Conference 2014 – Boston Public Library Tour

Jean Sack writes :

Monday afternoon from 4-5 pm, a dozen APLIC-I conference registrants rendezvoused with a volunteer docent for a fascinating tour of the Boston Public Library – an amazing contrast to the small collections and services we offer.

Main staircase of the Boston Public Library

Main staircase of the Boston Public Library

Located at the west end of the Copley Square, the Boston Public Library is the second oldest library in the USA. Established in 1848 in smaller quarters, the main McKim building opened in 1895, as a “palace for the people” with stalwart exterior architecture and grand interiors, marble staircases and spacious walls decorated by famous 19th century American artists to give a museum-like quality. The John Singer Sargeant and Abby murals, bronze doors, marble lions, central courtyard with controversial fawn mother and child fountain piece, and ornate interiors lead up to the rare book collections featuring New England writers and smaller study rooms. The newer 1970s wing houses large public reading rooms filled with book lovers, researchers with laptops, reference desks and shelving areas containing over 8.9 million titles (approximately 24 million items encompassing all formats), making it the second-largest public library in the USA.

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