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Central Library Renovation Profiles: David Kiersh, Youth Technology Coordinator, Teen Central

Posted on June 30th, 2015 by admin in General
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David KiershDavid Kiersh was brought on as a member of the Central Library’s Teen Central staff in March 2015 in order to help teens take full advantage of the technology available in the digital lab.

What is your role in Teen Central?

When teens come in to the space and are interested in making something, my role is to help them access and understand the technology that will allow them to do that. Traditionally, people came to libraries to learn through reading; now, a big part of learning is doing. Because computers are such a large part of our world, teens need to understand how to create things with technology to succeed in college and jobs. The Teen Central Lab has free technology that many teens don’t have access to otherwise, and we can show them how to explore and use it.

What technologies are in the Teen Central Lab?

IMG_05460The Lab has all the tools a professional designer uses in the workplace to create digital artwork, including the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. There are tools for web design, coding, and 2D animation as well, including Flash and Fireworks. For teens who want to make movies we have Final Cut Pro, which is used by professionals in the movie making industry. We also have GarageBand and FL Studio, two great programs for recording and mixing music. Teens can also use 3D design software and then print their creation with the MakerBot 3D printer.


What technology-themed programs do you offer in Teen Central?

We offer classes on all of these technologies. The Teen Librarians are also on hand whenever a teen comes in and wants to learn and explore. We are responsive to what teens are interested in and build programs based on that. Technology is constantly changing, and when new products and programs arise, we will provide access to those technologies and hold programs to help teens learn how to use them.

IMG_005536How do teens use the new Teen Central space?

Every teen is unique, and Teen Central has something for everyone. We’ve had kids come in who are taking college classes in graphic design and need to use the Lab for homework, while some just want to learn how to use the technology in general. Others have a YouTube channel and they use our camera to create a video and then edit it with our software. Some work with Anime Studio to make their own manga. Teens also come to check out laptops to browse the internet or do homework. They hang out with friends, play video games, and watch movies in the media lounge. We also have quiet spaces for teens who want to read or study. Teen Central is their home away from home.

What has most surprised you about the public’s reaction to Teen Central?  

Teens get excited about the potential for what they can do here. Teen Central is not only a beautiful space but it’s also a useful space. Teens can create things and share what they’ve made. They have the freedom to explore books and technology. Teen Central can support any teen’s interests.

Boston Public Library Announces Interim Library President, Interim Board Chair

Posted on June 18th, 2015 by admin in General

219038397__MG_3108bToday, the Boston Public Library (BPL) Board of Trustees voted to appoint David Leonard, the current Director of Administration and Technology at the Boston Public Library, to the position of Interim President of the BPL. Leonard joined the Library as Chief Technology Officer in July of 2009 and will step into his new role following the departure of President Amy Ryan on July 3, 2015. Trustee John T. Hailer will assume the position of Interim Chair of the Board, following the departure of Chair Jeffrey Rudman on July 3, 2015.

“I have great confidence in today’s interim leadership selections voted on by the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees,” said Mayor Walsh. “Ensuring that high quality programs and services are being delivered, especially in our neighborhoods, and that the library’s valuable assets are secure are the highest priorities during this transition.”

John Hailer Photo_official 0312“I’m honored to have been chosen to lead this dynamic and important organization through the upcoming period. I look forward to working with Mayor Walsh and his team, the Board of Trustees, and BPL staff and partners, to make this a smooth and successful transition,” said David Leonard. “Boston Public Library will continue to deliver our core services to the residents of Boston, the State of Massachusetts, and beyond, as we move ahead on planned improvements, especially in the areas of collections management and security.”

“The Boston Public Library system provides opportunity to anyone who enters its doors, whether it is a branch or the Central Library in Copley Square,” said John Hailer. “As a life-long Bostonian, coming from a large family of modest means, I have benefited from the library personally. I am honored to serve in this role. I look forward to my continued work with the library board and library administrators.”

About David Leonard

In his current role at the BPL, Leonard is responsible for overseeing the administration of library facilities, human resources and labor relations, events, information technology, web services, the Metro Boston Library Network, and the major projects office. During his time at the BPL Leonard has worked to modernize the library’s IT systems, led capital improvements for the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, managed the migration to the new Integrated Library System, approved the deployment of the new Pay-for-Print Systems at systemwide locations, and overseen the $78 million Central Library Renovation project, currently underway. He has also served at various times as both the Acting Director of Administration & Finance and separately as acting Chief Financial Officer. Leonard recently began a PhD program in Library Science at Simmons College.

