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Boston Public Library’s 2015 Concerts in the Courtyard Series

Posted on May 21st, 2015 by admin in Media Releases
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Lunchtime and evening concerts fill Copley Square this summerconcert

One of Boston’s most picturesque spaces will be filled with music in a free concert series on Wednesdays and Fridays in June, July, and August. Starting on June 3, the courtyard at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street, will feature music selections from a variety of influences, from jazz and folk to classical and contemporary music. Concerts are held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. through August 28. All concerts are free and last approximately one hour.

“Partaking in this free summertime series is an ideal way to spend part of an afternoon or evening enjoying music in one of Boston’s finest cultural institutions,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I thank Boston Public Library staff, the Boston Public Library Foundation, and Deloitte for providing such wonderful programming for library users and visitors.” Read more »

Statements from Boston Public Library Leadership

Posted on May 20th, 2015 by admin in General

Below are statements from Boston Public Library President Amy E. Ryan and Jeffrey B. Rudman, Chair, Boston Public Library Board of Trustees, regarding missing pieces from BPL collections:

AMY E. RYAN:

Boston Public Library recently discovered that an engraving by Albrecht Dürer and an etching by Rembrandt are missing from the Boston Public Library’s print collection. It is our hope that these two significant pieces have simply been misfiled. The curators and department staff are currently conducting a detailed search of the collection, and we are working with the Boston Police Department to determine if there is the possibility of criminal activity. As part of the search process, the BPL is undertaking an updated inventory of the more than 200,000 prints and drawings that make up the print collection, and will conduct an independent analysis of security protocols. While strict procedures for viewing items in the collection are in place, it is always a balance to fulfill our obligation to make collections open to the public to study and enjoy, while preserving them and keeping them secure.

The Boston Public Library has an extensive, impressive, and diverse collection of prints totaling more than 200,000 pieces. When I was notified that the two prints were missing and the seriousness of the situation, I contacted Police Commissioner Evans to ensure the Boston Police Department was aware. We are continuing to work closely with BPD during their investigation and are conducting an independent security review, and an item by item audit of our print collection. We are eager to bring this to a successful conclusion. It is important that all of the treasures of our collection can be made available to the public now and in the future, and that must be balanced with ensuring their security.

JEFFREY B. RUDMAN:

I have, and I know the Trustees have, endless confidence in President Ryan. We enjoy a strong relationship with her and have enjoyed that relationship continuously since she was appointed President of the Boston Public Library in October 2008.

The Trustees are proud of the Boston Public Library’s extraordinary print collection of more than 200,000 items and, while security is always a concern for institutions with valuable collections, at the Boston Public Library, not only are we mindful of that concern, but we pride ourselves on making our valuable treasures available to the public. That is how it should be. That is how it must be.

That said, we hope to use this incident as an opportunity to learn and to improve. When the facts are clear, we will make those improvements which the facts commend. We have already begun an independent item-by-item survey of the art we currently possess, and we have commissioned an independent audit of our security protocols.

In the interim, we are very grateful for the assistance of the Boston Police Department, who have been actively involved since President Ryan notified them on April 15 when she first knew exactly what artwork was missing. The Trustees deeply appreciate the efforts of President Ryan and her staff, both in their cooperation with the police and in doing all that they can to maximize the likelihood that we will recover this art.

Artwork information:

Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528). Engraving, 1504. – estimate of the size is 8 in x 11 in

Self Portrait with Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre by Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669). Etching, 1634 – estimate of the size is 5 in x 6 in

Central Library Renovation Profiles: Daniel and Dana van Ee, Children’s Library Users

Posted on May 15th, 2015 by Anna Williams in General
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Daniel and DanaFour-year-old Daniel and his mother Dana, originally from Liberia and now living in the Back Bay, are frequent visitors to the renovated Children’s Library.

What do you like about the Children’s Library? 

Dana: I love everything about it, from the natural light to the colors to the layout and design of the different areas. I like that we can move from playing with puppets to using computers to activities in the program room. There are separate areas for each age group, but the children are not restricted to those areas; I see older children in ToddleTown using the sensory wall to teach the younger ones about magnets or sounds, which is part of the learning process. I also appreciate how all the book shelves are at the kids’ eye-level. This is a magnificent example of what a children’s library can and should be.

