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Category Archives: Major Projects

Central Library Renovation: Moves

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects, Technology
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The Central Library’s public computing area, Tech Central, is now located in the Washington Room, which is on the second floor of the McKim building. Thank you to all the library users who adapted to the new space so quickly.

A view into the Washington Room, the new location for Tech Central.

A view into the Washington Room, the new location for Tech Central.

To find Tech Central: if you enter on Dartmouth Street, take the stairs or the elevator to the second floor and follow the signs to the Washington Room. If you enter on Boylston Street, turn left after passing through the lobby, cross over to the McKim building, and then take the West Elevator up to the second floor. View the library’s current building directory (which will be updated later this summer).

Central Library Renovation: Landmarks Process

Posted on June 30th, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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Blagden Egress

New Blagden Street Egress Addition

On May 27, the Central Library Renovation team had their fifth meeting with the Boston Landmarks Commission. The following was reviewed: the Boylston Street entry lobby (ceiling design and dedication plaque relocation), the addition of an egress door on Blagden Street, and signage. The presentation was led by William Rawn Architects and supported by Arrowstreet Graphic Design for signage-related components. After 90 minutes of presentation and discussion, the Johnson lobby plaque/inscription relocation and the Blagden Street egress addition were approved (see image at right). The egress addition was approved with a proviso that it be painted to match the building. The other elements received either a provisional approval or a request to resubmit with additional detail or a request to redesign.

Feedback from the Boston Landmarks Commission is initially given verbally and then summarized in an official memorandum to the applicant. It is normal for feedback to be of one of the following types: approved, approved with certain conditions, or request to resubmit with either modifications or redesigned elements, which is technically a denial of approval. Those conditions or final strategies either have to come back to the full commission, the design review committee, or may be handled by administrative staff at the discretion of the commission.

Central Library Renovation: Moves

Posted on June 28th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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The Central Library’s fiction collection is now located on the lower level of the McKim Building (pictured below) along with romance titles, large print, and the world language collection. If you enter the library via Dartmouth Street, follow the gold signs to the lower level.

Next in line for moves are Tech Central and the Teen Room. Tech Central will move to the Washington Room, which is on the second floor of the McKim building, and the Teen Room will move to the Boston Room, which is on the first floor of the Johnson building. View the library’s current building directory (which will be updated later this summer).


Central Library Renovation: Furniture Review

Posted on June 26th, 2014 by Ellen Donaghey in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects

As part of the Central Library renovation project, the BPL is undertaking a review of furniture and other items that have been stored in the basement of the Johnson building and in other areas in the Central Library. Senior library team members review these items to determine if an item should be retained, surplused, sold or discarded.

Items to be retained are those that have an identified or potential future or reuse within the BPL system or have significant historic value to the library. All items are carefully reviewed prior to being placed on surplus. This ensures that only items that have no use to the BPL are being surplused. Items to be disposed of have no value. Typically, these items are beyond reclamation, with no salvage value or are obsolete.

Items to be surplused or sold may still have a useful life, but are no longer of direct use to Boston Public Library. Under state surplus laws, the library must first offer these items to other City of Boston agencies. Items may also be surplused to other municipalities or to state agencies for no charge. If no other governmental agency claims the item off surplus, it may then be offered for sale. These items are listed on the city auction site, which can be viewed via

Pay-for-Print Service Kiosks

Posted on June 25th, 2014 by David Leonard in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects, Technology
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KioskNew pay-for-print service kiosks will be arriving at the Central Library and the branches over the summer. At the Central Library, the kiosks will be installed area-by-area throughout the building to directly replace the existing pay-for-print machines. The area scheduled for the first installation at the Central Library is Tech Central.

At the branches, the kiosks will be delivered and placed near already-identified kiosk location. A group from the library’s IT team will visit each branch once required software upgrades are ready. The IT team will demonstrate to branch colleagues how the kiosks will be used by library patrons, and will conduct training for the branch staff.

Implementing this new system has several benefits:

  • Patrons will use a single system system for printing and copying
  • Introduction of a credit card payment option, which is in response to many requests
  • An option to pay overdue fines via the kiosk
  • Submission of print jobs via mobile devices (limited initially to any laptop on the BPL WIFI network)
  • Producing satisfactory audit reports
  • Existing equipment is unreliable; a problem for public, staff, and IT support.