Thursday, 10:24 AM
Boston Public Library board ousts longtime president
(Globe file photo/1998)
Bernard A. Margolis was removed today as president of the Boston Public Library.
By Donovan Slack, Globe Staff
The board of trustees of the Boston Public Library voted this afternoon to oust longtime president Bernard A. Margolis.
The nine-member board voted 7 to 2 not to renew Margolis's contract when it expires on June 30, 2008.
Margolis gave a brief statement after the vote, thanking his supporters and thanking the trustees for the opportunity to serve the city as head of the library system for 10 years.
Before the board's vote, supporters packed rows of chairs in the small meeting room at the Dorchester branch, and gave heated statements about Margolis. Many defended his record and one called his removal a political "power play" by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
Anthony Penna, a Northeastern University professor, encouraged the board to step away from the “dark shadow” cast over the proceedings by Menino.
Since Margolis took over in 1997, the library has increased in circulation from 2.2 million items per year to 2.8 million. He has overseen the creation of local history centers in eight branch libraries, homework assistance programs in all branches, the expansion of a higher-education information program to four branches, and the development of a collection preservation program.
City officials have said Margolis's focus on the central library in the Back Bay has come at the expense of the 27 branch libraries in the city's neighborhoods.
Donovan Slack can be reached at email@example.com.
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