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Category Archives: Collections

Ceiling Work on first floor of Johnson Building brings second round of moves

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Collections, Library Services, Major Projects, Moves

In late June and late July renovation work will begin on the ceilings of the first floor/mezzanine of the Johnson Building. The work will be done in sections so that only portions of the Johnson Building will have to be closed off, but several collections will be moving into the McKim Building, or to a different location in the Johnson Building during this work.

One of the most significant moves will be the Fiction, currently located outside of the Rey Children’s Room on the first floor of the Johnson Building. The Fiction collection will be moving to the Lower Level of the McKim building, a space that is currently not open to the public. Along with the Fiction will move the Large Print and the World Language collections, currently housed on the mezzanine. This move will take place in mid-June.

Just before that, some of the collections, the computers, and the service desk in the Teen Room will be moving downstairs into the Boston Room, which is currently being used for Children’s programming opposite the Borrower Services Desk. This will function as a temporary Teen Room until the brand new Teen Central opens in March 2015.

Another major move involves our Tech Central area where computers are available for public use. This popular service will move back to the Washington Room on the second floor of the McKim Building, Longtime library users will recall that the public computers used to be in the Washington Room back in 2009 and before. This move will take place in July.  In order to make room for Tech Central, the Microtext Department will be moving into Bates Hall.  In addition, new Microtext reader equipment will be installed that will provide better service for those using this format for research.

The popular DVD and CD collections will be moving in July as well. The Orientation Room is located on the first floor of the McKim Building, down the hall from the public rest rooms. This glassed in room will house the DVDs, the music CDs and the Books on CD. A second check-out desk will be activated in the McKim Lobby to accommodate the Fiction and audio-visual collections in the McKim Building.

Later in the year additional collections including new Fiction and Non-Fiction, Travel and self-pick-up of books on hold will be moving into the McKim building as well.  All of these moves are subject to change, so stay tuned for additional information about these moves.

Life as a Service Hub for the Digital Public Library of America

Posted on March 12th, 2014 by admin in Collections, Library Services, Strategic Plan, Technology
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by Tom Blake

With millions upon millions of items to potentially digitize at the BPL, you would think we would have enough on our plates. But, in our role as a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Service Hub, we have taken on the digitization of collections across the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Any library, archives, museum, historical society, or other cultural heritage institution in the state is eligible for this service. We have already been engaged by over 150 different institutions seeking our help get their collections digitized and made available online.

Although it might seem strange or even imprudent to take on such a task in a day when resources can be stretched thin, we believe that extending our state-of-the-art digitization services beyond our walls significantly increases the value of our own collections.

06_01_002590.LARGEThe works of Lowell Mason are a perfect example. Boston Public Library’s music department holds significant materials by this turn of the century composer and teacher, and these materials are critical in understanding the history of public music education. The Lowell Mason Foundation, a small nonprofit organization based in Medfield, requested our services to have complementary items digitized. Once digitization is complete, these items will become unified, virtually, with the holdings of the BPL via Digital Commonwealth and the DPLA. As our materials are connected to these other resources, we will have created a more comprehensive online resource for researchers who otherwise would have had to travel to multiple locations. This ability to enable a high level of discoverability for small, local collections bolsters our position as a leader and an innovator for library services. This has been our reputation since our founding and a source of pride for Boston ever since.

Central Library Renovation: New Reads

Posted on February 26th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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As the construction starts on the second floor of the Johnson Building, design work is being finalized for the next phase of construction which will include work on first floor, pending capital budget approval. There are exciting plans in the works for the lobby and the two front sections of the library that currently include the circulation area, Boston Room, and the Rey Children’s Room. The walls in those areas will be coming down to create one large open space that will feature interactive, electronic kiosks informing visitors about library events; a proposed digital art-installation as you walk in the door; and a new open area currently called “New Reads” where library staff will engage with readers about books, new books will be displayed, and popular collections will be featured. Readers will be able to browse new titles, sit in comfortable chairs with a cup of coffee while deciding what to read next. Take a look at this early concept drawing of what the space might look like.

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A rendering of the “New Reads” section.

