Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Johnson Building Improvement Project: Conference Center

by Gina Perille

A commercial conference center could be created from the existing Rabb Lecture Hall and adjacent underutilized spaces on the lower level as a state-of-the-art facility used by both the BPL and outside organizations for significant, large scale events. The conference center could attract authors rolling out their latest book; companies and organizations that want to announce new products, ideas, and innovations; local and distant universities to offer their newest courses; and conferences looking for the premier knowledge meeting space in Boston. The vision is if someone had major news, developments, or technology to announce in the United Staes, the BPL’s Central Library in Copley Square would be the place to do it.

Adjacent spaces could include meeting facilities equipped with teleconferencing capabilities linking BPL to the world, function space for smaller meetings and social functions, and support and catering space to facilitate events. The conference center would be adjacent to the existing Kirstein Business Library, creating opportunities for shared events and resources.

A commercial partner would be sought to market and manage the conference center for the Boston Public Library. Time would be preserved for BPL events and its programming needs as part of that partnership.

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