Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Posts Tagged ‘Children and Teens’

Johnson Building Improvement Project: Goals

Posted on November 30th, 2012 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects

The goals of this study and project are in line with BPL’s Compass principles of Community Gathering, Children & Teens, and Sustainable Organization. They include:

1. Enriched library services and user experience

  • Improved user services through better access and adjacencies
  • Collections thoughtfully presented and accessible to meet demand
  • Expanded and improved youth services through reimagined children’s library and teen room
  • Expanded engagement opportunities through new functional spaces such as a conference center, “living room,” and potential commercial-use space

2. Improved visitor first impression

  • Improved exterior transparency and engagement, with clear paths and intuitive wayfinding
  • Reinvigorated entrance and lobby, and connection to the streetscape

3. Positive financial impact for BPL

  • Leveraging of public investment with private investment
  • Optimal and maximum use of the existing physical asset
  • Revenue generation and cost sharing from commercial tenants
  • Leveraging benefit of previously-deferred maintenance projects to support library service improvements

Profiles – Angela P. Bonds, Children’s Librarian, Boston Public Library

Posted on August 3rd, 2012 by Gina Perille in Profiles

Although she was 24 before she realized her true calling, Angela Bonds has always loved the library. “It was librarians who got me enthusiastic about the library,” she recalls. Early in her career, when she worked in circulation and shelving, she loved spending time in the teen room of the Central Library in Copley Square —“even when I wasn’t working,” she says. “I liked watching the interactions of the kids, and even shelving books in the children’s room was so much fun. I liked the hustle and bustle and being asked for book suggestions.”

Today, Angela is thrilled to be a new children’s librarian for the Boston Public Library. “I want to make sure kids have a good time in the library,” she says. To accomplish that, she hopes to find “fun ways to connect” with young people, from story hours and showing movies based on books to providing out-of-school time experiences.

Serving a mix of age groups is one of the rewards of her job. “Seeing kids go from babies to teens is exciting,” she says. “Maybe someday one of them will become a librarian.”

Out-of-school Time Survey Highlights

Posted on July 31st, 2012 by Gina Perille in Library Services, Outcomes, Strategic Plan

During the development of the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan, community members expressed a desire for a reimagined and enhanced Homework Assistance Program (Principle V, Outcome B, Strategy 1). Since the spring, the Boston Public Library (BPL) has been engaged in a process to fulfill that very request by discussing and analyzing a range of out-of-school time program options.

In addition to the planning work of library professionals on the BPL’s Youth Services team, the library administered a survey to gain input directly from children and teens, along with a separate survey for parents and caregivers. The staggered survey roll-out schedule made it possible to incorporate comments from the children and teens survey (May 2012) into the adults and caregivers survey (June 2012).

Below are highlights from both survey instruments utilized. Adult and caregiver responses appear in blue; children and teen responses appear in orange. For the chart immediately below, survey takers were allowed to choose multiple program types in their response. The numbers along the left-hand side represent what percent of respondents chose a particular program type.

For the chart immediately below, survey takers were allowed to choose multiple activities in their response. The numbers along the left-hand side represent what percent of respondents chose a particular activity.

Work continues on the library’s out-of-school time program offerings. The surveys have direct influence on the out-of-school time programming model the BPL will unveil in September of this year. Programming will focus on themes such as arts, writing, science, math, and robotics each month during the school year. From September to May, the Boston Public Library will partner with other Boston-based organizations offering those types of programs. The library’s calendar ( will list out-of-school time programs beginning in September.

Thank you to all who completed the surveys and who offered comments in the open response sections in addition to the objective questions. Ninety-five (95) young people completed the May survey and 191 parents and caregivers completed the June survey.



Profiles – John Nguyen, Senior, Excel High School; Member, Boston Public Library Teen Council

Posted on July 30th, 2012 by Gina Perille in Profiles

The Boston Public Library’s Teen Council was formed to help teenagers engage their peers in library activities. Comprised of eight to 20 members, the Teen Council meets weekly to plan programs such as talent shows, computer workshops, video games, special-interest clubs, and poetry slams for the teen room, a dedicated space for teenagers at the Central Library in Copley Square.

“The teen room is a place where we can hang out and have fun in a safe environment,” explains John Nguyen, a senior in high school in South Boston who is also a current member of the Teen Council. John discovered the library only a couple of years ago, when a sophomore project led him to the Central Library. He went inside and “the lines connected,” as he puts it. “I started enjoying reading books again.”

Currently, the Teen Council is spearheading the making of a Hollywood-style movie, from start to finish. “All the teens are involved in it,” says John. The Teen Council is also giving him an opportunity to practice public speaking— a skill he’ll rely on as he pursues his dream of becoming a community leader.

“The library is a fun place,” he says.