Posted on February 26th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
Tags: Back Bay, Copley Square
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.
A rendering of the “New Reads” section.
Posted on February 24th, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Collections, Library Services
Tags: East Boston
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.”
Posted on November 20th, 2013 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags: Back Bay, Copley Square
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.
Posted on July 26th, 2013 by Michael Colford in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags: Back Bay, Copley Square
Teams at the Central Library have been preparing for the moving of Johnson Building second-floor collections and public service desks in order to be ready for the start of renovations in December 2013. As noted in earlier posts, Boston Public Library is working with the target of closing the second floor of the Johnson Building to the public in October of this year.
During the next few months, collections and service points currently on the second floor will be located to other spots in the Central Library. While it is clear that a major renovation is not “business as usual,” it is our goal to provide the very best service we can during construction and to communicate changes in a timely fashion. We’ll strive to keep not only our maps and website updated, but also to be present for you, our users, and provide assistance in locating materials and navigating the building.
The library’s collection development team, the group that is responsible for ongoing management of Boston Public Library’s collections, continually evaluates the books and other materials that circulate (available for checkout to take home) throughout the Boston Public Library system, which includes the Central Library and 25 branches. With this particular construction project in mind, the team is devoting their thoughtful attention on materials currently in the Johnson Building. All materials will be reviewed and will be organized in to three general categories:
- Books most in demand and with the highest use will be moved to the first floor
- Nonfiction books that support historical reference or research or are used less frequently will be moved to the Johnson Building stacks or the City’s state-of-the-art Archival Center in West Roxbury. Books in the stacks or at the Archival Center can be requested, placed on hold, and checked out just as any other book can in the BPL system.
- Books in poor physical condition – i.e., torn covers, pages missing – and those that are part of a large set of duplicates, will be removed from the collection.
Microtext and reference services will be moved from the second floor of the Johnson Building to new locations and will continue to provide public service during the construction and renovation period.
Books that leave Boston Public Library’s collection go through multiple steps. Dependent upon several factors, a book may be reviewed by friends of the library for friends’ book sales, selected by the Internet Archive’s Open Library program for potential digitization, given to an online company for possible sale, donated to literacy-based charitable organizations, or lastly, carefully recycled.
Posted on July 23rd, 2013 by Laura Irmscher in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags: Back Bay, Copley Square
Redesigning the layout of the adult collections on the second floor in the Johnson Building will make the collections much more accessible and inviting to library users. The first phase of the Johnson Building Improvement Project calls for the fiction collection that is currently on the first floor to move up to the second floor and join the nonfiction collection. A key part of the new layout will be grouping the adult collection into 5-6 themed zones on lower shelving in some areas to reduce the tunnel experience created by high stacks. Integrating better seating options and more display areas will create a more pleasant browsing experience.
The possible themed collections may include:
• Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
• Politics and Law
• Literature and Fiction
• Science and Health
These collection groups vary in size, but each has a cohesive themed display to define its zone.
The images below show the possible layout for the adult fiction and nonfiction collections. Your responses and suggestions are welcome. Please feel free to comment directly on this blog, send an email to email@example.com, or send a letter to Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116.