Boston Public Library
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The BPL Compass

Posts Tagged ‘Community Gathering’

Compass Roundtable on Community Gathering: Wednesday, Jan. 30

Posted on January 2nd, 2013 by Gina Perille in Strategic Plan

The next Compass Roundtable will take place on Wednesday, January 30, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Join a conversation about the Community Gathering principle with David Leonard, Boston Public Library’s Director of Administration & Technology, and Mary Frances O’Brien, the BPL’s Chief of Public Services .

“Compass” is the name of the Boston Public Library’s strategic plan. The Community Gathering principle in the Compass states: The BPL exists to serve and sustain communities that foster discovery, reading, thinking, conversing, teaching, and learning, in accessible, sustainable, and welcoming facilities throughout the City, as well as with an engaging online presence. The stated outcomes under the Community Gathering Principles are:

  • Provide library spaces that are inviting, stimulating, comfortable, clean, and safe.
  • Reimagine and redesign the BPL website to create a single location for connecting users with resources and with each other.
  • Link community members to library programs and services within the BPL system and beyond.
  • Minimize the library’s environmental impact.

Community Gathering is the seventh of eight principles that staff from the BPL have discussed with the public following the unanimous approval of the strategic plan by the BPL Board of Trustees in November 2011. The Boston Public Library engaged its stakeholders in a two-year, three-phase planning process prior to that Board approval. The final Compass principle to be discussed is the User-Centered Institution principle, which will be covered in March 2013.

Download and share the January flyer (PDF).

If you are not able to join the January roundtable, you are always welcome to leave a comment on this blog or send an email to with your ideas.

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 – Christine Schonhart, Director of Branch Libraries

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

To Christine Schonhart, the Boston Public Library branches are more than just books and programs. They are the very heart of the communities in which they’re located. “I see the library as a safe and welcoming environment, a haven for kids and adults,” she says. “Each branch is a beautiful place for people to bring their families, and it’s free, so it’s accessible throughout the city.”

As the director of branch libraries, Christine juggles a host of responsibilities, from hiring staff and developing new programming to overseeing operations and budgets. “It’s an interesting job every day,” she says.

To do her job, she also is mindful of the need for each local branch to evolve with its community. “Neighborhoods change and grow more diverse,” she points out. “I want to hire staff who know the neighborhoods, and at the same time provide consistent, quality programming throughout the city.”

To keep her finger on the pulse of each neighborhood, Christine makes customer feedback a priority, through surveys, online forums, social media, and outreach programs. “I want each branch to be seen as a fun, engaging, welcoming, friendly space where people can come no matter what’s going on in their lives,” she says.

Profiles – Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero, Associate, Nixon Pebody LLP; Member, BPL Compass Committee and Strategic Planning Committee

Posted on August 28th, 2012 by Gina Perille in Profiles

Growing up in East Boston, home of the first branch library in America, Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero had a keen sense of the importance of branch libraries to local neighborhoods. “The branches are uniquely Boston,” he says. “They double as community centers—a place for reading groups, exhibitions, lectures, research, and community-based activities. They’re the lifeblood of the community.”

Now an Associate with Nixon Peabody LLP, a Global 100 law firm, Ronaldo also served as a member of the Boston Public Library’s Strategic Planning Committee. He sees this initiative as a way for the library and local communities to build a future together. “It’s a way to sit down and think about a systematic approach for where the library should be,” he says.

He also recognizes that, in this era of limited resources, creative strategies are needed. “We need to keep changing to meet the needs of the communities on a day-to-day basis,” he says. “I’m more than honored to be a part of it. The library is a special place.”

Profiles – Uma Murthy, Branch Librarian

Posted on August 24th, 2012 by Gina Perille in Profiles

When Uma Murthy first came to the U.S. from India, she wanted a place where she could go and feel part of the community. She found it at her local branch of the Boston Public Library. Now, as a Boston Public Library branch librarian, she is delighted to offer that same sense of belonging to others in her neighborhood.

The branch at which Uma serves is the Brighton Branch, which is housed in a building that was recently extensively renovated according to U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Commercial Interiors guidelines. “People come to see it and ask how we’re saving money,” Uma reports. More than that, the building design invites the community in. “It has big double doors and very good lighting,” she says. “It’s very welcoming.”

The branch’s programs and resources also draw people in—from books and technology resources to active children’s and adults’ programming, including book clubs, English as a Second Language classes, support groups, and more, depending on the current needs of the community.

The branch’s two librarians also often reach beyond the building walls to drop off pamphlets at local colleges, restaurants, and the YMCA. “We want to let our friends and neighbors know we’re here,” says Uma.