Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Johnson Building Improvement Project: Children’s Library

by Gina Perille

The Boston Public Library fosters a love of reading and skills in critical and creative thinking among children and teens – from early literacy through mature readership – by offering a slate of services that provide academic support and intellectual growth. This is the Children and Teens BPL Compass Principle. The BPL’s goal is to create a new and larger best-in-class library for children to advance these efforts.

The new children’s library would serve the youth of Boston from birth through elementary school. Dedicated spaces for babies, toddlers, and schoolage kids would ensure that each age group is given the collections they need, technologies to help prepare them for our ever!changing environment, and programming that is responsive to their academic and entertainment needs. The proposed new children’s library would be located on the street level of the Johnson Building.

A successful children’s library would include:

  • Book collections for all ages, from board books for our youngest readers to chapter books, nonfiction and summer reading titles for school-aged kids
  • An early literacy nook with learning manipulative toys to help with infant and toddler brain development
  • Program space for story time, sing-alongs, puppet shows, and more
  • Quiet study space for homework and reading
  • Collaborative work spaces for kids to explore reading, learning, and gathering with family and friends
  • Innovative technology and flexible space to allow for the next generation of technology
  • Computers to help students prepare for the digital world
  • Family restrooms with infant changing tables
  • Staff work space in the public area as well as an office
  • Comfortable furniture for children and their caregivers
  • Stroller parking
  • Static and/or electronic display boards
  • Wayfinding and signage
  • Bright, cheery, welcoming design that stimulates creativity.

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