to membership on the 
Commission of the Bicentennial of the U.S. Con- 
stitution. His lively history of Boston, Bibles, Brah- 
mins and Bosses, published this year in an updated 
revision, continues — like the earlier editions — as a 
"best seller" among the Library's publications. 

As this year closes, editing/publishing efforts in 
the Library are directed to what promises to be an 
important book. Poets on the Horizon, collected verse 
by members of the Dudley Branch Library Poetry 



Massachusetts and the Ratification 
of the Constitution of the 
United States 

Thomas H. O'Connor 

Alan Rogers 


special Events 

In addition to the more than 5,600 public programs 
staged by tlic Library this year, many special events 
were designed to expand this institution's outreach 
or to honor special commitments. Some highlights 

• At its Annual Reception and Recognition Cer- 
emony in the Research Library's courtyard on 
September 12, the Board of Trustees honored 
Rosalie Lang, Assistant to the Director for Per- 
sonnel, and Martin Waters, Curator ot Geog- 
raphy and Maps, for their 50 years ot service to 
the Library. They join the ranks of B. Joseph 
O'Neil, Supervisor of Research Library Services, 
who has now completed 54 years of service. 

• The courtyard was the site ot another ceremony 
on September 26, this time to celebrate the great 
generosity of the Dniker Family of Boston, who 

donated both the land and the building of the 
Orient Heights Branch Library. 

Collectors' Day: Appraising Your Art, Antiques, 
Collectibles was held tor the second year in the 
Children's Resource Center in the General 
Library. The event gave the public an opportunity 
to bring in personal possessions tor oral 
appraisals. Members of the Appraisers Registry 
kindly donated their services that day to benefit 
the Library's Fine Arts activities. 

The tirst annual Women m Science Lecture was 
held on November 12. Dr. Mildred S. Dressel- 
haus, Abby Rocketeller Mauze Protessor of 
Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, was the guest speaker. 

The twenty-second annual Wiggin Symposium 
was held on May ly. Tliis year the event tbaised 
on Stephen Andrus, owner ot Impressions 
Workshop, the tamoiis printing center for artists. 

The l^rukcr family, shown here with Library Director Arthur Ciirley, generously provided both the land and the building 
for the Orient Heights Branch Library. (Left to right) George Feingold, Ron Druker, and Anne U. Ludwig with Mr. Curley. 


A program in words and slides provided the 
evening's guests with a glimpse of Impressions 
and the life of its proprietor, a Boston art-entre- 
preneur who made a major contribution to the 
city's cultural life. 

• The W A. Dwiggins Lecmre was heki on January 
15 for the 14th year. This year's guest speaker 
was Oscar Handlin, Carl Michael Loeb Univer- 
sity Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. 
His lecture was entitled "Freedom of the Press: 
Social Founclation 1650— 1S50." 

• A ceremony honoring the anticjuanan Robert 
Severy was held in October. The occasion was 
designed to honor this individual for his contin- 
uing generosity to the Fine Arts Department. 
He has donated hundreds of his original pho- 
tographs of historic Boston architecture and has 
underwritten the restoration of a number ot the 
Library's important pcirtrait paintings. 

• Jolin McKenna is another benefactor who was 
honored this year at the Research Library, hi 
gratitude for his ongoing cHonations of valuable 
bronzes, artwork, and rare books pertaining to 
Joan ot Arc, the Library held a reception for him 
on August 6. 

• Liberty: The French-American Statue m Art and 
History was a series of programs in September 
to celebrate two centuries of French-American 
friendship. Co-sponsored by a number of dis- 
tinguished French organizations, the series 
included a major exhibition, lectures, and a film 

• The Harvard Book Store Cafe Author Series is 
a popular ongoing program that brings readers 
together with contemporary writers. Among 
this year's participants were Christopher Leh- 
mann-Haupt, Ann Beattie, Manuel Puig, and 
Doris Kearns Goodwin. 

Friends Groups 

It was nearly 40 years ago that the Library's first 
Friends group was formed. Suitably enough, this 
volunteer ettort began in support of the East Boston 
Community Library, the first branch library in the 
country. Since the beginning of this community 
resource in I94<S, 12 other Friends grc^ups have been 
formed to help the community libraries on numerous 
fronts, ranging frc^im funtiraising to programming 
to community relations. 

During the year, two new Friends groups came 
into being at the following branches: Roslindalc, 
and South Boston. 

Some ot the Friends' many activities in iy<S6-(S7 
include the tollowing: 

• At Charlestown Community Library, the Friends 
presented special interest programs to attract 
new membership. These included programs 
on women entrepreneurs, rural Ireland, and 
wildflowers. They also collaborated with the 
Charlestown Association of Parents on a reading 
reacliness program tor parents of preschool 

• At Hyde Park, the Friends cleveloped a full year 
ot special events, which included a September 
book sale, a holiday reception, a winter musical, 
and a yard sale. 

• The Jamaica Plains Friends sponsored "Picture 
Peace," a special collection ot books for children 
on peace and creative conflict resolution. 

The City-Wide Friends of the Boston Public 
Library became established and had its first meeting 
in late June 1987. Officers of the Friends of the Hyde 
Park Branch, John Thomson and Robert Smith, 
were major initiators of the concept and the resulting 


Committees and 

as ofjune 30, 1987 

Trustees of the Public Library 
of the City of Boston 

The Boston Public Library's 
Governing Board is comprised 
of the Trustees of the Public 
Library of the City of Boston 
who, by virtue ot St. 1878, 
c. 114, constitute a nonprofit 
educational corporation. 

Appointing Authority: The 
Honorable Raymond L. Flynn, 
Mayor of Boston 


Kevin F. Moloney, President 

William M. Bulger, Vice 


Berthe M. Gaines 

Doris Kearns Goodwin 

Marianne Rea Luthm 

Director and Librarian 

Arthur Curley 

Examining Committee of the 
Public Library of the City of 
Boston, 1986/87 

Berthe M. Gaines, Chairperson 

William |ohnson, 


Rodney Armstrong 

William Buckingham 

Joseph F. Carey 

Ralph Crandall 

V. Paul Deare 

Joseph H. Deary, II 

Kathryn Downing 

Paul Faircloth 

Jovita Fontanez 

Michael Fung 

Milton Glass 

Renee Glass 

William Hennessey 
Frances Howe 
Joseph J. King 
Diana Lam 
Tuiiney Lee 
Paul J. Lynch 
Robert Mulligan 
Bettma A. Norton 
Barbara Oakes 
Donald Oakes 
Aurora Salvucci 
Kathleen Kelly Satut 
Robert B. Smith 
Jane M. Stahl 
Robert D. Stucart 
Deborah Thomas 
Brunetta R. Wolfman 

Friends of the Boston Public 

City-lVidc Iriciids Committee for 

the Bosto)! Piihlii Lihniiy 

|ohn P Thomson, Chairperson 

Irieiids oj the Biii^htoii Branch 


Robert (. Luttman, President 

Friends of the C^harlestowii Branch 


Anne F. Cavanaugh, President 

Friends of the (Connolly Branch 


Barbara Ernst-DiGennaro, 


Friends of tlie Dudley Braticli 


Rene Franks, President 

Friends oftlie East Bostoti Brancli 


Catherine Hollander 

Friends of tlie Fi^lestoti Square 

Brancli Library 

Sister Mary Cahill, Chairperson 

Friends of the Hyde Park Brancli 


Daniel Driscoll, President 

Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch 


Gail Schubert, President 

Friends oftlie Lower Mills Branch 


Donald Oakes, President 

Friends of the South Boston Branch 


Robert Toland 

Friends of ttie South Fnd Branch 


Gail Ide, President 

Friends oftlie West Roxbuiy Branch 


Pamela Seigle, President 

Massachusetts Newspaper 
Program Advisory 

Rodney Armstrong 
Bernard Bailyn 
Winifred E. Bcrnhard 
Ralph J. Crandall 
Peter Nicholas Cuenca 
James Fish 
William Ketter 
John Laucus 
Marcus McCorison 
Michael G. Miller 
Thomas O'Connor 
Roland R. Piggford 
Morley L. Piper 
William O. Taylor 
Louis L. Tucker 
Claire Quintal 

Associates of the Boston 

Public Library 

Officers and Board Members 

Bruce Beal, Co-C^hairperson 

Frances Howe, Co-Chairperson 

Peter Wick, Secretary 

Charlotte Vershbow, Treasurer 

Gail Banks 

Arthur Curley, c.v officio 

Joan Eldredge 

Kenneth Gloss 

Emanuel Josephs 

Natalie Klebenov 

Kevin F. Moloney, c.v officio 

Ed Pinkus 

John Woolsey, Jr. 


Advisory Committee on 
Computer Technology for 
Disabled People 

Matthew Chao 
Brian Charlson 
Eileen Curran 
Kathcrinc Dibble 
Gloria Evans 
Albert Gayzagian 
Kathleen Hegarty 
Mildred Milliard 
June Holt 
Patricia Kirk 
Roberta Kracov 

Dr. Richard Jackson 
Brian Reilly 
Clauciia Semper 
Barbara Wagreich 
Fran Weissc 

Advisory Committee on 
Library Services to Hearing- 
Impaired People 

Jeanne Abrons 
Sally Beecher 
Cathy Clancy 
Kevin Donahue 

Patrice DiNatalc 
Paul Hostovsky 
Cathy Mylotte 
Kimball Nash 
Brian Reilly 
Sandra Resnick 
Brenda Schertz 
Alice Sykora 
Barbara Wagreich 
Rocky Mane Weaver 
HoUis Wyks 

Nancy Becker, Consultant to 
Library Services to the Hearing 
Impaired Project 


Notable Gifts Received 

from July i, 1986 to June 30, 1987 
The Research Library 

American Revolution materials. 40 cartons of Rev- 
olutionary War materials, with emphasis on Con- 
cord, Lexington, and Bunker Hill. Gilt of Paul 

Appraisers' Registry. Donation of services to benefit 
the Library on Collector s Day in May 1987. 

Comic books. 300 cartons of heroic comics. Gift of 
Simon Tenenbaum. 

Stanley Research Library. Books, periodicals, and 
shelving from a reference and research library that 
was closed. Gift of the General Electric Company, 
Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 

Music Department 

Mozart's I 'ioliii Coiiarti. Limited facsimile edition 
of the manuscripts. Gift ot Boston area music 

Warren Story. Scrapbook of this noted music critic. 
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Laning Humphrey. 

Rare Books & Manuscript Department 

Boston Almanacks. Gift of Mr. Roher. 

Edward F. Wilder Collection of Lantern Slides. 1,276 
lantern slides of Europe, iSyo-ca. lyio. Gilt of 
Charles Harte. 

Diiiiy of the Ai'cry Family. Gift of Mrs. Davy Jo S. 
Ridge on behalf of the Thomas Cooper Library, 
University of South Carolina. 

Twelve wall maps trom 1845 to lyiS, inclucimg an 
1852 map of Lynn, Massachusetts; an 1S52 map of 
Concord, Massachusetts; an 1855 map of Medford, 
Massachusetts; an 1858 map ot Hillsborough County, 
New Hampshire; and an 1867 map of Boston. Gilt 
of Dr. Joseph Rubini. 

Visiting cards. This collection includes some with 
signatures and notes ot Fresicients Truman, Ni.xon, 
Ford, and Reagan. Gift of F. C. Schang. 

Richard Worsley. History of the Isle of Wight, 1781. 
Gift of Lee Z. Johnson. 

Print Department 

Alfred Bendiner. Eleven selected drawings. Gift of 
the Alfred Bendiner Foundation. 

Mortimer Borne. Prints. Gift of various donors 
encouraged by Mrs. Mortimer Borne. 

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. Drawings and 
designs. Gifts of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Rivers. 

Impressions Workshop. Files, printed ephemera, 
and photographs of artists and printers, including 
photographs taken by Stephen Trefonides. Gift of 
Stephen Andrus. 

Rowlandson. Collection of grotesque Imders for rooms, 
screens, etc., drawn by Woodward, etched by 
Rowlandson, and hand-colored in London in 1799 
and 1800. Gift of Dr. Mark Altschule. 

Andrew Stevovich. Seven etchings and four color 
woodcuts. Gilts ot Andrew Stevovich aiul Sybil 

Fine Arts Department 

Armenian Architecture: A Documented Photo-Arcliiual 
Collectio)! on Microfiche. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur 
H. Dadian and the Armenian Educational Council, 

Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Studio. Archives, 
including gouaches, full-size cartoons, black and 
white photographs, blueprints and sketch layouts, 
color slides, copper stencils, financial and office rec- 
ords, 25 glass panels, and 5 light bo.xes. Gift of the 
Charles J. Connick Stained Glass Studio. 

Photographs of Boston buildings. Four hie drawers. 
Gift of the City of Boston Inspectional Services. 

Robert Severy 2,369 photographs of Boston. Gift 
of Robert Severy. 

