The world language collection is moving to McKim Conference Rooms A and B, located on the lower level of the McKim building (view a map). The collection size at the Central Library has been temporarily reduced to fit in the new location, but there are additional world language books available at all BPL branches and at the Archival Center. Users can request via staff and the library’s catalog world language books from any location, including the Archival Center, to be picked up at the Central Library. Library staff members have been performing ongoing collection maintenance to the world language collection to remove damaged or out-of-date books. Staff have also researched the use of the collection systemwide as well as demographic information and language trends in Boston and are partnering with new vendors to supply material in the languages most in demand in the city. In the past few months, new orders have been placed for Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Haitian-Creole, and Vietnamese material. This is all building to a revitalized world language collection that better serves Bostonians.
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One of the final questions in the library’s 2014 survey was, “If the library were a famous person, who would it be?” Thousands upon thousands of people responded. The six proper names that most often appeared were:
- Benjamin Franklin
- Thomas Jefferson
- Abraham Lincoln
- Albert Einstein
- John Adams
- George Washington
What might be more interesting to note is that the overwhelming majority of responses did not mention a proper name or individual at all. In fact, more than 3,400 survey respondents supplied descriptions ranging from a few words to multiple paragraphs. We spent time reading through the comments and were able to identify the following four themes:
- Library for all
- Promoter of literacy
- Server of the community
- Holder of knowledge
The second community meeting for the design phase of renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library was held on May 21 at the branch. About 35 neighbors attended the meeting where architects
from Utile, Inc. presented an overview of the project along with three potential options for floor plans. Community members discussed the importance of the collection, access to technology, a space for teens, and the need for large and small community gathering places. A discussion on what a maker-space might look like at the branch included suggestions for computers, design software, group work stations and places for the community to share ideas and art.
This renovation project includes plans for additions at the South Street side of the building as well as an addition on the north side to accommodate an elevator. The ultimate design will need to be reviewed and approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission. This phase is expected to wrap up in Winter 2015, and pending City Council budget approval, the construction phase could begin in the spring or summer of 2015. Renovations will require that the branch be closed to the public for approximately 12-18 months.
Meeting notes and the presentation can be found here. Shown in the image at right is one of the proposed layouts for the main level of the branch.
The next round of moves related to the Central Library renovation begins in earnest this month. This round of moves is to accommodate ceiling work in the Johnson Building necessary to complete as part of the renovation of the second floor. Large sections on the first floor of the Johnson Building will cleared in order to conduct this work.
As always, this schedule and sequence is subject to change, but below are some key highlights. It may be helpful to refer to the library’s current building directory (which will be updated over the summer) while reviewing the information below:
- Fiction, large print, romance, and world language collections will move to McKim Conference Rooms A and B, which are on the lower level of the McKim Building.
- Teen services will move to the Boston Room, which is on the first floor of the Johnson Building.
- Tech Central will move into the Washington and Elliott Rooms, which are on the second floor of the McKim Building.
- New microtext readers will be installed in Bates Hall, and the existing Boylston Room service point will be shared by the following teams: Reference & Readers Advisory, Social Sciences/Government Information, and Microtext.
- By the end of June, DeFerrari Hall, the center atrium on the first floor of the Johnson Building, will be closed in order to accommodate railing work on the stairs. This means that the Johnson elevators will be the only public route to reach Human Resources and the lower level of the Johnson Building. The closing of DeFerarri Hall also marks the end of public access to the mezzanine level of the Johnson Building.
- The Johnson information desk function will move out into the Johnson lobby when DeFerrari Hall is closed.
During the summer, preparations will be made for the next round of moves in conjunction with Phase 2 of the Central Library renovation, which is subject to City Council’s vote on the Mayor’s recommended FY15 budget. At that point, Kirstein Business Library and the Tech Classroom will be relocated from the Johnson lower level so that Phase 2 construction can begin in that area.
In early 2015, the nonfiction collection along with children’s and teen services will begin the move to the renovated second floor of Johnson in preparation for a March 2015 opening of the Johnson second floor.
Pending City Council’s approval of the Mayor’s recommended FY15 budget, Phase 2 work on the Central Library renovation would take place during the second half of 2014 and all of 2015, with an estimated completion date for the whole project in the summer of 2016.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Boston Municipal Research Bureau in the name of former Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Library was able to renovate the small homework room off of the children’s library at the Hyde Park branch. Knowing that many groups use that space for everything from homework help, to book clubs, to ESL classes, the space was designed to be flexible and fun. New tables and chairs can be easily moved around to form small group or individual study spaces. The glass sections of the wall are meant to be dry-erase boards where students or groups can share ideas. The photo collage that wraps around the top of the room comes from the Library’s Leslie Jones collection – view more of these great images online here. A new map of the Hyde Park neighborhood rounds out another wall where kids and adults alike can try to find their street and other interesting sites in the neighborhood.