Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Johnson Building Improvement Project: Engagement

by Gina Perille

The following summary of community and staff engagement related to the Johnson Building Improvement Project was shared at the most recent meeting of the BPL Board of Trustees. We refer to it as our “Community & Staff Engagement Top 10.”

  1. Compass blog ( Since September 2012, the Compass blog has been the sharing location for information on BPL’s major projects and, since November 2012, the place for sharing information specifically on the Johnson Building Improvement Project. Comments have been collected directly from the blog and also via the dedicated email address
  2. Community Advisory Committee meetings, open to the public. Meeting dates: November 14, 2012; January 10, February 26, March 13, April 8, and June 6, 2013.
  3. Compass roundtable in January 2013 on the community gathering principle. Held at the Central Library in Copley Square and introduced the Johnson project. Eighteen (18) people attended.
  4. eNews. 130,000 subscribers. Compass blog and project updates highlighted in January, February, March, and June 2013.
  5. Compass blog, roundtables, and major projects regularly highlighted via social media.
  6. Staff survey throughout January 2013. 189 survey responses collected.
  7. Two staff roundtables in January 2013 and February 2013. Fifty-seven (57) staff members participated in the roundtables. Four in-person staff updates in May 2013. One hundred eleven (111) staff members attended.
  8. Interactive display and public program in Johnson Building during April to collect comments and suggestions for improvements. More than 375 comments collected. Public program on April 10 featured history of building and of the architect Philip Johnson.
  9. Regular coverage in weekly staff newsletter, the BPL Weekly, and dedicated project page on staff intranet.
  10. Discussion of project at BPL Board of Trustee meetings, open to the public, since March 2012.

Plus project meetings of library staff; department meetings of library staff; meetings with union leadership; meetings with Boston Public Library Foundation, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, and Associates of the Boston Public Library; meetings of library staff with design and consulting teams, City of Boston Property and Construction Management Department, Boston Landmarks Commission representatives, and Boston Redevelopment Authority; meeting with the Back Bay Association. In addition, the William Rawn Associates Architects team has met with representatives of the local design community and area historical societies.

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