Community Library Services 

The following donors contributed programs, 
equipment or services amounting to $1,000 or more 
during fiscal year 1987 to Community Library 

Boston Human Rights Commission 

Family Service of Greater Boston 

Friends of the Hyde Park Community Library 

Friends of the Jamaica Plain Community Library 

Friends of the Lower Mills Community Library 

Harvard Bookstore Cafe 

Harvard University 

Loon and Heron Theatre 

Macmillan Publishing Company 

Random House PubHshing 

Warner Audio Publishing 



Gifts of $1,000 and over from July 1, 198610 June 

30, lySy 

Individual and Foundation Gifts 

Charles Sumner Bird Foundation 
The Boston Globe Foundation 
Constance Carleton Trust 
Theresa and John Cederholm 
Susan W. and Stephen D. Paine 
Jerome Preston, Sr. 
ShoUey Foundation, Inc. 
Stephen and Sybil Stone 
The Frederick E. Weber Charities 
Carl A. Weyerhaeuser 1972 Trust 
Estate of Beatrice L. Williams 
Nancy Zinsmeyer 

Corporate Gifts 

Aldrich, Eastman & Waltch, Inc. 

B. Dalton Bookseller 

Digital Equipment Corporation 

Fidelity Investments 

Harvard Community Health Plan 

H.P Hood, Inc. 

State and Federal Grants 

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners 
National Endowment for the Humanities 
United States Department of Education 
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 


Ways of Giving to the Boston Public Library 

Founded by an act of the Massachusetts legislature in 1848, the Boston Public Library was 
this nation's first large fi'ee municipal library. With the establishment of the East Boston 
Branch in 1870, the Library became the first library to institute a formal system of branches. 
Throughout the years it has been guided by the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of 
Boston, who comprise a nonprofit organization, incorporated under the Acts of 1878 of the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and classified as such under 501 (c)3 of the Internal Revenue 

At this time the Tnistees direct their attention to The Campaign for the Library, particularly 
significant as the Library moves toward its second century in Copley Square. The Boston 
Public Library invites you to join in this Campaign. Your contribution will enable the 
Library to maintain its vital role as an institution for civic education, enlightenment, and 
enjoyment, and will help to lay new cornerstones for the Boston Public Library's future. 

The Boston Public Library offers a range of exciting opportunities for gifts. 

You may wish to give 

• appreciated securities , , 

^^ "by bequest 

• life insurance 1 1 j 11 1 

• by pledges payable over a three-year 

• personal property period 

• cash • gifts that pay income for life 

• real estate 

Commemorative Gifts 

A gift to The Campaign for the Library may commemorate your name, the name of a living 
relative or friend, or the name of a deceased person. 

Each commemorative or memorial gift will be individually recognized, and donors will be 
identified with the purposes for which their gifts were made through an appropriate testimonial. 
In this way the name ot the person or persons recognized will live on with the Boston Public 

Whichever way you choose to make your gift, be assured that your support will have a 
lasting impact on the future of the Library. 

Your inquiry concerning the complete program of giving is invited. It you have any ques- 
tions about the plans or objectives of The Campaign for the Library, please direct your 
inquiries to: 

Development Office Telephone: (617) 536-5400, extension 212 

Boston Public Library 

Copley Square 

Boston, Massachusetts 



Library Resources 

The Boston Public Library Annual Report FYSy 

Cieneral Book Collections 

Volumes 5,806,895 

Special Collections 

Rare Books and Manuscripts 1,223,643 

Prints 1, 103,400 

Patents 8, 500,0 ly 

Maps 322,565 

Government Documents 2,493,593 

Musical Scores 97, 762 


Current Subscriptions 16,049 

Non-Print Material 

Audio-Recordings 294, 5 5 3 

Films & Video Cassettes 1 1,062 

Pictorial Works 513,216 

Microforms 3,425,144 


Library Use 

Visitors 2,278,196 

Programs 5, 679 

Program Attendance 182,339 

Items Borrowed 1,721,558 

Volumes Consulted 930,977 

Reference Inquiries i , 076, 1 5 3 

Photocopies 1,340, 000 


Library Expenditures 

The Boston Public Library Annual Report FY87 

Library Expenditures FY84 FY8s 

A. Salaries and Wages: 

CityofBoston $ 8,100,318.00 S 7,605,112.00 $ 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
Eastern Regional Library 

System 694, 126.00 685,1 1 1.53 

Library of Last Recourse 0.00 932,734.00 _ 

Total Salaries $8,794,444.00 $9,222,957.53 $ 

B. Books and Other Library Materials 

CityofBoston $ 1,442,032.00 $ 1,164,654.00 $ 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
Eastern Regional Library 

System 822, 134.00 1,755,824.72 

Library of Last Recourse 2,073,616.00 i, 137,724.00 

Other State Aid 0.00 281,497.00 

Trust Fund hicome 292,076.00 302,807.77 

Federal Grants 11,054.00 139,081.00 _ 

Total Books and Other Library 

Materials: $ 4,640,912.00 $ 4,781,588.49 $ 

C. All Other E.xpenses: 

CityofBoston $ 2,557,228.00 $ 2,547,556.00 $ 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts 

Eastern Regional Library 

System 371,178.00 757,611.51 

Trust Fund Income 23,609.00 54,586.28 

Federal Grants 0.00 0.00 

Total Other: $ 2,952,015.00 $ 3,359,753-79 

Grand Total (A, B, and C): $16,387,371.00 $17,364,299.81 



8,279, 133-03 $10,801,626.01 

823,011.61 935,092.10 

1,253,028.00 1,813,618.55 

1 o, 3 55,1 72. 64 $13, 5 50, 3 3 6. 66 

1,107,012.32 $ 1,905,857.98 

1,707,743.19 1,769,740.74 

1,318,035.00 1,968,260.51 

281,497.00 339,746.14 

182,409.00 192,448.90 

0.00 477,947.50 

4,596,696.51 $ 6,654,001.77 

2,634,584.58 $ 2,994,819.53 

688,100.20 628,464.28 

36,695.00 90,689.42 

0.00 2,649,592.44 

S 3.359,379-78 $ 6,363,565.67 

18,311,248.93 $26,567,904.10 


Report of the Examining Committee 

I April 1986-31 March 1987 

Members of the Examining Committee 

Bcrtht? M. Gaines, Chairperson 
William Johnson, Vice Chairperson 
Rodney Armstrong Joseph]. King 

William Buckingham Diana Lam 

Joseph F. Carey Tunney Lee 

Ralph Crandall Paul J. Lynch 

V. Paul Deare Robert Mulligan 

Joseph H. Deary II Bettina A. Norton 

Kathryn Downing Barbara Oakes 

Paul Faircloth Donald Oakes 

Jovita Fontanez Aurora Salvucci 

Michael Fung Kathleen Kelly Satut 

Milton Glass Robert Smith 

Reiiec Glass Jane M. Stahl 

William Hennessey Robert D. Stueart 

Frances Howe Deborah Thomas 

Brunetta R. Wolfman 



Chapter 9 of Boston City Ordinance 1 1 deals with 
the Library Department and the Trustees of the Public 
Library. It requires that the Trustees annually appoint 
an Examining Conmiittee of not fewer than five 
persons, not members ot the Board, who, with one 
of the Board as chair, shall examine the Library and 
make to the Board a report of its conditions. That 
report is to be included in the annual report ot the 
Board of Trustees. 

This was the first Examining Committee to be 
convened since the 1983-1984 Committee, which 
reported for the period ending March 31, 1984. The 
Committee numbered 30 members, making it about 
twice the size of its predecessor. There were no 
additions and no resignations during the life of the 
Committee. Virtually the entire membership par- 
ticipated in some way in the examining process. 

An informal survey of the membership of the 
Committee yields the following profile. Eight 
members had served on the previous Committee. 
Seven had served on the screening committee that 
assisted the Trustees in the search for a director in 
1984. The Committee was grateful for the continuity 
and experience which these members brought to its 
efforts. Six members were library professionals. Six 
were educators. About half the Committee repre- 
sented triends groups or community-based interest 
in the Library. Three were in goveniment. Three 
were business people. All of the members were Library 
users and supporters. 

The Examining Committee was named by the 
Trustees in March of 1986. It held its first meeting 
on March 18, 1986 and its last on March 10, 1987. 
The whole Committee met monthly during the year. 
Its various working groups and subcommittees met 
during the intervals and reported their progress at 
the general meetings. Meetings took place in the 
Trustees Room, in two branches, and in the Research 

The first task of the Examining Committee was 
to define its job and to determine an approach. Four 
members were assigned to review the findings ot 
the preceding Committee and report on the status 
of their implementation. By and large, the results 

of that review are incorporated in the main body of 
this report under the appropriate subjects. 

The C\)mmittee decided to organize itself into 
seven working subcommittees, each of which would 
examine a particular aspect of the Boston Public 
Library system. Four of these corresponded to the 
subcommittees employed by the preceding Com- 
mittee. These dealt with branches, the central library, 
funding, and public relations. Three new groups 
were created to study friends groups, stafFing, and 
technology. The report of each of these subcom- 
mittees will follow as approved by its membership 
and the general membership. 

The Examining Committee was given a com- 
pletely free hand by the Trustees in the conduct of 
its business. This is testimony to the openness of 
leadership increasingly characteristic of the Board 
anci the Library in general. In addition, we received 
full support 111 every sense from the Director and 
his management staff Without this support, our 
work would have been infinitely more difficult and 
correspondingly less pleasant. The Director addressed 
the Committee early in its work and discussed his 
priorities and concerns. In addition, he met with 
individuals and working groups as the examination 
progressed. The Committee found this most helpful 
and encourages future Examining Committees to 
insist upon access to and close communication with 
the Director St;iff throughout the system were most 
cooperative. Their patience and willingness to share 
their experiences were invaluable. 

Observations and Recommendations 

It has been said by some in recent years that the 
spirit has gone out of the public library movement 
in the United States. According to this argument, 
the public library has grown weary and irrelevant. 
It is no longer on the new frontier of community 
education. In its place is conjured up the image of a 
futuristic high tech information system which will 
deliver material to people in their schools, work 
places, and homes more rapidly, more comprehen- 
sively, than a traditional library equipped with mere 
books and documents ever could. In addition, the 
Boston Public Library experienced in recent years 
a period of relative desolation which generated its 
own sense of pessimism. While not all of its problems 
have been solved, by any means, it is the view of 
the 1986-87 Examining Committee that the Boston 
Public Library has emerged from a difficult time in 


its history and stands now on the thrcsliold ot a 
renaissance. We cannot say that this puts to rest 
darker predictions as to the future of public libraries 
in general, but we teel that it points to a promising 
future for this library. 

It has become conventional wisdom to proclaim 
that the present moment is absolutely critical and 
that one must grasp every opportunity it offers if 
one is to be successful today and build wisely for 
tomorrow. In our judgment, this really is a critical 
time in the life of the Boston Public Library system. 
It is a time of revitalization, of expansive and inno- 
vative spirit. It's a time of increasing resources. 
Choices are being made now which will set the 
Library's course into the twenty-first century. Actions 
taken now and in the immediate future will cast 
long shadows in the lite of the institution and should 
bejudged accordingly. 

The law says very little about the duties ot the 
Examining Committee except that it examine and 
report. It does call for the appointment ot a com- 
mittee every year, though. This has not been con- 
sistently done, in part because it may seem somewhat 
unnecessary and unproductive to assemble a tairly 
large group each spring, essentially to repeat the 
examining process just completed by the outgoing 
committee. Such committees arc at risk of becoming 
little more than nuisances and their reports endlessly 
repetitious and unread. It would be undesirable to 
respond to this possibility by relegating Examining 
Committees to a meaningless role, having them 
submit cursory reports as a matter of form. The 
Examining Committee should serve a purpose in 
the administration of the system. It should not be 
called just to satisfy a legal requirement. Its work 
should be perceived to be useful and its fiiutings 
should be actciressed, one way or the other. 

One approach to the accomplishment of this goal 
within practical limitations might be to convene 
annually a smaller and relatively specialized Exam- 
ining Committee to study a limited number of spe- 
cific subjects or issues. Automation, collection 
development, literacy, the relationships c:)f libraries 
to schools, and the future of branches are examples 
of subjects that might be studied. The mini-Exam- 
ining Committee would have considerable flexibility. 
It could be mandated or could choose one, two, or 
even three areas ot investigation in a given year. 
Every third year the larger full committee of 20 to 
30 would be convened to conduct a comprehensive 
examination ot the Library, as is now the practice, 
it not the theory. 

To ensure the effectiveness of Examining Com- 
mittees, there should be regular follow-up to their 

reports. We urge that future committees continue 
the practice ot monitoring the implementation of 
the recommendations of their predecessors. Further, 
we suggest that the Trustees adopt the habit of 
reporting in a timely way actions that they have 
taken or decline to take on specific recommendations. 
In addition, the present Examining Committee 
requests the opportunity to meet informally with 
the Tnistees for the purpose of disaissing its findings 
and entertaining cjuestions. To repeat for emphasis, 
the Examining Committee process should be a useful 
tool. No Trustee who has worked to assemble a 
committee and no citizen who has served on one 
should be satisfied with anything less. 

