Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Posts Tagged ‘Children and Teens’

Systemwide Youth Programming Study complete

Posted on August 13th, 2013 by Christine Schonhart in Library Services

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In July 2012, the Boston Public Library Foundation put out a request for proposals to assist the BPL in reviewing systemwide youth programming, program spaces, and gathering best practices from peer libraries across the country. The team from Wondercabinet Interpretive Design process included a staff survey, site visits, staff meetings and a public survey. Hundreds of comments were gathered over several months and the final report (PDF), published in June 2013, is now available.

Teen Zone: Johnson Building Improvement Project

Posted on July 17th, 2013 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects

Building a new teen zone is also part of the first construction phase of the Johnson Building Improvement Project. It is envisioned that the teen zone will be located on the second floor of the Johnson Building, a move from its current location on the Mezzanine level. Read this description of an enhanced teen area that we shared last year. Although the latest thinking on specific location has changed, the defining characteristics of a successful teen space remain.

Teen Zone

  • Collaborative and flexible
  • Group study pods
  • Hi-tech resources
  • Teen books, magazines, and zines

The first image below shows the location of the new teen zone (highlighted in green) on the second floor of the Johnson Building. The teen zone is not yet designed; the diagram shows what could fit in the available space.

The second image shows some concepts for major design elements that the design team assembled through research and discussion. The categories are lounges, quiet spaces, media, and maker space. Your responses and suggestions are welcome, too. Please feel free to comment directly on this blog, send an email to compass@bpl.org, or send a letter to Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116.

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Children’s Library: Johnson Building Improvement Project

Posted on July 17th, 2013 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Major Projects

The Johnson Building Improvement Project got its start from discussions of how to improve library services for the Central Library’s youngest visitors, so it is fitting that the first phase of the project will begin with the design and construction of a new children’s library. At the beginning of the master planning process, we shared this description of what a successful children’s library would include. And below, we have highlights of the key ingredients along with a diagram that demonstrates what could fit in the available space. The new children’s library has not been designed yet. It is envisioned that the children’s library will move to the second floor of the Johnson Building with its own entrance and restrooms.

Children’s Library

  • Family-friendly destination
  • Interactive learning environment
  • Age-appropriate zones, infants thru tweens

The first image below shows the location of the new children’s library (highlighted in blue) on the second floor of the Johnson Building. The second image shows some concepts for major design elements that the design team assembled through research and discussion. Your responses and suggestions are welcome. Please feel free to comment directly on this blog, send an email to compass@bpl.org, or send a letter to Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116.

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Systemwide Youth Programs Review & Assessment

Posted on February 11th, 2013 by Christine Schonhart in Library Services, Major Projects

In July 2012, the Boston Public Library Foundation put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for consulting services that would result in a program of systemwide library services for youth in Boston. This programming review and assessment fulfills two of the principles in the Library’s Strategic Plan:1) Children and Teens and 2) Community Gathering.

After reviewing the RFPs and interviewing respondents, Wondercabinet Interpretive Design, Inc. was selected to lead this process. During the months of January and February, BPL youth services staff were surveyed to help determine current practices in BPL programming, space availability and options, best practices from other libraries and to gather feedback on what works best and what needs work. In the coming weeks, the public will be invited to participate in a survey to help determine their favorite programs, ideas for new programs, and feedback on what they think works best and what needs work.

In the meantime, do you have a favorite children’s or teen program at the Library or elsewhere? What are your favorite places for youth programming and what makes them special? Please share in the comments.

Johnson Building Improvement Project: Enhanced Teen Area

Posted on December 12th, 2012 by Gina Perille in Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects

The same Compass Principle guiding the children’s library also guides the Boston Public Library to offer a slate of services that provide academic support and intellectual growth for teens. The goal is to create a best-in-class library for teens to advance these efforts.

The teen room could remain where it currently is on the mezzanine level of the Johnson Building. The space could be redesigned to allow for collaborative work, enhanced and expanded technology, a refreshed collection, and updated furnishings. In addition, the current Mezzanine Conference Room could be renovated to become the teen programming room. A review of current teen programs would inform the needs of this space which could include new furniture, carpeting, paint, and a media creation booth.

A successful teen area would include:

  • Book collections that respond to the educational and entertainment needs of Boston’s teens
  • Comfortable, bright, furniture for lounging and studying
  • Enhanced technology offerings
  • Quiet study rooms for young people to gather in small groups to do homework or work on projects
  • Staff work space in the public area as well as an office space
  • Static and/or electronic display boards
  • Wayfinding and signage
  • Other services identified by teens.