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Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

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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.

Strategic Plan Implementation: Community Gathering

Posted on October 8th, 2014 by admin in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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bpl-compass-report-cover-200One of the ways the BPL fulfills the strategic plan’s Community Gathering principle and the accompanying outcome “Link community members to library programs and services within the BPL system and beyond” and the strategy “Position library as a community information node linking library users to other resources in their communities” is through providing library program-centered and community information-centered bulletin boards and information tables in all locations. Each month, staff review the boards to remove outdated information and add new information. The community uses these bulletin boards and tables to get information about library programs, but also to learn about programs and services in the neighborhood. On a recent visit to the Jamaica Plain Branch, for example, users could find out how to join the Friends, when the next story time was happening, or get connected to community members who were selling bikes, looking for a nanny, or starting a knitting meet-up group. At the Mattapan Branch, visitors can find out about upcoming laptop classes, movie nights, and job opportunities in the neighborhood. Community bulletin boards are one good way to connect users to resources in the library as well as out in the community.

Central Library Renovation: October Construction Views

Posted on October 6th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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Here are more views of the in-progress children’s library and Teen Central area on the second floor of the Johnson building, which is the part of the Central Library that faces Boylston Street. The image below shows the curved entrance to Teen Central, inside of which will be a digital lab, lounge for gaming and films, books, and a quiet study area.

IMG_4550-BPLteencentral

The next image looks toward a the second-floor walkway in front of the children’s library at right, with a view toward the open atrium area. For purposes of orientation, Exeter Street is to the right and Bladgen Street is to the rear of this photo. The children’s library will have a program room, early literacy area, story time nook, and a designated area for tweens along with an excellent selection of books.

IMG_4540-BPLchildrenslibrary

Strategic Plan Implementation: Special Collections

Posted on October 5th, 2014 by admin in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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bpl-compass-report-cover-200One of the ways Boston Public Library fulfills the strategic plan’s Special Collections principle and the accompanying outcome to “Strengthen and grow collections and focus on existing strengths and geographic specialties” is to prioritize archiving, storing, and describing current collections over acquiring new ones. The library is in the process of cataloging two of the library’s notable special collections. The descriptive bibliographic records for these collections will be added to the library’s Polaris database so that patrons and scholars from all over the world will have access to these important resources.

Below are two collections in the works:

  1. Joan of Arc Collection: Joan of Arc as a historic figure, religious icon, and female warrior is represented in about 7,000 monographs related to her life. The material includes early Latin and French texts, histories, biographies, plays, novels, poetry, scores, and children’s books.
  2. John Merriam Collection: This collection consists of approximately 3,000 commercially published children’s books, all of which include illustrations by famous artists.

The Technical Services team anticipates these records will be fully loaded into Polaris by the end of the year.

Strategic Plan Implementation: Community Gathering

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by admin in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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BPL Compass Strategic Plan CoverBoston Public Library fulfills the strategic plan’s Community Gathering principle and the accompanying outcome to “Minimize the library’s environmental impact” through ongoing initiatives managed by its Facilities team. The goals include reducing overall expenditures on energy, reducing energy consumption through efficiency improvements — all in the face of currently rising energy costs — as well as a desire to use fewer natural resources and be better citizens of the planet. Much of the guidance for these efforts come from various incentives and grant programs, as well as a variety of Mayoral initiatives on energy and the environment. Recent accomplishments include the following:

  • Continued support of the City’s single-stream recycling program, with new receptacles being deployed at many locations.
  • Targeted measures in the area of water, steam, gas, and electric use. Recent analysis shows that the library has reduced its energy costs by 27% over the last five years through all of these efforts.
  • Ongoing collaboration with the City of Boston’s Energy and Environment and Property and Construction Management departments to improve existing and new systems.
  • Participation in the start up of the City’s new energy management system which will help all city agencies analyze data, view trends, and look to target problems in their energy utilization and billing data.
  • A longstanding participation in the city’s demand response program with EnerNOC program to combat periods of high electric demand.
  • Repair and or replacement of mechanical systems with more efficient and better utilization performance, such as the new cooling tower at the Central Library.
  • Ensuring adherence to LEED standards where possible in renovation projects.
  • Building management systems: twelve branches and multiple independent systems at the Central Library can now be monitored and managed via the library’s central building management system, reducing costs and ease of management.
  • Light fixtures: Projects have been completed at 13 locations including the many spaces at the Central Library to replace old light fixtures with new more efficient lights, which last longer, cost less over time, and utilize lower amounts of energy for equivalent output.

Review the eight guiding principles in the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan and read the full plan, the BPL Compass.