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East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library Awarded Prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification

Posted on September 30th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases
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EBleedToday Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library earned LEED Gold certification. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute, LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the world’s foremost certification program for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of green buildings.

“The City of Boston is committed to green design practices and eco-friendly development,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “By earning LEED Gold certification, the state-of-the art East Boston branch demonstrates how a successful architectural addition to a community can also be a sustainable one.”

The East Boston Branch, a 15,000 square foot building at 365 Bremen Street designed by William Rawn Associates Architects, Inc., opened in November 2013. The library building earned LEED certification for green design and construction in the areas of energy use, lighting, water, and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. The City of Boston’s Property and Construction Management department managed this capital project. The East Boston Branch was funded by the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Read more »

Boston Public Library by the Numbers [#infographic]

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by Gina Perille in General
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Highlights of key numbers and key innovations from Boston Public Library’s most recently completed fiscal year.

BPLbytheNumbersFY14The library shares a variety of facts and figures on the “BPL by the Numbers” page on this website. There you will find library-generated statistics and links to the City of Boston’s performance management program — known as BAR, which stands for “Boston About Results.” On the same page, links to data shared and collected by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners are available.

Meet Helen Bender, West End Branch Librarian

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 by admin in General
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Helen’s role in educating library users on electronic resources, particularly e-readers, supports the library’s  Access and Innovation principle of the Compass strategic plan through keeping pace with evolving standards in technology and improving patrons’ ease-of-use with these services.

Helen Bender2

Why do you enjoy the e-reader?

It’s a great alternative format to a print book. I was an early adopter of e-readers and have owned a Kindle for years. I’ve read close to 200 books in 2014 on my Kindle and in print combined.

What services do you offer for people who need assistance with e-readers?

The West End Branch initiated drop-in sessions early on when e-readers became available. Around the holidays, and especially when more and more devices came out, we would hold larger device sessions and then offer  one-on-one help if needed. Assisting library users with their e-readers is a big priority at this branch and we can usually get someone in within a few days of a request. Our library staff also heavily promotes hoopla, our streaming media service, and digital magazine service Zinio. We find a lot of our users are interested in reading things such as The Economist and don’t know they can read it in a digital format.

What is the best part about working for the library?

I love helping people; it’s my favorite thing to do. Even when I worked in the Inter Library Loan department, there was a public service component to it that I found really enjoyable. I like finding obscure things that people are looking for and delivering them.

How does technology and digital offerings enhance service to library users?

They help a great deal; and certainly enhance service but don’t take away from circulation or library use. A lot of patrons do not have access to computers or tablets and library staff can provide a great introduction to these resources.

October Author Talks & Lectures across the Boston Public Library System

Posted on September 22nd, 2014 by admin in Media Releases
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booksBrighton, North End, South End, West End, West Roxbury branches and Central Library to host

Boston Public Library locations will host author talks and a range of lectures during the month of October. Highlights include:

• As part of an author panel, Florence Ladd explores the expatriate experience, the social mobility of African Americans, and the dynamics of family reunions in The Spirit of Josephine, while Matthew Pratt Guterl highlights the ambitions of the first African American superstar in Josephine Baker and the Rainbow Tribe. Thursday, October 2, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.

• Local historian Anthony Sammarco details the delicious saga of The Baker Chocolate Company through a slide lecture on Thursday, October 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Brighton Branch, located at 40 Academy Hill Road. Read more »

What Type of Library User Are You?

Posted on September 17th, 2014 by admin in General
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The Pew Research Center has focused some of their work on studying on the internet, technology, and libraries recently, particularly in relation to library users’ habits, engagement, and experiences. Below are just a few highlights from their research:

  • 72% of all Americans ages 16 and older have either used a public library (in person or via website) in the past 12 months or live in a household where another family member or a child is an active recent user of the library.
  • 80% of Americans under age 30 say that librarians are a “very important” resource for libraries to have.
  • Almost one in five (18%) Americans ages 16-29 have used a mobile device to visit a public library’s website or access library resources in the past 12 months, compared with 12% of those ages 30 and older.
  • 71% of city dwellers say the library is important to them and 59% have library cards — and 69% of suburban residents say the library is important and 61% have library cards.
  • Family and friends are the primary source of book discovery for Americans 16 and older, especially so for suburban (66%) and urban residents (66%). Some 60% of rural residents say they get book recommendations from family and friends. Similarly, city dwellers (25%) and suburbanites (24%) are more likely than rural residents (18%) to have received recommendations from book stores they visit. Residents of all three kinds of communities are equally likely to say librarians and library websites are sources of book recommendations.

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To see more of Pew’s research, visit pewresearch.org/topics/libraries/. To learn how to sign-up for a Boston Public Library card, visit bit.ly/BPLgetcarded. September is national library card sign-up month. Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Massachusetts can have a Boston Public Library card.