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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


drive-up book return picture from 1950s

As Americans became more mobile, library services evolved to accommodate the automobile.1

In 1951: "The Western Massachusetts Library Federation of twelve towns, who are sharing the services of two trained library specialists and pooling their resources for cooperative use, was officially launched at the headquarters in the Field Memorial Library at Conway on Sunday, October 1. Financed by Marshall Field of Chicago for a two-year period and administered by this Division, this is the first cooperative library experiment of its kind in New England."2

TODAY: The Massachusetts Library System, funded by the MBLC, maintains an office in Western Massachusetts to provide needed services.3

What else happened in 1951?

  • The first commercial electronic computer (Univac I) was demonstrated and dedicated at the U.S. Bureau of the Census in Philadelphia on June 14.4
  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of espionage (March 29) and sentenced to death by electrocution (April 5). The executions were carried out on June 19, 1953.5
  • The WGBH Educational Foundation was incorporated to operate WGBH radio on one of the newly reserved FM radio channels set aside for educational use. The call letters came from the Milton location of the station's transmitter: Great Blue Hill.6

1. Image found on Pinterest [link].
2. Division of Public Libraries newsletter, October 1951.
3. [link].
4. Famous First Facts. Published by H.W. Wilson, New York.
5. Famous First Facts. Published by H.W. Wilson, New York.
6. [link].