Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass


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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.

Central Library Renovation: Exterior Work Begins

Posted on October 2nd, 2014 by David Leonard in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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Preparations began for the replacement of second floor windows and their framing system. This is a mere hint of the improvements envisioned for the facade and sidewalk area along Boylston and Exeter Streets as part of the next phase of work on the Johnson building.IMG_0730All exterior improvements are subject to approval by the Boston Landmarks Commission with whom the library has been engaged for many months. Specific to the windows, the improvements include greater transparency as well as new glazing, new framing system — also referred to as mullions — and greater energy efficiency.


Central Library Renovation: Project Milestones

Posted on September 25th, 2014 by David Leonard in Collections, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
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As the renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square continues, there are several project milestones ahead. The first phase of the renovation is predominantly concentrated on the interior of the second floor of the Johnson building, the portion of the Central Library that faces Boylston Street. The second phase, which begins in early October, involves the Johnson building’s lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and exterior. The transition from phase 1 to phase 2 may not be immediately apparent because some phase 1 work will continue alongside phase 2 work. That overlap is by design in order to achieve some cost savings by not having to come to a full stop and then re-mobilize the project.

There are several significant milestones ahead in the renovation project as a whole. They include:

During October 2014

  • Move of teen services, children’s services, borrower services, and nonfiction collections to the McKim building
  • Installation of a temporary accessible ramp and door system for the McKim building, the portion of the Central Library that faces Dartmouth Street.
  • Installation of a materials return — also commonly referred to as a book drop – in front of the McKim building.

Mid-November 2014

  • Closure of the Johnson building entrance.

These are the current target date ranges. Continuing updates will be available via this blog and within the Central Library itself.

Renovation digital display

Just inside the entrance of the Johnson building is a digital display with information about service and collection locations as well as renderings of the new spaces currently under construction on the second floor.


Central Library Renovation: October Roundtable

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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RenovationRoundation10.21Join a roundtable discussion about the Central Library renovation on Tuesday, October 21, 6 p.m. in the Guastavino Room. View the architects’ three-dimensional model of the in-progress renovation and speak with library staff members about future service plans.

Phase 1 of the renovation — taking place right now on the second floor of the Johnson building — is scheduled to be complete in March 2015 and phase 2 is scheduled to be complete in the summer of 2016. Ongoing updates on project progress are available this this blog.

Download and share the PDF flyer about the meeting. If you are not able to join the October roundtable, you are welcome to leave a comment on this blog or send an email to with your ideas.

Central Library Renovation: More Construction Views

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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More views of the interior of the in-progress Children’s Library on the second floor of the Johnson building. The picture in the bottom half of the collage below shows a view toward the planned early literacy area with a window onto Exeter Street to the left that will soon be built out into a story time archway.

bpl_IMG_collage0915And another view of the area alongside the Children’s Library where nonfiction collections will be located as well as a community reading area.