2016 Library Recap

It was another busy year in the Phillips Library.  The reading room saw a significant uptick in patron visits, we participated in a variety of exhibits and programs at the museum, and made some exciting changes to our online catalog.  We’ve also rolled out a new social media platform (Instagram here we come!) and had some guest contributors revealing fascinating wedges of our collections here on the blog.  Indulge us as we take a look back…

2016 visitation map.

In 2016, the Phillips Library entertained visitors from thirty-four US states and nine countries (including China, Japan, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom).  Our 341 researchers visited us a whopping 914 times – almost one hundred more times than in 2015.  Some of our most dedicated patrons, our research fellowship award winners, were in a total of 182 times!  Their projects included work on Zanzibar trade, logbooks as timekeepers, and childhood epidemics.

Photo by Allison White/PEM.

Library materials have also been featured in several important museum exhibits over the past year.  In addition to many books in the Thoughtmakers section of Asia in Amsterdam, we helped to outfit American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals with postcards and research materials on Celia Thaxter.  We also provided a number of books and manuscript works for Lunar Attraction, open now until September 4.

Photo credit John Andrews.

The library participated in a number of PEM/PM programs hosted by the museum.  As a part of the late-night party event, librarians brought a plethora of original materials for patrons to examine. Our most popular program at the museum this year was Nexus, which was tied to Asia in Amsterdam.  In conjunction with #ColorOurCollections, we made a coloring book of images in our collection for patrons to take home.  Look for another incarnation of #ColorOurCollections in early February!

The Technical Services department rolled out a new interface and update for our beloved online catalog Philcat.  New features include a snappy new design and the ability to save searches and records through individual accounts.  If you are interested in having an account in your name, please email research@pem.org.

Samplings from our social media accounts in 2016.

We also unveiled an Instagram account which has quickly become popular in the social media universe.  Sporting images sourced from  our print, manuscript, and photograph collections Instagram is a great way to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the things our librarians work with every day.  In just of three months of operation, we’ve already passed 300 followers!  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @PEMlibrary.

We look forward to bringing you another year of great images, fascinating programs, and high quality service, so Happy New Year to all!

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