 

East Boston Branch: First 100 days of service

Posted on February 24th, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Collections, Library Services
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The new East Boston Branch opened on November 2, 2013, and the first two months of service saw over 23,000 visitors. People of all ages and from all walks of life have come to the branch to read, use the computers, attend a story time, get a free museum pass, and to marvel at the beauty of this new neighborhood landmark. Computer use by all ages has certainly been popular as have the variety of programs for all ages. The collection has grown by the thousands since opening day. Each month new books, DVDs and CDs are added and it’s evident that the collection is responsive to community interests by the following facts:

  • On average, 34% of the collection is in circulation at any time – this is the highest in entire system, even higher than the Central Library
  • In November 2013 alone, the number of books, movies and CDs borrowed was 28% more than the November 2012 circulation of the former East Boston and Orient Heights branches combined
  • Over 20% of books are checked out at the self-check kiosks
  • Juvenile DVDs are in highest demand with 59% of that collection in use, on average
  • Juvenile easy books and early chapter books follow in highest demand at 57% in use
  • 41% of the children’s picture book collection is in use at any given time.

William Rawn, Architects, the City of Boston and the Library are finishing up some small ‘punch list’ items including installing lights on study tables, addressing some air vent noise in the quiet room, and installing additional signage. Community support and dialogue about the new branch has been strong. The East Boston Times ran several articles about the $25,000 Massport programming donation, the Friends fundraising efforts for the Frederick Leonard King paintings, and profiles of users of the branch. In the coming months, the Library will be highlighting additional user profiles and their stories as well as promoting the various programs for kids, teens and adults. The Friends have also begun conservation efforts on the first of the Frederick Leonard King paintings and we look forward to seeing it back in the branch when fully restored.

Branch Librarian, Margaret Kelly reports that overwhelmingly, the community has shown great support of the library. The staff sees about 50-60 children and teens from the local schools each day; patrons report loving the book drop as it offers them an opportunity to return books off-hours that they didn’t have before; and the teens are especially excited about the new PS4 video game system that is coming to the branch soon. The first 100 days were filled with greeting old friends and making new ones, teaching classes and preparing story time, learning new systems and procedures, getting to know new staff members, and figuring out all the ins and outs of a new building. The increased demand for services has been an adjustment as well, but one that the staff has fully embraced.

First 100-day quotables:

  • Jill on Facebook said: “I can not wait to visit our new and improved East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library!”
  • Branch patron said “When I come here, I feel like this is what it must be like to work at Google.”
  • Teens lounging in the Teen Room said “We love it here, we didn’t go to the old branch because there wasn’t a good spot for us, we like this one.”
  • A Yelp user reviewed: “My third time here since I moved to Boston. I finally got my Boston library card. And I’m sooooo excited.”
  • From this blog: “Thank you for this beautiful library. I am so proud that East Boston residents have this wonderful resource.”

About the Collections – What’s happening upstairs with the books?

Posted on November 20th, 2013 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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Many people have asked about the collections and what work has been done to prepare the collections for the renovation project. Much of the second-floor nonfiction book collection is being moved to the first floor in order to accommodate construction upstairs. At the same time, the team at the library has identified alternate locations for books and has continued its efforts on some much-needed collection maintenance. Boston Public Library uses this set of guidelines in making decisions about the collection:

  • Focus on the books most in demand to determine what is placed on browse-able shelves.
  • Move some collections to other parts of the Central Library for closer relationships to non-circulating collections. For example, circulating business books have been moved to the Kirstein Business Library. Circulating books in the areas of fine arts and music have been moved to the Arts department on the third floor of the McKim Building.
  • Move books of lasting historical value for research purposes and unique titles not available in other branch locations or in research collections to the City of Boston Archival Center. Books at the Archival Center will be available for request and use just like books available in any branch library.

Abundant duplicate copies, books that are physically damaged, and books that include obsolete and out-of-date information – such as older computer manuals and medical books – will be removed from the collection. Any books that are identified for removal will first be offered to the City-Wide Friends for their book sales. Next, the books are sent to the Internet Archive, a nonprofit library whose mission is to digitize all published information for storage and digitization. Books that the Internet Archive does not select will be sent through a third-party company to a variety of retail outlets, including Amazon.com, to be sold. Proceeds from these sales are returned to the BPL’s collections budget and used for library collections. Any books not sold or in poor condition will be recycled.