Boston Public Library
Press Room

Boston Public Library’s Local & Family History Series Begins January 14

Posted on December 22nd, 2014 by admin in Media Releases
Tags: ,

lehrTwelfth year of series explores Boston’s rich past, experts give genealogy research tips

Boston Public Library’s Local & Family History Lecture Series begins in January, sharing information about the history of Boston and its diverse neighborhoods, as well as tips and guides for those beginning their own genealogical research. Lectures in 2015 will take place in the Abbey Room, located on the second floor of the McKim building at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.

The series includes the following lectures, all of which are listed with additional detail at www.bpl.org/localhistory:

• Author Anthony Vaver shares insights from his books that detail the lives of eighteenth-century British criminals who were carried off to America and the dark and humorous stories from America’s earliest criminal underworld. Wednesday, January 14, at 6 p.m.
• Rhonda R. McClure outlines the first steps to uncovering your genealogy and gives pointers to make getting started less daunting. Wednesday, January 28, at 6 p.m. Read more »

Boston Public Library Reveals Top Titles of the Year

Posted on December 15th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases
Tags: , , ,

Desktop167

Boston Public Library shared its list of the ten most-borrowed titles of 2014. This year’s list features fiction titles in a variety of genres ranging from romance to mystery to science fiction. Boston Public Library’s number one most-borrowed title in 2014 was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Top 10 Most-borrowed Titles in Boston

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  4. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  5. Inferno by Dan Brown
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  7. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Read more »

Meet Laura Barkema, Reader and Information Librarian

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by admin in General
Tags: , , , ,

IMG_5306Laura Barkema works in the Reference and Reader’s Advisory department at the Central Library in Copley Square, assisting patrons with a variety of needs from research to helping users with their devices.

Why do you enjoy working for the BPL?

I enjoy explaining to library users that our services our free, because a lot of people do not realize that. The excitement people show when they realize this is great. Through teaching classes, I also see how appreciative people are to learn about the Internet and gaining computer skills.

How do you assist users in using digital services?

I’ve taught classes that give overviews of e-books and drop-in sessions for people with devices that need assistance. I also help users frequently at the reference desk with any of our digital services, such as our digital magazines, the mobile app, or streaming media. I like being a go-to person if someone has a question on how to navigate one of our digital services step-by-step.

How does technology enhance library service?

In a digital world, it’s important that our library services are up to date. The technology opens up our services to a new population of users; people who live anywhere in the state are able to get an e-card and access our digital resources. If a print copy of a book is not available, I might suggest the e-book version, and many people are open to learning.

What is an area of your job that some people may not know about?

In addition to reference, we also help users with our Reader’s Advisory service. I like giving book recommendations to people and giving them some options, and I hope to do more of that when the New Books area opens on the first floor of the Johnson building.  The other day I helped a patron who was looking for a David McCullough book. We didn’t have it in, but I knew she was interested in history and biographies, and I found a popular presidential biography for her and a few other recommendations — she was very happy.

December Literary Events at Boston Public Library Locations

Posted on November 20th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases
Tags: , , ,

decemberLocations across the city host events for reading enthusiasts

Boston Public Library locations host events for readers of all ages this December, including children’s book club meetings, author talks, and book sales. Highlights include:

  • Tween Book Club: Fifth, sixth, and seventh graders discuss the graphic novel Drama, which tells the story of diverse characters exploring friendship, crushes, and all-around drama. Wednesday, December 3, at 4:30 p.m. at the East Boston Branch, located at 365 Bremen Street.
  • Winter Read-aloud Club: Children ages 6-10 listen to chapter book stories and make a craft to take home Thursdays in December at the Egleston Square Branch, located at 2044 Columbus Avenue in Roxbury.

Read more »

Meet Paul Cho, Special Library Assistant

Posted on November 17th, 2014 by admin in General
Tags: , , , , , ,

IMG_4568Paul Cho works with library users at the Honan-Allston Branch of the Boston Public Library. He has worked at the library for more than 25 years; working at the Charlestown Branch and the Central Library previously. His work supports the Community Gathering principle of the Compass Strategic plan through linking community members with to library programs and services within and beyond the BPL system.

Why do you enjoy working for the BPL?

All staff have the opportunity to increase their work knowledge through trainings provided. Working for the library is a very rewarding experience; I get a lot of satisfaction in helping patrons achieve their goals.

How do you assist users in using digital services?

I explain all of the options they have for using a certain service, such as the streaming media service hoopla. You don’t have to worry about expiration dates, patrons can browse music or TV shows, and hoopla is compatible  with a number of devices. I love using hoopla for music and it is very popular with users as well. I also let patrons know we have Zinio, a digital magazine service. People are surprised to know they can check out an unlimited number of magazines. We  have a lot of electronic databases that users may not know about that I also promote.

How does technology enhance library service?

It helps bring people in to the library. A lot of people in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood come in to use the computers, check out DVDs, or browse the online catalog. It’s very easy for the patron to find information in today’s world.

What is an aspect of your role that people may not know about?

I am able to assist people who speak languages other than English; I am fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.