By Dot Bergin
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” may have been good advice from old Polonius to his son Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet (remember your 10th grade English class?) but the Bedford Free Public Library happily ignores this maxim. Delighted patrons know that no matter how obscure the request, the Library staff will go to great lengths to make sure the book – or other material – you request can be located.
As the Trustees learned at their July meeting, the Library received more than 43,000 interlibrary loans (exact number, 43, 419) in 2015 and in turn, provided to other libraries some 39,562 items.
One very pleased Library patron is Sal Mazzotta, who reported on the “You Know You’re from Bedford” Facebook page that the Library went way beyond the call of duty to locate a book for him recently. Mazzotta wrote that he was looking for books by an Indian author of pulp fiction Hindi crime novels, by author Surender Mohan Pathnak. This author wasn’t found in the Minuteman Library Network, where the staff first turns to locate items not held in the Bedford collection. But the reference librarian found it in the Minnesota State Library and the item was delivered in two weeks. As Mazzotta said, “this was my personal world record-my previous record was from Mount Holyoke College Library in South Hadley, MA, 91 miles away.”
What is YOUR personal record? Do you notice where a book you requested comes from? Kudos to the Library staff for their perseverance in tracking down hard-to-find materials.
As Library Director Richard Callaghan reported to the Trustees, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners collects a wealth of statistical data on public library circulation, Interlibrary loans received and provided, and many other interesting data points. If you are a numbers enthusiast, you can check out these statistics here: https://mblc.state.ma.us/advisory/statistics/public/repcirc/index.php
In other Library news, summer is definitely not a quiet time: there is a full range of activities for children, teens, and adults. Check the Library calendar by clicking here.
The Trustees will not meet in August. Next meeting is Tuesday, September 13 at 7 p.m. (Note change of time.)