The need for long-range planning was a rectirring 
theme in the investigations of the Committee. 
Management articulated it often. It emerged in the 
findings of several of the subcommittees focusing 
on specific program areas. We recommend it to the 
Trustees as a matter of overriding concern, partic- 
ularly in this watershed period for the Library. 

The Committee placed suggestion boxes in each 
branch and in the General and Research Libraries 
during the month of September. Approximately 
500 responses were collected. Many were interesting 
and helpful, but the Committee did not have the 
capability to analyze and study them as carefully as 
It would have liked. It is recommended that the 
responses be regularly collected from the permanent 
Boston Public Library suggestion boxes and action 
taken as appropriate, also that the data be retained 
for two years, during which it be made available to 
Trustees, management, staff, and Examining 
Committee members upon request. The Library 
should acknowledge serious suggestions from users. 

The visits of Examining Committee members 
can be confusing and distracting to Library staft. 
Many apparently do not know what the Committee 
is and does or whom it represents — the Trustees, 
City Hall, Beacon Hill? It would be helpful if the 
Trustees could in the future issue an announcement 
at the beginning of an E.xaminmg Committee cycle 
explaining the role of this body, informing staff that 
Committee members will be visiting facilities and 
contacting stafT, and requesting everyone concerned 
to cooperate fully. 


The 1986-1987 Examining C'ommittee draws the 
following conclusions from the findings of its 


Frcin Row: William Johnson, Vice Chair; Bcrthc M. Gaines, Trustee and Chair of Examining Committee; Barbara Oakcs; 
Kathleen Kelly Satut; Jane M. Stahl; Arthur Curley, Director and Librarian; Renee Glass; Brunetta R. Wolfman; Jovita 
Fontanez; Kevin F Moloney, Trustee. Second Row: Marianne Rea Luthin, Trustee; Deborah Thomas; Robert Smith; Frances 
Howe; William Hennessey; V. Paul Deare; Joseph H. Deary II; Milton Glass; William Buckingham. Third Row: Donald 
Oakes; Paul J. Lynch; Robert Mulligan; Robert D Stueart; Paul Faircloth; Rodney Armstrong; Joseph F Carey Not praciit: 
Ralph Crandall; Kathryn Downing; Michael Fung; Joseph J. King; Diana Lam; Tunney Lee; Bettina A. Norton; Aurora 

Central Library 

1 . Challenging years He ahead for the Research 
Library. The restoration of the McKim building 
will dramatize the role of BPL as "palace of the 
people" and will serve as a catalyst for the func- 
tional revitalization of services to provide a sound 
basis for twenty-first century operation. 

2. For the General Library, the opportunity is at 
hand to enhance its image as central library ot the 
system, offering a broad range ot services to a 
diverse clientele while assuming an active lead- 
ership and support role toward the branch Libraries. 


1 . Staff morale in the branches appears to be good. 
Many previously vacant positions have been tilled. 

The Committee noted an optimistic sense among 
staff that plans which have recently been formu- 
lated will result ill a better library system in the 

2. On the other hand, many longstanding physical 
shortcomings of the branch facilities which were 
identified in earlier reports have yet to be 

3. Circulation is a particularly important indicator 
of branch activity. This is reflected in the fact that 
the branches continue to circulate twice as many 
titles as the central library. 

4. With renovation of their ficilities, the statls ot the 
branches are quite capable of meeting the growing 
informational needs of their neighborhood 



1. There are 12 active friends groups in the BFL 
system. Aside from the obvious commonahty of 
purpose, there are no organizational Hnks among 
the various groups, nor is there a typical pattern 
of develop ment . 

2. Of the 12 active friends groups, six have been in 
existence more than five years and five have ful- 
filled the essential legal and financial requirements 
of formal organization. The incorporation of three 
more friends groups is pending. The hve groups 
of more recent origin reflect varying states of 
stability and strength, ranging from the small but 
active to the small and shaky. 

3. All friends groups carry out in various degrees 
the functions inherent in such associations: fund- 
raising, program enrichment, and community 
public relations. Some projects have been frus- 
trated by union regulations, administrative pro- 
cedure, and the absence of clear policy guidelines. 

4. Evidence of former groups organized during the 
budget crises of the recent past indicated the real- 
istic possibility of re-activating friends groups in 
several branches around a larger purpose. 

5. State, federal, postal, and banking regulations 
governing the incorporation and business ot non- 
profit associations can present an intimidating 
burden to potential organizers ot new groups. 

6. A city-wide umbrella triends organization is at 
this time being developed by representatives ot 
several friends groups throughout the city. 

7. Lesley Lokc, Assistant Director for Community 
Library Services since August 1986, is making a 
serious effort to address the issue of friends groups 
in the BPL. 


1. The BPL is in much better financial condition 
than it was three years ago when the last Exam- 
ining Committee reported. 

2. The Library is about to embark upon a major 
tund-raising campaign in the private sector. The 
Committee applauds and wholeheartedly supports 
this bold initiative. Further, it endorses the Trus- 
tees' selection of a professional fund-raising con- 
sultant as a wise anci necessary step it the campaign 
is to succeed. 

3. Restoration and revitalization of the main build- 
ings and branches of the system are too big a job 
to be undertaken with normal budgetary 

Public Relations 

1 . Public relations has an important role to play in 
the future of the BPL — greater than the role it 
has traditionally played in the life of the institution. 

2. BPL has taken major strides tbrward in the 
development of its public relations capability since 
the last Examining Committee report. 

3. The decision to seek major financial support trom 
the private sector and to undertake a development 
campaign has been a boon to public relations at 
the Library, although the permanent linkage of 
public relations to development should not be a 
foregone conclusion. 

4. The Committee found it useful to look at BPL's 
public relations experience in terms of other cul- 
tural institutions, including the New York Public 


1 . There has been a marked improvement in staff^ 
morale since the report of the last Examining 

2. The personnel office appears to be seriously 
understaffed at both the professional and admin- 
istrative support levels. 

3 . The Library needs a more comprehensive approach 
to recruitment, training, and education. 

4. Despite the salary increases recommended by the 
Hewitt Report, there remains a number of major 
problems adversely atTecting the retain ment of 
statT — specifically in terms of job description, job 
classification, and career development. 

5. While the present Board of Trustees is dedicated 
and hardworking and has played a critical role in 
turning the tide of the BPL's ebbing fortunes, 
there is some indication that the Board's mem- 
bership is too small to meet its expanding 

Technology and Networking 

1 . Probably the greatest change occurring in libraries 
today is in the area of technology and networking. 
BPL has been hampered in its ability to keep 
abreast o( this change because ot inadequate 

2. BPL has shown that it is struggling to come to 
terms with change and with its role in a library 
world dominated by new technology. We assume 
with confidence that the Library will catch up. 

3. A major part of BPL's problem lies in replacing 
an already existing system of partially automated, 
partially antiquated components. 



The 1986-1987 Examining Coniniittcc makes the 
following specific recommendations based on the 
work and findings of its seven subcommittees: 

Central Library 

1. That management take action to ensure that all 
affected statTare kept fully and currently intbrmed 
throughout the McKim restoration of the impact 
of the project on services. 

2. That the upgrading of automated systems in the 
central library — particularly those relating to cir- 
culation and security — be given a high priority. 

3. That cataloging backlogs and the prioritizing of 
cataloging and acquisition work receive immediate 

4. That a more formal approach to staff training and 
development be adopted. 

5. That the use of a viable remote storage facility be 
secured before the McKim restoration begins. 
This facility could house unused and uncataloged 
collections and provide temporary storage for 
materials displaced during the restoration. 

6. That the new outreach program to handicapped 
citizens, which we view as an important initiative, 
be actively encouraged, monitored, and supported. 


1 . That systems be developed to ensure that repairs 
to branch facilities are performed correctly and 

2. That the central administration find ways to sup- 
port the branches more effectively. 


1. That the Trustees, the administration, and the 
City-Wide Friends together tiraw up a statement 
ot guidelines to clarify the rights, responsibilities, 
and boundaries of friends groups. 

2. That the Trustees seek the formulation of a policy 
governing the ways and means volunteers may 
serve the Boston Public Library system. 

3. That the Trustees, recognizing the role of friends 
groups in the realms of public relations and fund- 
raising, include friends group representation on 
the Capital Fund-raising Committee. 


1. That earlier recommendations be reaffirmed that 
3.5 per cent or more of the c^ty's total departmental 

expenditures be allocated tor the Library. 

2. That private funds should not be construed to 
repLice public funding. They are intended to sup- 
plement public support of BFL. 

3 . That the Trustees decide whether the current fund- 
raising is to be a one-time project, or additional 
private funding is to be sought on a continuous 
basis to expand services, programs, holdings, and 
facilities. If the activity is to be ongoing, careful 
attention must be paid to the general recommen- 
dations contained in the December 1986 feasibility 
study of the fund-raising consultant to the 

4. That Associates of the BPL, friends groups, and 
volunteers in general have an important role to 
play 111 the fund-raising process. The Committee 
recommends that they be encouraged to participate 
individually or as an entity, as appropriate. 

5. That a core group be formed of business, cailtural, 
and educational leaders of the city to work actively 
on behalf of the fund-raising campaign. 

6. That a system ot accountability be established to 
counter the historical perception of misuse of flinds 
by city agencies. This system should be open to 
public examination and should detail the intent 
of donors and the ultimate use of donated funds. 

7. That a graphic display of the progress of the 
development campaign be mounted in the main 

Public Relations 

1 . That the Trustees develop by the end of the airrent 
campaign a long-range plan tor the public relations 
flinction of the BPL which evaluates the strengths 
and weaknesses of alternate approaches, including 
the relationship ot public relations to development. 

2. That the Trustees secure the services of a pubHc 
relations firm to support the Library's internal 

3. That the Trustees consider the creation of a friends 
media advisory group. 

4. That plans be made for the establishment of a 
major sales operation in the restored McKim 


1 . That three more professional staff positions be 
added to the personnel office. These should be 
filled by individuals with extensive personnel 

2. That information relating to job openings and 
their descriptions should be posted publicly and 


promptly in the personnel ottice and m all 

3. That the Trustees develop and implement a com- 
prehensive program tor statt training and devel- 
opment which should include realistic levels ot 
funding for coursework. 

4. That an effective aftirmativc action plan he devel- 
oped and implemented to recruit minority group 
members to the professional statt. 

5. That the Trustees reconsider the Library's present 
posture of opposition to job sharing, ficxtime, 
and part-time work. This opposition is widely 
seen as an impediment to recruiting. 

6. That the Trustees raise the pay scale for aides and 
shelvers. The low wages paid aides and shelvers 
make it difficult to fill these jobs. Shelving of 
materials has become a major problem. 

7. That the Trustees stuciy the possibility of an 
expansion m the size of its membership to permit 
it to include a larger number of community leaders 
and reflect a broader range of interests. 

8. That work continue toward a comprehensive 
review ot all positions in the system. The Com- 
mittee applauds the Trustees' decision to retain a 
consultant to conduct such a review. 

9. That an intern program be established to increase 
the number of students in library science and 
related disciplines who work at the Library as 
part ot their professional training. 


1 . That a mechanism be devised to involve all inter- 
ested parties m current technological developments 
affecting BPL. 

2. That an office of automation be established within 
the Library and that it be responsible tor interaction 
with cluster groups and other institutions as well 
as clevelopments within BPL itself 

3. That the next Examining Committee take a par- 
ticularly close look at the progress made by the 
Library in this area since this report. 


Reports of 

the Subcommittees 

Central Library 

General Library: 
Joseph F. Carey 
Brunetta R. Wolfnian 

Research Library: 
Aurora Salvucci 
Ralph Crandall 
Joseph F. Carey 

McKim Biiildiii^: 
Wilham Buckingham 
Joseph H. Deary II 
Joseph F Carey 

General Library 

The General Library delivers a broad range ot services 
to a multitude of constituents, ranging from the 
recent immigrant seekmg to develop new literary 
skills to the university professor seeking a rare volume 
in conjunction with his research. Seven hundred 
thousand volumes on the shelves and an average 
daily circulation of 2,200 volumes indicate a large 
and diverse body of users placing demands upon 
the holdings every day, a constant challenge for a 
busy library. 

In its examination of the General Library, the 
Committee was struck by the prevailing optimism 
among statt members. What follows should be reaci 
with this observation in mind. Using the 1983-1984 
Examining Committee report as a base, conditions 
overall have improved in such problem areas as 
missing titles, reserves, and insufficient shelf space, 
although the reserves problem persists to some 
degree. While staff felt theft was still a problem, not 
all agreed that the introduction of an automated 
circulation system and the simultaneous establish- 
ment of a viable security system were the panacea 
in this area. However, the Examining Committee 
urges that the two systems become operable with 
all due speed in the hope that the problems noted 
above will be greatly reduced in the near future. 

