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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Bookmobile from the WPA

Bookmobiles were used to bring books to rural communities.
(Image filed at MBLC headquarters.)

1940 marked the 50th anniversary of the Free Public Library Commission. During that year, the Division of Public Libraries provided bookmobile service to seventy towns in three rural regions of the state.

According to the annual report for 1940, "the bookmobile operating through regional library areas, with a trained librarian in charge, is the indispensable factor in the field of library extension for it is a flexible instrument which may be adapted to varying economic and geographic conditions."1

Additionally, the remodeling of the Stockbridge Public Library was made possible through a generous gift of $50,000 from Mary V. Bement.1

What else happened in 1940?

  • The first McDonald's Restaurant opened in San Bernardino, California.2
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first and only president to be elected to a third term.2
  • The Paul Revere Statue in the North End of Boston was revealed.3

1. Massachusetts Free Public Library Commission Report, 1940.
2. 1940 - Wikipedia entry [link].
3. [link].