Boston Public Library postcard, circa 1930s.
The Board of Free Public Library Commissioners developed and maintained a lending library for libraries across the state. It consisted of three collections: the general collection of adult non-fiction, books for foreign-born readers in 32 languages, and books for elementary school students. The total number of circulating books for 1935 was 22,473; eighty percent of the public libraries in the state borrowed or more items in that year.1
Today, the MBLC no longer has a lending library in the conventional sense, aside from its professional collection. However, the Agency financially supports a strong interlibrary loan program and robust delivery system managed by the Massachusetts Public Library System (MLS). With the cooperation of all types of Massachusetts libraries, print and non-print materials are shared across the state.
MBLC and MLS partnered to launch the MA eBook Project, a pilot project providing access to eBooks on a statewide level. In addition, the Boston Public Library, as the Library for the Commonwealth, makes a wealth of collections, including eBooks, available free of charge to Massachusetts residents.
What else happened in 1935?
Boston Public Library postcard: source unknown, retrieved 06/10/2015 [link].
1. Forty-Fifth Annual Report of the Board of Free Public Library Commissioners for the Year Ending November 30, 1935.
2. www.thisgreatgame.com [link].
This website, and other programs of the MBLC, is funded in part with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and a lifetime of learning.