Saturday, March 31, 2012

Public Library, Medford, Massachusetts

[LIB6617] - Website The Medford Public Library had its origin in the Medford Social Library, founded in 1825 by a society whose design, as set forth in their constitution was to collect books, promotive of piety and good morals and to aid in the diffusion of valuable information. The shares in the library were placed at one dollar each, and subject to an assessment of fifty cents a year. A payment of ten dollars or more in one payment entitled a person to life membership, with all the privileges of membership without assessment. Mr. Turell Tufts in his will bequeathed the sum of $500.00 to the town as a perpetual trust, the interest of which was secured to this library for the purchase of valuable books. The establishment of a public library was brought before the town at a meeting held March 12, 1855, and a committee was chosen to confer with the trustees of the Social Library in regard to making its collection of books the basis of a public library. Their final report was submitted to the town March 10, 1856. In addition to the rules and regulations submitted for the acceptance of the town, they also reported the following agreement made with a committee of the trustees of the Social Library:— "The undersigned, committee of the trustees of the Medford Social Library, having been authorized at an adjournment of the last annual meeting of the stockholders of said library, to transfer, in behalf of said stockholders, the use of the books in said library, as the foundation of a permanent town library, to be supported and managed by the authority of the town; and Messrs .William Haskins, Charles Cummings and Judah Loring, having been chosen by the town in April last, to act for the town in this matter; we agree by this writing in behalf of said stockholders, to transfer to them, and through them to the town of Medford, the books, shelves,etc.,of said Social Library, and also the annual income from the funds of said Library; said income to be applied for the benefit of said library; reserving only to the said stockholders the privilege of having said books, etc., returned to them in good order (reasonable wear excepted) whenever in the judgement of said stockholders the town does not provide reasonable care and good management for said books." Peter C. Hall, Alvah N. Cotton, [Proceedings of the two hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary of the settlement of Medford, Massachusetts, June Nineteen Hundred and Five: prefaced by a brief history of the town and city from the day of settlement (Google eBook)]

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