Boston Public Library
Press Room

Category Archives: General

DPLA Board of Directors Appoints Amy Ryan as New Chair

Posted on January 27th, 2015 by Gina Perille in General
Tags: , , ,

DPLA_logo_squareThe nine-member Board of Directors of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) announced the appointment of Amy E. Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library, as its next chair, beginning in July 2015 and effective for two years. Ryan will succeed the current chair, John Palfrey, Head of School at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.

As Board chair, Ryan will collaborate with Dan Cohen, DPLA’s Executive Director, and the rest of the Board of Directors to fulfill DPLA’s broad commitment to openness, inclusiveness, and access. 

Read the full announcement from DPLA

State of the City Poem 2015: Praisesong for Boston

Posted on January 13th, 2015 by Gina Perille in General
Tags: , , , , , , ,

COBseal_walsh-001Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s State of the City speech on January 13 featured a poem crafted by City of Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges. The library is honored to share it here.

Praisesong for Boston 

Begin with the Massachusett, setting nets in the harbor
Of Boston, before it was Boston harbor—Quonehassit,
Place of clear water, and arrive at my door.  I, immigrant

Like so many settlers nestled in your arms, write this poem
To you Boston.  If I write Trimount it is for your hills,
Some still standing, others razed, the land changed, as lands are,

As time passes, and yet history is yours, Boston, the good and bad of it,
The inarticulated and the often-stated:  A Puritan’s beacon, Wheatley’s
Pen, Winthrop’s city upon a hill, Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured

Citizens of the world, the vision and grandeur that are Gardner’s,
The words lost to the grey and blue Atlantic.  If I place an emerald
Necklace at your feet, it is to match the medallions of your ever-turning

Wheels:  bicycles and school-buses, the railroads and helms of trade
And fate, of fire and grit, of determination’s grip, of cod and beans,
And the great house of science, and the great house of knowledge,

And the great house of art.  International since the day you were born,
If cities are born.  And if you are grown, then out of everything you
Have grown:  a revolution’s spark, the arc of a wide bridge,

Cable-stayed, lit electric, wharves and new waves,
And the complicated notions of freedom and forward,
And the ease of summer days and sturdy neighbors:

Chris, young terror of Sumner Street; Alana eating a pear,
Already in third grade; John, but call him Mac; Santiago
Who yells louder than God; and Wendy who yells louder;

And Wayne, uncle to all, from his big yellow house greeting
Each newcomer to the neighborhood.

Danielle Legros Georges

CityofBostonLaureate

(this poem is indebted to Robert J. Allison’s
A Short History of Boston)

Bibliocycle: Best of the New

Posted on January 11th, 2015 by Gina Perille in General
Tags: , , ,

Boston Globe Magazine - Jan 11 2015Congratulations to the Boston Public Library Bibliocycle for making the Boston Globe BEST OF THE NEW list. The Bibliocycle is featured in the Globe Magazine (January 11, 2015):

Bibliocycle. This pedal-powered bookmobile — a trailer pulled behind a bicycle — makes the rounds of farmers’ markets, arts festivals, and other city celebrations. The joint project between the Boston Public Library and Boston Bikes brings many BPL services, including library card sign-ups, book checkouts, demonstrations of BPL’s digital resources, and help with reference questions, directly to the people. In 2014, the Bibliocyle ran from early July through early November. It returns this spring.

Read more about the Bibliocycle here.

Meet Gregor Smart, Electronic Resources Specialist

Posted on January 6th, 2015 by admin in General
Tags: , , , , , , ,

IMG_5369What do you enjoy about working for the BPL?
The Kirstein Business Library has been providing business and company research information since 1930. Our patrons come to us with dreams, whether it’s to start a business, a new career, or they have a desire to reach their financial goals for retirement. I love being a part of helping them reach those dreams by showing them the research tools to get them there. And, these resources are free.

What are some of the most popular electronic resources people use?
Our AtoZdatabases resource contains profiles on over 30,000,000 companies. This resource helps those looking to start a business find competitors, research a given industry, and create targeted mailing lists. Our Career Transitions database is a very popular resource for our job seekers. It offers a resume wizard and gives tips and advice for job searching. For those who need help researching stocks and mutual funds, the Morningstar Investment Research Center is a great resource. You can screen for funds, look at analyst ratings or download their investing newsletters. Small business guidance, employment searching, and personal finance research are some of the most popular kinds of assistance we provide.

How does technology enhance library service?
Technology makes our resources much more accessible to people. Now people can access many of our directories online without having to visit us in person or having to wait for someone to return the printed version. There are so many ways to access the data — via tablets or phones, and much more.

How do you assist users in using digital services?
I do a lot of one-on-one support – if someone wants to start a business, I can help with their market research, find similar businesses, or point them to various associations that might be beneficial. I have also taught a variety of technology workshops such as conducting an online job search, creating a budget, resources for researching stocks and mutual funds, and how to build a web page.

What electronic resources do you use?
I love using our Ancestry Library Edition resource for genealogy. It’s been fun to find out more about where my grandparents worked and lived. It is also a helpful resource if you want to look at historical Massachusetts city directories.

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.