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MBLC Celebrates 125 Years


Dynix screenshot

A Wyse WY-60 serial terminal connected to the Dynix Automated Library System via Telnet. Dynix was by far and away the most popular program of its type during the late 1980s and early 1990s; it merged with the Sirsi corporation in 2005 to create SirsiDynix. The company's software is still used in over 20,000 libraries today.1

TODAY: Librarians around the Commonwealth can request materials from the MBLC's professional library.
In 1986: The MBLC's professional library was incorporated into the North of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE) network. Automated cooperative networks were relatively new technology at the time.

"[It will] allow us to circulate materials via an automated system, have rapid access to the collection of other NOBLE libraries, and make our holdings available 'online' within NOBLE and other cooperative networks in Eastern Massachusetts," the year's annual report states.

The undertaking was a "formidable task," requiring an inventory of all material, bar code labeling for each item, and data entry of holding records for the NOBLE database. All the while, the collection remained popular and well-used, reporting circulation statistics that remained constant over the past two years "despite a reduction in the size of the library collection by over 40%."1

What else happened in 1986?

  • January 28: The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster claimed the lives of the spacecraft's seven crew members, including NASA Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe.3
    The former Framingham resident is the namesake for the city's new branch library, set to open in 2016.
  • November 3: The Iran-Contra affair was made public by the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa.4
  • November 10: Congress designated the Blackstone River Valley, running from Worcester to Providence, a National Heritage Corridor; with its mechanized textile mill that opened in 1790, it "lays claim to being the birthplace of the industrial revolution in America.5

1. [link]. Photo from Wikipedia [link].
2. 97th Annual Report of the Board of Library Commissioners.
3. [link].
4. [link].
5. [link].