Boston Public Library
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Category Archives: Collections

Central Library Renovation: Reader Engagement

Posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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Reader Services librarians will embrace their roots when Phase II is completed in the summer of 2016. The newest and most popular books will be placed toward the front of the Johnson building. Occupying the space formerly used for Borrower Services and the Boston Room, the new book area will be an area for browsing, admiring topical book displays, and chatting with librarians about what to read next. This traditional reader’s advisory service has always been challenging in the large Central Library, especially when it comes to forming one-on-one relationships that some readers look for. By utilizing the capabilities of the library catalog that enables both staff and the public to write reviews, make lists, and rate books, as well as the knowledge and voracious reading habits of the staff, engaging readers the way independent booksellers do to hand-sell books will be a popular and fun service.

Architects' rendering looking from within the new books area on the first floor of the Johnson building out toward Boylston Street,

Architects’ rendering looking from within the new books area on the first floor of the Johnson building out toward Boylston Street (to the right).

Central Library Renovation: Movies & Music

Posted on January 15th, 2015 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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With DVDs and music CDs still among the most borrowed collections in the library, a special space has been designed for them on the first floor of the Johnson building, next to the Borrower Services desk. Despite more and more content available as streaming or downloadable media, many patrons still check out the physical discs. A slightly raised platform between the check-out desk and Tech Central will hold the movies and music collections. In addition, viewing and listening stations will be set up for patrons who would like to preview media before they borrow it or see what is available digitally. This is Phase 2 work and will be complete in 2016.

Central Library Renovation: World-class Fiction

Posted on January 12th, 2015 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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A photo of the architects’ model showing the fiction section and new stairway to mezzanine.

A photo of the architects’ model showing the fiction section and new stairway to mezzanine.

The Central Library’s fiction collection will be a truly world-class collection. Running along the Exeter Street side of the first floor and the mezzanine, fiction in the Central Library will be arranged by genre. In addition to the general fiction, there will be a large section on the first floor devoted to mystery. A new stairway to the mezzanine will lead to sections for science fiction/fantasy, urban fiction, and graphic novels.

Lounge seating and table seating throughout the section will allow for leisurely perusal of selections to read or to chat with a friend about the latest book they are reading.

BPL artwork will find a home in the fiction section as well, with busts of authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, and Henry James on display.

New work of art

Posted on November 5th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Collections
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Boston Public Library recently added a new work of art to its collection: a bronze bust of Boston-born author Edgar Allan Poe. The bust was a gift donated to the library by sculptor Bryan Moore and was unveiled to the public at a well-attended event in the Abbey Room on October 30 (pictured below). As planned, the bust will be temporarily stored in advance of being displayed in the renovated Johnson building’s world-class fiction section. The Poe bust will appear alongside busts of other authors such as Mark Twain, Henry James, and others.

PoeBust_collage1

Central Library Renovation: Project Milestones

Posted on September 25th, 2014 by David Leonard in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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As the renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square continues, there are several project milestones ahead. The first phase of the renovation is predominantly concentrated on the interior of the second floor of the Johnson building, the portion of the Central Library that faces Boylston Street. The second phase, which begins in early October, involves the Johnson building’s lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and exterior. The transition from phase 1 to phase 2 may not be immediately apparent because some phase 1 work will continue alongside phase 2 work. That overlap is by design in order to achieve some cost savings by not having to come to a full stop and then re-mobilize the project.

There are several significant milestones ahead in the renovation project as a whole. They include:

During October 2014

  • Move of teen services, children’s services, borrower services, and nonfiction collections to the McKim building
  • Installation of a temporary accessible ramp and door system for the McKim building, the portion of the Central Library that faces Dartmouth Street.
  • Installation of a materials return — also commonly referred to as a book drop – in front of the McKim building.

Mid-November 2014

  • Closure of the Johnson building entrance.

These are the current target date ranges. Continuing updates will be available via this blog and within the Central Library itself.

Renovation digital display

Just inside the entrance of the Johnson building is a digital display with information about service and collection locations as well as renderings of the new spaces currently under construction on the second floor.