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Trustees' Collections Committee
Board of Trustees

Agenda for the September 6, 2012 Meeting

Trustees’ Collections Committee
Thursday, September 6, 2012
8:30 am – 10:00 am
Orientation Room, McKim Building, 1st Floor
700 Boylston Street, Boston MA
Mr. Brian Clancy, Chair



  1. Welcome and Introductions
    Mr. Brian Clancy, Committee Chairman
  2. Review and Approval of Minutes for February 22, 2012 (Attachment 1)
    Mr. Brian Clancy
  3. Special Collections Committee Charge (draft) (Attachment 2)
    Ms. Amy Ryan, President
  4. Boston Public Library Compass: Strategic Plan
    Ms. Amy Ryan, President
  5. "Boston Public Library Collection Development Policy" (draft) (Attachment 3)
    Ms. Laura Irmscher, Chief of Collections Strategy
  6. Collections of Distinction (draft documents) (Attachments 4 a-g)
    Ms. Susan Glover, Keeper of Special Collections
    • "Boston Public Library Collections of Distinction" (Attachment 4a)
    • "Collections of Distinction Template" (Attachment 4b)
    • "Collections of Distinction – Preliminary List" (Attachment 4c)
    • Collections of Distinction Samples (Attachments 4 d, e, f, g)
  7. Other Business
    Mr. Brian Clancy
  8. Adjournment
    Mr. Brian Clancy

Meeting Schedule
All meetings are at 8:30 a.m. at the Central Library, Copley Square in the Orientation Room
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Minutes of the September 6, 2012 Meeting

Minutes of Meeting
Trustees’ Collections Committee Tuesday, September 6, 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, September 6, 201 at 8:30 a.m.

Present at the meeting were: Committee Chairman Brian Clancy, Ms. Mary Pfeifer Lentz, Vice Chair, Committee Members: Ms. Susan Abbott, Mr. Rishi Bhalerao, Mr. Stanley Cushing, Ms. Elizabeth “Lillie” Johnson, Ms. Brenda Lawson, Ms. Cheryl Nixon, Mr. Vincent Petronella, BPL Trustee Byron Rushing, BPL President Amy Ryan, and Mr. William Stoneman.

Also attending BPL Staff: Chief of Collections Strategy Laura Irmscher, Keeper of Special Collections Susan Glover, and Clerk of the Board Nancy Grilk.

Absent from the meeting were: Mr. Michael Ewald, Ms. Barbara Glauber, Mr. Jarvis Kellogg, and Ms. Vivian Spiro

Chairman Brian Clancy presided.

The Chairman welcomed all to the newly reconstituted Special Collections Committee. With the inclusion of several new members, he asked each to provide an introduction and background.

Chairman Clancy addressed the agenda item pertaining to the approval of the Minutes for the Boston Public Library Collections Committee (Committee) Meeting held on February 22, 2012. Discussion on revisions to the minutes followed. On a motion made and duly seconded, the Minutes of the Boston Public Library Collections Committee Meeting held on February 22, 2012 were approved with revisions and subsequently posted on the Boston Public Library website.

The Chair called the next agenda item - the draft “Boston Public Library Special Collections Committee: Charge”. President Amy Ryan led the discussion. President Ryan reported that the Special Collections Committee Charge will be before the Trustees for approval at their September 11, 2012 meeting. The “Boston Public Library Collections of Distinction” will also be a topic for discussion at the meeting. Today’s Committee meeting will provide the framework for these discussions. She noted that Trustee Board Chairman Jeffrey Rudman is very supportive of this Committee’s work and looks to the Committee for guidance and advice on Collections of Distinction and Special Collections. Discussion on the Committee Charge followed. On a recommendation, Committee members agreed to the “Boston Public Library Special Collections Committee Charge” with the inclusion of manuscripts, fine arts, and other objects to the purpose section.

President Ryan reported on the next agenda item - the Boston Public Library Compass: Strategic Plan. A three-year process resulted in the first phase Compass Principles which led to the second phase Strategic Plan to guide the BPL’s future actions. President Ryan noted that Trustee Rushing chaired Strategic Planning Committee. She called attention to Principle 3, Special Collections and its outcomes which provides a framework for the Committee’s work. A Community Roundtable on this topic is scheduled for November. Chairman Clancy commended the work of the Strategic Planning Committee.

President Ryan called on Ms. Laura Irmscher, Chief of Collections Strategy to highlight the draft “Boston Public Library Collection Development Policy.” Ms. Irmscher reported that the updated policy provides more flexibility in decision making giving the BPL the ability to adapt to new types of information formats. Ms. Irmscher provided a section by section overview of changes to the draft. Discussion followed. Committee discussion included building on existing collection strengths, conservation and storage, recording and preserving knowledge, digitization, deselection/deaccession, and guidelines for gifts.

President Ryan called on Ms. Susan Glover, Keeper of Special Collections for a discussion on “Boston Public Library Collections of Distinction”. Ms. Glover underscored the BPL’s strong and rich collections and its commitment to accessibility. The Committee discussed a variety of topics including addressing deselection/deaccession in the criteria, ensuring criteria are not too rigid, opportunities to create new collection groups, buildings, diverse religious, and ethnic collections to better match the demographics of the city. President Ryan welcomes any additional Committee members suggestions prior to the September 11th Trustees Board meeting.

Chairman Clancy thanked the Committee members for everyone’s commitment and a great first meeting.

There being no further business, the Committee adjourned at 10 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Grilk
Clerk of the Board

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