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Leventhal Map Center Announces Connie Chin as New President

Posted on March 29th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center today announced that Connie C. Chin will join the Center as its new President. Ms. Chin was elected to the position yesterday by the Map Center’s Board of Directors after conducting nearly a year long search for an individual to replace Jan Spitz, who retired at the end of 2015.

“I am delighted to be asked to lead the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library. I look forward to continuing the unique and healthy public-private partnership of the Map Center, an independent nonprofit organization, with the City’s Boston Public Library. This is a moment when the Map Center is poised for strategic growth particularly in its mission areas of education for young people, and engagement for all ages, through both physical and digitized maps,” said Connie Chin.

Connie joins the Map Center with a strong background in non-profit management, having most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In that capacity, Ms. Chin was responsible for managing internal operations, leading the team to produce an historic symposium in Tokyo about JFK’s legacy, and developing a strategy to support the digitization of President Kennedy’s archives. Previously, she worked for more than a decade as the General Manager of Jacob’s Pillow Dance, located in the Berkshires. Connie grew up in the Boston area and is a graduate of both Harvard University and the Yale School of Management.

“After a robust nationwide search, we are thrilled to welcome Connie Chin as our new President,” said Robert Melzer, Chair of the Map Center’s Board of Directors. “The retirement of Jan Spitz last year left big shoes to fill, but Connie’s management experience and passion made her the absolute best person for the job.”

“We welcome Connie Chin and are confident her work will further the mission of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and bring forth enriching educational experiences for all to enjoy,” said David Leonard, Boston Public Library Interim President and ex-officio member of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Board of Directors.

Ms. Chin joins as the Map Center is preparing to open a new exhibition, From the Sea to the Mountains: The Trustees 125th Anniversary, which will run Saturday, April 2, 2016 through August 28, 2016. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and The Trustees, featuring maps, photographs, and historic items from both collections to document the Trustees 125-year history of stewardship, conservation, and access to over 100 properties throughout Massachusetts. The Trustees is Massachusetts’ largest conservation and preservation organization and the world’s first land preservation nonprofit known for caring for cultural, natural, and scenic sites for public use and enjoyment.


The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center is ranked among the top 10 map centers in the United States for the size of its collection, the significance of its historic (pre-1900) material, and its advanced digitization program. It is unique among the major collections because it also combines these features with exceptional educational and teacher training programs to advance geographic literacy among students in grades K-12 and enhance the teaching of subjects from history to mathematics to language arts. The collection is also the second largest in the country located in a public library, ensuring unlimited access to these invaluable resources for scholars, educators, and the general public. The Leventhal Map Center, created in 2004, is a nonprofit organization established as a public-private partnership between the Boston Public Library and philanthropist Norman Leventhal. Its mission is to use the Boston Public Library’s permanent collection of 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases and a select group of rare maps collected by Mr. Leventhal for the enjoyment and education of all through exhibitions, educational programs, and a website that includes thousands of digitized maps at The map collection is global in scope, dating from the 15th century to the present, with a particular strength in maps and atlases of Boston, Massachusetts, and New England. To learn more, visit .

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



Boston Public Library Welcomes Bestselling Irish Author Colm Tóibín for a St. Patrick’s Day Author Talk

Posted on March 11th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases
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brooklynBoston Public Library’s Author Talk Series features renowned Irish author Colm Tóibín on Thursday, March 17, at 12 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square in collaboration with the Consulate General of Ireland.

“St. Patrick’s Day in the City of Boston holds a special place in my life,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “It is a festive celebration of Irish culture, and we are fortunate to have such a talented writer coming to visit the Boston Public Library on this occasion. We welcome Colm Tóibín and I encourage the people of Boston to take a moment to stop by and hear about his work.”

“We welcome Colm Tóibín to the Boston Public Library for this special St. Patrick’s Day author talk and are grateful to the Consulate General of Ireland for their work to bring this to fruition,” said Boston Public Library Interim President David Leonard. “The talk promises to be a wonderful opportunity for the audience to learn more about his works and career as a bestselling author, during this year of great significance to members of the Irish community at home and abroad.” Read more »

Boston Public Library Celebrates Teen Tech Week

Posted on February 29th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases
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teensPrograms take place at six locations throughout the system

Boston Public Library celebrates Teen Tech Week March 6-12, an annual national initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association. Six neighborhood locations in the Boston Public Library system, including the recently renovated Teen Central at the Central Library, have events planned with the theme “Create it at your library.” Through these programs, learning is extended beyond the classroom and teens have a space in which they can explore, create, and share content, and learn to be competent and ethical users of digital media.

