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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Teletype machine, circa 1967

Teletype machine, circa 19671

In 1967: The Bureau of Library Extension inaugurated private-line teletype service (PLTT) between the headquarter libraries of the three state-financed Regional Public Library systems.

"With PLTT, a North Adams businessman can expect his local library to supply the information he must have in less than twenty-four hours. This will be possible with PLTT, even though his request has been transferred by telephone via the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield to the Forbes Library in Northampton to the System Headquarters at Springfield and on to a subject specialist and the special resources of the Boston Public Library."2

TODAY: Most interlibrary loan requests are communicated via the Internet, either directly from system to system or by email.

What else happened in 1967?

  • The first Super Bowl was played in Los Angeles, between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs; Green Bay won, 35-10.3
  • The cultural revolution evolved from flower power to psychedelics with the Beatles' release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on Capitol Records. The album won the Grammy award for Album of the Year.4
  • Boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be drafted into the Army and was immediately stripped of his heavyweight title and banned from fighting in the U.S. for three and a half years. Muslim and conscientious objector, Ali cited religious reasons and famously said "I ain't got no quarrel with those Vietcong." In 1967 he was convicted on criminal charges for refusing the draft, but the verdict was later overturned.5

1. Wikimedia Commons [link].
2. Bureau of Library Extension newsletter, May 1967.
3. [link].
4. [link].
5. [link].