One 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 Each month, staff review the boards to remove outdated information and add new information.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.
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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.
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.
One 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:
- 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.
- 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.
Boston 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.
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.All 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.