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Full text of "The question mark"

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? 9 



Vol. 



I, No, 



MARCH 19^*5" 



This publication la a trial bal- 
loon- -a new3 sheet for the Staff Asso- 
ciation. We should like to have it con- 
trolled as much as possible by all the 
Staff members for whom it is issued. 
Indeed, it has not even a name as yet, 
because we want the Association to name 
its own paper. 

The present plan is to cover, in 
brief form, current library news and 
personal notes of general interest, 
with occasional notices of special 
books or articles on library topics. 
Further suggestions will be very wel- 
come. There might, for instance, be 
an "open forum" section; err one for 
discussion of projects under way in 
the Branches or at Central; or any 
other feature which you would find 
useful. 

Ideas for a name, requests for 
special material, news notes, and other 
suggestions may be handed to any member 
of the Publications Committee. Please 
help. 

Honor McCusker 
Rare Book Department 

Sarah W. Flannery 
History Department 

Margaret Morgan 
Dorchester Branch 

* * * 

M.L.A. CONFERENCE 

The Winter Conference of the Mass- 
achusetts Library Association was held 
at Harvard on Friday and Saturday, Feb- 
ruary 1 and 2 . 

Mr Keyes D. Metcalf spoke on The 
Libraries of Harvard University , de- 
scribing the Harvard library system's 80 
administrative units, Including 50 col- 
lege libraries, 7 house libraries, and 
18 departmental libraries. Among the 
special problems of a large university 
library he emphasized finance, since 



there is always a deficit even under 
ample endowments, and the enormous 
growth which has taken place of recent 
years . 

He also reported on the A.L.A. 
Winter Conference. *"~^J 

Miss Catherine Yerxa summarized 
the work of the Division of Public 
Libraries, as an attempt to do rau':-h 
with very little. In I050 the appro- 
priation was $28,000, and the staff 
numbered eight people. In 1959 the 
appropriation was $17,000, and the 
staff was reduced to five. Now in 
19^6 the appropriation asked for is 
$59,000, and a staff of twelve is 
needed . 

Miss Elizabeth Butcher discussed 
the progress of the movement for lib- 
rarians' certification in Massachusetts. 
The first phase of activity, she said, 
dealt with voluntary certification 
for five years (l) based solely on 
years of service (2) based on educa-t 
tional qualifications. The second 
phase would be to prepare a law which 
would include (l) certification of the 
individual (2) classification of po- 
sitions. Legislation i's still pending. 

The Friday afternoon session was 
devoted to a talk by Professor Henry 
W. Holmes on Education for Peace , and 
one by Mr Dana M. Cotton on How the 
Libraries Can Meet the Information 
Needs of the Returning Veteran . 

Mr Lord spoke on the Committee 
for Devasted Libraries, and dis- 
cussed the work of the American Book 
Center, which is gathering together 
books to restock European libraries 
which have lost a large part of their 
^collections as a result of the war. 
A drive for the purpose will be held 
this spring. 

At the New England Round Table 
of Children's Librarians Miss Eva J. 
Anttonen gave a lively description of 



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the planing of a "Mary Popplna'' Birth- 
lay" project organized by the East Bos- 
ton Branch. Poems, contests, and 
guessing games for each day, supervised 
by the children, came to a climax in 
a birthday party at the Branch, enlivened 
by the dramatic appearance of Mary Pop- 
pins herself. 

The next meeting of the Association 
will be held at Worcester on May 1^+. 

* * * 
CIVIL SERVICE 

On Tuesday, January 29, a public 
hearing was held before the Civil Service 
Committee of the Massachusetts State 
Legislature on the proposed Senate Bill 
175, which provides that "certain office 
and positions in the Boston Public Lib- 
rary be subjected to the civil service } 
laws." The bill has remained under con- | 
sideration until the present time. It is | 
onderstood that the Committee's vote is j 
low being taken, and that its decision I 
will shortly be announced. i 

There has been so much discussion | 
of this issue in the Library that two 
Tiembers of the staff have been asked to 
present the opposing opinions: 

The Case for Civil Service i 

I 
The chief advantages of Civil Ser- ^ 
vice over the present Library system are i 
as follows: ; 

1. A shorter probationary period for | 
permanent appointment. 1 

2. Classification by position. Bnploy- I 
ees doing the same work would be given i 
the same title, with the same minimum 

and maximum rates of pay. 

5. Formal announcement of all vacancies 
to be filled. 

h. Promotions based on previously stated 
rules, with specific credit announced be- 
forehand for years of service, education, : 
sxaminations passed, etc. 

5. The right to see corrected examin- 
ation papers . 



6. The right of appeal to ~the' Dir- 
ector of Civil Service and to the 
Civil Service Commission. 

Kenneth C, Barnes, Secretary, 
B.P.L. Qnployees' Union, 
Local 751 

Civil Service- -Contra 

We do not feel that Civil Service 
in the Library would be beneficial to 
us as employees, or would be any im- 
provement, for the following reasons: 

1. We already have such major 
benefits as tenure of position ad- 
equate vacation and sick leave, and a 
retirement pension system. We do not 
have the great disadvantage of dual 
control over personnel. 

2. Salaries would still be dependent 
upon city budget appropriations. 

5. Under Civil Service the present 
examination system might be adopted 
in to to . This would make it more 
rigid and less capable of modification 
as need arose. 

^. Under Civil Service the choice of 
employees would be strictly limited to 
persons with a six months' residence 
in Boston, which would eliminate many 
graduates of approved library schools 
outside the city and almost all trained 
librarians who have gained valuable 
experience elsewhere. 

5. The Library has always been singu- 
larly free from political influence. 
The more people have a hand in its 
business,, the more likely it is to be 
open to such influence. 

Sarah W. Flannery 
« * * ♦ 



Personal Notes 

New Staff Members : 

Miss Corona M. Groves, Fellowes Athenaeum Branch 
Miss Ruth F. Keyes, Memorial Branch 
Miss Rachel Zilber, Mattapan Branch 

Tremsfers : 

Miss Charlotte Cooper, Dorchester Branch, to Uphams Corner Branch 
Miss Alberta Kneeland, Uphams Corner Branch, to the Music Department 

* * * 

Miss Eva J. Anttonen, Children's Librarian at East Boston Branch, is 
leaving on April 6 for Mexico City, to be Children's Librarian at the Benja- 
min Franklin Library. She expects to stay at least a year. 

Mr Bradford Hill has been appointed local representative of the Member- 
ship Committee of the American Library Association. Anyone who wishes 
to Join the Association may obtain information from him. 



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THE QUESTION MARK 



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Vol. 1. 



April 19^6 



No. 2 



News of the week is the cheering report 
that the Staff Association now has 317 
members. As far as we are concerned, this 
means 517 reporters. We are very grate- 
ful to the people who sent in news items 
and questions; but like the Elephant's 
Child, we have a 'satiable curiosity. 
We want more. 

This month begins The Soap Box ,, an open- 
letter section which should be--wlth the 
help of the staff- -lively and useful. 
Letters on any subject are welcome, as 
long as they are signed and observe or- 
dinary good manners. 

As to the title of this sheet--do you 
want it to be the ??? forever? 



OP ENDJG PROGRAM 

The Staff Association's first program 
meeting will be held on Friday, April 5> 
in the Lecture Hall at 8. 30 p.m. Dr. 
Reginald Fitz of the Harvard Medical 
School will give an illustrated lecture 
on Sherlock Holmes' Dr. Watson . 

Dr. Fitz is Lecturer in the History 
of Medicine and Assistant to the Dean 
of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard, 

Judging from the percentage of the 
staff which reads detective stories, he 
should have a large and expert audience. 
An informal reception in the Abbey Room 
from 10 to 11 after the lecture will 
give people a chance to meet and talk. 



SPTCIAL LIBRARIES CONVENTION 

The Special Libraries Association Na- 
tional Convention will be held in Boston 
June 13 to 15, 19^+6. Dr. Luther H. Evans, 
Librarian of the Library of Congress, 
will address the first general session on 
June 13, and Mr. Erwin D. Canham, editor 
of the Christian Science Monitor , will 
be the speaker at the annual banquet 
Friday evening at 7 p.m. 



The Staff Apsocjation is giving a re- 
ception to all the visiting librarians 
on Friday evening, June 1^, from 9-30 
to 12 p.m. Further details willlbe re- 
ported later. 

Three teas are b*»ing given for the 
various groups by the New England Mutual 
Life Insurance Company, the Christian 
Science Monitor, and Harvard University. 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 

Professor Jacques Gulnard , Chief Lib- 
rarian of the University of Bordeaux, 
visited several departanents of the Lib- 
rary on March 26. He will be in Boston 
for several weeks. Professor Guinard . 
is one of the seven French librarians who 
are being sent to the United States 
this year to study and observe American 
libraries, under the auspices of the 
French Government. 



John Boles, film star, dropped into 
the Reference Department on March 29 to 
do some research work,- somewhat dis- 
rupting the work of the staff I 



CIVIL SERVICE 

Senate Bill 175 was defeated when the 
House of Representatives and the Senate 
approved the recommendation of the Joint 
Committee on Civil Service. 



MHVIEERSH IP 

The Membership and Hospitality Com- 
mittee would like to report that the 
membership of the B.P.L. Professional 
Staff Association is now 317. We know 
that many of the staff have been carry- 
ing their applications around with in- 
tentions of sending them in, but haven't 
thus far. We hope this will serve as a 
reminder to part with their cards so that 
we can round out the membership. 



Now that most of the work la done on 
sending out the membership cards,, we can' 
devote more time to the hospitality de- 
partment and welcome new members of the 
staff, and get acquainted at the meeting 
on April 5- 

We invite the cooperation of the staff 
on infonnlng the Committee of new and 
returning members. 

Sincerely yoijrs, 

Membership and Hospitality Committee 

Margaret S. Niland, Chairman 



EHTERTAIMMENT 

The Entertainment Committee expresses 
its sincere appreciation to the Branch 
Librarians emd officers at the Central 
Library for their generous response to an 
appeal for funds to defray the expense of 
refreshments for our informal get-together 
on April 5- The Committee was pleasantly 
surprised by the number of offers of home- 
made cookies and cakes, for these repre- 
sent some sacrifice in the precious ingre- 
dients of butter and sugar. 

Sincerely yours, 
Entertainment Committee 
Mary K. Harris, Chairman 



PERSONAL NOTES 

New Staff Members 

Mrs. Anna M. Brackett, now a full-time 
assistant at South End Branch. 

Miss Mary E. Chute, Simmons 19^+'+ and un- 
til February on the staff at the Enoch 
Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Codman 
Square Branch. 

Miss Mildred Cronan, Cataloging and 
Classification Department, Circulation 
Division. 



Mies Josephine M. 
Department. 



DeLuca, Registration 



Mrs. Dorothy W. Getlein, a graduate of 
Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, 
Charles town Branch. 



Miss Dorothy Sayer, Phillips Brooks 
Branch. 

Transfers 

Mrs. .Gertrude L. Bergen, Second Assis- 
tant, Mattapan Branch, to Dorchester 
Branch. 

Miss Miriam Bassett, Formerly at Hyde 
Park Branch, has re-entered the service 
and is now at Fellowes Athenaeum Branch. 

Miss Catherine M. MacDonald , Catalog- 
ing and Classification Department, Circu- 
lation Division, to the Personnel Office. 

Miss Martha A, McGee, extra assistant 
at Poslindale Branch, to the full-time 
service, Dorchester Branch. 

Mrs. Lydia A, Palladino, Fellowes 
Athenaeum Branch, to the Open Shelf 
Department. 

Resignations 

Staff Sergeant Clara Chopas, WAC , has 
resigned from Mount Bowdoln Branch. 

Mrs. Barbara P. Fluck, Codman Square 
Branch, has resigned to Join her husband 
in Canada on his return from service in 
India. 

Miss Helen Moore has resigned from the 
Personnel Office. 

Marriages 

Miss Catherine Mahoney, Uphams Corner 
Branch, was married to Mr. Robert L. 
Devlin early in February. 

Miss Edna A. Quinn, Records, Files, 
and Statistics Office, was married on 
March 1? to Mr. James H. Yauney of St. 
Johnsville, New York. 

In Military Service 

Staff Sgt. Margaret J. Carr, WAC, went 
to the Separation Center at Camp Lee, 
Virginia, on March 15- 

Lieut. Frank Doherty, USNR^ is on 
terminal leave. 



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Lieut. (Jg) William Earley, USNR, has 
returned to the Business Branch. 

Tech. Sgt. Charles L. Higgins has re- 
tiirned to Bates Hall Reference. 

Private Leonard MacMillan has returned 
to the Book Purchasing Department. 

Lieut. Thomas J. Manning has returned 
to the Patent Room. 

Y 3/c Robert J. Roper, USNR, expects to 
be discharged in April. He is now sta- 
tioned at New London; Conn. 



Mr. Lord has been serving on a commit- 
tee of librarians acting as advisers to 
the architects who are planning the new 
library building for M.I.T. He is also 
to make the keynote address at the meet- 
ing of the Texas Library Association in 
Beaumont, Texas, on April 10, and taking 
part in a symposium on April 11. 



Mr. Leonard Burkat, Music Department, 
attended the meeting of the Music Library 
Association at the Library of Congress 
on March 22-25. 



Miss Bessie Doherty, Branch Department, 
recently won second prize in the "Short 
Short Story" group of the annual compe- 
tition set by the Manuscript Club of Bos- 
ton. Her entry was "True Greatness," a 
story about Garibaldi. Miss Doherty 
Joined the Club In December, but has been 
writing for some time. One of her pub- 
lications was a St. Patrick's Day play 
for schools, which she wrote, she says, 
because the Branch Department was con* 
stantly being asked for one and there was 
nothing available. 



QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 

Q. Why not have all meetings on Friday 
evenings, so that persons in the Branches 
may attend ? 

A. Program meetings will be held in 
the evening, and on Friday whenever 
possible. The original election meet- 
ing was held on Saturday only because 
the Lecture Hall was engaged on Fri- 
days for a series of Lowell lectures. 
Business meetings will probably have to 
be held in the daytime, however. 