Outreach programs in adult, young adult, and 
children's services should be encouraged and 
expanded, particularly in the areas of literacy and 
Eni2;lish as a second lano-uacie. The oncrointr "Never 

Too Late" and the Rabb Lecture series are outstanding 
examples of the BRL ventures into the outreach 
area. Their continued success over a period of time 
should encourage those who set policy to be con- 
stantly pursuing viable methods of expansion in 
this field. 

The Library deserves high praise for reaching out 
to handicapped citizens. The establishment of the 
Access Center for the disabled which will provide 
library services for the deaf and hearing impaired, 
blind and visually impaired patrons, and the physi- 
cally disabled is a most praiseworthy endeavor. The 
program, nc:)w 111 its formative stages, should be 
encouraged, monitored, and supported fiscally with 
federal, state, and local monies. 

Another program deserving the highest praise 
concerns exhibits in the foyer of thejobison building. 
Responsible staff should be complimented on the 
uncommonly high quality ot these exhibits. 

Finally, the Committee notes that the Library is 
going through a period of vast technological change 
and recommends that all staff members be made 
aware of the impact of technology upon library 
operations through the various channels ot com- 
mmiicadon. In addition, the Library should embark 
upon a more formal program ot staff development 
and training in general, as well as in the specific area 
of new technology. 

Research Library 

In contrast to the Cieneral Library whose physical 
plant yolinson building) will be relatively untouched 
by the McKim building restoration, the Research 
Library will be profoundly affected by the physical 
changes inherent in the McKim undertaking. Many 
of the Committee's observations undoubtedly have 
been noted by library staff and incorporated in the 
restoration plan in such a way as to ameliorate many 
of the persistent and vexing difficulties which staff 
have faced over the years. Moreover, even though 
some of the observations are quite consistent with 
observations made in the most recent Examining 
Committee report, it was deemed prudent to let the 
present report stand in the hope that the repetition 
of the observations might act as a further catalyst 
fbr the promotion of physical, programmatic, and 
administrative changes needed. 

Inadequate operational space remains a problem. 
There is a lack of shelf space in the stacks, a lack of 
work space in many departments, and insufficient 
space for projects and exhibits. In some instances 


where new equipment would enhance departmental 
functioning, space problems act as a constraint and 
the equipment is not purchased. Fart ot the problem 
is the clash between aesthetics and tunction. It is 
hoped that the McKim restoration will result in a 
more harmonious solution to this problem. One 
wants the grandeur ot the McKim building pre- 
served, even enhanced. One also wants space for a 
functioning twenty-first-century library. 

Perhaps the major obstacle to the correction ot 
Research Library operational deficiencies cited in 
this or prior reports lies in a chronic inability to 
hire, train, and retain competent statL Some depart- 
ments cited a need for personnel to aid in book 
delivery and stack work. Other departments telt the 
salary structure was such that they could not retain 
skilled personnel after hiring and training them. 

Perhaps the major asset is the feeling of good will 
that pervades the atmosphere. It is true that quarters 
remain cramped, amenities lacking, and some 
departmental problems continue to dety solution. 
Yet the statTm general looks forward to the McKim 
restoration, increased city and state tinancial support, 
and greater budgetary stability 

With this in mind, the following is a list ot concerns 
expressed by statTto the Committee: cataloging (on 
which more will be said), equipment and materials, 
and autonomy. The term autonomy probably best 
sums up many of the concerns held by statl operating 
certain departments on a day-to-day basis. The for- 
mulation ot requests for needed equipment and 
material often seems a pointless e.xercise. Many 
requests go completely unheeded. Statt are not reg- 
ularly intbmicd as to the disposition ot their requests; 
as It were, they simply disappear into the bureaucracy. 
This fact leads staff to raise the issue of autonomy 
in this and other matters. This is and has been a 
problem in any large public entity. The Committee 
teels obligated to reiterate staff concern in this report. 

The following specific suggestions by Research 
Department staff are worthy ot note: a color pho- 
tocopying machine for the Fine Arts Department, 
installation of a photographic service within the 
Boston Public Library, adoption of a procedure by 
the Microtext Department which would wash and 
preserve film rather than ordering new replacement 
film, and an updated basic handbook of Boston 
Public Library services. Each department should 
also have an up-to-date handbook. 

Cataloging, as the term is used here, refers to the 
necessary processing of the massive amounts of 
materials which have been acquired in the past and 
continue to be acquired on a daily basis. It is discerned 

by the Committee to be both a major and a complex 
problem — and is recognized as such by top man- 
agement. The Committee recommends the follow- 
ing: first, that responsible administrators look at the 
current processes of acquisition and cataloging extant 
in all departments before adding staff to solve the 
problem. Second, that priorities be established — 
the technical services department cannot process all 
the materials ordered by the public service depart- 
ments. Third, that more adequate physical space be 
made available immediately, no matter what pro- 
cessing policy is applied to correct the situation. 

It is interesting to note that several responsible 
administrators have addressed the physical space 
problem and that each tlid so from a difTerent per- 
spective. The Committee has chosen to make its 
recommendation regarding space needs of the Cen- 
tral Library in the final paragraph of its statement 
on the McKim building. 

McKim Building 

The desire to restore the McKim buOding's splendid 
interiors to their original beauty is not new. It was 
indeed a major motivation tor the construction of 
the Johnson building: moving the General Library 
as well as extensive stock space and speaalized work 
areas to the newer building made it possible for 
many rooms in the McKim building to return to 
public uses appropriate to their onginal design. This 
possibility is now being realized. 

Planning for the proposed restoration is well 
underway. The Library has retained the arcliitectural 
firm of Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott, 
along with a team of consultants in such specialties 
as structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering; 
building and art restoration; lighting, acoustics, fire 
protection, elevators, and food service. Their objec- 
tives are still those set forth in the StuU Associates 
Report in 1981: 

1 . Conser\'e the building itself and the integral works 
of art. 

2. Reorganize the uses of various rooms to reopen 
prominent rooms to the public, improve the 
delivery system, anci accommodate changes in 

3. Replace decayed heating, electrical, and plumbing 
systems to prevent damage to the building and 
the art and to provide climate control. 


Working with the Library's building committee, 
the architects have settled on the reallocation of 
functions in the McKini building. Only a few high- 
lights ot their proposal can be reporteci here. From 
the entrance hall a new public stair will lead to the 
basement, where maps, government documents, 
and new lavatories will be located. It is hoped that 
these rooms will be somewhat cirier than they pres- 
ently are. Flanking the entrance hall will be e.xliibition 
and lecture rooms. Along Boylston Street at this 
level will be a tearoom and a newspaper room. At 
the Bates Hall level the catalogue, delivery, and peri- 
odical rooms will extend along Boylston Street. At 
both ot these levels ample new halls with stairs and 
wheelchair lifts will serve as clearer, more convenient 
links to the Johnson building. 

The timetable for the projects calls for the com- 
pletion ot preliminary plans and estimates in the 
spring of 1987. At this point the Library will need 
to make some choices, reconciling the extent of the 
work to be done with the available funds. The next 
step is the preparation of detailed documents for a 
public bidding process. The earliest probable date 
for the beginning of construction is late in the sum- 
mer of 1988. 

Work on the building itself will begin with those 
unglamourous essentials of plumbing, wiring, and 
climate control and proceed to architectural res- 
toration and renovation. Finally, after the dirt and 
disruption are past, will come the cleaning and res- 
toration of the mural and ceiling paintings. It is our 
hope that this great task will be successfully com- 
pleted, and that the manifold glories of this palace 
for the people will be preserved and revealed for 
many years to come. 

During this period of restoration the Research 
Library will remain open. Obviously, there will be 
disruptions, temporary statTand function relocations 
and the ever-present annoyances related to the con- 
struction process such as sound, dust, and displace- 
ment. Planning involving the entire staff is a must. 
The need to know is of prime importance and must 
be handled forthrightly and skillfully. One or more 
st;itl with a good sense of logistics will be a necessity 
in this venture. 

Finally, for the foreseeable future the Boston Public 
Library must have a viable remote storage entity. 
This will do much to relieve the burden of inadec]uate 
shelving in the Johnson and McKim buildings. 
Certainly, the McKim restoration will act as a catalyst 
in this acquisition, but logic dictates that the acc]ui- 
sition should occur now, prior to the start of dis- 
placement and construction. 


Kathryn Downing 
William F. Hennessey, Chair 
Joseph J. King 
Barbara Oakes 
Donald Oakes 

The subcommittee on branches prepared and dis- 
tributed a c^uestionnaire to gather information about 
branch operations, and from the responses we were 
able to identify some strengths and problems. Dur- 
ing the course of our visits, we found the staff a 
highly motivated, dedicated group. Morale in most 
branches is good, especially since the new salary 
structure recommencied in the Hewitt Compensa- 
tion Study has been implemented. Staff members 
were singularly cooperative in assisting us during 
our tours of their facilities, and offered constructive 
suggestions or reinforced our belief in needs which 
earlier reports had identified. Indeed, as the visits 
extendetl, we met several newly-appointed or pro- 
moted staff members, particularly new branch chil- 
dren's librarians. 

Several branches have community activities which 
are ongoing daily, especially those which involve 
senior citizens' groups and whole classes or grades 
of pupils from nearby schools. Other branches con- 
centrate on evening meetings and lectures, after- 
school story hours, and the like, to bring the Library 
into the life of their neighborhoods. Illiteracy as a 
problem is being addressed in some branches through 
various programs. One of the more successful is 
called "Reading Is Fundamental" (RIF). It strives to 
arouse an excitement tor reading by offering free 
books to different age groups to take home and 
enjoy. Teachers in the schools near the three partic- 
ipating branches of Charlestown, Dudley, and Fields 
Corner bring their pupils to the branch where the 
children pick their own books. This project, partially 
tlinded by Fidelity Investments, shows great potential 
as the city comes to terms with its obligation to 
tackle Boston's adult illiteracy problem. 

In at least two neighborhood branches there is 
reason tor rejoicing over improvements in the phys- 
ical status of buildings. First, during the past year 
BPL formally received from the Druker family the 
building which now houses the Orient Heights 
Branch Library. This branch, though small and 
understaffed, has an outstanding record of book use 
and programming, as well as initiative and creativity 
111 obtaining needed equipment. Secondly, the Friends 
of the West Roxbury Branch Library, after working 
extensively and cooperatively with central and branch 


library personnel, the Publie Facilities Department 
(the city agency in control ot all municipal buildings), 
and its designated architect, saw their collective 
energies come to fruition in February 1987 when 
the Trustees voted to accept plans for a new branch 
wing, an addition larger than the original building. 
It will incorporate many of their ideas as well as 
newer library concepts already proved useful in areas 
beyond Boston. West Roxbury will now be pro- 
moted to the status of district library. 

If this year's report on branches could stop here 
on such an optimistic note and with such positive 
observations, we would indeed be pleased. Unfor- 
tunately, that is not the case. A review of many ot 
the recommendations and even of the most recent 
requests spelled out in the 1983-1984 Examining 
Committee report and of the 1986 progress report 
on recommendations indicates that a great deal 
remains unaccomplished. 

The most widespread deficiency is m the area ot 
repairs or, more correctly, disrepairs, both structural 
and cosmetic. Damage from multiple root leaks 
remains appallingly unimproved. Heating and air 
conditioning conduits have been misplaced or are 
not functioning properly. Window shades are ripped, 
damageci, missing, or lacking cords. Empty mullion 
framings gape in windows where lights of glass 
were shattered long ago. Cement pillars, porticoes, 
and masonry on stairs have crumbled. Flooring and 
parquetry are chipped or lacking pieces. Drapes, 
carpeting, and rugs to enhance acoustics or cover 
worn flooring are uinmstalled. Rooms for com- 
miuiity activities lack fliniiture and other equipment. 
Graffiti glower outside on building bricks or stone. 
The custodians we met work conscientiously on 
maintenance, but responsive, speedy support trom 
central appears not to exist. Perhaps changing cus- 
todial hours to coincide with library hours, plus 
insuring adequate maintenance staffing with shared 
staggered-duty covering crews authorized to make 
minor building repairs, would help. 

Other areas of serious concern e.xist in the branches 
in addition to their structural integrity and appear- 
ance. Ethnic materials in the appropriate branches 
have not kept pace with the needs ot the library's 
clientele. This is true in the neighborhoods of both 
newer and older arrivals: Cambodians, Chinese, 
ItaUans, Laotians, Spanish, Vietnamese. Foreign- 
language books and other materials should be chosen 
by experts tor their readability and appeal, not merely 
because they happen to be in the called-tbr language. 

