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Category Archives: Library Services

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, 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.


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.


Jamaica Plain Renovation – Update

Posted on August 22nd, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects


Michael LeBlanc of Utile, Inc. shows community members a model of the proposed renovation

The third community meeting regarding the renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library was held on August 4.

About 45 community members joined Utile, Inc. as they outlined proposed options for the addition and renovation of the 103 year-old building.

Full meeting notes and the presentation can be found here.

The next community meeting will be held in the fall where further developments of the plan will be presented.