Q. What progress has been made to correct 
the difference in hours between Central 
and the Branches? 

A. We suggest referring this q.uestion to 
the Personnel Office. 



Q. Why not have a get-aqualnted meeting, 
that is, a meeting in which all employees 
will be introduced? 

A. The Program Committee has arranged 
time for just this purpose after the 
le.ture on April 5- See p.l. 



Q. IVhy not have an editorial column? 
A. We'll try. 



^. Why not have a question and answer 
column? 

A^ We have. 



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THE SO/.P BOX 



March 28, 19^*6 



Dear Editor, 



As a probationary assistant '+th step, 
I have not sufficient title or erudition 
to break into the field of ciorrent library! 
literature, but I don't mind inflict- 
ing my theories on the home staff. Being 
a cog in the accumulation of statistics, 
I have long wanted to put in print my 
feelings on their meaning and usefulness. 
So let's look at the Boston Public Library 
Statistical Report f or ' 19*+^ on Library 
holdings. 

In I'^h the Library accessioned 6211+1 
volumes, and 60120 volumes were shelved 
and made arailable for public use. Does 
that mean that in one year 2021 were not 
made available to the public? According 
to another table 1299^* volumes were cata- 
loged in the Central Library, but only 
10218 were shelved and available. What 
happened to 2776 of them? For the infor- 
mation of non -members of the Library, 
just what is considered a volume? The 
table on book stock gives us a volume 
coiint. Qualitatively, what does that 
show? With the duplication necessary for 
branches, a title count would be more 
indicative of the additions to the Li- 
brary's holdings. Division by subject 
would give a comparative value to the 
statistics. Special materials such as 
records, microfilms, slides, maps, and 
prints are not accounted for. 

In the circulation statistics for these 
library holdings, there are four listings 
of the total circulation for the entire 
library, four listings of the total for 
the Reference Division, and several 
listings of the Circulation Division with 
deposit circulation estimated, and some- 
times without deposit circulation estima- 
ted, and tables to prove it all. But 
not a figure to show the circulation per 
capita or the circulation per staff member 



Registration statistics are very sim- 
ply stated--the number of registered 
borrowers and the number of new and re- 
registered borrowers. How does that 
compare with the A.L.A. standard in the 
percent of f^ervice area registered? I 
suppose A.L.A. can always figure it out. 

As a last cry against the application 
of statistical methods, why do we keep 
a separate count of books missing, and 
books unrecoverable from borrowers? If 
a reader is applying for one of these 
books, I am sure the distinction means 
nothing to him.. A book missing is pre- 
sumably unrecoverable and vice versa. 
Is the fact of agent known and unknown 
important? 

Sincerely, 

Evelyn F. Caswell 



, V T'j'f.-..' 



THE QUESTION MARK 



Published by the Bost on Public Library Profes sional Staff Associa t ion 

Vol. I May 19^6 No. 5 



Profess tr Jacques Guinard of the Uni- 
versity of Bordeaux has been kind enough 
to write an article for this issue on his 
first reactions to American libraries. 
He takes pains to say that they are "only 
impressions"; but most of his readers 
will feel that his modest "impressions" 
are more accurate than other louder 
pronouncements. 

Moreover, he looks upon us as "an 
American library," representative of a 
national system; and in so doing he re- 
calls to u3--though not explicitly--our 
larger obligations. Too often we let 
ourselves stay cramped within the petty 
problems of our own departments, forget- 
ting that the books on our shelves stand 
for something greater than the routine 
use we make of them. We who have never, 
throughout the past six years, suffered 
from a shortage of food, who never had 
to work in winter coats because there 
was no heat, who could buy and read what 
we chose without fear of surveillance, 
might now be grateful enough to enlarge 
our outlook a little, and express our 
gratitude in practical action. We might 
stop wasting food, and even cut down our 
ordinary rations, when elsewhere children 
are starving. We might send overseas 
the clothes we "save" but do not wear. 
We might clear out the extras on our 
bookshelves to help restock battered 
European libraries. 

What has all this to do with "profes- 
sional librarianshlp"? Not much, perhaps 
but we shall be no worse librarians for 
being understanding human beings. A good 
library is more than a collection of booke 
and catalog cards. It should be, to 
adapt the words of another French scholar, 
"a planet within the universe of mind, 
creating and shedding light upon a darker 
world . " 



Several names for the bulletin have 
been suggested, but many came in late, so 
the choice has been left until next 
month. If you have something in mind, 
please send it in before May 20. 



BUSINESS MEETING 

The regular business meeting of the 
B.P.L.P.S.A. will be held on Thursday, 
May 25, at 9 a.m. in the Lecture Hall. 



DR. FITZ AND DR. WATSON 

Nearly 200 people attended the Associa- 
tion's first program meeting on April 5^ 
and they all had a good time. 

The speaker was Dr. Reginald Fitz of 
the Harvard Medical School, who talked 
on "Sherlock Holmes's Dr. Watson." Though 
his approach was light, he outlined his 
hero's career with such precision--even 
to his university diploma and his medical 
exams-- that by the end of the evening 
the hypnotized audience was convinced of 
Dr. Watson's actual existence. 

At ten o'clock the meeting adjourned 
to the Abbey Room for punch, cookies, 
and conversation. An unexpected door 
prize was contributed by the Esquire 
Theatre --two tickets for Henry V . 

The Program Committee deserves congrat- 
ulation for seciiring such an Interesting 
speaker, and the Entertainment Committee 
for the smoothness with which it carried 
out the social end of the evening. The 
Abbey Room, transformed by candlelight 
and forsythia, has not looked so glamor- 
ous since the A.L.A. Convention. 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 

Mademoiselle Fran^oise Gaston Cherau, 
a member of the Purchasing Department of 
the Blbliotheque Nationale, has been 
studying the Library for the past few 
weeks under the auspices of the French 
Government. 

Dr. Olof von Fellltzer, Assistant Li- 
brarian at the Royal Library in Stock- 
holm, also visited the Library recently. 



HOW AMERICA STRIKES A FRENCH LIBRARIAN 

By Jacques Gulnard 
Chief Librarian, University of Bordeaux 

At the request of the editor of the 
■bulletin of the Boston Public Library 
Staff Association, who has done me the 
honor to admit me among her collabora- 
tors, I have tried to sum up in the pages 
which follow the impressions derived from 
my first contact with American libraries. 
The reader will not expect to find here 
the results of deep study. The subject 
is too vast and complex, my own experi- 
ence of it too fresh and incomplete, for 
me to put forward anything of the sort 
at pi'e3ent--much less venture to pass 
Judgment. I have merely jotted down 
my reactions--almost instinctive-.to a 
world entirely new to me, without assum- 
ing in the slightest degree that they are 
all Justified. Greater familiarity with 
American methods and comparison with 
other United States libraries will bring 
things into focus and correct whatever 
may be exaggerated or mistaken in these 
impressions. 

From the very moment of landing Ameri- 
ca appears to a French librarian a coun- 
try of fabulous riches. Its domain is 
different from that of the sixteenth- 
century conquistadors; its enchantment 
is the same. I shall not try to conceal 
my wonder at the wealth of the libraries 
which I have visited this month; 
first of all the Boston Library, where I 
have been allowed to watch the wheels 
in motion, but also the New York Public 
Library and the Columbia University 
Library, where I preferred to go as an 
ordinary reader during my brief stay 
in New York. If our great French librar- 
ies can bear comparison with their Amer- 
ican sisters as regards their ancient 
foundations and their rare books, they 
must confess themselves vanquished as to 
modern purchases. And I cannot repress 
a feeling of envy towards my American 
colleagues, who have the money to acquire 
whole sets, to buy everything essential 
that comes out in a given field, without 
being forced by inadequate funds to choose 
only a few of the new publications and 
put aside many others no less indispen- 
sable. 



Ihe equipment ia Just as lavish: 
buildings designed for the library and 
kept exclusively for its use, while 
in France we must be content with one 
or two floors in a public building or 
in some old strujture which is pictur- 
esque but Inconvenient. Wide vesti- 
bules, monumental staircases, huge, 
comfortable rooms where one is assured 
of finding a seat--these provide the 
reader's work with an easy and pleas- 
ant setting. The library staff is not 
forgotten. Does It always esteem at 
its true value the advantage of work- 
ing in big rooms, well lighted, well 
ventilated, well heated, each with 
his telephone at hand, his typewriter, 
his bibliographical tools, and finally 
his card catalogue? I could never 
have dreamed of such a prodigality of 
filing cases, each department supplying 
its public with duplicates of the cards 
in the general catalogue for its own 
books, besides the drawers reserved for 
staff use. 

The financial resources of American 
libraries are in proportion to the nu- 
merical strength of a well-trained 
personnel, whose effective force no 
doubt exceeds in a single institution 
that of all our university libraries 
put together. Each has his own allotted 
task and, not being overburdened, can 
accomplish it properly and with zest. 
The organization of the service at the 
Boston Public Library, its breakdown 
into divisions and departments subor- 
dinate to or coordinated with one 
another- -at the same time preserving 
a certain autonomy--seems to me no less 
remarkable than the collections which 
it administers. I was much interested 
to find that it is indeed a little 
world in itself, with its own masons, 
electricians, printing shop, and bindery. 

Until recent years French libraries 
were in general either centers of 
scholarly research used by a limited 
and cultured public, or popular lending 
li'hraries for fiction- lovers . It seems 
to me that in this country public librar- 
ies are moved by a missionary spirit. 
They are convinced that they have an 
important role to play in the nation's 
life, that they must serve the entire 



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community. They do not wait for readers i 
to come to them; they go after them. In 
their attempt to raise the general Intel- 
lectual level and form people's taste, 
they tend to become centres of intellec- 
tual life. Not only do they buy as many 
good books as they can; they use the most 
varied methods to pique curiosity and 
thus see that the books are read . They 
extend and illustrate their teaching; 
reading rooms are flanked by exhibition- 
rooms and concert halls. The Boston 
Public Library organizes a lecture series, 
entitled "Meet the Author," which presents 
contemporary writers and their work to 
the public. But it did not waste the 
opportuntiy offered by the premiere of an 
outstanding film in one of the city thea- 
tres. It drew up and distributed to its 
visitors a list of its best books on 
Henry V, the Hundred Years' War, and 
fifteenth-century England . This effort 
at propaganda and training through books 
finds its most characteristic expression 
and its greatest success in the children's 
rooms. I cannot describe the pleasure 
with which I examined these in every 
central or branch library that I visited, 
and I regret that I could not see all of 
them. I can scarcely say what delighted 
me most; the librarians' ingenuity in 
decorationg their rooms and improving 
their books, the t>alent displayed by the 
story-tellers in the weekly story hour, 
or the expressive faces of the children, 
who never missed a word of the story. 

The will to serve manifests itself in 
the same way in the social sphere. Those 
libraries which are the best source for 
learned works do not scorn to supply 
their readers with the means of solving 
the very prosaic problems of daily life. 
To students of political economy the 
Boston Public Library offers the rich 
collections of the Statistical and Gov- 
ernment Publications Department; but it 
also maintains a Business Branch in the 
Heart of the business district, ready 
to help veterans find a position by 
guiding them to an extensive series of 
documents bought solely with their needs 



in mind. Ten years ago, during the 
depression, it did its best along simi- 
lar lines to help the unemployed. 

To allow the reader to obtain quickly 
as much source material as possible, 
whatever field interests him--3dence or 
business, music or fiction--this is, 
to my mind, the primary aim of American 
libraries. Hence the practical nature 
of the methods adopted. In the reading 
rooms, at least one librarian is always 
available to direct and orient the 
public. Access to the shelves is permit- 
ted in all departments where books can be 
replaced in case of loss. Rules can be 
adjusted to meet circumstances (I am 
thinking here of the deposit loaned by 
the Science and Technology Department 
to the Business Branch during the war). 
Several copies of popular books of pas- 
sing interest or second-rate quality are 
bought, so that readers may not have to 
wait too long. To make room for new 
books with more up-to-date information, 
the staff does not hesitate to discard 
works considered obsolete, even if there 
is only one copy on the shelves; the 
policy of the Circulation Division is 
to keep only volumes which can still be 
of use. Shall I say that I was astounded 
and even a little shocked to see how 
general this practice is? A librarian 
who has tried in vain to complete a col- 
lection of periodicals, receiving only 
too often the dry response, "Out of 
print," cannot avoid a pang at the thought 
that tons of books and magazines are thus 
condemned to the scrap heap, when there 
are so many among them which will be 
lacking for all time in other libraries 
less rich. 

But all this is only an impression. 
May I now be allowed to express one 
certainty: ray deep gratitude for the 
frank and friendly welcome which I have 
received from the whole staff of the 
Boston Public Library, from its Director 
to the youngent "runner." Words fail me 
to thank them as I should like. For a 
month they have left no stone unturned 
to facilitate my work, directing it. 



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answering my countless questions with 
unwavering good grace, devoting half -days 
of precious time to me. They have done 
more: "by their constant attention, the 
interest which they have lavished upon 
me, and the hospitality which they have 
offered so often and generously, they 
have made my stay in Boston a time of 
real relaxation and enjoyment. 

In the spring of 1919> when, as a very 
young student at the University of Lyon, 
I was preparing an examination on the 
history of art, I used to go to the Mu- 
seum every morning, and I never failed 
to pause at the top of the grand stair- 
case of the Palais-Saint-Pierre, adorned 
with the famous frescoes of Puvis de 
Chavannes. A few hours later, in a hall 
of the Faculty des Lettres, I would 
meet a group of American soldiers, stu- 
dents who were spending some months in a 
French university he fore being demobi- 
lized, and together we tried to translate 
several pages of classical French writers, 
who became the theme of our conversation. 
Ever since, Puvis de Chavannes and my 
first American friends have been insepara- 
ble In my mind among the happy memories 
of a time when everything- -the return of 
peace, my eighteen years, and a radiant 
spring--combined to make me see life 
through rose-colored glasses and feel 
that I was entering upon a new era. The 
Boston Public I,ibrary takes me back to 
that beatific year. Each day, climbing 
a great marble staircase, I find myself 
in a setting familiar and beloved. The 
noble allegories of Puvis de Chavannes 
welcome me; as at Lyon, they stand out In 
a sea of deep blue, or evolve quietly 
into harmonious landscapes. Once more 
American friends are about me: this time 
my host8--the most charming, most gra- 
cious of hosts. Once more the war is 
over; and we librarians, French and Amer- 
ican, can do our best together in our 
modest sphere to make ready for a better 
future . 



