Posted on June 18th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Major Projects, Technology
Tags: Back Bay, Copley Square, Microtext, Moves
One of the new ScanPro machines at the Central Library in Copley Square.
The Central Library in Copley Square has new microfilm and microfiche scanners available for public use. There are six machines in the north end of Bates Hall on the second floor of the McKim Building and one coming soon on the third floor of the McKim Building in the Arts. These new machines are high definition, extremely compact, and offer all-in-one operations. The days of having to read microfilm on machine and then change to a different machine in order to print are over. These new scanners enable the emailing of files as well as the downloading of files to a flashdrive for added convenience.
If you would like to preview the new microfilm and microfiche scanners before your next visit to the Central Library in Copley Square, watch the manufacturer’s introductory overview video.
A view into the north end of Bates Hall where the new microform and microfiche scanners are located.
And when you are here, always feel free to talk to a staff member about the new machines. You will find reference team members in the Boylston Room which is just outside the north end of Bates Hall. If you enter on Dartmouth Street, take the marble stairs or east elevator up to the second floor of the McKim Building and turn left.
View other entries on this blog that detail Central Library collection and service moves and refer to the Central Library map to locate the Boylston Room.
Posted on April 28th, 2014 by email@example.com in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects, Technology
Tags: Back Bay, Copley Square, free computer classes, job hunting and career, public instruction, technology classes
Included in the Central Library Renovation’s plan for the mezzanine level is the wonderful addition of a Tech Classroom. The Library’s free and popular Research, Computer & Career classes will meet in this new space, designed to fit 20 students at individual computer workstations for hands-on practice with computers and online resources. Classes delve into a whole host of topics, from very basic keyboard and mouse practice to using our new streaming video service to how to tackle a research paper/project. You can find more information about scheduled classes via www.bpl.org/general/tech_training.
Posted on March 12th, 2014 by admin in Collections, Library Services, Strategic Plan, Technology
Tags: Access and Innovation, Center of Knowledge, commonwealth, digital, digitization, DPLA, massachusetts
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.
The 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.
Posted on March 5th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects, Technology
Tags: Access and Innovation, Back Bay, Copley Square
The Johnson Building is arranged in a nine-square gird. Imagine Boylston Street as being at the bottom of this image, underneath the letters H – A – B.
Included in the renovation plans for the first floor of the Johnson Building is an updated and improved Tech Central area. Today, Tech Central is in and to the left as you enter the Central Library via Boylston Street.
Using the image at right as a guide to the first floor, Tech Central occupies the G area today. The current plan is to move it to the E section and a bit into the F section with additional computers and expanded work space for library staff to assist library users with their technology questions. A new set of restrooms is also planned for the F area on the first floor.
Another new feature planned is bar-style seating at the back window of the E section, which faces a small sunlight garden on the Blagden Street side of the Central Library.
Posted on March 3rd, 2014 by Scot Colford in Library Services, Technology, Web Services
Tags: Access and Innovation, E-books
One of our most popular services is our e-book collection, but for many years, library users faced some unexpected complications managing the digital items they borrowed. For instance, if you wanted to search for something to read but didn’t mind whether it was in digital or physical format, you could search our online catalog. However, once you found an e-book you wanted, you would be directed to an entirely different site to check out and download the title. If you wanted to continue searching all formats, you’d have to leave the OverDrive site to switch back to the full catalog. Furthermore, you used to have to check two places if you wanted to see how your holds queues were progressing for digital and physical titles.
Considering our Compass principle of Access and Innovation, we’ve made it a priority to make the whole e-book process easier. Now, if you find a digital title in our online catalog, you can check its availability, place a hold on it, or check it out without being shuttled off to another site. Want to know what you’ve got checked out? It’s all there in the My BPL section. You can even manage all your pending holds from that same location.
Of course, there are still some valid reasons you may want to use our OverDrive site. But even that experience has been streamlined. The new design of the OverDrive site released last month features smarter search results, lets you check out titles with fewer clicks, and even allows you to start reading immediately in your web browser. The design of the site adapts to the device you’re on as well, so you can do the same things on your smartphone as you can on your tablet or computer.
We hope you’re enjoying the improvements we’re making in our online services and we intend to keep removing as many barriers to digital access as we can.