“Teen Tech Week is a great opportunity for our young residents across the city to participate in free programs that will advance their skills in using modern technology,” said Mayor Walsh. “I encourage all of our teenage learners to participate in these programs that will help them expand their knowledge of digital media and technology, and gain a competitive advantage that will help them achieve their future goals.”

“Boston Public Library joins libraries across the nation in supporting the digital literacy needs of teens everywhere,” said Boston Public Library Interim President David Leonard. “Boston teens across the city have a variety of programs to choose from and can further their education and skill development in a safe learning environment.” Read more »

Boston Public Library March Literary Events and Programs at Branch Locations Across the City

Posted on February 25th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases
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Colm Tóibín gives St. Patrick’s Day Talk at Central LibraryDesktop282

The month of March offers a wealth of author talks and Irish-themed programs for people of all ages to enjoy. Below are highlights of the upcoming month, for a full listing visit the BPL Calendar of Events.

  • The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center invites kids ages 5-11 to explore the world, enjoy activities, and learn about Ireland’s geography and culture on Tuesday, March 1, at 4:30 p.m. in the Map Center, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Linda M. Blair takes the audience back to the 17th century as she reads passages from her novel Cauldron of Dreams, which details the lives of women yearning to pursue their dreams on Thursday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Roslindale Branch, located at 4246 Washington Street.
  • Honor Molloy, a Dublin-born, Brooklyn-based writer, actor and director, talks and reads from her lyrical book, Smarty Girl, Dublin Savage, an autobiographical novel set in the 1960’s, on Saturday, March 12, at 1 p.m. at the West Roxbury Branch, located at 1961 Centre Street.
  • Hear Irish music in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish folk concert featuring Boston’s Erin Og on Monday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Connolly Branch, located at 433 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain.
  • Patrick’s Day-themed story times and crafts for children ages 0-5 take place on Wednesday, March 9, at 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, March 16, at 4 p.m. at the South Boston Branch, located at 646 East Broadway.
  • BPL’s Collaborative Library Services Manager Anna Fahey-Flynn discusses the shoe industry in Massachusetts, dating from the 1800s through World War I, when the Commonwealth was the largest producer of shoes in the United States. Wednesday, March 16, 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.
  • Irish author Colm Tóibín speaks about his novel Brooklyn, made into a film starring Saoirse Ronan, on Thursday, March 17, at 12 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. This program is presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland.
  • Author David Ira Rottenberg reads his humorous stories accompanied by ballet dancers from Sheila Rosanio’s School of Dance in Revere on Friday, March 18, at 1:30 p.m. at the Charlestown Branch, located at 179 Main Street. A program for children and their caregivers.
  • The South Boston Branch hosts a St. Patrick’s Day book sale on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 646 East Broadway.
  • The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and the Boston Map Society welcome Joni Seager, Professor and Chair at Bentley University to talk about her book State of Women in the World Atlas. Tuesday, March 22, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. This author talk is presented in conjunction with the Map Center exhibition Women in Cartography: Five Centuries of Accomplishments.
  • Historian Christopher Daley details the history of the Irish community in Boston in his “No Irish Need Apply” talk on Tuesday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Fields Corner Branch, located at 1520 Dorchester Avenue.
  • Historian Alex Goldfeld explores the lives of people of African descent in the predominantly white Massachusetts Bay Colony in his talk “The Black Community in Colonial Dorchester and Boston” on Wednesday, March 30, at 6 p.m. Part of the Local & Family History Lecture Series.
  • Irish flute player and singer Shannon Heaton, accompanied by a string quartet, blends new compositions and old ballads rooted in the Irish tradition on Thursday, March 31, at 2 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.

Read more »

Boston Public Library Commemorates Phase One Anniversary of Central Library Renovation

Posted on February 23rd, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases
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Renovation photos1The Boston Public Library celebrates the first anniversary of Phase One of the Central Library Renovation this month. It opened its doors to the new second floor of the Johnson building at the Central Library in Copley Square in February 2015. In the past year, 1,290 programs were held at the new Children’s Library and Teen Central, and more than 1.5 million library users visited, checking out over 832,000 items. Phase Two of the $78 million Central Library Renovation is underway now, and is slated to open in summer 2016.

“This renewed space brings together people from across the City of Boston and around the world to explore, grow, and pursue their dreams,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The completion of the Central Library Renovation this summer will put the Boston Public Library and its staff at the forefront of modern library, public service.”

“The first phase of the renovation brought new life to this floor of the BPL’s Johnson building, serving patrons of all ages in new and dynamic ways,” said David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library. “The completion this summer will bring us full circle as we transform services, spaces and programs, again making Boston’s Central Library the place to pursue educational opportunities for generations to come.” Read more »