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Posts Tagged ‘Boston Public Library’

Back to School with the BPL!

Posted on September 11th, 2012 by Alison Murphy in Foundation

 “Without the library, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.” -Dennis Lehane, author and Trustee of the Boston Public Library

This week marked the first week of the BPL’s new and enhanced Out-of-school Time programming. Taking the input we received from the community as part of the Compass Plan, the library will now be offering enrichment opportunities that explore monthly themes such as writing, math, science, robotics and the arts – in addition to the homework help we’ve always provided.

This is simply the latest example in a long history of youth service. Since the day we opened the doors to the first ever library space devoted specifically to children in 1895, the BPL has been a pioneer in youth services. We are dedicated to making the library a place where every child and teen can thrive, by offering innovative programs like our new Out-of-school Time, Reading Readiness, Summer Reading and more. You can help us make this a reality by donating to the Boston Public Library Foundation today.

Here’s how your gift could help:

  •  $25 purchases one book for the children’s or teen collection
  • $50 purchases craft supplies for arts programming at one location
  • $100 purchases an interactive drawing pad to teach children how to create digital art
  • $250 purchases a tablet or e-book reader for use by children and teens
  • $500 purchases an iPad with learning apps
  • $1,000 supports a collection of summer reading books at one location
  • $1,500 supports a year of early literacy programming at one location
  • $5,000 supports a collection of e-books for children and teens
  • $7,500 supports a year of Out-of-school Time programming at one branch location

Donate today, and help support the kids in your community.

Read Your Way To Fenway 2012!

Posted on September 10th, 2012 by Alison Murphy in Foundation

Last Sunday, August 26th, marked the 17th annual Read Your Way to Fenway game! Thankfully, no hurricanes visited this year, and the weather was lovely for the Sox game, honoring all of the kids who participated in the Read Your Way to Fenway competition. Check out our slideshow of the event here. Congratulations to our grand prize winners, Kathleen, Cindy, Elizaveta, Jack, Joey and Kathy, as well as all of the children who participated throughout our branches!

Personal Stories from the Civil Rights Movement: A Librarian’s Experience

Posted on March 26th, 2012 by Alison Murphy in Foundation

Librarian Laura Foner, middle, laughs with fellow SNCC organizers

Last Monday, as part of their ongoing celebration of Women’s History Month, the Connolly branch featured librarian Laura Foner, who spoke about her experiences as an organizer for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). Ms. Foner served in the Arkansas chapter of SNCC from 1965 to 1966. Of her experience in the small southeastern town of Gould, Ms. Foner said, “I had heard about rural poverty, but I had not seen it. I was shocked and appalled that people were living this way in the 1960s.” Foner was the only white woman working with SNCC in Gould. “Being a white woman on the black side of town was dangerous for me and for them,” she said. “But we decided it was worth it.” Unable to go out after dark or be seen riding in cars with fellow black organizers, Foner coordinated the SNCC headquarters. Among other things, that included starting a library. “The children were thrilled,” she said of the library. “They had never before had access to free books, and they had never seen books written by black authors.” Children came by after school to read, play games, and sing freedom songs, which opened and closed every SNCC meeting. “Music was a huge part of the movement,” Foner said. “It kept spirits up.”

Certainly, there was much need for hope in Gould. On January 11th, 1967, the house that functioned as the SNCC headquarters was burned to the ground. “Every book in the library was lost,” Foner said. No one was ever charged in the arson. Of the fire and the other difficult events of the 1960s, Foner quoted Frederick Douglass: “’If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’ That’s as true today as it was in 1965, or 1865.”

Foner drew parallels between her first job as a librarian and her current role: “When I was making the decision [to become a librarian], I realized the first time I ever worked at a library was in Gould.” When asked how her activism had affected her career choices, she cited the library’s central role in the community as one of the primary reasons for her decision to become a full-time librarian at 50 years old. “It’s the perfect place for an organizer,” she said. “I believe that public libraries are crucial in the fight to preserve public spaces. It’s about saying this is ours, as people who are members of this society. We need to fight for and preserve our public spaces, and libraries are part of that. They’re a place that is free for everybody – you don’t have to have a lot of money, or speak the language, you can be any age, any size – all the resources are here for you. To me that is a really important model. It’s really great in a society where ‘my-my-my’ thinking is so primary to show kids that libraries are a place where we share.”

The Connolly branch’s celebration of Women’s History Month has featured a different event every Monday night in March. Their closing event will be Family Story Time tonight at 6:30PM (Connolly Branch, 433 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, 617-522-1960).