as several times in the town reports there are to be found that certain sums were paid by the Social Library
for use of the Town House
These meetings may have been, however, simply social gatherings.
At a town meeting, March 12, 1855, it was voted that a committee of three be chosen to confer with the trustees of the Social Library
to consider the subject of establishing a town library according to an act of Legislature passed in the year 1851, and to report to the adjourned meeting in April. Messrs. William Haskings
, Judah Loring
, and Charles Cummings
were chosen said committee.
The conference resulted in the gift to the town of the books and property of the Social Library
The first Library Committee under the new conditions, Peter C. Hall
, Alvah N. Cotton
, Charles Cummings
, obtained a room in the second story of the railway station, and the Public Library
was opened for the delivery of books, under the name of Medford Tufts Library, July 26, 1856; and to give an idea of the progress of the library from that time it seems fitting to quote from some of the reports of the Library Committees
In looking through these reports it has been interesting to note what a high standard the trustees (sanctioned by the town) have always had in the selection of books.
It is also interesting to see how history repeats itself, for some of the conditions and problems of those early days of the library are still to be found now. From the first report, in 1857, I quote as follows:
The number of volumes received (from the Social Library) was 1,125.
To these 8 have been added by donation, and 203 by purchase; so that if none have been lost, the present number is 1,336.
Accounts with more than 300 families have been opened, and the number is constantly increasing.
Readers multiply faster than the books, each addition of the latter bringing more of the former than can be supplied.
All classes have been benefited, but we have been especially gratified to witness the eagerness with