New Book Tells Boston Public Library's Vast History through Hundreds of Images
First-time author is BPL staff member; will speak about book on August 24
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For Immediate Release
August 09, 2011
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The first pictorial history of the Boston Public Library has reached bookstore and library shelves. The author of Boston Public Library (Images of America series) is Catherine Willis, Technical Services Manager at the Boston Public Library.

Willis will speak about the project as part of the Boston Public Library’s Author Talk Series at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, August 24, in the Abbey Room of the Central Library in Copley Square. Books will be available for sale, and Willis will sign copies after the talk.

Catherine Willis worked for months to research the project, selecting images and writing the text. Her research took her to archives few people had ever seen. The result is the 128-page book, which includes 201 images spanning the Library’s 163-year history. Released by Arcadia Publishing, Boston Public Library will be available for borrowing at Boston Public Library locations. In addition, the book will be sold at the library’s Map Room Café and at bookstores for $21.99.

Boston Public Library is Catherine Willis’ first book. The images in the book show vintage interior and exterior views of every Boston Public Library location. Also included are photos of older branch buildings that no longer even exist. “Including all the library’s locations was an important part of the work because branch libraries were invented in Boston,” said Willis. “The book celebrates the people, the collections, and the buildings that have served the Boston Public Library and the citizens of Boston so well since 1848.”

Catherine Willis has worked in libraries since 1978. In 2002, she became the Technical Services Manager at the Boston Public Library, where she oversees the ordering, receiving, cataloging, and processing of all the materials the Boston Public Library uses in its collections.

For more than 160 years, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Today, the Boston Public Library has twenty-seven neighborhood locations, including the Central Library in Copley Square. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts nearly 12,000 programs, answers more than one million reference questions, and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. | |

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