The new East Boston Branch opened in November 2013. At 15,000 square feet in size, the East Boston Branch features an open floor plan with dedicated areas for children, teens, and adults. The creation of a dedicated space for teens is new for library service in East Boston as is the creation of an early literacy nook in the children's area, the first in the Boston Public Library system. Other features of the library include free building-wide wifi, 54 computers available for public use, a flexible multipurpose room, and a quiet reading room with materials dedicated to East Boston's history. The building was designed by William Rawn Associates Architects, Inc., as capital project of the City of Boston, managed by the Property and Construction Management Department. The project budget was $17.25 million. Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners supported the project with a grant of $7.25 million. The branch was designed for building and energy efficiency, and will achieve LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council.
DISTINCTIVE ASPECTS OF THE COLLECTION
The branch holds a notable collection of material on East Boston history, including material on clipper ships. In addition, the branch has a strong collection of Spanish language material for children and adults.
RECURRING PROGRAMMING OFFERED
Toddler story time, preschool film programs are offered weekly for children along with afterschool homework help. Monday through Thursday during the school year.
SPECIAL PROGRAMMING OFFERED
Lecture programs are typically offered in the fall or spring focusing on topics of local interest including local history. Summer reading clubs are offered for children as well as other special programs at various times throughout the year.
A series of paintings titled "The History of Shipping" are displayed throughout the East Boston Branch. These 14 paintings by Frederick Leonard King (American, 1879-1947) are a reminder of the time when East Boston played an important role in the shipping and shipbuilding industry.
Great Carrack, Spanish Caravel, Galleass
There is a long history of library service in the East Boston neighborhood. Established in 1869, the East Boston Branch was the first municipally supported branch library in the United States. The branch was dedicated on March 22, 1871, in the old Lyman School. The East Boston Branch building opened at 276 Meridian Street in 1914. The Orient Heights Branch opened in 1912 at 5 Butler Street. The building was built by the Druker family who leased it to the City of Boston. In 1982, the library was relocated to 18 Barnes Avenue. In 1921, the Jeffries Point Reading Room opened in East Boston. It became a branch in 1924 and moved to 222 Webster Street in 1932.