VETERANS' BANQUET 

The Benefit Association wishes to re- 
mind the staff of the Veterans ' Banquet 
which is to be given on Thursday, May l6, 
at the Hotel Bradford. 

Tables for ten may be reserved by those 
who wish to sit together. The seating 
plan is posted on the bulletin board in 
the Blagdon Street Hall, and Mr. John 
Tuley of the Buildings Department will be 
glad to make reservations . 



PERSONAL NOTES 

New Staff Members 

Mrs. Geraldlne Toohy Beck, who resigned 
from the Library in January 19^5 to Join 
her husband, stationed on the West Coast, 
has returned and is now at Mattapan Branch. 

Mrs. Eleanor J. Knodel, graduate of the 
University of Pennsylvania, 19^5^ Joined 
the staff of the Young People's Room on 
April 1. 

Transfers 



Miss Jeanne M. Delaney, Jamaica Plain 
Branch, to West End Branch. 

Mr. James Kennedy, Mr. James McGllli- 
cuddy, Mr. Francis G. Myers, and Mr. 
Leonard Kanter to Book Stack Service, 
to carry on the shelf -reading project 
which was dropped during the war. 

Mrs. Edna C. Langille,, Children's Li- 
brarian, North End Branch, to Jamaica 
Plain Branch. 

Mr. Joseph A. Lynch and Mr. Henry J. 
Barry, Cataloging and Classification 
Department, Reference Division, to the 
Book Preparation Department. 



-5- 



Mr. Edward J. Nlland, Reference De- 
partment, to the Periodical and Newspaper 

Department. 

Miss Alice O'Donnell, Extra Assistant, 
to Military Substitute, Book Stack Ser- 
vice. 

Miss Mildred E. Presente, Children's 
Assistant, Connolly Branch, to City 
Point Branch. 

Miss Mary L. Eart has returned to the 
Library after an absence of about four 
months and is in the Office of the Chief 
Librarian of the Circulation Division. 

Resignations 

Mrs. Catherine M. De/lin, Upham's 
Corner Branch. 

Mrs. Margaret M. Donovan, Children's 
Librarian, City Point Branch. 

Miss Rebecca Goldman, Business Branch, 
resigned on April 9 to be married. 

Miss Virginia O'-'^ien, Cataloging and 
Classification Department, Reference 
Division, resigned to take another posi- 
tion. 

In Military Service 

Lieut. Col. Richard G. Hensley, Chief 
Librarian of the Reference Division, has 
returned from military service. 

Tech. Sgt. Margaret J. Carr, WAC , has 
b'3en discharged and is now in the Busi- 
ness Office. 

Lieut. Frank Doherty, USNR, is working 
in the Reference Department. 

Sgt. Louis Polishook, formerly at Fel- 
lowes Athenaeum Branch, is now In the 
Science and Technology Department. 



In our last issue we mistakenly referred 
to Mr. Leonard Macmlllan of the Book 
Purchasing Department as a private. We 
hereby offer apologies to ex-T/5 Macmlllan] 



Retirements 

Mrs. Minerva L. Elliott, Music Depart- 
ment^ retired late in March. A graduate 
of the New England Conservatory of Music, 
she began her twenty- two years of service 
with the Library at the Fellowes Athen- 
aeum Branch, but after a short time was 
transferred to the Music Department. 
She retired very quietly, but we under- 
stand she is looking forward to large 
quantities of leisure, music, and travel. 

Mies Laura R. Gibbs, Chief of the His- 
tory Department, retired In April. A 
tea was given for her in the Women's 
Lounge on April 15, fit which she was 
presented with a black leather handbag 
as a farewell gift. Mrs. Bertha V. 
Hartzell, Supervisor of Training, and 
Miss Alice M. Jordan, former Supervisor 
of Work with Children, poured. Miss 
Gibbs is planning to live in Plymouth. 
Born In Kentucky in I876, Miss Gibbs 
took her B. S. In library science at the 
Univeristy of Illinois in 1902 and the 
M.A. in history at Columbia University 
in 1918. From I908 to 1913 ahe was 
head cataloger at the Brown University 
Library; for the next five years she 
was a cataloger at the Columbia Univer- 
sity Library. From 1919 to I920 she 
organized an Information bureau for New 
York telephone directory publishers, and 
did similar work for the Tel-U-Where 
Company in Boston from I92O to I925. 
She entered the Library's Reference De- 
partment in 1925, specializing in history 
reference after 1937. In 19^0 she was 
made Chief of the new History Department. 



Mr. Everett Tewksbury, Cataloging and 
Classification Department, Reference Di- 
vision, also retired in April. An in- 
formal gathering was held in his honor 
on April 17> and he was given an auto- 
graph album signed by his friends in the 
Library. 

Mr. Tewksbury graduated from Harvard in 
1899, and received his M.A. from Columbia 
in IQll. He studied music at Boston 



■6- 



University and elsewhere; and drawing at 
the Massachusetts School of Art. He has 
also been an organist and choirmaster. 
He has been in the Library Service about 
twenty years, specializing in the cata- 
loging of music. His parting remark was 
that anyone with a hobby must en, joy his 
leisure, though no one should wait until 
retirement to start a hobby. His own-- 
music and drawing--will give him a pleas- 
ant occupation. 



Miss Dorothy Holmes, Information 
Office is recovering from a serious 
Illness at the Chickering house for Con- 
valescents, and would welcome mail. 
Her address is Chickering House for Con- 
valescents, Washington Street, Dedham, 
Massachusetts . 



Miss Clara Jones, Fine Arts Department, 
is ill at the Brookline Nursing Home, 7^ 
Green Street, Brookline ^+6. She may 
have visitors during the afternoon and 
early evening. 



Mr. and Mrs. Sidney S. Altman have a 
son, Roger Charles, born April 2, 1946. 
Mrs. Altman is First Assistant at the 
Dorchester Branch. 



While on his southern trip Mr. Lord 
spent April 12 in Shreveport, Louisiana, 
where he addressed the Optimist Club, 
broadcast a discussion of library taxes 
together with the President of the Li- 
brary Board, and attended a square 
dance party in his honor. 



Miss Mary F. Daly, Second Assistant in 
the Statistical Department, left on 
April 21 for a vacation trip by air to 
Mexico City and Guatemala. 



Mrs. Dora Bailey, formerly Children's 
Librarian, South End Branch, and now a 
student at Pratt Library School, qual- 
ified for a scholarship there for excel- 
lence in her work. However, as a for- 
mer member of the WAC, Mr a. Bailey is 
the recipient of a GI scholarship, 
which in this case takes the place of 
the one from Pratt. 



Miss Flora A. Gagg, known aa "Dolly" 
at the East Boston Branch, where she 
worked for nearly a year, was married 
on April 7 to Mr. Robert C. Winterbottom 
at her home in Wilton, Connecticut. 
Miss Helen Colgan and four young patrons 
of East Boston Branch, special guests at 
the ceremony, report that she was a 
picture-book bride as she stood with 
her wedding party under an archway of 
evergreens and forsythia. 



Miss Virginia Havlland, Children's 
Librarian, Phillips Brooks Branch, is 
the author of an article entitled "Chil- 
ren and their Friends, the Authors," in 
the May isaue of More Books . 



Mr. Abraham H. Kalish, in charge of 
the Library's work with trade unions, 
received special notice for his work in 
an article, "Librarians and Labor," by 
Mark Starr, in the March 15 issue of the 
Lib rary Journal . Mr. Kalish was invited 
to participate in the Joint National 
Adult Education Conference at Detroit 
to speak for libraries in a symposium 
on the role of the community agency in 
meeting the educational needs of workers, 
and to be a resource person (i.e. con- 
sultant) in a special conference group 
on workers' education services. He has 
also been asked to speak at the Social 
Science Group Round Table of the Special 
Libraries Association convention here in 
June. 



•7- 



Miss Eva J. Anttonen, Children's Librar 
Ian at East Boston Branch, now on leave 
of absence in Mexico City, writes enthu- 
siastically from the Benjamin Franklin 
Library, "The Children's Room (on the - 
roof) is really a 5-ring Circus--whlch of 
course suits me. Three puppet classes 
during the week (I have already modelled 
my own darling witch), one Spanish story 
hoiir on Wednesday, one English story hour 
(or more) on Friday (that's me), and a 
picture-book story hour (5 years old and 
younger) on Thursday (that's also me). 
And on Saturday.' That's the day! 11 Movies 
or rather very good educational films 
begin at 8 In the morning! Three in all 
during the day.'" She reports that her 
first day at the library was also the 
beginning of Pan American Week, which 
was opened after library hours with d 
cocktail party for Mexican writers, con- 
suls, and other notables. Miss Anttonen 
flew to Mexico from Boston on April 6, 
and began her work on the following 
Monday. 



North End Branch was recently hostess 
to Miss Brotherton's class from Simmons 
College. Included in the class were 
Miss Mary Isouise Oilman of Jamaica Plain 
Branch, Miss Marie R. Kennedy of Mt. 
Bowdoin Branch, Miss Marjorie M. Gibbons 
of Mattapan Branch, Miss Jeannete A. 
Pepin of Lower Mills Branch, and Miss 
Dorothy Becker of North End Branch. They 
were entertained with a puppet show. The 
Wizard of Oz. 



THE SOAP BOX 



At the request of the Union three rep- 
resentatives of the Union recently met 
the Sub-Committee on Library Personnel of 
the Library Examining Committee in order 
to present the Union's case regarding 
changes in the present classification 
system and civil service. In the course 
of the discussion, one member of the Ex- 
amining Committee asked if the Union 
would accept a classification of positions 
or whether It would insist on civil ser- 
vice. The Union representatives answered 
that the organized employees of the Li- 
brary had tried for almost 8 years to have 



the Library administration adopt such 
a classification; that the Union began 
to sponsor civil service bills only 
after it was convinced that all other 
means of obtaining a classification of 
positions had been exhausted; and that 
a clasaification of positions with all 
that it implied (equal pay for equal 
work, statement of minimum requirements, 
etc.) would therefore be satisfactory. 
The Union representatives added that 
such a system of classification must in- 
clude all positions except that of Dir- 
ector to be effective. Otherwise some 
of the troubles that now seem to beset 
the Boston public schools might result. 

Very truly yours, 
Kenneth C . Barnes 



Dear Mr. Hill: 



Washington Village Braxh 



I should like to suggest that the B.P. 
L.P.S.A. try to stimulate active inter- 
est In the annual A.L.A. meeting, June l6, 
Buffalo. As a local professional group, 
we should cooperate with our national 
professional association. I believe 
that the B.P. L.P.S.A. should realize 
that it could gain renewed enthusiasm 
and new Ideas from a knowledge of the 
achievements of other libraries. 

Perhaps the B.P. L.P.S.A. could arouse 
a greater attendance at the A.L.A. meet- 
ing by (1) listing the names of all who 
plan to attend the meeting; (2) by an- 
nouncing that the B.P-L.P.S.A. is hold- 
ing a luncheon or dinner at the conven- 
tion (this is a really good method of 
getting members acquainted); (5) by an- 
nouncing that the B.P. L.P.S.A. members 
are welcome to leave for Buffalo together 
at a definite time and at a definite 
place in South Station (another oppor- 
tunity for acquaintance on the train). 
Another suggestion is to request one or 
two members who will attend the conven- 
tion to give an oral report at the fol- 
lowing regular B.P. L.P.S.A. meeting. 

Very Sincerely yovirs, 
Helen A. Hirson 



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Editor's note: Anyone who wishes to Join 
the A.L.A. before the Buffalo convention, 
or would like further information in re- 
gard to the suggestions made by Mrs. Hir- 
son, should get in touch with Mr. Brad- 
ford Hill. 



More than one person has suggested that 
people with gardens might bring in flow- 
ers regularly for the Abbey Room during 
the summer. Mr. Bedstone says that there 
is at present no table where flowers 
could be placed without risk of being 
upset, but that the Supervisor's Office 
would be glad to have them if space 
ever became abailable. Perhaps some scheme 
could be worked out later. 



Dear "Soap Box" Editor: 

I was naturally 
Interested in the letter by Miss Caswell 
which appeared in the April issue of this 
paper. It contains much that lends it- 
self to discussion. Since adequate con- 
sideration would require more space 
than could be given here, I am looking 
forward to talking over with Miss Caswell 
the various points which she has mentioned, 

Sincerely yours, 
Sarah M. Usher 
Assistant to the Director 



QM Volume I, Fioraber l^ June, 194.6 



QM Volvirae I, Number 5 July, I9I4.G 



/ 



THE QUESTION MARK 



Published by the Boston Public Library ProfcGsional Staff Association 

Summer - 1946 



Vol. I 



No, 6 



As you have guessed by this time, we are 
combininj^ the July and August issues of THE 
QUESTION MARK and are having but one edi- 
tion to oover the summer months. We cer- 
tainly appreciate and wish to thank all 
those who have sent in news items, but we 
should like more people to contribute. 
This is your paper, and vre want to hoar 
from as many members as possible. 'What 
about all the carnivals, circuses, hobby 
shows, etc., etc., held at the various 
branches? And is no one taking an inter- 
esting vacation? Let's hear all about 
what you are doing; otherwise, the poor ??? 
will be losing its fine ourves and falling 
into the 11 2 class. 



EXECUTIVE BOARD TffiETING 

The Executive Committee of the Profes- 
sional Staff Association announces the 
follomng committee to investigate classi- 
fication by person and classification by 
position: 

llTs. Edith H. Bailey, Phillips Brooks 

Branch, Chairman 
Ruth S. Cannell, Office of the Chief Li- 
brarian of the Circulatior 
Division 
Eleanor R. Devlin, General Reference 

Department 
Thomas J, Manning, Patent Room 
Mrs, Evelyn C. Marden, Allston Branch 
Robert J. Roper, Science and Technology 

Department 
Benjamin W. Rudd, Cataloging and Classifi- 
cation Department 



Mary McDonough, Chief of the Book Prep- 
aration Department, has been appointed to 
succeed Mrs. Margaret Niland as Chairman 



of the Membership and Hospitality Commit- 
tee following the latter 's resignation 
from that petition on June 14, 1946. 



