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ERECTED BY THE CITY, MAINTAINED BY THE LIBRARY FROM THE INCOME OF CORPORATE FUNDS
THE FUNCTION OF BRANCH
WITH this issue the Monthly List of Additions, which has become familiar to the readers of New York City through its thirteen years of publication, has been merged into the Branch Library News. Its new title indicates in general its purpose, which differs from that of the earlier publication which it supplants, and as well from that of the Bulletin, which the Library has published monthly for seventeen years and continues to publish. The Bulletin contains a report of the activities of the month and comprehensive lists of books on varied subjects. It represents the Library in other libraries and among those interested in libraries. It is the contribution of The New York Public Library to the literature of libraries; its lists are prepared from the point of view of the bibliographer.
Branch Library News, on the other hand,
seeks for its readers, the borrowers from the Library, to whose interests it devotes itself. It aims to do what the Monthly List of Additions did, list those accessions to the Library that may prove of especial value to the borrowers in the different branch libraries. It aims, furthermore, to be a news sheet that shall keep the reader in any branch informed in a broad way about the varied activities of the Library throughout the city. Announcements of lectures and exhibitions, reports of the opening of new branches, notes on important new books, and suggestions that may enable the reader to use to the best advantage the facilities at his command are to have a place in its columns. In short, Branch Library News is intended to be the representative of the Library in the homes of the readers in the forty-one branch libraries scattered through the boroughs of Manhattan, The Bronx, and Richmond. Its pages seek to reveal the unity of administration that exists 
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among all the branch libraries. They seek also to show the real unity of interests between the officials of the Library and its readers, however separated they may be. To suggest this close relationship, there has been reproduced on the first page a photograph of the Central building, the Library of every citizen of New York who uses any branch.
OPENING OF THE MELROSE
On January 16th at 4 p. m. the Melrose branch, the forty-first branch of The New York Public Library, was formally dedicated to the cause of education and the enjoyment of books; the following morning at 9 a. m. began the actual distribution of books from its collection of 12,000 volumes. At the opening exercises Hon. Cyrus C. Miller, former president of the borough of the Bronx, presided and spoke on behalf of the City of New York; John Henry Hammond, Esq., represented the Board of Trustees; the children of Public School 35 furnished music.
The building, the thirty-fourth erected from the Carnegie Fund for use as a branch of the New York Public Library, was designed by Messrs. Carrère and Hastings and built by Edwin Outwater at a cost of over $100,000 with its equipment, exclusive of books. It occupies a plot 85 feet by 65 feet on the northeast corner of Morris avenue and East 162nd street. Four stories in height, built of tapestry brick and Indiana limestone, the building is admirably adapted to the needs of a library. The ground floor is devoted to the Children's Room, the first floor to the circulation department for adults, the second floor to the reading and reference room for adults, and the third floor to the club study rooms.
The Melrose branch will remain the newest branch until February 17, when the Woodstock branch will be opened.
REPORT OF CIRCULATION During December, 1913, the circulation in all the branches was 840,665 volumes, an increase of 101,408 volumes over the circulation during December, 1912. For the entire year 1913 the circulation totaled 8,320,144 volumes, an increase of 350,480 volumes over that of the preceding year.
THE HOLIDAY EXHIBIT OF
"Here is a book made after mine own heart, good print, good tale, good pictures and good sense, good learning and good labour of old days."
So read the poster at the entrance to the exhibit of books suggested as Christmas gifts, held in the Central Children's Room during the month of December.
Many of the 4,654 visitors remarked on the aptness of the quotation as they offered their own impressions of the exhibit. Fathers and mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers, uncles and aunts, cousins and interested friends of children; teachers, librarians, trustees, and social workers; authors, publishers, and booksellers; artists and art dealers were all represented among the visitors. Everyone apparently went away satisfied and many of the visitors returned several times during the month, often accompanied by a group of friends.
The exhibit was very considerably enlarged and improved over that of 1912 and included, in addition to the books then listed and a supplementary list of the books of 1913, a selection of Swedish pictures in color taken from books illustrated by Carl Larsson and Elsa Beskow. These pictures in simple frames proved suggestive for the decoration of children's playrooms and nurseries and kindergarten rooms. Four unframed etchings, snow scenes by the Bohemian artist Simone, placed above the book shelves with some branches of pine, red berries, and hemlock boughs helped to create a Northern atmosphere in a very warm December. The setting of such an exhibit is an important factor in its success. Many a casual visitor at first responds to the attractiveness of the room and is led to think, for the first time in his life, of books as gifts and of children as individuals with different tastes in reading, with the result that he selects one or more books to give away; while the book-loving father or mother who comes with the definite purpose of selecting books to be added to the children's library in their own home, finds it easy to single out "the very book I was looking for" without a long and wearisome search through publishers' catalogues and crowded book stores.
