Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Johnson Building Improvement Project: CAC Minutes & Discussion Questions

by Gina Perille

The minutes of the January 10, 2013, Community Advisory Committee were recently shared on this blog. One of the agenda items from the meeting was a review of several discussion questions, which are included below.

We invite your comments in response to these questions, too. You are welcome to reply to this blog, send an email to, or a letter to Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116. This link to the Central Library map may be helpful in identifying specific spaces mentioned in the questions here. For previously-published information on the Johnson Building Improvement Project, visit our blog archives.

The next meeting of the Community Advisory Committee for this project is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, at 8:30 a.m. in the Johnson Building Mezzanine Conference Room.

CAC Meeting: January 10 Discussion Questions


  1. What are the first things you would like to see when you enter the library?
  2. How can we transform the lobby arrival experience?

First Floor

  1. What could the first floor include for a blend of uses to be a successful attraction to various age groups?
  2. If the question is about re-energizing the Johnson building, what are your observations about the first floor? What’s working? Where is there potential for revitalization?


  1. Where do you see possible locations for the Children’s Library?
  2. How do we balance imperatives for security and natural light?

Conference Center

  1. What could you envision for components of a conference center and who do you think would use it?
  2. How does the absence of natural light in the basement limit its potential?
  3. What limitations does the 340 seat count of Rabb put on the conference center concept?

Commercial Uses

  1. What types of commercial uses would be most compatible with the library’s vision?
  2. What kind of activities would bring the most energy to the ground floor? Commercial? Non-commercial?

Exterior Changes

  1. How extensively should exterior changes be pursued?
  2. How should we maximize the level of energy on the street/sidewalk?

Deferrari (the open atrium area in the Johnson Building)

  1. What might be ways to energize Deferrari Hall? On 1st floor? On 2nd floor?

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