Prior to the Boston Public Library, Leonard spent ten years in IT consulting in positions that spanned both business development and technology consulting focused on a variety of organizations’ tactical and strategic business goals. Most notably, as Vice President of Infrastructure Solutions, a role he held at Collective Technologies and then again at MTI, Leonard was responsible for delivering enterprise technology services and solutions directly to end customers, as well as in partnership with major technology vendors such as Microsoft, EMC, Dell, and Symantec. Leonard has also served as Director of Information Technology for JRI Health, a nonprofit Massachusetts Health and Human Services organization.

Leonard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Mathematics and a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University College Dublin. He has also has done post graduate work in Philosophy at Boston College.

About John T. Hailer

John Hailer – a Boston native, born in Roslindale – was appointed to serve on the Board of Trustees for the Boston Public Library in March 2013. He has served as a member of the Finance and Audit Committee, bringing decades of asset management and fiscal stewardship to the position.

Mr. Hailer serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Natixis Global Asset Management and is responsible for distribution strategies worldwide, overseeing the business activities of the firm’s asset management affiliates in the Americas and Asia.

Mr. Hailer has a long history of community involvement in the city of Boston. He is the Chairman of New England Council Board of Directors. He has served in that position for six years.

He has served on the Board of Directors of The Home for Little Wanderers, the oldest continuous children’s charity in the United States, for more than 20 years – serving as Chairman from 2005 to 2015. He also serves on the board of the Boston Medical Center. He is the Chairman of the Best Buddies Hyannis Port Challenge, and he serves on the board of Berklee College of Music.

Mr. Hailer has fostered a culture of giving back and community involvement at Natixis. The firm’s philanthropy program – the Ambassador Program – is an innovative partnership between Natixis and local nonprofit organizations that focuses on core social services and plays a vital role in enhancing the quality of life in Boston.

The Ambassador Program is based on a unique, hands-on approach to corporate philanthropy that features dedicated teams of Natixis senior leaders and employees who work closely with their nonprofit partners. The goal is increased collaboration aimed at building deeper relationships, providing strategic counsel, maximizing resources, generating new ideas and efficiencies, and improving outcomes and experiences.

In 2012, Hailer spearheaded an innovative approach to corporate civic engagement in partnership with the City of Boston under which private companies make a direct and sustained impact on individual Boston schools in need. Through the “Adopt-a-School” program, Natixis has provided support to enhance education and improve the learning environment at the John Winthrop Elementary School in Dorchester.

Mr. Hailer received his BA from Beloit College and is a former member of the Board of Trustees.

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
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 bpl.org.

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Boston Public Library’s 2015 Summer Reading Begins

Posted on June 15th, 2015 by admin in General, Media Releases

Themed programs for kids and teens span science, nature, and music; Read Your Way to Fenway summer essay contest launches. 

summer reading logoBoston Public Library’s summer programs for youth (www.bpl.org/summer) begin this month, promising a summer of stimulating and enriching activities for children and teens of Boston. All programs offered are free and intended to encourage exploration and education, and serve as entertainment for young people in our communities. Youths also have the opportunity to use their writing skills for a chance to win tickets to a Boston Red Sox game as part of “Read Your Way to Fenway.”

“Summer reading programming at the Boston Public Library provides learning and discovery opportunities for kids and teens during the summer months,” said Farouqua Abuzeit, Manager of Youth Services. “Thanks to the support of generous partner institutions, the library is able to provide these enriching experiences.”

“Every Hero Has a Story” features programming for children including crafts, workshops, and games that explore science, nature, history, and books. Children at Boston Public Library locations will receive visits from Boston Nature Center, Museum of Science, New England Aquarium, ReadBoston, Countdown to Kindergarten, USS Constitution Museum, and more.

The 2015 theme for teens is “Do Something” and includes programs in which teens learn to draw autobiographical comics with award-winning comics creator Liz Prince. Beat Bus, a music workshop and performance program that explores melody, harmony, and rhythm through drumming visits branches throughout the system. Numerous art and technology workshops at Teen Central’s brand new teen tech lab also await teens.

Young people ages 5-17 may also participate in the annual Read Your Way to Fenway summer essay contest for the opportunity to watch the Red Sox play at Fenway Park by reading a minimum of three books and writing an essay about their favorite. Author Dan Gutman and author and illustrator Matt Tavares will visit multiple branch libraries to share their baseball-themed books in support of Read Your Way to Fenway. Essays are due Saturday, August 1, 2015. Contest details and more are available online at www.bpl.org/summer.