Construction ot ramps for hanciicapped accessi- 
bility is in progress but not complete. Better security, 

staff protection, burglar alarm systems, and smoke 
detectors still need to be provided. There ought to 
be a uniform policy for the use and access to public 
rest rooms as well as to community bulletin boards. 
We sensed that in a tew branches, volunteer assistance 
or friends groups would not be greatly missed if 
they were withdrawn. 

Almost all of the preceding litany has been reated 
in previous reports. Concerns, such as staffing and 
job descriptions, speedy dissemination of current 
books, magnetic tape systems to decrease theft, 
public relations, and fund-raising, mentioned in 
earlier Examining Committee literature, do impact 
on the branches, but also affect the central library 
and are being addressed by other subcommittees. 

Despite these lamentations, we did get the firm 
feeling trom our visits and interviews that the 
branches are alive and well and are managed by staff 
who are encouraged by and enthusiastic about the 
new spirit of leadership and competence demon- 
strated in many of the recent appointments and pro- 
motions. It was noted that the Board of Trustees 
has in fact begun holding meetings in the branch 
libraries. The Director has come to the branches for 
first-hand accounts and to give information directly 
to staff Over and over again we detected an atmo- 
sphere of hope and new vitality, of optimism about 
immediate and long-range renovation plans, of 
contidence that positive change is within reach. 

For many years the branch libraries have circulated 
rougWy twice as many books as the McKim-Johnson 
central library. This is an important statistic. The 
subcommittee feels that the book circulation and 
general use of the branches would increase dramat- 
ically it repairs were done to make them once more 
attractive. We recognize the importance of all the 
functions of the central library and acknowledge its 
essential role as the library of last recourse, as well 
as its leadership of the Boston Library Consortium 
and the Eastern Massachusetts Regional Library 
System. We, too, are proud of the priceless and 
scholarly collections in the Rare Book, Music, and 
Fine Arts Departments; but in this populistic era, 
as the twentieth century winds down, we feel 
strongly that the branches should receive fiill support 
also from central administration for their community 
and local undertakings. We note that most of the 
items branches lack have already been budgeted. 
What must be done are follow-through reports on 
repairs and related branch requests until they are 
completed, verified, and paid tor. 

Branch libraries had their national beginning in 
Boston in 1871 . As a vigilant parent, the mam library 


supervised their development — not as tolerated 
stepchildren but as beloved and encouraged siblings. 
The words of the first Trustees in their iSs2 report 
arejust as poignant for us today: 

And yet there can be no doubt that such reading 
ougiit to be furnished to all, as a matter of public 
policy and duty, on the same principle that we 
furnish free education, and in fact as a part, and a 
most miportant part, of the education of all. For 
it has been rightly judged that . . . the means of 
general information should be so diffused that 
the largest possible nuiiiber of persons should be 
induced to read and understand questions . . . 
which are constantly presenting themselves . . . 
That this can be done — that is, that such lihiarics 
can be collected, and that they will be used to a 
much wider extent than libraries have ever been 
used before . . . there can be no doubt; and if it 
can be done anywhcK, it can be done here in Boston; 
for no population . . . was ever before so well 
htted to become a reading, self-cultivating pop- 
ulation, as the population of our city is at this 


Diana Lam 
Robert Smith 
Jane Stahl, Chair 

The 1986-1987 Examining Committee's subcom- 
mittee on friends groups was formulated as a one- 
time survey ot the background and present status oi 
friends groups throughout the aty, in order to bring 
that subject to the thoughtful attention of the Trus- 
tees, the administration of the Boston Public Library, 
and the interested public. The ensuing details, sta- 
tistics, and impressions have yielded several issues 
ot concern for the groups and for the Library in 
general and will provide a point of comparison for 
a subsequent subcommittee, perhaps in three to 
five years' time. 

hi preliminary meetings we created a two-part 
survey document ciesigned to elicit not only the 
relevant tacts but also the cwerall climate concenimg 
triends groups in each library. The first part, to be 
completed by the librarian in charge, dealt with 
his/her knowledge of past and present tViends groups 
and the nature of his/her experience there or elsewhere 
with such groups. The second and longer part, to 
be forwarded where applicable to whoever was the 
nominal or titular heacl of each group, bore upon 

the organization, programs, and character of each 

We divided the entire system of 2 5 branches, Kir- 
stein, and the central library into units of nine. Alter 
a couple of false starts in the form of personal visits 
by one committee member, it became apparent that 
addressing and mailing the c]uestionnaire to the 
"Librarian in Charge" was the desirable modus oper- 
andi, as it assured that the surveys would be directed 
to the appropriate persons first, to be tilled out at 
their convenience, after an opportunity for some 

Several weeks were allowed over the course of 
the summer for the completion and return of the 
questionnaires. By our first review meeting in Sep- 
tember, the bulk of the data had been mailed m; and 
in the following month, nearly all the remaining 
surveys were returned. However, in the cases of the 
Brighton, Faneuil, and East Boston /Orient Heights 
libraries, there were no replies despite fbllow-up 
phone calls. Several branch librarians seemed to 
believe that the interviews carried out with them 
by an earlier Examining Committee were sufficiently 
exhaustive, if not exhausting. Most cooperated, 
nonetheless. Perhaps a system-wide communication 
from the Trustees to the professional staff, announc- 
ing the imminence of the Examining Committee 
and spelling out its responsibilities, might have given 
a more official cast to our questionnaire. 

Friends groups in the Boston Public Library have 
developed m a way that differs from the national 
pattern. Generally speaking, a friends group is 
organized first around the central library, perhaps 
but not inevitably encouraging and stimulating the 
formation ot satelHte friends groups in branches. 
That has not been the case in Boston, where several 
triends groups antedate the founding of the central 
Associates of the BPL in 1972. This probably reflects 
the vigorously defended autonomy and ethnic 
identities ot our well-defined neighborhoods, as well 
as the central library's historically passive interest in 
such movements. 

A consequence of this atypical pattern is that there 
has been no organizational link among the groups 
and little exchange or sharing of information of 
mutual interest with the exception of the Save Our 
Libraries crisis response movement m 1981. Another 
drawback has been the absence of standardized 
administrative policy concerning the rights, obli- 
gations, and oppormnities of friends groups. Without 
the resources ot peer group back-up and adminis- 
trative acknowledgement, each effort toward the 
organization of a group within a branch has suc- 


ceedcd, failed, stagnated, or flourished according to 
the persistence of the would-be members and the 
good will of the librarian. EtTorts are currently 
underway to form a city-wide friends committee to 
support the BPL and serve as a resource to branch 
friends groups. Given strong representation from 
branch friends groups and individuals from around 
the city, this could be the round table for impressive 
gains in the numbers ot friends and their effectiveness 
throughout Boston. 

Of the 27 libraries reviewed (25 branches plus 
Kirstein and central), 13 have active friends groups 
ranging in size from 680 for the Associates to 15 at 
Egleston; and m age, tVom 19^2 for Jamaica Plain 
to the brand new Roslindale Friends. Others are 
Charlestown, West Roxbury Dudley, Hyde Park, 
Lower Mills, Connolly, South Boston /Washington 
Village, Brighton, East Boston. Most of these have 
achieved an impressive degree of formal organization 
including state incorporation, by-laws, federal non- 
profit status, state sales tax exemption, non-profit 
bulk mailing permit, local bank account, and a reg- 
ular, effective schedule of meetings, programs, and 
fund-raising events. Their mission statements vary 
in language, but all reflect the desire to serve the 
needs ot the library and to strengthen the links 
between the library and the community. Frequently 
this has meant trying to help solve some of the 
branch library's problems such as personnel short- 
ages, curtailed hours, and maintenance and repair 
delays. Other groups have made substantial capital, 
in-kinti and equipment contributions. The greatest 
successes seem to be 111 the area of providing addi- 
tional programs m each branch. These include puppet 
shows, local history lectures, school visits, art 
exhibits, summer reading, folk singers — an amazing 
panoply of cultural events aimed toward bringing 
the community into the library and extending the 
library's reach into the community. 

The problems ot the groups vary according to 
the particular library. The smaller ones cope with a 
shortage ot volunteer manpower and manhours as 
they struggle to maintain momentum. Larger groups 
are more likely to get entangled in procedural issues 
as they strive to keep an equilibrium between the 
needs ot the community and the imperatives of the 
institution. The time and energy requirements of 
the volunteer leadership anci the bureaucratic paper- 
work essential to each of these organizations are 
otten onerous. Their fulfillment is wordless testi- 
mony to the omnipresence anci constancy of Bos- 
tonians' sense of concern and custodianship tbr their 
city's cultural and educational institutions. 

The branches where there arc inactive or no friends 
groups disclose the other side of the story. Many of 
these had friends groups in the '50s and '60s when 
the neighborhood's population was different and 
probably more stable, as m Mattapan and West End. 
Again in the early '80s under the threat of ftoposition 
2'/2 and repeated budget cuts, friends groups sprang 
up to contront the crises. As conditions have 
improved, the motivation for these groups has 
diminished, as in the South End and at Adams Street. 
However, the strength mustered at that time of cut- 
backs most surely played a role in affecting public 
and political opinions, one of the most important 
goals ot triends groups, in branches where there is 
the potential nucleus of a friends group, there is a 
different sort of problem: the perceived perplexities 
and responsibilities ot tormal legal organization 
intimidate those, often older people, who might 
otherwise be willing participants in an existing 
group. Also, it is not always clear, on either side, 
what the librarian's role is, uis-a-vis a friends group. 
Several librarians, seeming to presume that formation 
of a friends group would be their responsibility, 
have said that they don't have the time or the help to 
spare in that direction. In other instances, librarians 
have expended imaginative but apparently tutile 
efforts in attempts to create interest m such a group. 
Both extremes express the misperception that the 
existence of a triends group is just one more library 
program depending initially it not permanently on 
the librarian. A librarian may be and otten is the 
catalyst in putting together and encouraging the 
people who might have an interest in being friends, 
as at Dudley, Egleston, and South Boston/Wash- 
ington Village. On the other hand, a quick look at 
the successtul triends groups in the city indicates 
that a healthy group requires the dedication, loyalty, 
and endurance ot a highly-motivated volunteer 
group — ideally, to be sure, with the enthusiasm and 
support of the librarian. The words ot the Massa- 
chusetts Board of Library Commissioners are per- 
haps misleadingly simple: "The friends supplement 
the functions of the director, the statTand the board 
thus providing the final element in a good public 
library team." It seems to us a good public library 
team balances the supplementary contributions of 
friends with the responsibilities of the protessional 
staff and of the trustees in an atmosphere ot mutual 
respect and appreciation. 

The topic of triends groups most recently turned 
up in the Examining Committee report for 1981, 
wherein it was recommended "That the Trustees 
appoint a committee to explore and detiiie organi- 


zation, goals and programs for the Friends" and 
"That the Trustees appoint a tull-tinie professional 
as staff for the Friends." Though neither of these 
recommendations appears to have been acted upon, 
many otlier significant and exciting cliangcs have 
taken place in the BFL in the intervening five years, 
with salutary effects on the morale and welfare of 
friends groups. The appointment in August 1986 
of Lesley Loke, a person with considerable experience 
with friends groups in other cities, as Assistant 
Director tor Community Library Services is one 
such change. The prospect ot a gathering together 
of representatives ot friends groups to share problems 
and solutions is another. Thus, this subcommittee 
report comes to a happy ending. 

Fund Raising 

Paul Faircloth 

Milton Glass 

Renee Glass 

Paul Lynch 

Bettma Norton, C^hair 

The tund-raising subcommittee looked first at rec- 
ommendations of the past Examining Committee 
and any resulting actions taken by the Trustees, the 
Library's administration, or the state or local gov- 
ernments. It next addressed the activities of the 
Library at the present time. Its recommendations 
are based on these two reviews. 

We find the Library to be in much better tinancial 
condition than it was three years ago. The recom- 
mendation ot the 1984 E.xamining Committee was 
that the Library's share of the city's resources be 
equal to or more than 3.5% of whatever are the 
total city departmental expenditures tor a given year 
Although this goal has not yet been realized, the 
percent has risen from a low of 2.4% in FY 1982 to 
2.8% in FY 1984 and 2.9% in FY 1985. The figure 
for FY 1986 is expected to approximate that ot FY 
1985, although the otTicial confirmation was not 
available at the time of this writing. Further, it is 
expected that the percentage increase for FY 1987 
will be substantial. The subcommittee, therefore, 
strongly reiterates the earlier recommendation of a 
goal for the Boston Public Library system of 3. 5% 
of the city's total departmental cxpciidittiivs for any 
given year. 

On the state level, the 1984 report strongly advo- 
cated aiming for the per capita state allocation goal 
of 75 cents under the category, "Library of Last 
Recourse." The allocation keeps rising impressively. 

from $2,073,704 in FY 1984 to $3,517,681 in FY 
1987. The big jump came in 1983, thanks to the 
etforts of the Massachusetts Legislature and such 
independent groups as the Library Lobby, which 
supported the Library administration's Walsh bill. 

