of the February 22, 2012 Meeting
Minutes of Meeting
Trustees’ Collections Committee Tuesday, February 22, 2012
A meeting of the Boston Public Library Collections Committee was held at the Boston Public Library, Trustees Room, Johnson Building, 3rd Floor, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA on Thursday, February 22, 2012 at 12 Noon.
Present at the meeting were: Committee Chairman Brian Clancy, Committee Members: Ms. Mary Pfeifer Lentz, Ms. Susan Abbott, Mr. Michael Ewald, Ms. Elizabeth “Lillie” Johnson, Ms. Barbara “Muffy” Glauber, Ms. Susan Glover, Mr. Stuart T. Walker; also attending:
Associates of the Boston Public Library Executive Director, Ms. Louisa Stephens; Boston Public Library staff, Mr. Michael Colford, Ms. Nancy Grilk, Clerk of the Board.
Absent from the meeting were: Mr. Jarvis P. Kellogg, Ms. Joan D. Wheeler, Ms. Judith Tick, Mr. Michael B. Keating, Amy E. Ryan, BPL, Mrs. Estrellita Karsh, Ms. Emily Kelsey, Mr. Robert Pemberton, Mr. Ronald Grim, Mr. Seth I. Rosen, Ms. Vivian Spiro, and Mr. Rishi Bhalerao
Chairman Brian Clancy presided.
Chairman Clancy addressed the agenda item pertaining to the approval of the Minutes for the Boston Public Library Collections Committee (Committee) Meeting held on September 7, 2011. Discussion followed on future reporting by the Committee to the BPL Trustees. On a motion made and duly seconded, the Minutes of the Boston Public Library Collections Committee Meeting held on September 7, 2011 were approved and subsequently posted on the Boston Public Library website.
The Chair called the next agenda item - Acquisition/Deaccession and reminded Committee members that major acquisitions must undergo a formal review by the Committee. Although most collections are below the threshold for Committee review, in the spirit of transparency and building collection literacy, certain lower cost items will be presented to the Committee. Consistent with this guideline, Susan Glover shared several newly acquired items added to the following collections: Civil War, Galatea, uniquely bound, theatre, early Colonial maritime, and Jordan. Ms. Glover displayed two new items recently acquired for the Print Department: death masks of di Ageloff and copyrighted by Man Ray; and a Lee Friedlander Japanese landscape.
Chairman Clancy moved the next agenda item of the BPL Compass. He called on Michael Colford Director of Library Services for a presentation on the Compass Strategic Plan. Mr. Colford reviewed the strategic planning process of extensive community outreach with hundreds of participants in neighborhoods across the city and 15,000 online survey participants. The eight Compass Principles were refined into strategies from which outcomes were developed and resulted in the final Compass Strategic Plan which was approved by the Trustees at the November 2011 Board meeting. Mr. Colford reviewed the principles, highlighting Special Collections and outcomes connecting the Collections of Distinction. Mr. Colford noted that the strategic plan is living document and the BPL will return to the community every other month to highlight individual principles; the Special Collections principle will be the focus of a future meeting. Chairman Clancy proposed that the Committee revisit the Special Collections principle and outcomes annually. He congratulated the terrific work - including extensive community outreach efforts.
Chairman Clancy addressed the next agenda item of the Collections Committee Revised Charge. Chairman Clancy, President Ryan and Mr. Colford recently met to review the charge of the Collections Committee. The Chairman led a discussion on refreshing and updating the Committee’s charge of supporting the BPL in decision making regarding rare and special materials. Under the draft revised charge, President Ryan would continue as the Trustee’s designee to the Committee with BPL staff providing a supporting role. New committee member will also be sought to bring new perspectives and expertise to the table. The four areas of focus in the draft revised charge are: Conservation/Preservation; Collection Development; Access; and Coordination. Mr. Ewald proposed the solicitation of gifts and contributions be added to the Coordination category to clearly include conservancy as an option. The Committee members were supportive of the draft revised charge with Mr. Ewald’s amendment. In order to finalize the Committee charge before the fall Committee meeting, an updated draft will be sent via electronic mail to Committee members for a vote.
Chairman Clancy called upon Mr. Colford to report on the latest draft of the Collection Development Policy which incorporates suggestions of this Committee and the Board of Trustees. The Committee will review the Collection Development and Collections of Distinction policies at the fall meeting.
Chairman Clancy reported on an unsolicited letter from internationally acclaimed concert pianist Michael Lewin offering assistance with efforts to support the Audubon collection. This generous offer will be kept in mind as we move forward with our plans in this area
Book Conservator Projects Director Stuart Walker presented three books that he rebound: More Wonders of the Invisible Work published in 1700 and believed to be from author Robert Califf’s private collection; an 1830’s example of an ornamental book in pre-embossed cloth, a fine example of pre-Industrial Revolution technology; and an Associates of the Boston Public Library funded book binding of the Nuremburg Chronicle 1493 first German edition bound in the style of the 15th and 16th century materials. It was noted that Ms. Sue Allen, prominent author on book cloth patterns acknowledged Mr. Walker for his significant contribution of 14 previously unknown patterns.
There being no further business of the Boston Public Library Collections Committee, the meeting adjourned at 1:26 p.m.
Clerk of the Board