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The Word On The Street

Boston Globe – “In an era when libraries are suffering an identity crisis, it’s worth remembering that books once existed only as physical objects. The new pictorial history “Boston Public Library’’ (Arcadia) by the BPL’s Catherine J. Willis shows how much labor was once required to get books into the hands of readers. You’ll find pictures of conveyer belts and the large wooden Indicator Board that in 1867 told library patrons at a glance which novels were in and which had been checked out. Willis traces the succession of buildings that have housed the library as well as a number of reading rooms and delivery stations scattered throughout the city. And she takes note of the BPL’s role in pioneering the notion of branch libraries and a room reserved for children’s books.”

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