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Category Archives: Media Releases

Parker Hill Branch of the Boston Public Library to Close July 1 for Planned Interior and Exterior Improvements

Posted on May 9th, 2017 by rlavery in Media Releases

Community Meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 17, at 6 p.m. to discuss temporary closure

In preparation for planned interior and exterior improvements totaling $2.4 million included in Mayor Walsh’s Imagine Boston Capital Plan, the Parker Hill Branch of the Boston Public Library will start a temporary closure on Saturday, July 1, 2017 with the last day of public service on Friday, June 30. The closure period is expected to be no more than one year.

A community meeting will be held at the branch on Wednesday, May 17, at 6 p.m. to discuss the facilities improvements and library services during the closure. This project is a collaboration between the Boston Public Library and the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department, under the leadership of Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

“All across Boston, we are investing in our libraries because they are essential resources for our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I am proud that through targeted investments we will be able to preserve the historic Parker Hill Branch that is important to community members and our City’s rich cultural history.” Read more »

Mayor Walsh Announces Jamaica Plain Library Grand Opening; New and Ongoing Capital Library Funding

Posted on May 1st, 2017 by rlavery in Media Releases

Reaffirming his commitment to bringing quality library services to neighborhoods throughout the City, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the reopening of the Jamaica Plain Branch to be held on May 20th after a $10 million renovation, along with nearly $14 million in planned library projects across the city in FY18 and an additional $102 million in funding for library projects slated for FY19-FY22.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s FY18-FY22 Capital Budget reflects a commitment to the Boston Public Library as a 21st century urban public library under the leadership of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library and BPL President David Leonard. This year, BPL and the City of Boston Public Facilities Department will open the renovated Jamaica Plain Branch, break ground on new branches, launch design and programming studies for others, and address a slate of interior and exterior upgrades in branches across the City.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m. to celebrate the reopening of the Jamaica Plain Branch at 30 South Street. The $10 million renovation revitalizes the branch services and spaces, including a 20 percent increase in space for the community to read, browse the collection, access computers, attend and host meetings, and participate in programming. All are welcome to attend this event.

“Libraries are essential resources for neighborhoods, and it is important that we continue investing in them to improve access, add services and build a strong sense of community,” said Mayor Walsh. “The renovation project in Jamaica Plain is a great example of how we’re giving community members the 21st century services needed to pursue their passions. I am grateful to all involved for bringing this project to fruition, and look forward to the future projects across the City that will enhance our libraries.”

“The renovation is a collaborative effort between the City of Boston, the library and the community, and we are confident the renovation will serve as a gathering space for lifelong learners, meeting the needs of our users today and well into the future,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.

The renovation features a 700-square foot addition facing South Street that will serve as a community reading lounge; a terrace along Sedgwick Street where residents can read and mingle; multiple meeting spaces; improved and more flexible space for children, teens and adults; and a refreshed collection of 30,000 items. Technology improvements include 15 new desktop and 20 laptop computers, free WiFi, additional self-checkout stations, and creativity software in the new digital maker-space. Other features include an elevator for full ADA accessibility to all levels, new and more efficient mechanical systems, parking for over 20 bikes, and new exterior landscaping.

Boston Public Library, the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department, Utile, Inc. Architecture & Planning, the design firm for the project, collaborated closely with the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library and the community at-large to design a renovated library that fulfills the needs of library patrons and visitors. The general contractor for the project is Colantonio, Inc.

Most major renovations or new construction projects undergo a programming, design, and construction phase, including significant community engagement to gain input, feedback and insight from users.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), along with the American Library Association (ALA) recently awarded eight library buildings across the United States with their annual AIA/ALA Library Building Award. Two of the eight buildings recognized with this award were City of Boston projects, including the East Boston Branch and the Central Library Renovation of its Johnson Building.

Follow progress on these projects below via www.bpl.org/branchcapitalprojects.

 

Breaking Ground on New Branch Library Projects

Dudley Branch Construction

In FY18, construction will begin at the Dudley Branch. This $14.7 million project is a comprehensive building renovation focused on supporting a welcoming and inviting experience and improved space for library services. The project includes the relocation of the entrance to improve its connection with Dudley Square, interior renovations to improve connections between the building’s spaces, and enhanced community and program space.