The Executive Committee of the P.S.A, 
wishes to thank members of the staff for 
their help and cooperation toward making 
the Association's reception to the Spe- 
cial Libraries Convention on June 14, 
1946, a successful and happy affair. 



At a meeting of the Executive Board 
of the Professional Staff Association, 
held on July 24, the following persons 
were named to form a Staff Library Book 
Recommendation Committee: 

Louira S, Metcalf, Open Shelf Department, 

Chairman 
Harry Andrews, Branch Issue Department 
Florence Connolly, Fine Arts Department 
Charles M. Higgins, General Reference 

Department 
Mrs. Janet Langendoen, Connolly Branch 
Gladys I'^hite, Fell owes Athenaeum Branch 

Recommendations for books to be se- 
lected for the Staff Library will be wel- 
comed by this committee and may be sent 
to Miss Metcalf, Chairman. 



As representative of the B, P. L. P.S.A., 
Virginia Haviland, Secretary, attended 
on July 11 a meeting sponsored by the 
Massachusetts Library Association and its 
Committee on Standards for discussion of 
the revised bill to create a Massachusetts 
State Board for the Certification of 
Librarians. 

This meeting, the first of a series 
planned by the Committee on Standards, 



- 2 



was attended by a group of library admin- 
istrators, ooiranittee members, and repre^r 
sentatives of regional clubs and staff 
associations. 



A.L.A. CO?JFERENCE 

Mr, Lord and the following staff mem- 
bers attended the American Library Asso- 
ciation Conference in Buffalo, New York: 

Edward X, Casey, Business Branch 
Martha C. Engler, Fellowes Athenaeum Br. 
Elizabeth M. Crordon, Deputy Supervisor, 

in charge of Work 
with Children 
A. Virginia Haviland, Phillips Brooks 

Branch 
Marion R, Herzig, Roslindale Branch 
Mrs, Helen F. Hirson, Washington Village 

Branch 
Taima E. Lilja, Jamaica Plain Branch 
Priscilla MacFadden, Fine Arts Department 
Dorothy F. Nourse, East Boston Branch 

Priscilla MacFadden was Chairman of the 
Art Reference Round Table at this confer- 
ence. Marion R, Herzig, Branch Librarian 
at Roslindale Branch, has written the fol 
lowing summary of the meetings attended: 

"Gearing Libraries to a New Epoch" was 
the theme of the first American Library 
Associa^;ion Conference since the war, held 
in Buffalo during the third week in June. 
Since all divisions and sections of the 
Association contribute to the Conference 
program, each member must exercise consid' 
erable selection in choosing v/hich meet- 
ings and sessions to attend. There is a 
certain inspiration and stimulus for 
everyone attending such a conference, a 
camaraderie established almost from the 
beginning, for these members of the li- 
brary profession who come together from 
all parts of the country and many from 
overseas. For the general assistant 
and the specialist, for the director of 
the large library or the librarian of the 
smallest village library, there seems to 
be practical value as well as encourage- 
ment in the opportunity to heer common 
problems discussed, even though there may 
be no immediate solutions. Profession- 



ally, one's horizon is enlarged in a 
pleasantly social atmosphere. 

In this conference, there were many 
meetings of interest primarily to workers 
with children and young people, with such 
outstanding speakers as ¥jrs. Annis Duff, 
author of "Bequest of ^"ings," Dr, Ethel 
J. Alpenfels, anthropologist of the 
Bureau for Intercultural Education, whose 
pamphlet "Sense and Nonsense about Race" 
has just been published, and Dr. Ethel E. 
Ewing, Education Director, Institute of 
Pacific Relations who helped in the eval- 
uation of books about foreign countries. 

Highlight of every A.L.A. Conference 
is the awards dinner sponsored by the 
Children's Library Association honoring 
the recipients of the Newbery and Calde- 
cott medals. This year Frederic G, 
Melcher, President of R,R, Bowker Com- 
pany and donor of the medals, spoke de- 
lightfully of his recent visits ■sii.th 
English authors just before Harriet Leaf, 
Chairman, made the presentations. To 
Lois Lenski went the Newbery Medal for 
her "Strawberry Girl," and to Berta and 
Elmer Hadcr the Caldecott Medal for their 
book "The Rooster Crows," Mss Lenski 
replied with a sincere and delightful 
account of her work, particularly of her 
effort to achieve understanding for all 
children through such regional books as 
"Strawberry Girl," The audience re- 
sponded enthusiastically to the spirit 
of the Haders' acceptance in the form of 
a book in four chapters, of which each 
read a portion, telling how their v;ork 
began and then how "The Rooster Crows" 
grev; out of an anxious night during the 
war years . 

At a significant meeting sponsored by 
the Adult Education Board, Dr. Mortimer 
Adler, Professor of Philosophy of Law at 
the University of Chicago, discussed the 
underlying purposes and methods employed 
in the discussion groups centered around 
the "Great Books" programs, now con- 
ducted by public libraries in several 
cities, notribly Chicr-go, v;ashington, and 
Detroit. "The education of an adult is 
an ever-continuing process," he pointed 
out, "the only ansv;er to v/hich is the 
reading and discussion of the great 



- 3 » 



inexhaustible books, which may be a few 
days or a few thousand years old, but in 
content are as modern as today. The main 
reason for reading them is that they pro- 
vide, perhaps more than any other experi- 
ence, a deep grasp of human aims, motives 
and shortcomings. They contain the 
relatively- small niimber of basic ideas by 
which nan has advanced. It is not so im- 
portant for people to know the ideas, as 
it is for them to learn to interpret their 
own problems with their help. Mere read- 
ing of the books is not enough, it is nec- 
essary to meet your follov; man on the com- 
mon ground the books, provide. Answers ere 
comparatively unimportant; the question is 
the thing, because it brings out of j'-ou 
your ov/n answer. Every man and woman 
must have a real adult education because 
the average American has lost the power of 
conversation; we do not Icnow how to achieve 
a 'meeting of the minds.' Our aim is to 
have 60,000,000 people reading the great 
books, for as discussion trains people in 
the skill of perceiving and meeting an- 
other's point of view, it is the answer to 
the question of how to educate for world 
peace." 

Although there were only about three 
hundred persons who heard Dr. Adler in the 
afternoon, neerly one thousand crov;ded the 
ballroom of the Hotel Statler for the eve- 
ning meeting ivhere sixteen representative 
librarians participated in the discussion 
of Plato's "Crito" and "Apologia," led by 
Dr. Adler and Dr. Cyril 0. Houle, Dean of 
University College, University of Chicago. 
Emphasis vfas laid on the number of poten- 
tial leaders among interested public li- 
brary staff members who conduct those 
seminar-type discussion groups centered 
around the great books. 

At the final General Session, Mary U. 
Rothrock, incoming president of the A.L.A., 
presented, in place of the customary "pres- 
ident's message," her chief, David E. 
Lilienthal, chairman of the Tennessee 
Valley Authority, and also chairman of the 
committee whose report on the international 
control of atomic energy had just that week 
been presented to the United Nations as the 
basis of American policy. He asserte;d 
that "Faith in people is essential if a 
worthwhile civilization is to be developi=id. 



Far from fearing atomic energy, machines 
and other scientific development, society 
should learn to harness them for the bene- 
fit of humanity. We must not be misled 
by people who do not know and have good 
intentions, nor by people who do know and 
have bad motives." 



NATIONAL BOOK FAIR IN MEXICO 

Eva J. Anttonen, Children's Librarian 
at the Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico 
while on leave of absence from the East 
Boston Branch, vrrites us the following 

news : 

"The National Book Fair is around the 
corner. It ivas scheduled for May 15th, 
but latest report says it will open 
June 1st J However, it is an immense 
project. Half one street is given over 
to enormous booths, the main thoroughfare 
being called International Avenue, The 
Benjamin Franklin is the only American ex- 
hibit - and we are tucked in between Chile 
and Russia. Our entire exhibit is going 
to be devoted to children's books and our 
work with them down here across the bor- 
der, 

"I have been cutting out my usual 
paper dolls - this time life size, I 
don't know quite what I am going to do 
with them. At the moment I have been 
ordered to make a tree (any kind). The 
painters arc madly giving the last touches 
to our booth and I guess this week-end I 
shall be hammering, glueing, etc. Remem- 
ber the jig-saw puzzles I made out of book 
jackets? Dr, Bentley has ordered ply- 
wood and I am going to make some of those 
out of our most colorful book jackets, 

"Ours is going to be an exhibit in 
progress , i.e, everything we do in the" li- 
brary will be demonstrated to the public. 
Children will be on exhibit all the time - 
reading, doing our book jacket puzzles, 
making puppets, making scenery for the 
stage, picture-book class, and examples 
of the two story hours, in Spanish and 
English. Also, the children who are mak- 
a mural for the Children's Room will be 
there with paint and brushes i Ours, I 



4 - 



think, will be certp.inly the most act ive 
booth. And the center is where it should 
be - with the children, 

"l have been enjoying my one day each 
week at the American School, The chil- 
dren are almost precocious on the whole. 
The third grade is really a sixth in read- 
ing ability. They ask for 'Yankee 
Doodle's Cousins' and 'Pecos Bill,' Mex- 
ican children are angels I Never any 
noise, and when they leave, a polite 'con 
su permiso.' Some even shake handsl" 



SCHOLARSHIP '' AV'fARDS 

Scholarships for members of the li- 
brary staff for study at Library Schools 
were awarded this year to; 

Marie R, Kennedy, Mt, 3ov;doin Branch - 

Joseph H. Center Scholarship 
Eamon E, McDonough, Book Stack Service - 

Daniel Sharp Ford Scholarship 
Anne L. Moore, Open Shelf Department - 

Franklin P. Hyde Scholarship 
Jeannette A. Pepin, Lower Mills Branch - 

Francis Skinner Scholarship 



DISTINGUISHED VISITORS 

Mile, Paule Nancel-Penard, Conservateur 
of the Bibliotheque Municipalo, Le Havre, 
France, one of three French Librarians who 
are being sent to the United States this 
year to study and observe American librr.r- 
ies, under the auspices of the French 
Government, has been visiting many depart- 
ments of the Library, Mile. Peno.rd is es 
pncially interested in vrork with children. 



PERSONAL NOTES 



Staff members attending libr-^ry school: 



Simmons College 



Dorothy K. Becker, North End Branch 
Marjorie M, Gibbons, Mnttt.pan Branch 
Charles L. Higgins, General Kefurence 

Department 



Marie R, Kennedy, ?ft, Bowdoin Branch 
Jeannette A, Pepin, Lower Mils Branch 
Eamon E, McDonough, Book Stack Service 

Columbia University 

Anne L. Moore, Open Shelf Department 
Ruth 'iVilliamson, History Department 

Appointments 

Leonard S. Burkat to be First Assist- 
ant, Music Department 

Ellen C. Peterson to be Branch Librar- 
ian, Neponset Branch 

I4rs, Muriel C, Javelin to be Chief of 
the Open Shelf Department, 
and Deputy Supervisor in 
the Circulation Division 

John M. Carroll to be Chief of the 

General Reference Depart- 
ment, and Deputy 3vpervisor 
in the Reference Division 

Bradford M> HilJ. to be Chief of the 
Pcricni^al and Newspaper 
Department, and Deputy 
Supervisor in the Reference 
Division 

Transfers 

Mary L, Oilman, Children's Librarian, 
Jamaica Plain Branch to 
Charlestovm Branch 

Taimi Lilja, First Assistant, Jamaica 
Plain Pranch to Uphams 
Corner Branch 

Mrs, Irene H. Tuttlo, First Assistant, 
Uphams Corner Branch to 
Jamaica Plain Branch 

David A, Cotton, Military Substitute, 
Periodical and Newspaper 
Department to General 
Reference Department 

Jfrs, Geraldine T. Beck, Second Assist- 
an-^j Ms^ttapan Branch to 
T'j.-.t Roxbury Branch 

Putiline A, T'llker, Branch Librarian, 
Neponset Branch to West 
Roxbury Branch 



Resignations 

Lucille Hermann, Book Stack Service to 
accept another poeition 

Margaret C. McDonnell, Book Stack Ser- 
vice, to accept another 
position 

M« Regina Shay, Children's Librarian, 
South End Branch, to be 
married 

Dorothy W, Getlein, Charlestovm Branch 

Estelle Bailen, North End Branch 

Elinor C. Day, Children's Librarian, 
East Boston Branch, to be 
Librarian of the General 
College Library of Boston 
University 

Francis X. Scannell, General Reference 
Department, to accept a 
position with the Detroit 
Public Library 

Marriages 

Hazel R»ss, Mt, Pleasant Branch to 
Gerald F. Johnston 

Sylvia Drooks, Book Stack Service to 
Michael Botto 

Mary E. Johnston, Uphams Corner Branch, 
to Richard i". Obear on 
June 29, 1946 

Phyllis Thibodeau, Book Stack Service, 
to James Dmitri Kergis on 
June 15, 1946 

Margaret T. Dowling, Periodical and 

Newspaper Department, is to 
be married August 3, 1946, 
to William Butler. 

Retirements 

Catherine P. Loughman, Branch Librarian, 
Mt. Bowdoin Branch, retired 
because of ill health on 
May 31, 1946. 



Geneva Watson, Branch Librarian, 

West Roxbury Branch, also 
retired because of ill 
health on May 31, 1946, 

New Staff Members 

Elenore P» Bloom, Information Office 

Elizabeth G. Todd, Rare Book Depart- 
ment 

Gracemarie V, Alfe, North End Branch 

Frances Crofts, Erist Boston Branch 

Hilda Sheinberg, Jeffries Point Branch 

Sheila W. Pierce, Book Stack Service, 
sister of Mrs. Claire P. 
O'Toole, who left the ser- 
vice July 5, 1946 

Charles C. Colby III, Business Office 

Jose Antonio Franquiz, Ph.D., Rare 
Book Department, Dr. 
Franquiz was formerly head 
of the Philosophy Depart- 
ment at the University of 
Puerto Rico. He is now 
cataloging manuscripts, 
documents, etc. of the 
Ticloior Collection of Span- 
ish and Portuguese litera- 
ture, 

John Burke, who is a teacher in the 

Boston public schools and 
also a former member of the 
staff, is working in the 
Open Shelf Department for 
the summer. 