Daniel: I like the puppets and the dress up clothes. My favorite puppets are the police officer and the doctor. I like to play builder with the construction outfit. I like how Miss Maggie and Miss Maija and Miss Laura and Miss May talk to us. And I like the computers here. I play soccer and Humpty Dumpty games on the computer. And I do puzzles and play with Mr. Bones on the computer who teaches you about inside your body.

What activities and programs do you like to attend in the Children’s Library?

Dana: We come to the Children’s Library about three times a week. All the librarians put such time and care into fine-tuning beautiful programs for children. We recently attended a wonderful presentation about Georgia O’Keeffe, where afterwards the children made 3D flowers and plants with craft materials. The Museum of Science also visited with a great program about the science behind magic tricks.

Daniel: I like coloring and painting. I made a colorful mask and do many projects. I like to make airplanes and cars with Legos. Sometimes I play with other kids and sometimes I play alone. I met my friend Gwyneth here. The Museum of Science showed us how to make a water balloon pop, and the water popped everywhere. I love the library. The library is awesome!

How does this renovation benefit children?

Dana: The Children’s Library is very welcoming. The open layout of the room means that caregivers and parents can watch their children but give them freedom to roam and explore. I find that many people of different backgrounds and from different Boston neighborhoods all frequent the Children’s Library. It’s a place where children of Boston and the world can learn and grow.

What are your favorite things to borrow from the library?

Dana: We love to check out books and audiobooks. We read together every night. Listening to audiobooks is something we can do together or Daniel can do independently.

What books would you recommend to other kids?

Daniel: The Velveteen Rabbit; We’re Going on a Bear Hunt; Guess How Much I Love You.

Dana: I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! by Dr. Seuss is a great life lesson book, and Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria by Kyra E. Hicks is a true story about Liberia, England, and perseverance.

Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan Named Chair of Digital Public Library of America

Posted on May 5th, 2015 by admin in Media Releases
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ARBoston Public Library President Amy Ryan has been appointed Chair of the Board of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), a term which begins in July and is effective for two years. The Digital Public Library of America (dp.la) develops systems to share digital content from American libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other community centers in a centralized, online environment. The DPLA offers a single point of access to millions of items—photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more.

“Amy’s deep commitment to enabling access and discoverability of Boston’s cultural artifacts transcends across the state and country, and she will be a valuable resource as the Chair of the Digital Public Library of America,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Her leadership and vision ensure our collective history will be preserved and utilized for learners of all ages.” Read more »

Central Library Renovation Profiles: Laura Koenig, Team Leader, Central Library Children’s Services

Posted on April 30th, 2015 by Anna Williams in General
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Laura talks about the work that went into the creation of the new Children’s Library.

What is your role in the Central Library Renovation?Laura Koenig

I was a member of the library team that coordinated with the architects on the design of the Children’s Library and Teen Central. I gathered feedback from children, teenagers, and families on what they would like to see in the space and brought those ideas to the design team. I also got to have a hand in all the design elements in the Children’s Library and Teen Central. I took a lead role in the creation of the sensory wall in the early literacy area ToddleTown, which serves not only babies and toddlers but also children on the autism spectrum. I spoke to people who work with children on the autism spectrum and combined that with my own knowledge of early literacy and brain development in young children to make suggestions about how the area could meet the needs of both communities.

What was one of your goals with the Johnson Level 2 Renovation?

My main goal was to create a first-class space for Boston’s children and teens. I also wanted the Children’s Library to benefit kids in all stages of development. There is a huge difference between how a two-year-old and a ten-year-old use a library, and during the design process, we put a lot of thought into how the Children’s Library could serve each age group. The early literacy area ToddleTown provides children ages three and under with a safe space to explore and move; the StoryScape area is for older children to engage in imaginative play with books, toys, costumes, and props; and the tween space gives tweens a place to hang out away from the younger kids, and it’s also where afterschool homework help takes place.

What is your favorite thing about the Johnson Level 2 renovation?

I love the Children’s Library as a whole; my very favorite part is ToddleTown, the early literacy area. It reflects our research into early brain development, and I like that it also addresses some of the needs of children on the autism spectrum. The Public Gardens-themed graphics with details from Make Way for Ducklings are charming, and it is home to one of our three lion cubs. The best part is that it has gotten very heavy use and is beloved by children and parents.

What are you most looking forward to about the next phase of the renovation?

I am excited about the new books and media area that will greet visitors when they enter the Johnson building. I also think the digital labs for adults will be a great addition. The digital lab in Teen Central has gotten a great response, and the next phase of the renovation will make that technology available for everyone.