Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Profiles – Joshua Kraft, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Club of Boston; BPL Compass Committee Member

by Gina Perille

Joshua Kraft (c) 2011 by Randy GoodmanHe doesn’t live in Boston. And by his own description, he’s a “bookstore guy” more than a library user. Then why is the president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Boston active with the Boston Public Library?

To Josh Kraft, the answer is simple. “Education is the great equalizer,” he says. “We all know that, and libraries are free and open to anyone and everyone, which makes them a great equalizer, too.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Boston serves approximately 14,000 children, ages six to 18–49% of whom come from families with an income of less than $27,000, according to Josh. “We try to do as much as we can for kids,” he says. “In order to sustain our ability, we partner with other nonprofits, be it the Boston Public Library or other education-based organizations.”

That partnership can take many forms, such as bringing kids into the library to view a recent Civil War exhibition. And Josh envisions future library-based programs that could help club members gain access to college and apply for financial aid. “Partnerships with other nonprofits will help get more kids into the library,” says Josh.