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300 North Harvard Street, Allston, MA 02134

Branch Librarian: Carin O'Connor


12 p.m.–8 p.m.
10 a.m.–6 p.m.
12 p.m.–8 p.m.
10 a.m.–6 p.m.
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
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Exterior of Branch

Hours & Directions

Current programs and activities

The Honan-Allston Branch on Facebook Facebook

More information about the Allston community


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The Honan-Allston Branch has more than 50,000 items for adults, teenagers and children. There is a large literacy collection as well as more than 100 newspapers and magazines. The adult print collections are especially strong in science fiction and literary fiction, emerging technologies & online culture, career development, small business resources, cookbooks, gardening, crafts, auto repair and legal information.

Children’s picture books and chapter books, and teen fiction all feature current bestsellers and critically acclaimed works, and the children’s nonfiction equally supports schoolwork and kids’ interests.


For adults, the Honan-Allston Branch offers a monthly book discussion group, weekly ESOL Conversation groups and basic computer instruction. Children’s programming is exceptional, including storytimes for babies through preschoolers, creative drama instruction, chess instruction, summer reading activities, hands-on science programs and a brand-new playgroup for young children and their caregivers.


New programs for all ages are scheduled frequently – please contact the branch or visit our calendar or Facebook page for more information. Recent programs have included hands-on history for young children from the Pierce House, a headwrap workshop from a local artisan, a variety of workshops for parents from the Home for Little Wanderers, employment testing from the U.S. Census, and a Library Lego-Rama day.


Computers are available throughout the branch for the public to use for office software, library catalogs and databases and the Internet. Laptop-friendly tables and study carrels are located in the adult reading area; each has a power source at the seat and access to wired and wireless Internet connections.


A large function room for events and meetings also holds a Yamaha baby grand piano; a private study room for small groups and a conference room for meetings and activities are also available for public use. All of the meeting rooms have wired Internet access.  In addition, an art gallery showcases monthly exhibits by local artists and organizations. The Honan-Allston Branch has seen strong community use of these spaces, including student piano recitals, a teen video production program, a monthly Asian languages ‘meetup’ group and large meetings by local civic groups. Please contact the library for more information and to reserve a space.


Folktales from Around the World is a quilt created by 3rd and 4th grade students from the Thomas Gardner School in Allston, artist Clara Winwright and the DeCordova Museum. Alphabet Mural by the Collaborative Tiles & Mural Workshop is a mural made up of 30 one-foot square tiles, each of a different letter of the alphabet, plus 4 “decorative” tiles. The tiles were created by workshop participants under the instruction of Wasma’a Chorbachi who teaches in the Harvard Univ. ceramics program. The class then donated the tiles to the library.


Allston's library service began in 1889 in a delivery station in Frank Howe's drugstore at 26 Franklin Street.  Horse-drawn carriages delivered books from other branch libraries to local businesses that displayed the books for their customers.  The demand for books increased as the delivery station grew, and volunteers organized expanded library services.  In 1905, the Allston Reading Room at 354 Cambridge Street replaced the 16 year-old delivery station.  A BPL librarian staffed the reading room.  It became a full-service branch of the Boston Public Library in 1924.

The branch moved to rented space at 161 Harvard Avenue in 1929, and in 1979 celebrated its 90th anniversary of service to the residents of Allston.  In 1981, amid statewide budget cuts, the Allston Branch was closed.   Neighborhood groups lobbied for a reinstatement of library service.  In 1993 Mayor Thomas M. Menino promised a new branch for Allston.  On January 19, 2000 ground was broken for the Allston Branch.  Designed by  Machado & Silvetti Associates, Inc., an international architectural firm, the branch officially opened for business on Saturday, June 16, 2001. On March 13, 2003 the branch was renamed the Honan-Allston Branch in honor of the late City Councilor Brian Honan.

In 2006, tree guards and bicycle racks designed by sculptor Rich Duca were added to the property, adding beauty and utility to the site.

"These designs reflect a harmonious, quiet and non-intrusive approach to the busy streetscape of the Honan-Allston Library. I tried to create functional designs that would serve as aesthetic focal points around the delicate honey locust trees and welcome, or channel, patron use. I developed abstract and subtle forms to fuse the architecture, landscape architecture and artistic ornamentation with a new kind of energy and meaning for the community. The free-standing bicycle sculpture racks invite neighbors to dust off their bikes and visit their local library – they no longer have to take the subway into the City! While libraries are the heart and soul of communities here and now, they also have a long term impact on current and future populations and provide an oasis from the complexities and commercialism of modern life. Therefore, I was concerned to create timeless forms that will not become dated, or outdated, with the passage of time. These abstract images have layers of symbolic meanings, significant to the site. The people who use them or simply pass by are encouraged to find a deepened comprehension of meaning." - Rich Duca, Sculptor
Tree in courtyard

The Copper Beech Tree in the Children's Courtyard

Circulation Desk

The Circulation Desk

Chairs in reading area

The Periodicals Reading Area

Adult courtyard

The Adult Courtyard

2 paintings from gallery

The Art Gallery, two works by Cynthia von Buhler, "Queen of Hearts" and the "Three of Hearts: from the opening day exhibit.

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