Read Your Way to Fenway is made possible by the Boston Public Library Foundation, the Boston Red Sox Foundation, John Hancock, and Aramark.

“Every Hero Has a Story” and the teen “Do Something” programming is sponsored by the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
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 bpl.org.

 

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Central Library Renovation Profiles: Chris Glass, Reader and Information Librarian, Reference and Reader’s Advisory Department

Posted on June 12th, 2015 by admin in General
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Chris Glass highlights the features of the new second floor’s Adult Reference area.

What role did your department play in the Central Library’s Johnson Level 2 renovation?

Chris GlassBecause the Reference and Reader’s Advisory department staffs Adult Reference on Johnson Level 2, we got to contribute our ideas for the orientation of the Information Desk, the layout of the area, and the technology in the space, such as the dedicated research computers. We also launched new online library guides to coincide with the renovation opening. The library guides are a collection of online information and resources on particular topics, including Boston history, literary resources for ESL students and educators, and health tips. Not only do the guides help library users navigate specific topics, but they also connect people outside of the building with our resources.

How does the renovation benefit the public and the particular group you serve?

We’ve introduced a new staffing model of having one librarian at the desk and one librarian on the floor assisting users, and this has created more engagement with visitors. Because of the bright windows and open layout of the space, users are better able to navigate the shelves. We were also able to add to our nonfiction collection and replace outdated books – computer manuals, for instance – with up-to-date editions. The teens benefit from now being on the same floor as the adult nonfiction collection, as they often use those books for homework and research.

IMG_05328What is your favorite thing about the Johnson Level 2 renovation?

Visitors to the new floor want to spend time there. Before the renovation, they would grab a book and go, but now they spend all day studying, working, and reading in Boylston Common, the community reading area. I like that the space provides an alternative atmosphere to the McKim building’s Bates Hall. If visitors want a more casual, comfortable environment where they can work with others, they can come to Johnson Level 2; if they want a quiet area for individual reading and studying, surrounded by historical art and architecture, they can go to Bates Hall.

What has most surprised you about the public’s reaction to the renovations?

IMG_05316The feedback from the public has been overwhelmingly positive. People seem to feel comfortable and at home on the new second floor, and they love the bold colors in particular.

What are you most looking forward to about phase 2 of the renovation?

I can’t wait to see what it will look like when it’s done. The new books and media area inside the Boylston Street entrance will provide a great opportunity for interaction and conversation. Our job as a department is not only to help with research and assist people in using the different parts of the library and catalog effectively, but to also connect readers with what interests them. The new space will facilitate both of those goals.

Missing Dürer and Rembrandt Prints Found!

Posted on June 4th, 2015 by admin in General

PresRyanLaurenShott_Durer_RembrandtToday, the Boston Public Library announced that two missing pieces of artwork from the library’s 200,000 item Print Collection have been found. The missing Dürer and Rembrandt prints had been misfiled and were located by Conservation Officer Lauren Schott during an 8 week search of the BPL’s print stacks.

“We’re thrilled to have found these treasures right here at home,” said Library President Amy Ryan. “They were found safe and sound, simply misfiled. BPL is still committed to enhanced security and a full inventory, but today is a day of celebration for the entire team at BPL. The staff couldn’t be happier after hundreds of hours of searching. I want to thank the FBI, Boston Police Department, and US Attorney’s Office for their work throughout this period.”

“I was shocked to find the two prints, but it really was just luck of the draw. Anyone of the team that’s been looking for the Dürer and Rembrandt could have found them,” said Lauren Schott.

The Rembrandt and Dürer were found together in Row 14B, Bay 3 on Shelf 2, approximately 80 feet from where the items should have been filed.  Fourteen staff members searched 180,000 of the print stack’s 320,000 items (including 200,000 prints and drawings in the Print Collection and 120,000 chromolithographs), totaling 38 rows of the 60 rows of print stacks, or about 60% of the inventory. Nine offices, work rooms, and reading rooms had also been searched. The Dürer and Rembrandt have been refiled.

Specific information regarding the Dürer and Rembrandt prints:

  • Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528).  Adam and Eve.  Engraving, 1504.  Estimated value, $600,000.
  • Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669).  Self Portrait with Plumed Cap and Lowered Sabre.  Etching, 1634.  Estimated value, $20,000-$30,000.

The Rembrandt is part of the Wiggin Collection gift of 1941, and the Albrecht Dürer is part of the Leo M. Friedman estate received in 1958.

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

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 bpl.org.

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