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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


New Bedford city hall fire, 1906

New Bedford City Hall fire (details below)1

Try as we might, we still can't please everyone:
The Commission included in their Notes of Library Progress the report of a librarian which contained

"some timely remarks upon the uses of the children’s room, and the prevalent abuses which are common in all libraries, especially of the dangers of over-reading, and the sometimes evil advantage which is taken of the evening use."2

But we can do our best to reach out and try.
Springfield Public Library shared a report titled "Publicity and Use," detailing how "a progressive library makes itself known to the public" and summarizing results of the library’s advertising campaign.

"To sum up, in three years, while the population of the city has increased 11 per cent and the circulation of fiction has increased 22 per cent, the circulation of non-fiction for adults has increased 41 per cent."2

TODAY: The MBLC provides assistance to all types of libraries with public relations and marketing.
The Agency works to increase awareness of the intrinsic value of libraries and the important role they have in promoting personal and economic growth for residents in every community across the Commonwealth.

What else happened in 1906?

  • In 1906, there was a fire in "New Bedford City Hall during a ballot recount of a contested election between Charles Ashley and Thomas Thompson (Ashley won). The ballots were saved, but the interior of city hall was destroyed. The fire commissioner blamed the fire on an unknown rat, 'either two legged or four legged,' that built a nest too close to a steam pipe. This fire resulted in a renovation to the building and beginning in 1910 it was used as a library."1

1. New Bedford Local History, 1900-1909 [link].
2. Seventeenth Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. 1907, pp. 24 and 48.