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City councillors propose expansion of BPL board, handing them fundraising power

Several city councillors this week are proposing an expansion of the Boston Public Library board of trustees and giving them the ability to fundraise for the cash-strapped system.

City Councillors Michael Ross, Ayanna Pressley, Felix Arroyo are filing a home rule petition expanding the mayorally-appointed nine-member board to 13 members. Term limits would also be instituted for board members.

If approved by the 13-member City Council, the petition must get the sign-off from Mayor Thomas Menino, the state Legislature and the governor.

The board, created in 1878, would also receive the ability to fundraise. At a recent City Council hearing on the Boston Public Library’s budget, councillors were surprised to hear from BPL officials that trustees did little to no fundraising.

Trustees last week voted to grant a nine-month reprieve to four libraries slated for closure, including the Lower Mills branch.