Press Room

Boston Public Library’s Free Homework Help Begins September 18

by rlavery

September marks national Library Card Sign-up Month; educational resources and services await new cardholders

Boston Public Library’s free Homework Help program begins September 18 and runs through May 24, 2018, offering free afterschool help and mentorship provided by high-achieving high school students at most BPL locations across the city. The program, offered Monday through Thursday from 3:30 -5:30 p.m. is open to students in grades K-8; no registration required. Boston Teacher’s Union (BTU) tutors are also available during select weekdays from 4-6 p.m. for students in grades K-12. Visit for complete information. Most homework help mentors and program participants are Boston Public Schools students, though it is open to all, and BTU tutors are either current or retired Boston Public Schools teachers.

As September marks the return of the academic year and a month many new residents move to Boston, Boston Public Library reminds all during national Library Card Sign-up Month that anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Massachusetts can have a Boston Public Library card.

“The startup of BPL’s Homework Help program marks back-to-school time at the library. We are here for Boston’s young people to support learning in a safe, welcoming environment, and again we are immensely grateful to Harvard University for their training of the high school mentors who run the program across the city,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “September is also Library Card Sign-up Month and we welcome all new residents, students, and visitors with an invitation to check out the library in Copley Square and across the city’s neighborhoods. “

Boston Public Library began collaborating with Harvard University to provide SmartTALK training to Homework Help mentors in 2014. Since its launch in 2008, SmartTALK has worked to help adequately prepare and train educators and mentors in Cambridge and Boston to help children of all ages develop strong academic and social skills outside of school hours.

Online help is also available through LearningExpress Library, which can help students from grade school through college improve their skills by taking practice tests, completing exercises, and reading e-books. LearningExpress can also help college-bound students prepare for the ACT, SAT, and other standardized tests. Students may also search for articles and use books online with student electronic resources, and look for book, CDs, movies, and more in the BPL catalog.

Sign up for a Boston Public Library card can be done in person at Boston Public Library locations across the city with a photo ID and proof of current residence. For immediate access to the library’s digital resources, many people start with a Boston Public Library e-card via An e-card opens the door to free e-books and audiobooks, streaming music, television, and video, digital magazines, online language learning programs, career resources, and more.


Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, 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 large free municipal library in the United States, 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