Pauline O'Melia, who is a supervisor 
of school libraries in 
Elmont, New York, and also 
a former member of our 
staff, returns for the 
summer to the School Issue 
Department . 



- 6 - 



The following veterans have returned to 
the Library; 

Robert Dixon, Jr., Fine Arts Department 

Roger L. DuFault, Book Purchasing 
Department 

Doris A. Quigley, Director's Office 

B. Joseph O'Neil, Periodical and News- 
paper Department 



The following staff members spoke at 
the Special Libraries Association Conven- 
tion; 

Dorothy Merrow, Business Branch - one 
of the speakers on panel 
discussion: "V/hat libraries 
can do to help the small 
business man." 

Abraham Kalish, Circulation Division 
Office - speaker on Round 
Table: "Library service in 
industrial relations," 



Mr. and Ilrs, Joseph C. Campbell have a 
daughter - Mary Jo - born June 18, 1946. 
llbrs, Campbell is on the staff of the 
Orient Heights Branch, 



Vacations 

I/t, Lord left on July 25 for Islesfprd, 

Maine * 

Dorothy Nourse, East Boston Branch, and 
Virginia Haviland, Phillips Brooks Branch, 
are flying to Mexico on August 3 for a 
month's vacation. 



THE SOAP BOX 



Those who attended the H,L.A, conven- 
tion at 7'orcester may be interested in the 
following correspondence between the Li- 
brary Employees Union, Local 731, and 



Miss Marion Moshicr, the Senior Super- 
visor of Public Libraries of the Depart- 
ment of Education at Albany, who was one 
of the speakers, 

"It has been reported to the Executive 
Committee of this Union, that at the re- 
cent Massachusetts Library Association 
meeting held in Vorcester, you made some 
references in your talk to the effect that 
civil service tended to lower library 
standards. If this report is correct, 
we T.'ould appreciate your supplying us 
v;-ith specific instances v;here this has 
occurred, 

"Thanking you in advance, I am" etc. 

Miss Moshier replied: 

"Although I did not have a written 
speech at ■'"orcester, I did have notes and 
checking them over I can agree with the 
report that reached you that I used the 
word 'lower' but not in the sense it was 
interpreted. In closing I remarked that 
legal certification was also an advantage 
if Civil Service procedures entered the 
picture, (Vi'hen)* Legal certification 
served as a floor, standards did not go 
lower but as in New York often higher. 
This is the only reference to Civil Ser- 
vice that I can recall making during my 
talk and the only one my notes indicated, 

"Since there was no time for discus- 
sion, I feel certain this must be the re- 
ference reported to you. 

Sincerely yours," etc, 

Kenneth C. Barnes 
Secretary, B.P.L. Employees Union, 
Local 731 
*('''.'hen) --added by the editor. 

» 

Dear Editor; 

More statistics I At a recent Arnavets' 
social, there were 49 men and 4 women. 
And who were the 4 women - 4 veterans. 
During the war at any social event number- 
ing 53 people, there were at least 50 
women and with luck 3 men. At any mili- 
tary social event, there were figures pro- 
bably approximating the Arnavets' social. 
Now, I thought the vrar was over and the 
boys were home? How about an auxiliary- 
Arnavettes, Let's take care of the ob- 
vious inequalities firsti 

Sincerely, 
Evelyn F. Caswell 






THE QUESTION MARK 
Publiished by the Doston Public Library Professional Staff Association 



Vol. I 



September 1946 



No. 7 



The extensive letter which appears in 
the Soap Box this month raises some in- 
terest inpj points. 

There is no blinking the fact that many 
of the staff at present are restless and 
dissatisfied, ^-Tence the heated discussion 
last spring of the Civil Service bill, 
and the Staff Association's appolrtmrnt 
of a committee to study the question of 
job clessif ication. 

As one picks up comment around the 
building, complaints are about evenly div- 
ided betv/pen salaries and the examination 
system--the two being, of course, intim- 
ately connected. The salaries arr a burn- 
ing and le|Titimate grievance; there is 
little, howpver, that the Library author- 
ities can do about them without the aid 
of the city administration. But a system 
of examinations which was creat-d by the 
Library can be revised by the Library. 
The current arrangement has now been 
tested for several years. If a large num- 
ber of the people for v;hose benefit it 
was drawn up still feel that it has weak- 
nesses, would it not be well to investi- 
gate? 

The Army, faced with somewhat similar 
problems on a vastly larger scale, has re- 
cently had recourse to just such a board 
of review as our Soap Box correspondent 
suggests, and the results have been to 
its credit. The idea seems worth consid- 
ering in Boston, 

(it should be made clor^r that the writer 
of this editorial cannot, and does not 
presume to, speak officially for the 
Staff Association. The Question Mark would 
welcome comment, supporT^ or censure from 
members of the staff,) 



DISTINGITTSH^D VISITORS 

'"r. Edward Sydney, Borouc:h Librarian 
of Leyton, Fngland, recently visited the 
Library for two days. He is also Chair- 
man of the Post-war Policy Committee of 
the English Library Association, and is 
much interested in problems in the United 
States. 



PERSONAL NOTES 



New Staff Members; 



ffiss Dorothea Blue, formerly part-time, 
is now fUll-time assistant at the West 
End Branch. 

Mrs. Glavin , formerly Miss Ellen Mc- 
Shane and at one time in charge of Nepon- 
set Branch, is working part«time at 
Phillips Brooks Branch. 

Miss Lilliam W, Perry, Virginia State 
College 1945, is at South End Branch. 

Miss Pearl Stern, a graduate of the 
University of '.''isconsin Library School 
this year, is at the Business Branch. 

Transfers: 

^'iss Taimi Lilja, First Assistant at 
Jamaica Plain Brench, to Uphams Corner. 

Mrs, Irene H. Tuttle, First Assistant 
at Uohams Corner, to Jamaica Plain. 

Marriages : 

Miss Ada Ginsberg, Book Stack Service, 
vf&s married to Mr. Irving M, Goldfine on 
August 3» 



J 



J 



-2- 



Resignations ; 

}Jfrs. Elizabeth R. Dalton, Cataloging 
and Classification Department, Reference 
Division. 

Miss Marjorie Ferris, Open Shelf Depart- 
ment, to accept a position at the Harvard 
Law Library. 

Mn Henry Gartlond, on military lenvc 
from the Periodical and Newspaper Depart- 
ment, to become Chief of the Library 
Division, Special Services, Veterans' 
Administration, in Boston, 

Mr. John Hankey, on military leave from 
the School Issue Department, to accept a 
commission in the Regular Navy« 

Mr. Jordan Kilbrick, on military leave 
from the Science and Technology Depart- 
ment, to accept another position. 

Births: 



T?IE SOAP BOX 



September 3, 1946. 



Dear ©ditors: 



To Mr. and ?/rs. Patrick Murtagh, a son, 
Thomas Andrew, on August 14. }'brs. Mur- 
tagh \vas formerly in the Fine Arts Depart- 
ment . 

To ^tr. and Ma-s, /indres Requena, a daugh- 
ter, Marilyn, on August 14. Mrs. Requena 
is on leave from the Director's Office. 



At a ceremony held in New York City in 
May by the National Jewish I'Velfare Board, 
Miss Fanny Goldstein, Branch Librarian of 
the West End Branch, was present(=d an 
illuminated parchment scroll in recogni- 
tion of her work as founder of Jewish 
Book ^leek. 



From now on, vrhile letters to the Soap 
Box must still be signed, signatures will 
be withheld from publication at the con- 
tributor's request. 

It is understood that they will not be 
disclosed otherTvise without the writer's 
permission. 



V,e library employees, who sometimes 
serve as openers of the mind to at least 
a portion of our public, owe, from Dir- 
ector down through pages, a stricter 
devotion to that state of mind symbolized 
by a question-mark. We should consider 
more often whether or not existing pro- 
ceedures are the best we can produce to 
benefit the service we hope to give. 
lA'ould this method reach a wider number, 
give more service? How vail this matter 
affect the staff? wm it aid or hinder 
staff morale?. .. .for staff morale meas- 
ures, in good part, the service the li- 
brary is able to offer. 

Staff morale, for many reasons, is tend- 
ing toward the low side. Questions which 
may clear up misunderstandings could 
raise morale. Questions which would im- 
prove conditions, set up mew m.ethods, 
revise old, or make the average staff 
member feel a real part of the working 
community should be asked, discussed, 
end ansvrered. Let us air our discontent, 
serious or otherwise, instead of "beefing" 
in private where it can't do any good 
and does a large amoi^nt of harm. Let us, 
as staff members, raise a question-mark 
and see what sort of ansv;er we can help 
the administration to build. Or have you 
all been waiting, as I have, for someone 
with more nerve and a better pen-expres- 
sion to state your thoughts for you? 

May we consider the examination system 
as a starting point? It has been in 
effect going on toward ten years. Some 
of its provisions are very, very good. 
And some are--well, that depends on who 
is looking at it. Surely enough time has 
elapsed and enough examinations have been 
Jiassed to warrant a complete study of 
the system with a view towards possible 
revision— with at least half the review- 
ing committee composed of those who 
have had to take them or who are about 
to take them. Nothing is ever perfected. 
And to hear the comments of the staff 
on the subject, there are spots in the 



examination system which might be improved 
with a fpw slight chanjres. And who is bet- 
ter fitted to see where improvements are 
necessary than he who "owns one"? 

1, The equivalences granted for those 
employed prior to 1938 seem a little un- 
fair in that there is not sufficient pro- 
vision for differences in individual back- 
grounds. Every one, regardless of education 
or professional background, is granted an 
equivalence depending on the time fr.ctor, 
not on actual qualifications. If he v;as 
employed five years or more prior to 1938, 
for example, he is granted equivalences 

to the examinations for Steps 1 and 2, 
whether he was a graduate of a high school, 
college, library school, B.P.L. training 
class, or had five or twenty-five years 
experience. New employees are given no ad- 
vantage under the system, with the excep- 
tion of library school graduates, though 
they may possess college or other special- 
ized training. . .training which may be very 
important in some departments. 

2, It seems to be a waste of time and 
effort, as well as a derogatory comment 
on the library's own training classes, to 
require an employee v/ho has successfully 
passed a training course to take another 
examination in the same subject in order 
to receive the examination system crddit. 
If the course is not as stiff as the ex- 
amination, the course standard should be 
raised. And the requirement should read 
that one should pass either the course or 
the examination. 

3, The average person resents serving 
for a Rachel— and would like the proba- 
tionary period cut down. Could the period 
not be cut to one year, entirely separate 
from the examination system? The prespnt 
set of qualifying ex:aminations could then 
be renamed, for instance, those for General 
Assistant, Junior Grade, Steps 1-5, the 
present promotional examinations thus be- 
coming those for General Assistant, Senior 
Grade, Steps 1-3. If this were done, the 



employee might become entered in the 
pension system earlier than is now pos- 
sible, to his great advantage, 

4. Viiould it not only be possible, but 
a major advantage to the library, if 

the candidate for Steps 4 and 5 were per- 
mitted a choice betrv/een a thesis or an 
examination? To my mind, a thesis demands 
more original work than an examination. 
It requires more thought, more planning, 
and thus shows the quality of the candi- 
date's mind and his way of using it. In 
preparing for an examination a candidate 
may read and memorize what has already 
been written on his subject, or he may 
add any amoimt of extra research a''" the 
source. But the extra research rarely 
shows in his examination due to the fact 
that the examiner has usually used only 
existing bibliography. . .and therefore 
rarely offers an opportunity for the 
candidate to shovr the amount of actual 
preparation beyond the bibliography. A 
thesis is of permanent value to the li- 
brary, especially if in a field for which 
little has been written, or that little 
scattered widely. Material "boned up" 
for an examination may fade too quickly 
from the mind. V.Tien the individual is 
not on duty that special knowledge is 
not useful to the department. But a writ- 
ten work is available at all times and 
can be consulted. It remains as accurate 
as it was originally. ..memory does not. 

5, There has been much comment on the 
inequality existing where the newer 
chiefs and branch librarians are being 
paid at higher levels than many of those 
holding the title longer. This is due to 
the fact that branch librarians and chiefs 
who had attained their appointments were 
not eligible to take examinations. In- 
creases in pay up to their maximum are 

by step-rate. But some of the newer ap- 
pointees into that grade had taken ex- 
amina tions prior to their appointment 
and each year are paid off by step-rate 
plus part of their examination credit. 
True, in time this inequality will not 
exist. In the meantime, however, it 
hurts not only the pocketbook but the 
morale. 



THE QUESTION MARK 



Staff Library 



Published by the Boston Publio Library Professional Staff Association 

Vol. I October 1946 



No. 8 



Last month The Question Mark invited 
"comment, support, or censure'* from mem- 
bers of the staff on the matter of the 
examination system. It has received none 
of the three--on paper. That this apathy 
is not due to lack of well-formed opinion 
is evident from some of the verbal com- 
ment which has been made. But apparently 
even those who feel most strongly are 
either afraid to express themselves in 
writing or too discouraged to take the 
trouble to do so» Yet the complaints cur- 
rent among the staff are no longer ill- 
defined or purely personal. They are speC' 
ific, pointed, and, in most cases, con- 
cerned with larger issues than the griev- 
ances of one individual. 

It is an old political maxim that the 
man who does not vote has no right to 
kick about the government. The present 
atmosphere — which seems largely compounded 
of silence and suspicion on one side and 
silence and resentment on the other--is 
bad for the administration, bad for the 
staff, and bad for the public service. 
If anything is to be done to clear the 
air, the Executive Board will probably 
have to do it; but it should have intel- 
ligent help from members of the Associa- 
tion, The most healthy treatment for the 
Library at this moment would be some open, 
concrete questions which can be openly 
discussed and answered. 



