Press Room

Boston Public Library to Host Roundtables on Johnson Building Improvement Project

by admin

Johnson buildingCommunity updates on master planning and upcoming phases

Boston Public Library will host a series of four roundtables to update library users and interested residents on the Johnson Building Improvement Project.

The first roundtable will feature an overview of the master planning process. The meeting will take place on Thursday, August 15, at 6:00 p.m. in the Boston Room at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Additional roundtables will be held:

·         Wednesday, September 25, at 6:00 p.m. in the Mezzanine Conference Room at the Central Library in Copley Square.

·         Monday, October 21, at 6:00 p.m. as an online community chat via

·         Thursday, November 14, at 6:00 p.m. in the Boston Room at the Central Library in Copley Square.

“We have greatly benefitted from community and staff input throughout the master planning process,” said Michael Colford, director of library services. “And we look forward to even more conversation and engagement with library users in the months to come.”

Background on the Johnson Building Improvement Project to date is published on the Boston Public Library website. Those not able to attend the roundtable gatherings are encouraged to leave a comment on the BPL Compass blog at or send an email to “Compass” is the name of Boston Public Library’s strategic plan which is available for download. Updates on major projects across the library system appear on the “Major Projects” tab of the Compass blog.

The Johnson Building, which opened in 1972, is the portion of the Central Library in Copley Square that is at the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets. In the summer of 2012, the library issued a request for proposals for help in exploring ideas on how to improve visitors’ first impressions of the Johnson Building, enrich library services and spaces, and create a positive financial impact for the library. Initial efforts to develop ideas for the Johnson Building began in November 2012 when a community advisory committee was formed and continued when the firm William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. was selected to lead the master planning process. The community advisory committee met through the winter and spring. The library hosted a January 2013 roundtable on its Community Gathering principle where the Johnson project was discussed and an April 2013 public program on the Johnson project specifically. In addition, the library collected ideas and suggestions on improving the Johnson Building through an interactive display in the center atrium. More than 375 comments were compiled from the display. The library will put up a second display this fall to collect additional comments and will continue to provide project updates via

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-five branches, a literacy center, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit

# # #