Temporary Library Services in Chinatown in 2017

This calendar year library services will be restored to Chinatown after 54 years, fulfilling long-term community advocacy to restore library services to the neighborhood. These temporary library services will open at the China Trade Center located at 2 Boylston Street in Chinatown in 2017, while a planning project for long term services is underway. The location will include services such as a community gathering space, a place to study and learn, and access to computers and the internet.

Programming Studies to Transform Our Branches

Fields Corner Branch

In FY18 planning will begin for a facility assessment and building program to identify the needs of the community, and condition of the current branch building. A total of $12.1 million is being invested as part of the five-year Capital Plan.

Uphams Corner Branch

In FY18, planning will begin at the Uphams Corner Branch to re-imagine library services and spaces for the Uphams Corner neighborhood. A total of $18 million is being invested as part of the five-year Capital Plan.

Long Term Library Services in Chinatown

In FY18, planning for long term library services for the Chinatown and downtown communities will continue. This process will inform the Chinatown Library Services Planning Study and identify the types of program spaces, technology, and collections that are of interest to the community.

In addition, this calendar year library services will be restored to Chinatown after 54 years, fulfilling long-term community advocacy to restore library services to the neighborhood. These temporary library services will open at the China Trade Center located at 2 Boylston Street in Chinatown in 2017, while the planning project for long term services is underway. The location will include services such as a community gathering space, a place to study and learn, and access to computers and the internet.

Design Projects to Re-Imagine Our Branches

In FY18, design projects will begin at the Adams Street and Roslindale branches. In the design phase, architects review, update, and enhance the information from the programming study and start to design a building or renovation with the assistance of engineers and relevant discipline specialists.

Adams Street Branch

In FY18, the design process for the 65-year old Adams Street Branch will launch. The soon-to-be completed programming study and community process will result in recommendations for new construction that will expand the building footprint, and add new meeting rooms, an enhanced teen space, and redesigned outdoor spaces. The total project cost, including construction is estimated at $12.6 million.

Roslindale Branch

In FY18 the Boston Public Library will continue the design process for the renovation of the Roslindale Branch. The renovation design will reconfigure the layout of the interior of the building using as a starting point a planning study completed with the community in 2013. The total project cost including construction is estimated at $6.7 million.

Facility Improvements to Update Existing Branch Spaces

Central Library

As part of the FY18-FY22 Capital Plan, $15.7 million will be invested to help preserve the historic rare books and manuscripts collection at the Central Library. The first phase of the project commenced in February 2017 with an inventory of the Rare Books & Manuscripts Department’s nearly 250,000 rare books and one million manuscripts, in preparation for the second and major phase of the project: substantial renovation with a focus on environmental and mechanical improvements to better regulate temperature and humidity control of the department’s collection storage areas, staff spaces, conservation lab, and public reading room.

Parker Hill

In FY18, critical repairs to the Parker Hill Branch will address a series of façade and exterior problems and prevent future leaks at the branch. The project also includes interior painting, plaster repairs, masonry repairs, and window replacement. The total project cost is $2.4 million between FY17-FY19.

Lower Mills

In FY18, the Lower Mills Branch will undergo an interior reconfiguration project, which will include minor electrical and technology infrastructure upgrades, as well as new carpet, paint, and some furniture, with particular attention to the borrower services area. The total project cost is $94,000.

South Boston

In FY18, the South Boston Branch will undergo a facilities project to improve landscaping and access to its exterior garden, for a total cost of $99,000.

South End

In FY18, the South End Branch will undergo an interior reconfiguration project, which will include major electrical and technology infrastructure upgrades, as well as new carpet, paint, and some furniture, for a total cost of $132,000.

West Roxbury

In FY18, the West Roxbury Branch will undergo an interior reconfiguration project, which will include minor electrical and technology infrastructure upgrades, for a total cost of $100,000.