COM?><ITTEE CHANGES 

The Executive Board announces the fol- 
lovdog changes in committee memberships: 

Mr. Leonard S, Burkat, Music Department, 
will succeed Miss Eleanor R. Devlin as 
Chairman of the Constitution Committee, 
following her resignation from the Commit- 
tee on September 24, 



have resigned from the special committee 
to study classification. Members to suc- 
ceed them will be announced later. 

Mr. Charles J. Gillis, Cataloging and 
Classification Department, Circulation 
Division, was appointed by the Executive 
Board, on request of the administration, 
to join the library group attending a con- 
ference at City Hall between the Boston 
Retirement Board and members of the staff, 
regarding the new state retirement system. 



NEW ENGLAND LIBRARY ASSOCIATION 

The 1946 Conference of the New England 
Library Association will be held at the 
New Ocean House, Swampscott, from October 17 
to 19. 

On Thursday, October 17, at 3.00 p.m., 
there will be a business meeting of the 
Massachusetts Library Association to dis- 
cuss certification of librarians. At 
8,15 p.m. Dr. Luther H, Evans, Librarian 
of Congress, will address the first Gen- 
eral Session. 

Speakers at the General Sessions on 
Friday, October 18, will be Mr. Frederic G, 
Melcher, editor of the Publishers' Weekly, 
at 9.30 a.m.; and, at 8,15 p.m., Mr. Paul 
Howard, director of the A.L.A. National 
Relations Office, Pfeshington, D. C, and 
Miss Mary Rothrock, president of A.L.A, 



Mrs, Edith H. Bailey (Chairman), Mr, 
Robert J, Roper, and Miss Eleanor R. Devlir 



On Saturday evening Jtr, Charles F. 
Phillips, president of Bates College, will 
speak on "The United States in One World." 

The afternoons vdll be devoted to group 
sessions. Miss Elizabeth Gordon, Super- 
visor of ".Vork with Children, will be one 
of the speakers on "Reviewing Children's 
Books of the Season," on Friday afternoon 
at 2.30. 



PERSONAL NOTES 

New Staff Members: 

Miss Joanne Cole, Book Stack Service. 

Miss Sarah Kushner, Book Stack Service. 

Miss Merrilie Mather, Dorchester 
Branch 

Miss Marie T. McGeney, Book Stack Ser- 
vice. 

Miss Mary P. Morley, Circulation Divi- 
sion Office. 

Mrs, Virginia Murphy, of North Carolina, 
East Boston Branch. 

Mrs. Ann S. Mvirray, Connolly Branch. 

Mrs. Florence H, Posella, History 
Department. 

Mr, L. Edward Sissman, Business Office. 

Mrs, Jtyrene L. Steele, Codman Square 
Branch. 

Miss Angela C. Tarantino, North End 
Branch. 

Transfers ; 

Miss Corona M. Groves, Fellowes Athen- 
aeum, to Memorial Branch, 

Mrs. Helen F. Hirson, Washington Village 
Branch, to West Roxbury Branch. 

Miss Etta Kessell, West End Branch, to 
Fellowes Athenaeum. 

Marriages ; 

Miss Dorothy J. Coombs, General Refer- 
ence Department, to Mr. Joseph L. 
Miller, on August 19. 

Miss Dorothy E, Gustus, Charlestown 
Branch, to Mr. Frank D. Donohue, on 
September 8. 



2- 

Births 



To }fr, and Mrs. Fred Boyer of Washington, 
D. C, a son, Robert. Mrs. Boyer was 
formerly Catherine Cuttle. 

To Lt. Cdr. and l!rs. John Hankey, a 
daughter, Lee Anne, on September 11. 
Their present address is 4912 Georgia 
Avenue NIV, Washington, D, C, 

To Mt. and Mrs. Leonard Kanter, a 
daughter, Joslynn, on July 14. 

To Mr, and Mrs. Frank Myers, a son, John 
Francis, on September 17. 

Resignations ; 

Ifrs. Sue C. Botto, Book Staok Service. 

Mrs, Sylvia Botto, Book Stack Service. 

Mrs. Alice K. Campbell, Orient Heights 
Branch, because of ill health. 

Miss Eleanor R. Devlin, General Refer- 
ence Department, to be assistant 
librarian at the United States Veteran^* 
Hospital, Bedford, Massachusetts. 

Mrs. Ada G. Goldfine, Book Stack Ser- 
vice, to join her husband in New York. 

Miss Dorothy H. Holmes, Information 
Office, to study at Simmons College. 

Miss Louise E. Hutchinson, Book Purchas- 
ing Department, to live in Syracuse, 

N. Y. 

Miss Lydia R. lacono, Dorchester Branch. 

Miss Joan Morris, Book Stack Service, 

Mrs. Edna Yaxaney, Records, Files, and 
Statistics Office, to join her hus- 
band in St. Johns vi lie, N. Y, 

On Leave of Absence at Library Schools : 



¥t, Edward X. Casey, Business Branch, 
at Simmons College. 



■3- 



lUr, Francis X. Doherty, General Refer- | 

liversity of 



enoe Department, at the Uni 
Chicago. 



Mr. George E. Ear ley. General Reference 
Department, at Pratt Institute Library 
School. 

Mr. Tfilliara Earley, Business Branch, at 
the IMiversity of Illinois. 

Part-time Students at Simmons College ; 

Mr. John M. Carroll, General Reference 
Department. 

Miss Evelyn Caswell, Science and Tech- 
nology Department. 

Miss Alice E. Hackett, Cataloging and 
Classification Department, Reference 
Division. 



Mr, Charles L. Higgins, General Refer- 
ence Department. 

Jfr. Bradford M. Hill, Periodical Depart- 
ment . 

Miss Julia M. Manning, Rare Book Depart- 
ment. 

Mr. B. Joseph O'Neill, Periodical Depart- 
ment. 

Miss Jeannette A. Pepin, Lower Mills 
Branch, 

Mr. Robert J, Roper, Science and Technol- 
ogy Department. 

!iJiss Evelyn Levy, Brighton Branch, 



THE QUESTION MARK 



Published by the Boston Public Library/ Professional Staff Association 

Vol. I November 1946 No. 9 



EDITOR'S CORUER 

This fine Indian Summer vreather puts 
one more in the mood for a day in the 
country than for editorializing. As a 
matter of fact the beautiful weather 
seems for the past few days to have 
taken prime position as a topic of con- 
versation among the staff. Perhaps that 
is why this month our Soap Box is empty. 
No one seems to be disturbed— vocally at 
least— about anything, not oven the in- 
congruous whito picket fence which mars 
the stately dignity of Copley Square, 
The brief prepared by the Union, which 
appears in this issue, should, however, 
provide material for thought and discus- 
sion. Although we do not agree in every 
respect with what they have to say, yet 
points t\vo and four in the summary of the 
Union's requests aro very wo 11 made. 

Wo must confess that the thought of 
men being the underprivileged sex is a 
new one to us. However, this does seem 
to bo an instance in which there is much 
truth to tho complaint. The popular 
idea in the public mind is of tho femi- 
nine librarian, and in smaller libraries 
like our branches men are a decided 
minority and seem strange to the public. 
That which is strange does not always 
meet with popular approval until people 
have time to get used to tho idea. This 
question is not one of relative ability, 
but of popular prejudice. Men should 
not bo made to suffer for this any more 
than should women in a parallel circum- 
stance. Advancement shduld go to tho 
best qualified, regardless of sex. 

As for the distribution of any raiscs^ 
in pay, we have heard so many rumors as 
to what may bo done or may not be done 
that frankly vro wonder what is afoot. 
The question interests all of us, ho\\'- 
ever, and equitable distribution of in- 
creases concerns everyone. No one group 
should be favored at the expense of 
another. Giving ovoryono his maximum 
does not solve this problem. How about 
raising the entrance salaries and the 



maxima in each grade and giving to each 
in his grade whatever proportion would be 
his due? This would even things all aloi^ 
the line. The question of persons who 
need to be upgraded is separate from that 
of general increases for the staff as a 
whole, and space forbids its discussion 
in this article* In any case, we are but 
offering suggestions; the Question Mark 
invites discussion from members of the 
staff. 



PERSONAL NOTES 

Nev/ Staff Members : 

Marjorie A. McGee, Washington Village, 
sister of Martha McGee of Dorchester, 

Mrs, Mary Coyle Mulvey, formerly in 
Book Stack Service, has returned to 
v/ork part-time at Fell owes Athenaeum, 

Transfers ; 

Ellen McGrath, from West End Branch to 
Information Office, 

Jeannette Pepin, from Lower Mils 
Branch to Hyde Park Branch. 

Marie R, Kennedy, from Mount Bowdoin 
Branch to Lower Mills Branch, 

Anna G. Boll, from Neponset Branch to 
Mount Bowdoin Branch, 

Mrs. Ruth VV. Wall, from part-time ser- 
vice, Jamaica Plain Branch to full- 
time service at Mount Bowdoin Branch. 

Marriages t 



Beatrice A, Gould, Parker Hill Branch, 
to William J, Morrissey, 

Mary-Louise A. Gordon, Roslindale Branch, 
to Bernard R, Daly, 

Dorothy Merrov;, Business Branch, to 
Robert W. Lovett, 



- 2 - 



Miriam P. Bacsett, Fellowes Athenaeum 
Branch, to John F, Hannon. 

Resignation s % 

Robert B, Gates, Print Department. 

James V» Grasso, who has been on mili- 
tary leave from the South End Branch. 

H. Virginia Rice, Director's Office. 

Joyce M. Osgood, RecordE, Files and 
Statistics Office, 

Susan C, landosca. Director's Offico. 

Eleanor Devlin, General Reference 
Department, 

Ivlargaret J. McAuliffe, Business Branch, 

Clare M, Donahue, Mount Bov/doin Branch, 

Jfe-ry V, Cohan, South Boston Branch, 

Deaths ; 

Clara L. Jones, Fine Arts Department, 
October 16, 1946. 

******* 
BPLPSA 

Thore will be a business mooting of the 
Professional Staff Association or. Fridc.y 
evening, November 22, 1946 at 8 o'clock 
in the Lecture Hall at the Central 
Library, 

The Executive Board of the Professional 
Staff Association announces these corrt- 
nittoes : 

iJon's House Committee ; 

Francis G. Lfyors, Book Stack Service, 

Chairman, 
Eamon E, MacDonough, Book Stack Service. 
Jamos C, McGillicuddy, Book Stack Service, 

Women's House Committoo ; 

iVIrs, Mary D. Fb.rrell, Cataloging and 

Classification Department, (Ref, Div. ), 
Chairman. 



Gertrude Chipman, Book Stack Service. 
Vera J. Lavorgna, Fine Arts Department. 
Anne L. Moore, Open Shelf Department. 
Mrs, Edna M, V/ollent, Personnel Office, 

Special Committee to Study Classi fica- 
tion by Person and Classification by 
Position ; 

*Dorothy F, Nourse, East Boston Branch, 

Chairman, 
Ruth S. Cannell, Office of the Chief 

Librarian of the Circulation Division, 
Thomas J, Manning, Patent Room. 
Mrs, Evelyn C. Marden, Allston Branch, 

* New member to replace on© whose 
resignation was announced earlier. The 
additional resignation of Benjamin W, 
Rudd is announced now. Three vacancies 
remain unfilled as those appointed were 
unable to serve, 

Virginia Haviland, 
Secretary, 

****** 

TviTo programs of interest to librarians 
are announced in this month's Lecture 
Hall Nevjs . Frederic G, Mclchor, editor 
of the Publisher's V/eekly will speak at 
3;30 p.m., on Sundn.y, November 24. The 
title of }Jbr, Iviclcher's talk is "There will 
always be books". Children's Book Week 
November 10-16 will be opened at the 
program on Sunday, November 10, at 
3:30 p.m. The topic will be "Books are 
bridges". Miss Elinorc Blaisdell, illus- 
trator of children's books and Edmund S, 
Morgan, assistant professor of American 
history. Brown University, will bo in- 
troduced by "1O.SS Elizabeth M. Gordon, 
Professor Morgan vrill speak on "The 
Puritan child", 

****** 

The firo drill hold in the Central 
Library on Thursday, October 10, 1946, 
T.'as entirely successful. It took just 
three minutes and eight seconds to 
evacuate the building. When the first 
alarm sounded there wero 640 people in 
the building, two-hundrcd-thirty-ono 
members of the staff and four-hundrod- 
nino of the public. 



- 3 - 



Mr, John W. Tuley, in charge of fire 
control brings to our attention the fact 
that it is important for the senior on 
duty in each department to send his fire 
drill attendance report to the fire con- 
trol center. All department heads are 
requested to read again the last sen- 
tence on page one in the book of fire 
instructions for the Central Library 
building. 

Dorothy Canfiold Fisher has a very 
interesting article appearing in the 
October Atlantic Monthly entitled "Tho 
Library in our town". It tells about the 
work of the library committee in Arling- 
ton, Vermont, and not only is it inter- 
esting, but also it has somo ideas for 
us to ponder over. 

* * * 

The following is part of a letter from 
iiliss Esther Tani, formerly in the Book 
Selection Department, Circulation Divi- 
sion, but now in Tokyo with the War 
Department : 

August 20, 1946 

Dear Miss Peck and Miss Sayes; 

This is our fifth day at sea and it 
already seems like ten days. So far the 
water has been calm with relatively 
little pitching and rolling. Tomorrow 
we are scheduled to make our first stop 
--at Panama where we shall stay a few 
days. 