The busy mother of a family of nine children ranging in age from four to sixteen years spent an entire morning over her selection and considered the time well
spent, as she regards the purchase of books at Christmas time as one of the signal events of the year in her family life. The children's librarian who had the good fortune to assist her enjoyed a rare and a very delightful interchange of experiences in guiding the reading of boys and girls with a mother who is reading and living with her children, individually and collectively, and who regards their reading as a perpetual source of inspiration and of the greatest practical benefit in their adjustment to social relationships.
A lady who had seen the exhibit last year and who was to write a paper for a woman's club in one of the leading cities of the Middle West sent her husband to take notes and to ask for copies of the printed lists for distribution in connection with her paper.
The lists prepared for the exhibit in 1912 and in 1913 may be obtained on request at any of the branch libraries, as well as at the central building.
A full holiday exhibit has been held at the ST. GEORGE branch for six years and
Some of the typical daily requests were as follows:
What is the best fairy tale book to buy? A good story for a girl of twelve. A book for a boy who cares only about battles and soldiers. A good book of poetry. The latest book on wireless telegraphy or on aeroplanes.
One boy sent his mother to select a book for him to give to his chum at Groton.
The father of an eleven years' old boy asked for a book for a farmer's boy. He was looking, he said, for a book that would stimulate the boy's desire to improve the farm by modern methods rather than to seek adventures in a great city.
smaller collections of children's books have been shown at a number of the branch libraries.
A gift of about two hundred children's books and pieces of sheet music in the Norwegian language was received during the month of December. The donors, Mr. and Mrs. Oluf Bjørneseth of Bergen, Norway, visited the Library last summer and were especially interested in the Children's Room, as it was their intention to assist in the equipment of a children's room in the library of their native city.
EXHIBITIONS AT THE CENTRAL
The exhibition of rare books now on view in the main exhibition room at the central building includes a selection intended to illustrate writing and bookmaking by the Babylonians, Egyptians, Hebrews, and other oriental nations from the earliest period, and in western Europe down to the sixteenth century. Other exhibits show the progress of early printing in Europe and America, the history of the English Bible, the earliest printed books on America, first editions of famous works of English literature, interesting autographs, early book illustrations and bindings of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and world maps from early Greek times to A. D. 1600.
The Spencer collection of fine bindings, which has been placed on exhibition in Room 322, consists of 154 books (201 volumes), bound by 26 different binders and illustrated by more than 200 different artists and engravers. The books themselves are standard works, nearly all by modern French writers. The bindings are in most instances ornate and elaborate, some requiring over two years to execute. In design, they depart largely from classical precedent, illustrating the originality characteristic of modern French binders. Many of the books contain the original drawings from which the illustrations were made, and plate proofs on vellum or satin, in different states.
The exhibition in the Print Gallery (Room 321), to remain on view until the end of March, illustrates "The making of an etching." The exhibition is frankly technical; the visitor is taken through the entire process, beginning with the bare copper plate, and ending with a number of fine prints by famous etchers. But the various steps of production are shown not only by the display of the actual tools used, and by illustrative pictures, but also by means of etchings in which these various aidsburin-work, rouletting, dry-point, softground etching, aquatint, machine-ruling, and what not have actually been applied. Counterproofs, prints showing changes made in the plate, poor impressions, prints on various kinds of paper graphically illustrate the subject farther. The personal interest is served by pictures of well-known etchers: Rembrandt etching, Whistler at the press, Buhot smoking a plate. As a result, the exhibit
has appealed strongly to the general public as well as to print-lovers and artists, and the attendance has been remarkably large. The attention paid to graphic processes in library schools, makes this exhibit of special interest also to librarians.
The fifteenth and sixteenth century engravings remain on view indefinitely in the Stuart Gallery (Room 316). They include work by H. S. and B. Beham, Dürer, Cranach, Marc Antonio Raimondi, and many other names of importance in the history of engraving on metal and wood. This exhibition is of interest and value both in itself and as calling attention to the Library's desire to build up this side of its print department.
Until the end of January, and probably longer, there will remain on view a collection of etchings by Frank Brangwyn. This exhibit offers a good survey of the salient and essential qualities of this artist's work- big decorative effect, strong contrasts in light and shade, and much effective manipulation in printing.
Following the Library's usual custom on the death of an artist, there has been arranged a little memorial exhibit of works by the late Henry Marsh, the woodengraver. He was particularly noted for his remarkably delicate and truthful delineation of insect life, but he also proved the adaptability of his manner and medium to quite different problems, as is evident in his engravings after drawings by John La Farge, which are shown here, together with a few after J. Carter Beard, the illustrator of animal life, who also died recently.
It is intended to place on view for a while, in February, a dozen etchings in color by C. F. W. Mielatz, all New York City views, recently presented to the Library by Mrs. Henry Draper.
AN EXHIBIT OF ORIGINAL
From January 9 until February 10 there will be shown in the Central Children's Room an exhibit of Louis Rhead's illustrations for "Gulliver's travels," of Paul Bransom's illustrations in color for Kenneth Grahame's "The wind in the willows," one of N. C. Wyeth's illustrations for Stevenson's "Kidnapped," and other original illustrations.