 

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 May Author Talks and Literary Events

Posted on April 28th, 2017 by rlavery in Media Releases

Programs take place throughout the library system

  Boston Public Library’s May author talks include tips for conducting genealogical research, the history of homeless medicine in Boston, and more:

  • Ken Ludwig, winner of the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of 2014, speaks about How to Teach Shakespeare to Children on Wednesday, May 3, at 6 p.m. in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Lowell Lecture Series.
  • Harvard professor Dr. Elizabeth Hinton discusses her new book From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. at the Grove Hall Branch, located at 41 Geneva Avenue.
  • Lori Lyn Price, a professional genealogical speaker, focuses on lessons learned through both successful and unsuccessful oral interviews with her grandfathers as a way to connect with the living past on Wednesday, May 10, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Local & Family History Lecture Series.
  • A panel discussion for the People’s Climate Justice Forum includes Naomi Klein, journalist and author; Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network; Caroles Marentes Sr., La Villa Campesina, and a speaker from Brazil’s Landless Worker’s Movement (MST) on Wednesday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Richard Taylor discusses Martha’s Vineyard: Race, Property, and the Power of Place on Thursday, May 11, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Local historian Anthony Sammarco gives a lecture on the history of Jordan Marsh on Thursday, May 11, at 6: 30 p.m. at the West End Branch, located at 151 Cambridge Street.
  • James O’Connell tells the history of homeless medicine in Boston, largely through the treatment, triumphs, and tragedies of some of his most memorable  patients in his book Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor on Tuesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Richard Schweid reads from his book Invisible Nation: Homeless Families in America, which looks at the historical context of family homelessness, as well as at what needs to be done to alleviate this widespread, although often hidden poverty. Thursday, May 18, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • The Boston Write-In, a storytelling event in collaboration with GrubStreet, Inc., Boston Public Library, Facing History and Ourselves, The William Joiner Institute, and the City of Boston’s Office of Immigrant Advancement, takes place on Friday, May 19, from 12-2 p.m. on the steps of the Central Library in Copley Square’s Dartmouth Street entrance and civic table outside the entrance to Johnson Building on Boylston Street. All are invited to tell their story and/or to hear the stories of their city. Share an immigration, migration, or refugee story of your own or someone you know. Add your thoughts about what we can do locally to write a better future for all people in Boston.
  • Evan Thornberry, Cartographic Reference Librarian at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, provides tips for using historical urban atlases for family history research on Wednesday, May 24, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Local & Family History Lecture Series.

 

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 Repatriates Historical Artifacts to Italy

Posted on April 19th, 2017 by rlavery in Media Releases

In partnership with Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Attorney’s Office, BPL returns three items to Italy

Desktop298Today Boston Public Library announced the return of three items from its Special Collections to the State Archives of Venice, Italy and the Library of Ludovico II De Torres in Monreale, Italy. During a repatriation ceremony with Mayor Martin J. Walsh and representatives from Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Italian Carabinieri, Boston Public Library formally returned the Mariegola della Scuola di Santa Maria della Misericordia, a medieval manuscript dating to 1392; an illuminated leaf from the manuscript Mariegola della Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, dating from between 1418-1422; and Varii de natvralibvs rebvs libelli, a  collection of works by Bernardino Telesio, published in 1590.

“These three items represent Italy’s rich history, and I’m pleased that through the cooperation of the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Boston Public Library was able to ensure the safe return of these artifacts to their rightful homes in Italy,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I thank everyone involved in this successful process.” Read more »

Boston Public Library Announces Kick Off Community Meeting for Long-term Chinatown Library Services Planning Study

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by rlavery in Media Releases

Boston Public Library will host the first of three community meetings to begin gathering feedback for planning for long-term library services in Chinatown. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m., and will be held at the China Trade Center located at 2 Boylston Street in Chinatown.

Representatives from planning firm Miller Dyer Spears will introduce the Chinatown Library Services Planning Study and review its purpose, process, and schedule. In addition representatives from the Boston Public Library, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, and the Boston Planning and Development Agency will be in attendance. Community feedback is additionally welcome at Chinatownlibrarystudy@bpl.org, and more information can be viewed via www.bpl.org/branchcapitalprojects.

The work is part of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s commitment to restoring library services in Chinatown after more than 60 years, and is in direct response to ongoing community advocacy for library services.

Temporary library services will open at the China Trade Center in 2017, and will include services such as community gathering space, a place to study and learn, and access to computers and the internet.

WHAT: Kick Off Community Meeting for Long-Term Chinatown Library Services

WHEN: Tuesday, April 25 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: China Trade Center, 2 Boylston St, Chinatown

 

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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