From what I gather, every passenger as 
vfcll as crew members and arny personnel 
was given very little time to prepare for 
the departure. Some passengers v;orc 
flovm to New York from California and 
Oregon, others camo from New Orleans and 
Chicago, 

After our hasty departure from Boston, 
nry sister and I arrived in New York on 
Saturday morning, expecting the ship to 
leave the following day if not that very 



day. It v/as a considerable let-down to 
hear that the Wisteria , which had been a 
hospital ship, was not leaving until 
Thursday and that the trip would take 
fifty-one days. Everyone was processed 
and on Thursday morning we were driven 
in army trucks to the New York Port of 
Embarkation, The Wisteria was a dis- 
appointment. It was small, crowded, and 
insufferably close. Our room, which was 
smaller than average, accommodated 28 
girls. There were about 300 women and 
70 men passengers aboard, and the tiny 
dining room was sorely inadequate. We 
stood in line for more than an hour 
waiting for lunch. When I finally sat 
dovm to eat, the public address system 
blared out a list of 28 names--iiiy sister 
and I were included--of people who had 
to got off in order to go to Tokyo on 
another ship. It was an hour or two 
before the 28 of us identified our hand 
luggage amongthe hundreds of others and 
off we set for Staten Island and the 
Acadia , It had been built in 1931 for 
the Boston-New York run and is reported 
to bo fast. So our 51 day trip is now 
cut down to 30 days. It seems that the 
Coast Guard, upon inspecting the Wisteria, 
found it too dirty to permit it to sail 
and that there v;erc 28 more people aboard 
than there was lifeboat space. 

Aboard this ship Acadia are about 350 
passengers bound for Japan, Manila or 
Korea, all employees of the War Depart- 
ment, There is a criminologist who is 
going to investigate the civil prisons in 
Japan, a man who is to settle matters 
concerning war damages and reparations in 
Japan, an absent-minded professor. Rod 
Cross workers, engineers, teachers, 
translators and interpreters and clerks 
as v;ell as some drunks, wolves and 
Lesbians. Some of the $10,000 a year men 
arc disgrntlcd because they have to share 
their cabins with two or three other men 
but some arc more democratic and con- 
genial. 

As on most ships the meals are excel- 
lent. One of the v;aitors must like me 
because he slips food into rny cabin. 



- 4 - 



Although Tny cabin accommodates 12 
people there are only six of us, which 
makes it quite comfortable. One woman 
was a Red Cross worker at the various 
fronts during the war; another was an 
administrative assistant to some general 
and a third was a librarian for 15 years 
in Phoenix, Arizona, 

September 4 , 

Back at sea again, only this time it*c 
the Pacific, Our short stay in Panama 
was extended to a week in order to repair 
a lot of machinery. Everybody, with the 
exception of a few girls who met some 
men there, v;as happy to get away" from 
the tropical heat and oppression. The 
arn^ and the U.S.C's did their bit to 
make us happy by taking us on tours, 
giving parties, etc,, but the weather 
v;as hard to bear. The v;omen were 
informed that Panamanians express their 
pleasure audibly and so we should not 
concern ourselves too much about their 
opinions, I never saw a place where men 
stared so much. People do stare but 
those men all turned around cmd practi- 
cally stopped what thoy were doing. 
There are hundred of little bright- 
colored buses v^hich stop if you just look 
at them and the bus driver discusses the 
women on the streets with his passengers. 
The Army and Navy buses arc bettor look- 
ing and more comfortable but not as 
much fun. 

Ed. Noto ; The rest of Miss Tani's letter 
describing the stopover at Hawaii and 
conditions in Tokyo will appear in the 
next issue of the Question Mark , 

***** 

BRIEF OF 

Presentation made to Trustees by repre- 
sentatives of Employees' Union 731 
(AFSCME) on Monday, October 21, 1946, 
We are here again today to ask Trustees 
to institute changes v^hich will improve 
the personnel system of the Library, 
There is v/idespread dissatisfaction 
among the Library enployces with present 
system. Can bo seen in pages of Staff 



Bulletin, off-the-record remarks from all 
groups, including chiefs, and most strik- 
ing the steady stream of resignations of 
highly trained employees. 

Present system was instituted almost 
ten years ago. We do not doubt that it 
v;as started with the best of intentions 
and in good faith. There is also no 
doubt that the present system is basic- 
ally illogical, unsound and exactly 
opposite to the teaching of all personnel 
experts. To us it seems quite obTious 
that eventually this system will have to 
be discarded. The only question is 
whether the Trustees will decide now that 
the BPL employees have been guinea pigs 
long enough or whether they will prefer 
to put off the "day of judgment". 



What is the pre 
notice of June 1, 
is based on a bcl 
the personal qual 
ual are likely to 
for financial rec 
relative standing 
position in which 
to find himself". 



sent system? (Official 
1937),.. "The proposal 

ief that, in general 

ifi cations of an individ- 
afforda better basis 

ognition than does the 
of the particular 
the individual happens 



Statement of Trustees in re Civil Ser- 
vice, p, 2, : "BPL already has ay . the 
advantages that civil service could offer. 
Despite use of word "all", the fact is 
that there are at least five advantages 
of Civil Service not in present system, 
(right to see exams, right of appeal, 
specific credit for training and ex- 
perience, saving of money, recruiting, 
minimum requirements, open announce- 
ments), while some of the advantages 
listed aro at least debatable, Vfill 
discuss only one: -- "BPL has a class- 
ification of personnel." — no mention 
of a classification by positions . In 
this connection v.'e will quote only one 
of many authorities on personnel admin- 
istration, Eleanor Hitt in American Li- 
brary Association Bulletin, October, 
1938: -- "The most important point in 
connection v;ith classification, one which 
cannot be emphasized too strongly, is 
that positions not persons aro to bo 
classified. This is ono of the basic 
principles of classification according 



- 5 - 



to all personnel technicians. , .The class- 
fication must be entirely in terms of the 
job itself. It must relate to its dutie% 
responsibilities, and requirements,,, 
classifying on a personal basis is com- 
parable to humanizing institutional work 
by allowing the whim of every inmate to 
dictate the architecture and interior 
decoration of the buildings". 

Absence of a thorough going merit 
system based on a classification by 
position has resulted in at least two 
practices vrhich have caused widespread 
employee resentment. First is the method 
of promotion. During the past summer, 
a terrific storm of protest burst onto 
the frontpages of the Boston ncv/spapors 
because the Boston School Committee had 
appointed a teacher to a high position 
without a previous announcement of a 
vacancy or a statement of minimum 
qualifications for the job, A few days 
after the School Committee was forced by 
popular disapproval to rescind its actior^ 
these announcements of June 28, 1946 were 
made on the Library Bulletin Board: — 
"Announcement is hereby made of follow- 
ing appointments t". Those arc merely 
the latest in a long lino .of appoint- 
ments without previous announcements of 
opon competition, minimum requirements, 
or other merit system essentials. 

Answer to criticisms of this procedure 
has been that Administration must have 
power to run Library, Granted; but how 
much ? There comes a point whore too 
much power for some means taking away 
written or generally accepted rights of 
others. Especially in a public 
supported institution, promotion on the 
basis of merit and according to clearly 
stated terms is a democratic right. 

In this connection, a statement was 
made at civil service hearing that the 
Library of Congress vras not under civil 
service, (l) Only fair to say that L.C, 
is part of legislative branch of Federal 
Govcrnn^entj only executive under civil 
service, (2) Library of Congress, how- 
ever, has a system of announcements of 
vacancies as illustrated. 



Second point of resentment is the admin- 
istration's treatment of many professional 
librarians. According to proposed 
M.L.A, bill for registration of librar- 
ians, a professional librarian is one 
with library school training or equiva- 
lent in oxporionco; typical definition. 
But not according to BPL system. Here 
only heads of departments and executives 
are called professionals. TWhen Union 
objected to this three years ago on the 
gcounds that it was a breakdown of pro- 
fessional standards, we were told that, 
"BPL has been in the vanguard among li- 
braries in admitting frankly that much 
of what in libraries is usually designated 
as 'professional' activity is not pro- 
fessional at all, but actually technical; 
that most library v;orkors are technicians, 
and only relatively foiv arc truly pro- 
fessionals". 

It is interesting, even if a little 
beside the point, to note that, when it 
was necessary to marshall library em- 
ployees against civil service, vro find 
another approach on page 2, lino 13: "Tho 
v/'ork of the bibliothecal staff in a great 
public library is that of a learned pro- 
fession, like that of teachers, doctors, 
or lawyers". 

Libraries are regarded as educational 
institutions. This makes especially in- 
explicable the fact that, despite the re- 
peated requests of the organized en^jloyees, 
tho Administration has persistently re- 
fused to give specific credit for college 
training, years of service beyond five, 
or until recently even for library school 
training. Reason given was that too 
much office v;erk would be required. Yet 
there is obviously much loss work in 
giving (jredit for educational achieve- 
ments (soracbody paid thousands of dollars 
for that education) than to announce, 
make up, hold, correct, library exam- 
inations and then give credit. 

Eight ycarc ago and many times since, 
the organized en^loyoos asked for a list 
of all professional positions occupied by 
general assistants and that thoso pos- 
itions be filled according to above out- 
lined methods (minimum requirements, etc.) 



- 6 - 



In July, 1946, eight years later, a list 
of racaneie-a ia 4;itular positions was 

finally announced. In addition to in- 
definiteness regarding method of filling 
these vacancies, the list omits as many 
positions which should be on as it names; 
and this after eight years l 

The ansver to this treatment of pro- 
fessionals has been a steady stream of 
resignations from the staff by exper- 
ienced, highly trained employees. And it 
is not a prophecy but a mere statement 
of fact that, unless the Administration 
acts constructively and rapidly in this 
matter the end is not in sight. 

Evidently the Administration is aware 
that such un exodus is taking place. 
Various officers have expressed a feeling 
close to pride that BPL employees are 
sought after by other libraries. This 
attitude scorns to indicate a confusion 
in regard to the true function of the 
BPL and why it is supported by Boston 
taxpayers, T/Vould the officers of 
General Motors be satisfied to point 
vrith pride to the fact that many of its 
highly skilled employees (some of whom 
the company had subsidized for special 
schooling) were going to Ford and 
Chrysler? 

We understand that an attomot v/ill be 
made to rectify the situation by giving 
nev; library school graduates full credit 
as professionals, in hope that they 
vrill bo attracted to the Library, The 
A.L.A, recommends $2,100 as a professional 
starting salary and we feel that in and 
by itself it is a stop in the right 
direction. However, it is vrell to 
realized that bringing in new people and 
starting them at rates at or near what 
librarians with years of exporicnco are 
nov: getting (without setting up a com- 
pensation and classification schcnic which 
would take care of the entire picture) 
might only serve as additional stimulus 
for experienced en^iloyecs to resign or 
become more dissatisfied. Similar situ- 
ation in Tvorcestor schools, of hiring 
recent teachers' collego graduates at 
salaries paid to teachers with years of 
experience, vdthout taking steps to im- 



prove the conditions of the latter, was 
one of the prime causes of a disturbing 
situation there, 

TO SUM UP OUR REQUESTS : 

(1) A thoroughgoing classification of all 
positions. L,C. called in the federal 
civil service which foiind that of 1224 
positions, 600 should be upgraded (L. J. , 
March 1,1945). We v;ould be v;illing to 
submit briefs covering the cases where 

Vie feel that upgrading is long overdue and 
should take place, 

(2) Open competition in all promotions. 
Again based on L.C. system, With no 
discrimination in regard to sex, two- 
thirds of best positions are for all 
practical purposes nov: closed to men, 

(3) Raise maxima of all grades over and 
above flat increases given to all city 
employees, 

(4) Distribution of all available money 
equitably. For example, judging from 
statements made in Lecture Hall, it is 
planned as a first step to bring every- 
body up to his mciximum according to pre- 
sent system. This in practice will mean 
two or three dollars to some employees, 
nothing to many employees (even though 
they may be undergraded), and ten dollars 
to most department heads and branch li- 
brarians, 'IVhilc we do not feel that tho 
latter employees arc by any means over- 
paid, WG believe that, if the above is all 
the money that is available, distribu- 
tion along such lines, while justifiable, 
v/ould not, considering the entire situ- 
ation, be truly equitable, 

* :ti Tti !^ :tc ^, ^l 



THE QUESTION MARK 



Pviblished by the Boston Public Library Professional Staff Association 

Vol. 1 December 1946 



No. 10 



EDITOR ' S CORNER 

The Indian summer mood that hung ox'-er 
the Editor's Corner last month has ^iv- 
en place to aji attack of the Christ^Tir.s 
spirit. I'Tc are more interested in holly 
and candlelight and tinsel ribbon than 
in the evils of society, which we can 
talk about any time. The \"ra.rm glow of 
a possible salary increase brightens 
the horizon. We don't even feol like re- 
buking the 290-odd members of the Staff 
Association who skipped the business 
meeting on November 22. No doubt some 
of them had good excuses, and we can al- 
ways hopo that the rest vrill make a ITevr 
Year's resolution to behave better next 
time. 

So the Question Mark wishes the Libra- 
ry, from the Trustees to the engineers' 
cat (if they still have one) a very 
Merry Christmas. And may the new year 
be a happy one for all of us. 



REPORT OF THE CLASSIFICATION COMMITTEE 

II. r 

The following report from the Comri.it- 
tcc on Classification was read at the 
business mooting on Novombor 22: 

Because of the many changes in the 
personnel of the Committoc, and because 
of the difficulty in obtaining material 
on the classification systems used in 
other libraries, it is impossible to 
make more than a preliminary report at 
this time. 

IIOTTCVcr, certain genera"! izat ions aro 
quite evident from our survey. It seems 
that there is no such thing as a system 
based vj-holly on classification by per- 
son or one based v;holly on classifica- 
tion by position, but each library has 
its ovm. proportion of the importance of 
person and position in its classifica- 
tion scheme. 



It is tho opinion of John Kaiser of 
the Oakland Public Library of Califor- 
nia in 1938 that job analysis must pre- 
cede job evaluation. Professional posi- 
tions should be given duties analysis, 
not people given professional qualifi- 
cations. In other words, the job to bo 
filled should be studied before the 
qualifications of applicants are deter- 
mined. This is corroborated by a report 
from the Personnel Office of the Newark 
Public Library, which states, in ex- 
plaining the moaning of job classifica- 
tion, "work is classified, not tho per- 
son who docs the v/ork." 

Since wc are all familiar with the 
system of emphasis on classification by 
person as practiced in the Boston Pub- 
lic Library, the Committee feels that 
staff members may bo interested to loiow 
vrhat arc some of the advantages and dis- 
advantages of emphasis on classification 
by position, A report from the Nev/ark 
Personnel Office gives the follovdng 
information: 

Advantages 

1. "Equal pay for equal work" is eas- 
ier to achieve vdth good job classifi- 
cation than T/ithout it. 

