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Central Library Renovation: Roundtable on October 21

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects
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RenovationRoundation10.21Just a reminder to join 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 compass@bpl.org with your ideas.

Strategic Plan Implementation: Special Collections

Posted on October 16th, 2014 by admin in Outcomes, Strategic Plan
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bpl-compass-report-cover-200One of the ways the BPL fulfills the Special Collections principle and the accompanying outcome “Special collections will be discoverable by users in buildings and online” is through consolidating and moving off-site storage space to the City of Boston Archival Center, and adding public access. Library operations at the City of Boston Archival Center in West Roxbury are getting close to being open for public service. All the materials that were previously at the Charlestown service building and in the Norwood facility are now at the Archival Center. Well over one million of those items have been completely cleaned and already shelved on the high-density shelves, and in the near future the rest of those materials will be shelved. In addition to the materials that were formerly in the Charleston and Norwood buildings, tens of thousands materials that were previously housed at the Central Library have also been transferred to the Archival Center. While it will take some time to clean, accession, and shelve all those items, the goal is to process them as quickly as possible.

Strategic Plan Implementation: Sustainable Organization

Posted on October 14th, 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 Sustainable Organization principle is to act on the strategy “Enhance volunteer and docent programs.” That strategy is part of the outcome “Seek out and establish partnerships that enhance services.” The BPL Art and Architecture tour program is actively recruiting and training new guides to add to the corps of 32 active volunteers. Each trainee enters a process of shadowing experienced guides, studying material from the tour guide library, and constructing their own tour under the mentorship of the tour coordinator and a veteran docent. This one-on-one model follows a training and enrichment class offered for both new and experienced guides in the 2012-2013 season. By summer 2015, the goal to increase the active volunteer number to 50.

Throughout the year, the program offers bi-monthly enrichment sessions for all Art and Architecture guides and trainees. Sessions include relevant lectures with conservators, curators, and authors, as well as field trips to museums and historic sites. At each session, there is an opportunity for guides to gather around light refreshments, and the annual guide appreciation party in December allows volunteers to further strengthen their bond with the program and with each other.

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.