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Category Archives: Library Services

Jamaica Plain: Renovation Meeting Recap

Posted on December 6th, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects
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On November 12, approximately 40 community members, Boston Public Library staff members, and project managers and architects from Utile, Inc. gathered at the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library for the fourth community meeting related to the renovation of the 112 year-old building.

Some changes since the last presentation include moving the tween nook under the mezzanine, moving the maker space adjacent to the staff workroom, and shifting the lower level meeting room to accommodate a small conference room.

Review the design progress and changes in floor plans and ideas over the course of the project via the Branch Capital Projects page on this website. Below is a rendering of the Sedgwick Street entrance with the proposed reading porch shown at left. The grayed-out building behind the branch is Curtis Hall, which is shown for orientation purposes.

Draft rendering JP branch of BPL.

Central Library Renovation: Community Learning Center

Posted on November 24th, 2014 by Michael Colford in 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.

As part of the second phase of the Central Library renovation, the mezzanine level of the Johnson building will become home to a new Community Learning Center.

This area will have seating for small-group tutoring, a series of small conference rooms for conversation circles and other collaborative work, an updated public classroom, and library collections including world languages and literacy. This space will also feature a gallery of artwork from the library’s own print collection.

The section of the mezzanine that sits above the fiction collection along Exeter Street will include the romance, science fiction/fantasy, urban fiction, and graphic novel genres. New stairways from the first floor to the mezzanine will provide additional points of access and a more unified feel.

Faneuil Branch Programming Study Launch

Posted on October 22nd, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects
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Vintage image of Faneuil BranchOn September 11, 2014, BPL staff, City of Boston Property and Construction Management staff, and Tappe Architects met with about 30 community members to launch the programming study for the Faneuil Branch of the Boston Public Library.

A programming study is the first step in determining branch improvements and includes a detailed analysis of collections, technology, seating, staff spaces, and mechanical needs.

Find additional information on the branch capital projects page here such as meeting notes copies of the presentations.

Central Library Renovation: You asked. We’re answering.

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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The library receives a great many questions and suggestions through a variety of channels, including our classic suggestion boxes near the entrances to the Central Library. We also collected for many months questions and requests about the Central Library renovation via a display in the Johnson building. Here we bring you an updated summary of some of the most often asked questions about what is to come. Thank you to everyone who has written, called, and commented.

More bike racks! Please!

You got it. The renovated exterior of the Johnson building will feature four times as many bicycle parking spaces than is currently allotted. Currently there are 8 bike racks, holding 16 bikes. After the renovation, there will be 36 bike racks available, able to accommodate 72 bikes.

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 renovation project 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 compass@bpl.org, or mailing a letter to Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116.

Central Library Renovation: Exterior Work Begins

Posted on October 2nd, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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Preparations began for the replacement of second floor windows and their framing system. This is a mere hint of the improvements envisioned for the facade and sidewalk area along Boylston and Exeter Streets as part of the next phase of work on the Johnson building.IMG_0730All exterior improvements are subject to approval by the Boston Landmarks Commission with whom the library has been engaged for many months. Specific to the windows, the improvements include greater transparency as well as new glazing, new framing system — also referred to as mullions — and greater energy efficiency.

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