Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

You Asked. We’re Answering: Johnson Building Improvement Project

by Gina Perille

For many, many months, the library has been collecting comments and questions about the Johnson renovation project. The lastest version of the display in the Johnson atrium includes answers to some of the most frequently asked questions so far received. For those who aren’t able to make it into Copley Square to review and enjoy the display in person, we include the questions and answers here.

Power, Outlets – Will you be adding more places to plug in phones and laptops?

Absolutely. This was one of the most-requested things even before the Johnson renovation got started. There will be a significant increase in power available in the Johnson Building. We will be adding outlets and running power to specific furnishings so that individual devices can be charged from variety of locations.

Furnishings – Are there plans for more individual work tables? What about comfortable seating?

Yes. The first phase of construction calls for new, durable seating around the second-floor atrium and a large grouping of chair and table options within the nonfiction collection (also on the second floor). The chairs will be a mix of upholstered and non-upholstered options.

Restrooms – Will you add more bathrooms, please?

We certainly will. The first phase of construction includes new bathrooms on the second floor and in the children’s library. Later phases include new bathrooms on the first floor.

Sidewalk – Why not replace the brick sidewalk with something safer?

That is a terrific idea and is included in later phases of the project. The exterior of the Johnson Building is landmarked so we are in careful consultant with the Landmarks Commission about the look and feel of any new landscaping. An accessible entrance is a priority.

As always, please feel free to share your ideas by commenting on this blog, sending an email to, or mailing a letter to Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116.

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One Response to “You Asked. We’re Answering: Johnson Building Improvement Project”

  1. theszak says:

    a) Get rid of the marketing program. b) Replace it with more up to date communications about the resources of our Boston Public Library. c) Why are the Departments of our Boston Public Library so unwelcoming as you approach? Where are welcoming signs designating the Departments of our Boston Public Library? It’s as if we let people know too much about us it will create too much demand. That’s a backward idea about communicating with people. d) Get rid of turn off phrasing like the public is invited. e) Reprogram the telephone system recordings and menus to be more intuitive and so that it doesn’t demand so much time listening to information you didn’t call for. f) Better customers services staff development programming on a continuing basis for staff that sit behind their desks. g) Enthusiastic new staff for the Access Center.