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An increase of a thousand dollars in the appropriation could not be burdensome, and it would provide for the printing of the new finding list of history, biography and travel, beside adding materially to the stock of new books.
Appendix 1 shows an increase in home circulation of books, indeed it shows that the library has surpassed itself in all former years. The margin is not large however. That the number consulted in the rooms is smaller than for several years past, is due to the small space available for such work and to the disorder and confusion incident to the necessary work of mechanics making the alterations.
With the new reference reading room devoted to its proper work and properly furnished, we may expect to see the amount of this work very largely increased as well as its quality raised to a higher standard.
Appendix 2 shows the circulation by classes, the percentage varying through narrow and yet significant limits. That the percentage of fiction and juveniles is a little larger than last year can be understood without fearing a continued increase. This table reflects the condition of the opportunities for choice which we have been able to offer.
Appendix 3 shows Sunday by Sunday the number of people visiting the Library. These numbers include both rooms where separate accounts are kept. It is possible that the same person may be counted sometimes in each room, though not if we know that a person passes through one room to get to the other.
Appendix 4 shows that the Library is remembered by its friends in the way of donations of books, pamphlets, and papers and to what extent, it gives a list of the donors with the number of volumes or other publications given by each.
LIST OF PERIODICALS.
Appendix 5 shows a few changes in the list of periodicals taken. It is desirable to continue the files of the best ones that we by binding may have continuous sets for reference. Several new and attractive additions have been made to the list, notably, Country Life, published in London; Brush and Pencil, published in Chicago; Murray's New Monthly Review, and World's work. The Critic and Camera Notes and the Boston Cooking School Magazine were added to the list last year.
We have continued to receive a supply of excellent covering paper as a gift from the Union Bag and Paper Company. This by the courtesy of Mr. Frederic H. Robie.
I cannot not allow this opportunity to pass so soon after the loss by death of our faithful janitor, without speaking a word of deserved praise of his long and improving service. Beginning as a boy of scarcely a dozen years as a helper, he came in the last years to do far more and better than any who have before served us in this capacity. Not strong in body he made up by faithful endeavor and constant application. This too during the last two years when necessarily the demands upon him were greater than ever before.
HOPE FOR GREATER USEFULNESS.
In closing this report I express the confident hope that we shall during the coming year see the building completed, all its parts furnished and put into full working order; see the books re-classified and re-arranged in the new stack, and at least one additional list of books printed and in use, that of history, biography and geography, including travels; see the children's room and the new Hunnewell Hall— the new reference readingfurnished and occupied as a student's room; and, on the whole, see an increased use of the entire library. To this end we need as large appropriations as the Town can grant. We can use any amount of additional help from benevolent individuals, for new books, notably for reference books, including science, art, and
music. The opportunity for the wise use of money was never greater in the history of the library.
I wish to thank my assistants for hearty coöperation during the past year, under at times trying conditions and bespeak for them your hearty support. The amount of work must increase and probably the number of helpers also.
Thanking you for personal aid and long continued courtesy, I respectfully submit this my thirty-third report of our progress with the hope and prayer that you may not be hampered by insufficient means in the complete finishing and furnishing of all the rooms of our building. May this work be so well done that it will be a pleasure and pride to our citizens, as ever to you who have taken so much interest in its accomplishment.
SOLON F. WHITNEY,
THE LIBRARY AND READING ROOMS ARE OPEN ON SUNDAYS FROM 3 TO 9 O'CLOCK, ON OTHER DAYS