Posted on January 7th, 2015 by Beth Prindle in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
Tags: arts, Back Bay, Copley Square, culture, exhibition, gallery, Special Collections
A new, customized gallery space — illustrated above — is planned on the first floor of the renovated Johnson building for when renovations are complete in the summer of 2016. The gallery is going to be designed to accommodate the preservation and display needs for special collections exhibitions in an easily accessible, high-traffic public space. The gallery will include four custom built-in walls of cases totaling nearly 80 linear feet of display space. Special features of the new gallery include:
- museum-grade, fixed air exchange systems for preservation of sensitive materials
- integrated adjustable lighting
- high-level security features
- modular shelving and hanging systems to accommodate a broad variety of objects and display needs
- easily customizable and interchangeable graphics system.
The space will feature a series of themed special collections exhibitions. Content will be rotated throughout the year, with each rotation featuring 15-30 items from the library’s extraordinary holdings. Displayed items may include prints, photographs, maps, rare books, manuscripts, paintings, architectural drawings, artifacts, and other items from the library’s collections.
Posted on January 5th, 2015 by admin in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
Tags: Back Bay, computers, Copley Square, Tech Central, Technology
One of the Central Library’s most popular services, the free computer area known as Tech Central, will reopen on the first floor of the Johnson building when the renovations are compete in the summer of 2016. The location will make it easier for patrons to see when walking through the Boylston Street entrance. The renovation makes room for 40 more computers for public use, totaling 104 available computers. Modern access equipment will be added and upgraded, and all seating will be up to ADA standards and promote inclusion in the space. Bar-height seating for laptop users will double as a place for people to relax while waiting in queue, and several large screen monitors will display the queue sequence for computers.
Two public service desks will be placed in the area in order to provide multiple points of assistance in Tech Central, each with a knowledgeable associate to help with all library-related technology questions.
Today, Tech Central is located in the Washington Room, which is on the second floor of the McKim building. View the Central Library map.
Posted on January 3rd, 2015 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects
Groups work on ideas for improvements to the Faneuil Branch.
Staff from the Boston Public Library, Tappe Architects, and the City of Boston Property and Construction Management department met with about 25 community members at the Faneuil Branch on December 18 for the second of four community meetings related to the programming study for the branch. Jeff Hoover of Tappe Architects presented the existing conditions report, then had the crowd break into three working groups to review the challenges and come up with potential solutions for the welcome zone and circulation, children and teens, and adult services areas. The existing conditions draft report and draft programming document can be found via the branch capital projects section of this website. The next community meeting will be held later this winter.
Posted on December 15th, 2014 by Michael Colford in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
Tags: Back Bay, Copley Square, digitization
An element of the second phase of the Central Library renovation includes a new space for the library’s innovative digitization lab, where a team of skilled photographers shoot both the BPL’s collection and collections from libraries across Massachusetts as part of the Library for the Commonwealth program. When construction is completed, this lab will be located on the lower level of the Johnson building along with partners-in-residence, the Digital Public Library of America and the Internet Archive. Viewing windows and digital monitors will allow visitors to see the interesting work taking place in the lab, and the collaborative work done by these three groups will be well served with a shared space.
Posted on December 12th, 2014 by admin in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
Tags: digitization, Implementation, Special Collections, technical services
One of the ways the BPL fulfills the Special Collections principle of the strategic plan and the outcome Special collections will be discoverable by users in buildings and online is through creation of a three-year plan to make items and collections discoverable in the online catalog, including retrospective conversion (the process of converting catalog cards into electronic format) and in-house cataloging.
For many years now, the BPL has been working on the retrospective conversion of items not reflected in the online catalog. Earlier in 2014, the Trustees approved continuing the project for another three years. In addition to the tens of thousands of MARC records (a MARC record is a machine-readable cataloging record) created by a vendor, the Technical Services team also continuously creates records for these older titles and add them into the BPL catalog. Staff work on materials that are being digitized and on special projects. Some of the types of materials worked on include:
- Antislavery pamphlets and manuscript correspondence
- Genealogy materials
- Chap books
- Old cookbooks
- French language rare books.
According to records, the Technical Services team has cataloged 31,583 titles and processed 37,036 items to date. Once Technical Services is done, the Digital Services team digitizes these materials. The process is then completed by inserting the URL to the digital resource into the MARC file so that all these materials are fully discoverable and viewable in the library’s online catalog.