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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


The Panic of 1907 - people flooding Wall Street

The Panic of 1907 (details below)1

Book requests and delivery:
In 1907, Wakefield reported that "the waiting list system of reserving books on request, with notification by mail, has been continued and has been largely used."2
TODAY: Reserving materials is still popular - and it's done in ways that could never have been imagined in the 1900s.
Patrons place holds in their network’s online catalog or in the statewide Commonwealth Catalog system and can be notified of books' availability in any number of ways, including email and text message. Physical materials that have been requested travel with ease via the statewide delivery system. E-content can be shared via download to various devices, including computers, laptops, tablets, and phones.

Circulation statistics:
The year's annual report also compared circulation statistics in Massachusetts with those of other states. The average free circulation of books for every 1,000 people in New York was 1,855 volumes ("and it must be borne in mind that only half the libraries in the statistics of New York are free lending libraries"). In Wisconsin it was about 1,000 to 1,000. In the Commonwealth, the free public libraries alone circulated 3,127 volumes to every 1,000.2

What else happened in 1907?

  • The Panic of 1907 took place over a three-week period starting in mid-October, when the New York Stock Exchange fell almost 50% from its peak the previous year. It led a U.S. Senate commission to investigate and propose future solutions, including the establishment of the Federal Reserve System.1

1. Panic of 1907 - Wikipedia entry [link].
2. Eighteenth Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. 1908.