The following table gives tunding sources for the 
Library for the past year and current fiscal year: 


FY 1986 FY 1987 

^2,512,535* $16,344,984 

(15,805,238— city alloc. 
539,746— state p. c.) 


ER** 3.218,853 3,33i,3i3 

C4*** 2,371,070 3,517,681 

LSCA**** 18,564 2,158,998 

Trust Funds 219,104 242,000 

Federal -o- 174,543 

$18,540, 126 $25,771,519 

* includes per capita aid to each library in the 
state, trom the state, which is distributed 
through the cities and towns 

** Eastern Region 

*** Library of Last Recourse 

**** Librarv Services and Construction Act 

The subcommittee lauds both the city and state 
governments for their greatly increased support of 
the Library during the past two years. We feel it is 
imperative that the city and state support continue 
to increase if the present revitalization is to be sus- 
tained and private sector tund-raising is to have the 
desired impact. The Library continues to be aggres- 
sive in applying tor federal hands. None was awarded 
to the Library for FY 1986, but it has since received 
a grant from the National Endowment for the 
Humanities for $174,543 to pursue a microform 
project to copy Massachusetts newspapers. 

In 1984, the Tnistees were delegated as contractors 
for a $12,000,000 bond issue administered through 
the Public Facilities Department of the City of 
Boston. In 1985 the authorization was raised to 
$13,400,000. The bond issue was sought in order 
to undertake major repairs to and renovations of the 
central library's McKim building, found to be in 
deplorable condition. The present Trustees and 
Director have built admirably on that impetus, and 
the Library is about to begin a major fund-raising 
campaign in the private sector. 

Historically the administration of the Library has 


shied away trom private sector tund-raisiiig for tear 
that success there would result in curtailment of 
public funds. While this fear may have had some 
basis, this is not the case at the present time. Both 
the state and city governments, as shown in the 
above chart, are very supportive of the public library 
system. Realistically, however, this might not always 
be the case, and an adverse change in the economy 
might force a decrease in budgetary allocations to 
the Library. Also future state and local administra- 
tions may not be as receptive to the Library's needs 
as the current ones. 

Because budgetary allocations have been insuffi- 
cient m the past years, especially in the years from 
1977 through iyS3, normal maintenance of both 
the Library's main building and branches and its 
collections have suffered. However, restoring and 
revitalizing these resources of the Library are too 
big ajob to be undertaken with the ordinary appro- 
priations of the Library, even with the addition of 
the honci issue from the city. Therefore, the com- 
mittee joins the many persons who already have 
expressed beliet in the wisdom of a major fund- 
raising campaign tci address the shortfalls. 

We looked at the Library's existing plans for fund 
raising. The hiring of a very competent fund-raising 
consultant, Robert J. Corcoran Company, which 
has a proven track record in the nonprofit world 
and is also known for its integrity, is a very good — 
even necessary — step. The subcommittee, along 
with the administration and Trustees, realizes that 
fund-raising by a public institution is more difficult 
than by a private nonprofit organization. 

The subcommittee looked at current volunteer 
groups within the Library, with a view to helping 
with the campaign. The Associates of the BPL was 
organized in 1972 "to share and stimulate the work 
ot the Library at many levels of education and 
research." This initial reference in the Annual Report 
ot the Library tor that year goes on to say that, with 
support trom the Associates, "the Library will be 
able to purchase special materials that would be 
beyond our normal budget allocations, ensure the 
repair and restoration of important works already 
in the collections, and by stimulating exhibitions, 
publications and lectures, make the Library's collec- 
tions and services more visible and useful." This 
original description was carefully drafted to leave 
out any implication of major fund-raising for regular 
operations of the Library on the part of this group. 

A survey ot current members of the Associates 
suggests that they still do not see fund-raising as 
their role. They will continue to raise money in a 

low-key way for the system as a whole, run book 
sales, occasionally make purchases for a branch 
library, and sponsor special lectures and other pro- 
grams. Ot course, individual members of the Asso- 
ciates are free to help with the current fund-raising 
campaign. Because of their long-standing experience 
with the Library and prominence m the community, 
we feel that participation in this campaign by mem- 
bers of the Associates would benefit the Library. 

The friends of the Library consist of the central 
Associates group and separate ones for each of several 
branches. Friends groups tbcus on helping their own 
branch libraries first. That is the purpose behind 
their organization. Efforts on behalf of the branch 
libraries are already time-consuming, and Boston 
is a city in which people tend to direct their energies 
towards their own neighborhoods. Nonetheless, we 
feel that the friends role in the campaign is important 
tor several reasons. 

First, the triends groups comprise hundreds of 
active library users and supporters city-wide. They 
are already organized separately and to some degree 
collectively and could help to generate tremendous 
public awareness of and support for the campaign. 
Second, although triends groups have acknowledged 
primary concern with their respective branches, some 
have already expressed willingness to aid the larger 

Some ideas that have already come out of friends 
groups arc: volunteering to help staff the central 
library gift shop, promoting "literary package tours," 
selling book bags, and serving as volunteer guides. 

Inclucling the many triends ot the Library in the 
various campaign activities in meaningtul ways adds 
cohesion to the campaign effort and produces benefits 
for all. We strongly encourage the wishes of the 
administration to involve the friends and heartily 
agree with the Director's statement, "We recognize 
their (triends] own objectives, but a role in the cam- 
paign would be welcome." 

The Library intends to solicit the business sector. 
Towards this end, the tund-raising subcommittee 
otters the following comments. They are limited to 
the subject of stockholder-owned business partici- 
pation in funding the Library. The Trustees must 
decide whether the current fund-raising etTort with 
regard to the McKim building restoration is to be a 
single capital investment funding project, or whether 
private funding is desired beyond McKim in order 
to fund expansion of facilities, broaden programs, 
accumulate additional materials, and revitalize the 
branch system. 

It It is to be a one-time effort, then the Corcoran 


survey results, to the extent tliat the subcommittee 
has been given a synopsis thereof, appear to provide 
an accurate blueprint to success for the one-time 
Si6 million goal. Specifically, the notions of a public 
relations "blitz" etTort, a powerful broad-based 
campaign leadership, and a well-defined business 
target, all under the umbrella of the generous Boston 
Globe Foundation gift, should bring the desired 

If, however, continued private support trom 
business is desired, the more sweeping recommen- 
dations of the Corcoran survey have to be addressed. 
The perception that the Library is simply a city and 
state agency must be dispelled through such actions 
as expanding the Board of Trustees to include busi- 
ness leaders, reinvigorating friends and Associates 
groups, and other actions and programs directed to 
the business community, such as accountability 
reports on income and expenses at frequent intervals. 
These are necessary if we are to convince business 
flinders that the Library is a major cailtural instiaition 
in our city and state, worthy of support and encour- 
agement as a vital link in the chain of cultural orga- 
nizations needed to attraa and hold good employees 
and to enrich the lives of their families. Business 
recognizes that it prospers most in a favorable com- 
miuiity environment. Similarly, corporations would 
welcome the grass-roots participation in the flmding 
process of individual giving by the broader com- 
munity, which is a source that, up to now, has never 
been tapped. 

To implement these changes, it is natural and 
tempting to look at other libraries in the United 
States to see how they attract private funding. Every 
great library has its own special genesis, whether it 
be a wealthy benefactor, a special relationship with 
a hinder, its location, or a myriad of other reasons. 
We should not limit the investigation to t:)nly other 
libraries. Rather, we have the unique opportunity 
to benefit in developing our funding plans trom 
two world-class institutions that are in Boston, 
namely, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the 
Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The remarkable job 
that these organizations have done in enlisting broad 
business and community support allows us the lux- 
ury of not re-mventing the wheel. These institutions 
in their volunteer leadership and fund-raising plans 
incorporate many of the attributes mentioned by 
respondents to the Corcoran feasibility study. Both 
the BSO and the MFA enjoy the perception of being 
worthy and entitled to privately supported, broadly 
based tiinding. While both institutitws charge ad- 
mission, this part of their funding can be considered 

as similar to the support for the Library that comes 
from the city and state. The remaining funding must 
come from substantial contributions trom the private 

It is, perhaps, a poor commentary that in mar- 
keting either merchandise or ideas, the perception 
of reality is sometimes more powerful than the reality 
itself It is, however, an accurate assessment of the 
human condition, one we are not likely to see change. 
In accepting the findings of all reputable sources on 
perceptions of the Library, the Trustees and the 
administration can endeavor to correct the miscon- 
ceptions and address the valid issues. 

The fund-raising subcommittee teels quite 
strongly that two additional points should be made 
to further the fund-raising efforts at this time. The 
first is that a core group be tbrmed of business, 
cultural, and educational leaders of the city, to work 
actively on behalf of the campaign. The second is 
that a clear system of accountability be established 
to counter the historical perception ot misuse ot 
funds by city agencies. 

The Boston Public Library has a good track record 
for appropriately expending funds for just such pur- 
poses as are being contemplated at this time: reno- 
vation of the system's buildings and restoration ot 
its valuable collections. The Johnson wing o( the 
Library was completed in 1972 under budget and 
(7/R\!(y of schedule. At the time, conservation facilities 
were installed with the help of federal grants to 
work on library materials. There are many other 
examples. The point nuisi he enipliasized that histoiiailly 
BPL's pioblein has not been ttiisuse of funds, but aviiilability 
of funds. 

The subcommittee is confident that the system 
of accountability which is being established at this 
time will be well advertised in all solicitation mate- 
rials, and that all contributions will be acknowledged 
in writing as soon as possible, which should go a 
long way to reassure prospective donors. We are 
also confident that the Library administration in 
consultation with the fund-raising counsel is con- 
sidering public reports at frequent intervals during 
the campaign. We recommend a graphic display of 
the progress of the campaign in the main lobby. 
This will serve both as a useflil and as a motivarional 

bi conclusion, there are many aspects ot the Library 
that admittedly lend themselves readily to etTective 
fund raising. These include special collections such 
as in the Fine Arts, Music, or Print Departments; 
imaginative programs run by the Library both in 
the central library and in the branches; and continued 


modernization of library services throughout the 
system. Bringing these substantial assets to the 
attention of potential donors would demonstrate 
the Library's value to the city and the region, and 
the manitest wisdom in supporting it. 

Public Relations 

Jovita Fontanez 
William Johnson, Chair 
Tunney Lee 
Deborah Thomas 

Public relations has an important role to play in the 
promising future of the Boston Public Library. Just 
what is meant by the term "public relations"? Public 
relations, one otten hears, is both everything that's 
done and everybody's business. Employees invariably 
point out that it starts with staff morale. Practitioners 
view PR as the application o( their considerable 
expertise in the marketplace. Whether we define it 
broadly or narrowly, conceptually or technically, 
programmatically or tunctionally, we must sooner 
or later confront the fact that PR is at some point 
inseparable from the image and reputation of the 
institution as a whole. Effective public relations 
appears to hold a very high place in the priorities of 
the current BPL administration. The Director has 
said that his essential goals are to create a better 
understanding within the community as to what 
the Library is all about, to encourage its use, and to 
build a broader basis of support for the Library in 
the community. Clearly, effective public relations is 
critical to the achievement of all of these goals. 

The committee finds that the Library is now per- 
ceived by the community to be one ot its most 
important institutions and a major public resource, 
based on both its long-term reputation and traditional 
role. It is also seen as an older institution in need of 
rcvitalization. It is seen to be predominantly of and 
for the city of Boston, with relatively little appreci- 
ation of its value to the rest ot Massachusetts, the 
region, and the nation. BPL is commonly perceived 
to be somewhat political, based on its past record 
as a Boston municipal agency. The Board of Trustees 
is often thought to be too small and narrow in its 
membership, BPL management not visible enough, 
and staff dedicated but overworked and harried. 
The committee finds that, aside from scholars and 
students, most ot the public is largely unaware of 
the services and materials available from the Library. 
Clearly, the Library will need a strong public relations 
program if it is to play a vital and creative role in the 

life of the community. A modern public library in 
the booming metropolitan center that Boston has 
become must be equipped with a PR capability 
which can make it better understood, better used, 
and better supported. This is necessary if BPL is to 
he competitive in an intense ailtural and educational 
market dominated by pnvate mstinitions. No longer 
can the Library be limited to the traditional role as 
just another part of the basic grey infrastructure of 
city services. As its new development campaign 
seeks major financial support from the private sector, 
the case for BPL needs to be presented as perhaps 
the most significant campaign effort in Boston in 
many years. 

