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At the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library, clustered volumes fill only half of many long, red shelves; the rest stand empty. In the adult nonfiction section, some shelves are completely barren.
The library, in Roxbury, once brimmed with books. But officials have been steadily culling its collection the past few months as part of a push by BPL administrators to dispose of up to 180,000 little-used volumes from shelves and archives of branches citywide by year’s end. Library officials say the reductions help assure that patrons can comfortably sift through a modern selection that serves their needs.