2. Anyone interested in applying for 

a job or for admission to an examination 
for a job can usually tell from the 
job description v/hcthor he is interest- 
ed in the work and meets the mini-'um 
qualifications . 

3. Job classification helps in place- 
ment of employees because the qualifi- 
cations of a person can he compared 
rdth the qualifications required for a 
job. 

4. Ivnov.'lcdgc of the requirements of 
a higher class of position may guide 
the employee in preparing to meet the 
qualifications and learn tho work for 
promotion to a higher class of posi- 
tion v.'hcn a vacancy occurs. Dead-end 
jobs can be recognized. 



5. A full and cccurato description 
of each person's work may help reduce 
nisundcrstandings if the supervisor and 
supervised are not in a^rcet^icnt about 
the vrork and responsibilities of a job. 

Disadvantages 

1. Jobs may be "•. rittcn up" to sou:^d 
more or loss important than they ac- 
tually are and result in inaccurr.to 
classification. 

2. Transfer to other and better paid 
^vork nay be delayed because the vrork is 
above the class to v/hich a person is 
allocated. 

3. Classification is determined rr.orc 
by the kind of work than by the quality 
and amount of v/ork so that a highly ef- 
ficient worker is sometimes inadequately 
paid in comparison vnth less efficient 
emploj'-ees. 

From the studies made by the Committee 
it is evident that a college degree plus 
a library school degree is nov/ demanded 
as requisite for a professional library 
position in large public libraries. 
Therefore our oxrjai nation system and 
program of "in-service" training is an 
unusual feature not foxnd in other li- 
brary systems . 

Although salaries do not enter into 
the problem before the Committee, it may 
be of interest to note that the Boston 
Public Library's proposed salary sched- 
ule compares rather favorably vdth those 
scales in force in other libraries 
studied. 

The Committee v;ould like the Associa- 
tion's opinion upon the need for further 
study of this problem and the lines 
along which it should be developed. 



DOROTHY 



Chairman 



IIOURSE 



DISTINGUISHED ^/ISITORS 

Dr. Anadco Tortajada Ferrandis, Direc- 
tor cf Libraries in the Spanish Council 
for Scientific Research, and Dr. Miguel 
Bordovan, Inspector General of Archives 
in the Ministcrio de Educacion Nacional, 
Madrid, made a special visit to the 
Library last week. They arc engaged in 
a tour of American libraries with a view 
to the improvement of library service in 
Spain. 



FROM THE HOUSE C0!'1I!ITTEE 

Dec. 2, 1946 

To the Yfomen Members of the Staff: 

Smoking and eating a.re not permissible 
at any time in the small rest room. 
There has been evidence that both are 
being done there. If this continues, it 
may be necessary to keep the room locked 
at all times. This is not fair to those 
v;ho do not smoke and who like to use the 
rest room. It is up to you to decide 
v/hcther it ^\'ill remain open or be locked 
up. 

Eating is not permissible, either, in 
the Women's Lounge. Sandvdches and 
other foodstuff have been found on the 
divans and elsewhere around the room. 
Hov; vrauld you like to sit on some arti- 
cle of food and maybe ruin a dress? 

The Women's Quarters have been estab- 
lished for the convenience ojid comfort 
of all v:omen employees. Let us all, 
each and everyone of us, cooperate in 
keeping the place clean and neat at all 
times. Renorabor, smolcing is permitted 
only in the ^Yemen's Lounge and eating is 
to be confined to the Lunch Room. 

MARY D. FARRELL, Chairman 
Wom.on's House Committee 



-3- 



Wm FRO!.: TOKYO 

The follovri.ng is the second install- 
ment of Esther Tani's letter, the first 
part of v/hich was printed last month: 

September 13. 

The Acadia arrived in Honolulu several 
days ago and is rumored to stay another 
week. Everybody would enjoy this stop 
much more if there were more money to 
spend. Of course ^ve v/ent svdmming on 
the much publicized Waikiki Beach, where 
we cut our feet on the coral reefs. The 
clouds are extremely lovely and a sort 
of light fog seems to har over the 
higher mountains all the tine. I knov- 
that I.G.SE Peck would agree vdth those 
who say that this is the ideal climate. 
The floral growth is brilliant and most 
cheerful. The U.S.O. took us on a tour 
of the island of Oahu today. It v!&s a 
thrill to look over the cliff of Pali 
where the vand blov/s vdth a continuous 
terrific force so that you have to hold 
your glasses to keep them from blomnc 
off. The Mormon Temple at Leie is ono 
of the most beautiful things I have ever 
seen. A lovely entrance, a scries of 
pools bordered by shrubs and flovrers, a 
column of straight palms along the walks 
on each side of the pools leading up to 
a v/hite, m.odern, beautiful building. 

There are a groat many Japanese pris- 
oners of V'-ar on the island. Some of the 
passengers who managed to speak \dth the 
PVf's said they v/ere from Guadalcanal and 
other battles. Those prisoners that \7C 
sav; v;orking on the pier looked very 
young. 

September 2 5 
(I think). 

This is a most unusual trip. Last 
night after supper some of us noticed 
that our ship v/as making a complete turn 
and vifas speeding back to the east. It 
\'K>.s a matter of only a fcv; minutes be- 
fore everybody learned through the 
grapevine that we were going back to 
meet an army transport which had left 
Honolulu after us and vfhich had a man 
aboard who was in serious need of an 
operation, but that ship v/as not equipped 
for operations. Our ship having been a 
hospital ship has everything. 



Yesterday at 12:57 p.m. we crossed the 
dateline, at which time we changed from 
Monday to Tuesday. Since vre turned back 
and recrossed the line I don't know just 
where we are--Tuesday or ^'7ednesday. 

Many of us got up at 3:00 a.m. to see 
the transfer. It v.'as a thrilling sight 
to see the tiny lights of the distant 
ship grow clearer and then to see the 
little motor boat bobbing on the black 
water tovraird us. Our ship was emitting 
clouds of black smoke from the stack, 
and the strong searchlight sometim.es 
lost sight of the boat from the smoke 
screen. Earlier in the evening it looked 
stormy, but fortunately the sea vra.s 
calm. We have been standing still since 
6:30 a.m. for the operation. 

Two men were transferred to our ship — 
both for appendectomies. 

October 3 - Tokyo. 

We finally docked in Tokyo Bay at 
Yokohama on September 30. The harbor 
seems to have been untouched by bombs. 
The following morning v/e rode to Tokyo 
on a train and sav/ some of the ruins as 
vre passed by. During the past year the 
people have cleared up som.e of the rub- 
ble planted crops — some vegetable plots 
almost touch the railroad tracks — and 
have bOi-un rebuilding. People every- 
v/hcre ere v/earing the oddest assortment 
of clothes because they have had to make 
what little they had last during the 
long ivar years. 

Since my family has not yet arrived in 
Tokyo, I sent them a wire in the country 
v/here they are living. No direct com- 
munication by mail is permitted between 
Am.ericans and Japanese nationals, so I 
must have a Japanese friend v;rite to 
mother. The letters are censored. It's 
rather armoying. Transportation is slov^ 
It takes about 20 hours to my mother's 
place from Tolcyo by train — a distance 
v;hich a plane v/ould cover in about an 
hour. Since we do not have to pay for 
bus or train fare and can ride in spe- 
cial reserved sections, it is v.'onderful. 
You can't imagine hov; congested the 
trains and street cars are. New York 
doesn't even begin to compare with this 
congestion. 



-4- 



The US Army took over all that v/as the 
best in the v/ay of buildings. IticArthur's 
headquarters are simply beautiful. I.ioct 
of us civilian employees are billeted in 
reconverted office buildings which are 
very comfortable. There are tv/o or 
three people sharing a room. The maid 
service is excellent. For tips they 
appi ociate a cigarette or a stick of gum 
far more than money. A carton of ciga- 
rettes can bring as much as 400 yen. 
Fifteen yen is equivalent to a dollar. 

We live like kings in comparison v.dth 
the people here. Aside froni the fev/ 
dollars v/c pay for food and housing, 
almost everything is free — transporta- 
tion, movies, and whatever else there 
is to do. The snack bars and liquor 
bars charge the minimxjm prices found in 
the States. 

On our first day here, we visited an 
old family friend who lives in the sub- 
urbs. We v/ere unable to obtain K 
rations and hesitated to go there for 
dinner, but he insisted and v;e could 
see how frugal their meals vrere. Of 
course there is no rice. He had grovni 
some ivheat which he milled and baked 
himself into a very heavy dark bread 
which is edible and rather tasty when 
toasted. He is a college professor. 
Through several American Army and Navy 
officer friends they viere lucky enough 
to get some sugar and soap. 

The Americans are t,to11 liked by the 
Japanese--especially by those who can 
speak English. The English and Aus- 
tralian and other soldiers are not 
particularly vrell liked, because they 
are not so friendly, I suppose. 

I wish I could have seen Tokyo before 
the \«/ar. It must have been one of the 
most beautiful cities in the world. 
Parts of it are still lovely. 

October 4. 

I have been assigned to the Legal 
Section. A large number of us have 
been sent there to help prepare docu- 
ments from the testimonies of Japo-neso 
atrocities. These are to be used for 
the vra.r crimes trials. 

liiy office is in the Feiji building j 
which faces the palace grounds. The 
Americans did some precision bombing. 



They left untouched the buildings v/hich 
they later planned to occupy, and de- 
stroyed certain ones which v/cre vital 
to the Japanese. I could go on indefi- 
nitely with first impressions, but I 
know that the more I sec of Tolcyo, the 
better I like it. 

Lty regards to everyone. 

, Esther Tani, YIW 
Legal Sec, GHQ, AFPAC 
APO 500, c/o Postmaster, 
San Francisco, California 



PERSONAL NOTES 
Eew Staff Members 

Carol C. DuBuron, Information Office. 

Bertha S. Smith, Business Branch. 

Dorothy J. Vlamos, Dorchester Branch. 

Transfers 

Walter Bluhm, Periodical Department, 
is at the Business Branch for a few 
weeks. 

Ruth Fishburne, Mt, Bowdoin Branch, 
to Memorial Branch 

Biurbara Gilson, South End Branch, to 
East Boston Branch. 

Lirs. Miriam Bassett Hannon, Fellowes 
Athenaeum Branch, to South Boston Branch. 

Ruth F. Keyes, Memorial Branch, to 
Allston Branch. 

Kitty S. McGarr, Book Selection De- 
partment, Reference Division, to Cata- 
loguing and Classification Department, 
Reference Divivion. 

Frances McGonagle, Allston Branch, to 
Book Selection Department, Circulation 
Division. 

Ruth Mlchelson, Information Office, 
to Book Selection, Reference Division. 

Alice F. Morlsy, Book Stack Service, 
to the Business Office. 



■5- 



Bridie P. O'Connell, Director's Office, 
to the Business Office, 

Mary C, Robbins, Business Office, to 
the Director's Office. 

Resi gnations 

Phyllis A. Eriksen, Allston Branch. 

Winona N. LoGrasso, Cataloguing and 
Classification Department, Reference 
Division. 

Jferie T. McGeney, Book Stack Service. 

Virginia Mtirphy, East Boston Branch. 

Ifrs. Alveria Calbury Murtagh, Fine 
Arts Department. 

¥,rs, Adele Sulesky Requena, Director's 
Office. She is nov; vrarking in the IJev; 
York Public Library as secretary to 
Mrs. Frances Clarke Sayers, Supervisor 
of Work vdth Children, 

Dorothy Sayer, Phillips Brooks Branch. 

Fancy Severson, Codman Square Branch. 

Births 

To Mr. and Mrs. Edivard R. Beck, a 
son, Paul, on October 18. Ifrs. Beck 
is at the West Roxbury Branch. 

Engagements 

I>fe.ry Donovan, West End Branch, to 
Francis X. Scannell. Mr. Scannell, 
formerly in the General Reference De- 
partment, is nov; in the Detroit Public 
Library. 



Mr. Lord v;as in Paris for the UNESCO 
meetings from November 16 to December 
1 , representing the American Book 
Center for War Devastated Libraries. 

A recent issue of The Jjeights , the 
Boston College paper, calls attention 
to the work of Charles F. Higsins of 
the General Reference Department, vAo 
is "the first to put Catholic Book Week 
over on a national basis." 



THE SOAP BOX 



November 18, 1946 



Dear Editors, 



There are other inequalities existing 
in addition to those listed in the Union 
brief in the November Question Mark . 
The matter of the graduates of the li- 
brary's ov/n training class seems to have 
been forgotten by everyone so far as 
credit given by the administration goes. 
I refer to the graduates of the one or 
two year program, not the present classes, 
though they too deserve credit. If the 
administration values the old training 
class graduate belov; the graduate of a 
library school it is doing a grave in- 
justice to a section of the staff. The 
writer knows of two staff members (end 
there may be more) vfno gave up a Simmons 
library school training at the request 
of library officials to substitute the 
library's training class. It happened 
in this vra.y. 

These tvra, at tvro unrelated periods, 
applied to enter the Simmons library 
school when they had graduated from col- 
lege. The school was full and Miss 
Donnelly advised the applicants to take 
the examinations at the Boston Public 
Library and vrark there for a year for 
experience, until there should be a va- 
cancy in the Simmons school. Since the 
entrance examinations vrere passed with 
above average grades, the training class 
committee interviewed them and persuaded 
them to enter the training class instead 
of Simmons, on the ground that the Li- 
brary preferred that their employees be 
trained under its ovm system rather than 
at Simmons, and that the cotorse here 
would be equal to the Simmons course 
though it was not yet an accredited 
school. 



Is it fair 
Simmons--or 
gradiiates, \k 
lost Simmons 
the Library? 
repeat these 
school befor 
"ambition" o 
?/hat if any 



then to give preference to 
other accredited school- 
hen these other employees 

training on the advice of 
Must these staff members 

courses at an accredited 
e they receive credit for 
r "professional training"? 
status have they? 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 9999 



06314 602 9