Public relations at the BPL has made major strides. 
One measure of this is the appearance of the monthly 
Ciilaidiii; listing events in the branches as well as the 
central library. This was recommended by the last 
E.xamining Committee. That Committee also rec- 
ommended that demonstrated pubhc relations ability 
be an important consideration in selecting the new 
Director. That recommendation was translated into 
the search and selection process. The Director clearly 
feels that communicating the Boston Public Library 
system — its holdings, programs, and services — to 
the community and the world is one of his most 
important responsibilities. During 1987 this com- 
mitment was seen in the increase in staff with public 
relations responsibilities. Prior to this time the 
Assistant Director for Communications and Com- 
munity Affairs was the sole professional person with 
responsibility for pubhcations programs and all public 
relations. Now there has been added an active, visible 
Development Office with a staff of five: a develop- 
ment officer with an assistant, a media specialist, a 
grants writer, and a writer/editor. This professional 
development staff of four plus one support person 
takes the position that there is just too much to do 
to allow the lack of a secretary to be a problem. 
Obviously PR here is closely tied to the needs of 
development, tor the present. 

The decisions to seek major support from the 
private sector and to undertake a development cam- 
paign are a boon to public relations at the BPL. 
Successful fund-raising will depend on an effective 
public relations arm. The campaign will itself create 
publicity in the form of events like that recently 
marking the Globe Foundation's major gift. It will 
make others possible by funding programs and 
enhancement ot the physical facility through the 
rehabilitation of the McKim building. 

With the development campaign, public relations 
can be icfentified as something which is not simply 


good 111 itself that the system ought to have to lielp 
it communicate itself to its constituencies. Public 
relations is now an essential component ot a money- 
making activity. In this capacity, it will undoubtecily 
be easier to justify in some quarters and — it is hoped 
—less vulnerable to cuts, in the phrase of the Director, 
the development campaign is a beachhead for public 
relations at BPL. 

There is also a potential ciisadvantage to the present 
location of the public relations function in the 
Development Office. It is possible for public relations 
to become to an exaggerated degree a permanent 
acljunct to the development effort. The current 
development campaign, as proposed to the Trustees, 
will extend through the end of lyyi. Beyond that, 
the Development Office as a unit and fund-raising 
as an activity will almost certainly continue indefi- 
nitely. During the particularly intense period ot the 
initial campaign, it is to be expected that the bulk 
of the public relations work of the Library will be 
directed to meet the needs of the campaign itself. In 
the judgment of one top manager, development may 
of necessity be the tail that wags the dog for a tew 

Wliat of the long-term view of the public relations 
function at BPL? The development otticer has 
expressed the view that development and puWic 
relations may be permanently linked. This is the 
case at the New York Public Library. A quick look 
at some local cultural institutions shows that at the 
Museum of Science public relations is the responsi- 
bility of the development office. At the New England 
Aquarium, both are subsumed under "marketing." 
At the Museum of Fine Arts, the public relations 
office of three is independent of the development 
office, which tbcuses on corporate involvement with 
the museum, and independent of the advertising 
activity for major exhibits and programs, which is 
handled by an outside advertising agency. The 
Committee recommends that there should be a long- 
range plan for BPL public relations which evaluates 
the strengths and weaknesses of alternative 
approaches. It suggests that responsibility for this 
evaluation be included among the duties of the new 
Assistant Director ot Planning. 

The committee found an examination ot the New 
York Public Library as a model to be usetul. While 
NYPL IS larger and more "private" than BPL, the 
two systems have much in common. The current 
Director's approach strongly reflects his New York 
experience. New York is frequently cited as the 
preeminent example of the modern progressive 
municipal library system. 

In iy<S2 NYPL's Development Office was rede- 
fined as the Office for Public AtTairs and Develop- 
ment. It carries out all activities in development, 
public relations, and public education. The head of 
the office is a vice president of the Library, the 
equivalent of our Associate Director His immediate 
subordinates are a coordinator for individual giving, 
one for corporate and foundation giving, a public 
relations manager, and an associate public relations 
manager for the branches. 

The public relations division has expanded its 
work in the areas of publiaty, publications, and public 
information for both the central library and the 
branches. These etTorts were seen as necessary to 
increase the public's awareness during a critical period 
of revitalization of the Library's important educa- 
tional and cultural role in the life of the community. 

A public education program was established at 
NYPL in the winter of 1983 to interpret the central 
research library's collections and concerns through 
discussions, lectures, readings, and tilms. Fitty dit- 
ferent activities were scheduled for 1984. This pro- 
gram is thought to have strengthened the role of the 
central library in the community where, unlike the 
branches, it has assumed a very low level of visibility 
in recent years. 

The New York model indicates current and likely 
trends in management thinking, here and elsewhere. 
How can it be applied m the Boston context? To be 
specitic, what does it suggest regarding the size and 
configuration of an ultimate BPL development/ 
public relations operation? An important consider- 
ation m raising these questions is the tact that BPL 
is now in or emerging from the critical transition 
phase which extends back to the years of decline 
and tbrward into the tuU renaissance ot which we 
believe the system is capable. Indications are that 
management has not yet settled on a scheme for the 
tuture of public relations. Both the Director and the 
development officer have indicated that they have 
not come to a position on this. 

Though difficult to assess, direct comparisons 
with New York can be useful. Their pubHc affairs 
and development otTice has a statt ot 43. Their de- 
velopment otfice must raise much more money — a 
record $13,000,000 in 1983. Based on overall staff 
size, NYPL at 2,523 is about five times larger than 
BPL. Based on expenditures for 1983, the ratio is 
about the same (69.7 million to 14 million). Using 
this fomiula, BPL might end up with a development 
otTice staff, including public relations, of about 15 
people. Closer examination of the NYPL model 
and those of other major cultural institutions should 


be part of the development of the Library's long- 
range plan. 

Where will the Library's publications program 
be located? Will it fall within the responsibilities of 
development, PR, or will it be independent within 
the Director's office? Will there be a sales operation 
in the restored McKim building? If so, how will it 
be related to the public relations activity of the 
Library? Wliat outsicle public relations support should 
the Library utilize? These are some additional ques- 
tions which need to be addressed, although the 
committee feels it would be inappropriate at this 
time to attempt to prescribe answers to all ot them. 
We do, however, urge the Trustees and the manage- 
ment of BPL to consider them. As we said before, 
management should engage in a long-range planning 
process and formulate a plan. Such a plan, whether 
in PR or any other functional or program area would 
give the public a clearer sense ot where the system 
intends to go. It would, of course, be subject to 
adjustment and revision as necessary. 

The committee recommends that the Trustees 
secure the services of a public relations firm on ^pvo 
bono basis, ilpossible, to support the Library's internal 
effort. There is evidence that this option has been 
and is now under consideration within management 
and the professional staff The development ottice 
has spoken with some agencies. We feel that this 
innovation should be explored aggressively. Toward 
the end of the present development campaign in 
1991 , the Library should be prepared to enter into a 
working relatonship with a firm. It should be a 
fairly long-term arrangement ot at least two years 
duration. Further, it should be integrated with or 
closely coordinated with the publicly funded public 
relations activity of the Library, rather than isolated 
from it. Preparatory work for this initiative should 
begin as soon as possible. 

Access to and eftectivc use of the media are essential 
to good public relations. Traditionally, BPL had 
neither the resources nor the mandate to achieve 
either fully. The committee suggests the creation ot 
a media advisory or friends group by the Trustees 
to help it explore this area. We have raised this pos- 
sibility briefly with several management and 
professional staff The response has been mixed but 
fairly positive. If such a group of local media people 
were determined to have value to the Library as 
advisors or as supporters, the proposal could be 
adopted experimentally. If on the other hand it were 
concluded that this would not be productive, that 
there are better ways to interface with media people, 
and that it is likely to become yet another unwieldy 

body that needs to be managed, such an innovation 
should be avoided. Preliminary assessment is called 

The committee recommends that there be a major 
sales operation in the restored McKim building. It 
should be designed to appeal to the general public 
as a "museum shop" as well as a book shop, with 
innovative merchandising and a diverse inventory. 
We feel that there is real potential in an operation of 
this kind to provide service and generate income. 
Several major educational/cultural institutions in 
Boston have prominent sales operations. The Ken- 
nedy Library's museum store, to cite one, is expected 
to gross about $400,000 during the current year 
from a total museum visitation of untier 300,000. 

Traditionally at BPL sales clesk profits have been 
held in trust to support the preparation of new pub- 
lications. We think a highly successful operation 
wouki generate enough income to contribute to 
both publications and public relations programs. 
We suggest that 50% of the income from sales be 
set aside to support the public relations program of 
the Library in the form of public information pub- 
lications or related services to the public. If the 
Trustees choose, the remaining 50% could, as in 
die past, support scholarly or substantive publication 


Rocfney Armstrong 

Robert Mulligan 

Kathleen Kelly Satut, Chair 

The purpose ot the Staffing subcommittee was to 
assess personnel functions of the Library and to 
address the specific issues of the recruitment of new 
employees and the retention of present employees. 

We met wtih management and union represen- 
tatives, members of the rank and file from various 
departments, and with the staff of the Personnel 
Office. There is an intense interest in every sector 
of the Library in improving working conditions for 
all employees. 

There has been an obvious and markeci improve- 
ment in morale since the report of the last Examining 
C^ommittee. The long overdue salary increases 
implemented as a result of the Hewitt Report, com- 
missioned by the Trustees to assess the status of 
personnel practices at the Library and the restoration 
of fiscal stability, have been critically important to 
rebuilding professional self-esteem and optimism. 
The Director has set a positive tone and is working 
hard to restore and expand personnel functions. The 


union grievance level, once the highest in the city, 
has decreased significantly. 

The Personnel Office now consists of a Director, 
Assistant Director, and three support statt and is 
overseen by the Associate Director of the BPL. The 
Personnel Office is understaffed at the professional 
level and operates virtually without clerical help. 
The administration is committed to increasing the 
size of the Personnel Office by adding protcssionals 
in the fields of labor relations, staff development, 
and recruitment. These individuals should have 
extensive training in the personnel field. There had 
been no formal recruitment during the years ot 
financial crisis. When recmitment resumed, the three 
branch district supervisors and the Assistant Director 
of Personnel were sent on recmiting trips to dirterent 
library schools and professional conventions last year. 
This resulted in some filled positions which helped 
resolve long-term problems of uncierstatf mg but also 
aggravated an already overextended branch system 
while supervisors were away recruiting. The hiring 
of at least one professional person to do full time 
recruiting should help reduce the number of vacant 
positions, ensure the employment of qualified people, 
and shorten the time it takes to hire them. 

The lack of communication between the Personnel 
Office and jobseekers is a recognized problem. 
Information regarding the availability ot jobs is 
inconsistent. A listing ot all job openings and their 
descriptions should be publically posted in the Per- 
sonnel Office and all branches. 

There is a shortage ot librarians in all areas, par- 
ticularly in children's services. This is reflective ot a 
national trenci which is further exacerbated by 
Boston's residency requirement and high housing 
costs. Additionally, most graduating librarians arc 
seeking careers in the more lucrative field of infor- 
mation service. 

The Library has historically replenished many of 
its professional positions from within through the 
pre-professional program. Some ot the librarians 
began as clerical workers while they received on- 
the-job-training. It has become increasingly ditFicult 
to attract employees to join this program. Library 
school courses in New England are currently otTcrcd 
only at Simmons College which is prohibitively 
expensive for most employees. City tuition reim- 
bursement at $500 per year does not cover the cost 
of a single course and frequently is not available. 
The Trustees should begin to explore, perhaps in 
conjunction with the Board of Library Commis- 
sioners, the establishment of subsidies for state res- 
idents wishing to attend library school, since there 
is no existing state program. 

There is a congruent critical shortage of minority 
professionals in the field ot library science and avail- 
ability of funds tor full scln)larships and stipends for 
minority residents of the state. More should be done 
to ensure that the availability of these funds is 

Another factor hindering the Library's recruitment 
of local staff is a posmre against job sharing, flextime, 
and part-time work. Many competent statTare forced 
to leave the Library when they are unable to work 
flill time. While recmiting is being done on a national 
level, there are many Boston residents who could 
be filling vacancies if they were offered some job 
flexibility. Given current projections for cleclining 
number of librarians entering general library work, 
creative approaches toward recruitment are essential. 

Attracting people to fill library aide and shelver 
positions has also been difficult. Salaries are not 
competitive, especially in the case of shelvers who 
earn only $3.75 per hour. 

Retainment of Employees 

Prior to the implementation of the salary increases 
recommended by the Hewitt Report, departure ot 
library employees, specifically those leavmg for other 
libraries or other jobs, exceeded the number being 
hired. This situation has improved since the salary 
adjustments were voted by the Board of Trustees 
on July 22, 1986. The increase, approximately 22% 
for all employees, has eliminated the primary cause 
for the departure of employees. However, diligent 
attention must continually be focused on the salary 
issue, to maintain the competitive salary levels pres- 
ently in place. 

There remain major problems adversely affecting 
retainment, and to a certain extent, the morale of 
the library staff, specifically, the related issues ot job 
description, job classification, and career develop- 
ment. There is no definitive pattern of advancement. 
The nonexistence of career ladders and the belief 
that some promotions are, in part, due to favoritism 
or factors unrelated to competence and job per- 
formance, is of great concern to the staff. Although 
the latter may not be true, such misperceptions can 
be fostered by lack of definite criteria for promotion. 

The present personnel manual, which defines jobs 
and establishes levels, dates from April i960. Its 
most recent amendment was in 1964, although all 
changes in job descriptions after 1970 are contained 
in collective bargaining agreements. Many of the 
job descriptions are personalized and seldom reflect 
the duties of the person holding that job. 


The lack of a career ladder, m particular the lack 
of promotional opportunities, has caused some 
professional employees to switch into other areas of 
the library solely in order to attain iiigher paying 
positions. Newer employees are often frustrated by 
the few promotional opportunities, caused in part 
by the pattern of many competent professionals 
remaining in positions at BPL for decades, thereby 
blocking the promotional advancement of those 

After a six-month probationary period, new 
employees are evaluated. This is the only formal 
assessment that an employee receives. Guidance and 
counsel regarding performance and career develop- 
ment are remarkably lacking. More frequent eval- 
uations during an employee's career must be part of 
an overall restructuring ot career development. 

Employees receive minimal formal job training. 
Educational programs should be established, and 
stall working-groups and professional mentors 
should be fostered, to provide formal training, per- 
sonal guidance, and opportunities to discuss problems 
and goals. 

The administration of the library is aware of the 
problems in job classification and career develop- 
ment. As an initial step, plans are being formulated 
to retain a consultant to conduct a comprehensive 
review and reclassification of all jobs. 

The expansion of the Personnel Office, coupled 
with a modernized job classification system, will 
significantly benefit career development, and should 
help eliminate the remaining obstacles to the retention 
of employees. 

Despite the prior salary problems and the present 
shortcomings in job classification and career devel- 
opment, the morale, dedication, and professionalism 
of the Boston Public Library employees higiily 
impressed all members of this subcommittee. 

Board of Trustees 

The present Trustees are devoted, energetic, hard- 
working and capable. Clear evidence of this is the 
position of the Boston Public Library today com- 
pared to where it was a few years ago. However, 
there is a perception among some, because of the 
highly publicized past liistory of the institution, that 
BPL Trustees are political appointments. Further, 
there seems to be some feeling that the number of 
Trustees, five, is too small for present day conditions 
and is, in fact, a holdover from our 19th century 
past. Most, if not all. Trustees of large public libraries 

in the United States could be considered political 
appointees. Some cities have Boards consisting of 
three tc:) five Trustees, though there is a trend to 
increase the size of large city pubhc library boards. 
The highly successful and active Board of Trustees 
of the New York Public Library, singularly skillful 
111 increasing endowment and other funds for their 
library, this year consists of 40 members with an 
additional two vacancies to be filled. 

Despite highly publicized pockets ot poverty and 
unemployment and the large number of homeless, 
the Commonwealth is experiencing a prosperity 
unprecedented for many years. How long this pros- 
perity may be sustained is a matter of guess. This 
year approximately 30% of the operating income 
of the BostcMi Public Library comes from the state. 
Obviously, such flinding is subject to change m the 
hitiire. Such a situation appears to call for a larger 
Board ot Trustees; a small board of trustees in these 
times simply cannot know all the personalities 
involved, tiie approaches which migiit be made, 
and the roads to success in broadening the basis of 
financial support for the Library. 

A major fund-raising effort on behalf of the Boston 
Public Library is now underway. Common tund- 
raising wisdom is that the boards of charities and 
educational institutions, including libraries, must 
on a day-to-day basis successfully guide and support 
the fund-raising efforts of statT and professional 
counsel. It is essential that the BPL Board be able 
to reach on a personal level many major sources of 
funding within the city. It is not common that large 
amounts of money are raised for public libraries 
from neighborhood groups. Clear responsibility tor 
this major fund-drive lies with the Trustees. Thus, 
there is a strong case to be made for an increase in 
the number of public library trustees. 

Public library fund-raising is among the most 
difFicult of fund-raising efforts. Many citizens firmly 
believe that Andrew Carnegie still lives and that, in 
any case, they have already paid the price ot admission 
through their ta.xes. It has not proven effective else- 
where to resort only to the appointment of friends 
groups or other such potential fund-raising bodies. 
Our public library board should now have strong 
representation from the commercial and industrial 
sections of the city as wcU as from other communities 
to reflect the diversity of Boston. It is a matter of 
prudence to increase the size of the Board, because 
the fund-raising effort must succeed or the Library 
will be left in a critical position for a number of 
years to come. A tailed tund-drive is often worse 
than no fund-drive at all. 

Another reason for increasiiiii the number of 


Trustees is that the Director of the Library is 
appointed to direct the Library, not to raise money. 
A wide variety of unresolved Library problems still 
exist which will take great concentration, skill, and 
effort on behalf of the Director and others to solve. 
A final reason for additional appointments to the 
Board is that one of the major problems facing the 
Library at this time is proper staffing on all levels 
and the retainment of staif in a time when professional 
library training is increasingly difficult and expensive 
to obtain. Under these circumstances, the Trustees 
might wish to consider the possibility of adding to 
their number a member with special experience and 
ability in personnel or the education and training of 

Technology and Networking 

Paul Deare 
Michael Fung 
Frances Howe, Chair 
Robert Stueart 

The subcommittee on technology and networking 
has as its charge to review technological and net- 
working efforts that are currently m place and those 
that might be planned for the future, as weU as to 
identify areas of immediate concern. To that end, 
we met and interviewed the Associate Director ot 
the BPL who is primarily responsible for the devel- 
opment of automation; the Regional Administrator 
of the Eastern Regional Library System who is 
responsible for networking developments with public 
libraries in the Eastern Region; the Coordinator of 
the Boston Library Consortium who is responsible 
for working with research libraries who are mem- 
bers; the Director and certain staff of the Massachu- 
setts Board of Library Commissioners who are 
responsible for distributing state and federal monies 
after receiving proposals tor projects trom the indi- 
vidual libraries and determining the priorities for 
the funding; representatives of other Eastern 
Massachusetts sub-regional libraries which provide 
services at the sub-regional level as does the BFL, 
but who also receive some services from the Eastern 
Regional Library System; and other administrators 
and staff members within the Boston Public Library 
system. All discussions were cordial and highly 
informative. What follows is an attempt to examine 
a complex topic m abbreviated and comprehensible 

ftobably the greatest change ocairring in libraries 
today is in areas of technology and networking. 

BPL is not excluded from that development, 
although some point out that it has acted late in 
assuming a primary leadership role. 


The BPL augments its own services and shares its 
resources through two major cooperative agree- 
ments: i) with other research libraries in the Boston 
Library Consortium and 2) through networking 
with other public libraries in the Eastern Massachu- 
setts Regional Library System. As the library of last 
recourse, as a sub-regional library, and as the host 
institution for the headquarters of the Eastern 
Regional System, the BPL receives state and federal 
funds. It also serves as headquarters for the Boston 
Library Consortium. Some concern has been 
expressed about the BPL not having developed as a 
bibliographic utility which would be both cost 
effective and efficient. Further, in the document 
delivery area, the produce-rate and rapidity of 
delivery of materials has been less than expected. In 
addition, the fact that the research collections are 
not available to public libraries through regular loan 
proceciures has produced frustrations. Clusters of 
public libraries have developed cooperatives in 
acquiring automated circulation systems for shared 
access and now support those with document deliv- 
ery services. The interlibrary loan function has been 
assumed, in large part, by those clusters. As a result, 
not all members of the regional system partake of 
the services which the BPL by contract is charged 
with providing, and there has developed a dichotomy 
of service in the region. At the same time, rich 
resources — as an example, the extensive film library 
— have been developed by the BPL and are available 
to regional libraries. These services are invaluable 
to those participating in the Eastern Regional Library ' 

Integrated System Plan 

Concerns have been tempered somewhat over the 
last year or so as the BPL has begun to struggle 
with that role and those challenges. The Boston 
Public Library has now committed itself to the con- 
cept of a shared oiiKne system through its own cluster 
arrangement with five other public Hbraries — 
Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Chelsea, and 
Maiden. Plans are for an eventual totally integrated 
online system: circulation, cataloging, serials control, 
and acquisitions. The agreed upon first phase will 
be an online circulation system, probably followed 


by an online catalog. When that is in place, the 
resources of this extended area will be identifiable 
by Boston residents ancl will be available upon request 
through some as yet undetermined cielivery system. 

In adciition, there is some thought being given as 
to how this system would be helpful to the BPL in 
its role as a member ot the Boston Library Consor- 
tium consisting ot MIT, Tufts, Brandeis, Boston 
University, Boston College, University of Massa- 
chusetts at Boston, and several other acaclemic 
libraries. Plans are to share access with those libraries 
through a computerized catalog, but that will require 
some adjustments and negotiations since at least 
four computerized turnkey systems (GEAC, DRA, 
ULISYS, and CLSI) are currently representeci in 
that group. Sharing ot access by accommodating 
those variant systems will come only alter the initial 
circulation component is in place with the other 
public libraries in the Boston cluster, and will be a 
much more complicated issue although the bid 
specifications tor the new system state that it should 
be possible to access other systems through terminals 
to be provideci. 

Technology's State-of-the-Art at the BPL 

Looking at the current picture, the BPL continues 
to offer automateci time-sharing services to other 
libraries in the Eastern Region. It produces catalog 
cards for a number of other libraries through its 
automated services. In adciition, other activities 
(accounts payable, serials union lists, specialized data 
bases) are already in some tbrm of automation. Fur- 
ther, library users have ciirect capability to cc-)nduct 
electronic data base searches in the General Library; 
professionally assisted data base searches in the 
Central Library; or in-depth, customized data base 
searches m the Research Library. 

Part ot the BPL's problem of getting from where 
it is to where it might want to go, technology-wise, 
is in replacing already existing partially automated, 
partially antiquated components: a cirailation system 
tor the General Library cieveloped several years ago 
and originally leased through IBM; cataloging ser- 
vices run on a DEC machine using leased software 
trom Inforonics; an interim COM (Catalog on 
Microfiche) catalog, the technology of wliich is now 
dated; an acquisitions system which is being ct)ii- 
verted to a leased Micro VAX, with software tVom 
the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; and a 
serials control system through the vendor service 
ot the Faxon LYNX System (through which, inci- 
dentally, a union list of serials for the Boston Library 
Consortium has been developeci). Currently, auto- 

mation seems to atfect primarily the Central Library 
since the branches simply receive the end product 
and are not yet involved in the use of systems. 


Until now there have not been resources available 
to replace the existing piecemeal system with a tully 
automatecl one. However, the new Boston cluster 
will receive $2.1 million in LSCA funds to purchase 
the major ec]uipment components necessary to begin 
implementation of such a system. In addition, the 
BPL has committed a larger portion of its own 
budget to achieving this goal. It is to be commended 
tor bringing in a consultant to work with the Boston 
cluster in determining specitications which must be 
included in the bidding and implementation 


Microcomputers are used in several branches and 
most departments tor a variety of reasons. Although 
there is no standardization of hardware, software, 
or use applications, attempts are now being made 
to standardize hardware anci avoid duplication of 
ettort. The use of microcomputers tor routine pro- 
cessing is likely to accelerate as prices decline and as 
new software packages are developed. 


Two immediate challenges face the system. The 
first is the preparation of bibliographic records which 
are now in a variety of formats — accessed through 
the Book Catalog (1975) ot the General Library 
holdings; the COM Catalog representing both the 
Research Library and General Library holdings; and 
on-line supplement. The traditional use ot MARC 
tapes through the contract with Inforonics, with 
less complete records than those which exist in 
OCLC standardizeci format, causes concern for the 
BPL system. Additionally, regional libraries which 
have joined other clusters with OCLC data bases 
are making less use of a service which originally 
was contracted for under terms of the Eastern 
Regional system charge. Further, conversion of rec- 
ords tor the newly planned system will probably be 
more cumbersome than for other libraries which 
already have more complete data files online. This 
will hold true particularly tor the Research Library 
holdings, only about 20 percent of which have post- 
1974 cataloging records. Any current decisions on 


how to approach the conversion ot those hies will 
affect characteristics ot the future catalog. 

The second challenge is that the relative satisfaction 
of a larger group dictates that a consultative approach 
is necessary. This is complicated and time-consum- 
ing, because any selection of" technology which is 
intended to be shared under terms of agreement 
with other libraries must meet the needs of all 
involved. The governance and conmiunications 
channels must be defined and developed so that the 
change process will culminate in a successful system 
mutually acceptable to all parties involved. Involve- 
ment of the Eastern Regional Library Advisory 

Committee with prescribed feedback to all 200 + 
libraries in the eastern part of the state is desirable. 


It is recommended that a mechanism be devised to 
involve all interested parties in current technological 
developments afTecting the BPL. What previously 
had been a rugged independence is developing into 
a shared relationship which should be fostered. 
Reporting the results of technological change and 
networking in the BPL system should receive 


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