Press Room

Boston Public Library Board of Trustees Call Special Meeting in BPL Presidential Search

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting next week to discuss the status of negotiations in the search for a president of the Boston Public Library. Jill Bourne, City Librarian for San Jose, declined the offer due to personal reasons. Bourne had been offered the position by the BPL Board of Trustees following a public interview on Saturday, May 21.

“This does not diminish the Board of Trustees excitement about the future of the Library. I’m confident we’ll be able to select a strong leader to fill this role early next week,” said Bob Gallery, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “The Board of Trustees was looking forward to welcoming Jill Bourne to the Boston Public Library but the Trustees are understanding of her decision and wish her all the best.”

“I am extremely honored to have been offered the position of President of the Boston Public Library.  The institution, staff, and community support all attracted me to this position, as much as the city, its leadership, and the exciting things that are happening there,” said Jill Bourne, City Librarian for San Jose. “However, I have made the decision to withdraw my candidacy for personal reasons that were not anticipated while I participated in this process. This has been an incredibly difficult decision, and I greatly appreciate the patience and support of the Mayor’s office, the BPL Board of Trustees, and others.  While I cannot accept this opportunity, I am fortunate to stay in San José with a wonderful staff, colleagues, and community.”

The special meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 14 at 8:30 a.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square.

During the meeting, the BPL Board of Trustees may consider Interim President David Leonard for the position. Leonard was publicly interviewed for the role by the BPL Board of Trustees at the end of May. He has served as Interim President of the BPL since June 2015. The Trustees may also enter into an executive session to review the negotiations with Jill Bourne since details of personnel matters are legally protected from public discussion.

Background on the BPL Presidential Search

In September 2015 Mayor Walsh selected John Palfrey, head of school at Philips Academy, Andover to lead the BPL Presidential Search process, and in November 2015 Mayor Walsh announced the 15-member BPL Presidential Search Committee.

Seven Public Listening Sessions were held with the BPL Presidential Search Committee at branches across the Library system for the community to share their thoughts on what qualities they believe the next leader of the BPL should have and to assist in the development of the presidential job description.

The BPL Presidential Search Committee worked closely with Executive Search Firm Spencer Stuart on identifying candidates for the position.

On Saturday, May 21, the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees voted to extend an offer of employment for President of the Boston Public Library to Jill Bourne, City Librarian for the San Jose Public Library. The decision was made following public interviews of Bourne and David Leonard, Interim President of the BPL, and deliberation amongst the Trustees during a public meeting at the Central Library in Copley Square. The interviews were open to the public and held in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square.

 

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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Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Public Library Celebrate Central Library Renovation Opening Today

Posted on June 6th, 2016 by BPL News in Central Library Renovation Reopening, Media Releases
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BOSTON 11_press– July 9, 2016 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Library celebrated the grand reopening of the Central Library Renovation today with a 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting. The grand reopening marks the completion of the second and final phase of the renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, which has been managed by the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department. This second phase of work includes updates to the lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and the building exterior of the Johnson building, which opened in 1972. The Central Library Renovation puts the Boston Public Library on the cutting edge of library services – reshaping and redefining the patron experience at a 21st century urban public library.

“The reopening of the Central Library’s Johnson building represents the investments we make in the future of all Boston residents, as our libraries are critical resources where residents gather to exchange and seek knowledge and information,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m grateful to all who contributed to the success of this project, and I look forward to Boston’s residents and visitors enjoying the library’s enhancements.”

Highlights of the second phase of the renovation include removal of the granite plinths that covered the Johnson building windows – reconnecting the building to the street; a revamped lecture hall for author talks and programming, a new innovation center, new Mac and Windows computers for the public computing area, a hi-tech community learning center, an enlarged Fiction section and new ways of book browsing, digital stacks to explore the BPL’s digitized collections, a state-of-the art Welcome Center, a digital imaging suite, and major landscape components along Boylston Street, including a civic table and new trees. The enterprise retail space at the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets will feature The Newsfeed Café, opening mid-summer and operated by The Catered Affair, and a WGBH News satellite bureau and studio. Patrons will move seamlessly between the enterprise retail space and the Library.

The public can learn more about the Johnson building’s new features at www.bpl.org/bplreno and by following the BPL on Twitter (@bplboston), Facebook, and Instagram (@bplboston).

“This is one of the most significant milestones in Boston Public Library history; the Central Library Renovation has greatly expanded offerings for people of all ages  – the library has been truly transformed,” said Chair of the Board of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library Robert E. Gallery.

“The goal of the renovation was to reinvent both our building and our library services as inviting, dynamic, and modern, to be responsive to twenty first century urban civic life and to strengthen the Central Library and its connection to the City,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “We are proud to welcome everyone, from near and far, to celebrate a new era of library service in Copley Square.”

“We worked closely with the Boston Public Library and the City of Boston to develop an open kind of library space — the Big Urban Room — which connects the most active library uses to the city street.  With over 210 feet of transparent frontage along Boylston Street and multiple entry points, this new space conveys a sense of welcome that captures the Boston Public Library mantra ’FREE TO ALL,’” said architects Cliff Gayley and William Rawn, principals from William Rawn Associates, Architect, Inc.

“The Boston Public Library is a major piece of our city’s distinguished history and one that continues to provide services to thousands of residents in our community every day. We’re honored to have completed this beautiful renovation featuring complex engineering and design that will be enjoyed for generations to come,” said Matthew Consigli, President of Consigli Construction Co., Inc.

The first phase of the renovation, which opened in February 2015, included a colorful Children’s Library with books and media, early literacy and story time space, a tween corner, and flexible program space; Teen Central, a distinctive and media-friendly space with books, digital lab, media lounge, a dedicated quiet zone, and homework and hangout booths; refreshed and reorganized nonfiction collections and reference services; and an adult reading area and workspace for individuals and groups.

The Central Library Renovation project is funded by the City of Boston capital budget at $78 million. In addition to the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department, the project team includes  PMA Consultants as the Owner’s Project Manager, Consigli Construction Co., Inc. is the contractor, and the project architect is William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

 

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 Reopening: Elevating Arts, Culture & Special Collections

Posted on June 6th, 2016 by BPL News in Central Library Renovation Reopening

Elevating the Arts

Boston Public Library is one of the city’s great cultural institutions and is home to thousands of significant works of art. The renovated Johnson building will provide several new locations to showcase these iconic works, including Gallery J on the first floor with rotating exhibitions of artwork from the library’s collections, the Community Learning Center on the mezzanine where reproductions of selections from the BPL’s vibrant travel poster collection will hang, and the Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center, which will feature large-scale reproductions of photographs of Boston by Spencer Grant and Lance Keimig.

In addition, patrons will be treated to an array of artwork installed around the circulating collections. Look for expressionist artwork from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s by major artists, György Kepes and Hermon di Giovanno; the copper half-eagle, half-lion griffin that once resided on the roof of the McKim building; a selection of historic and contemporary author busts, including two new acquisitions recently added to the library’s collection of Edgar Allan Poe and Maya Angelou; Psyche, a large Neoclassical marble figure that overlooks the mezzanine stairs; and a large-scale mosaic of the Boston skyline made from salvaged and repurposed books, designed by Boston-based firm Arrowstreet.

Items from the BPL’s Special Collections that have been digitized and made available at digitalcommonwealth.org will also be featured on four new Digital Stacks located near the Boylston Street entrance. Using this interactive tool, patrons can explore the BPL’s collections of digitized maps, manuscripts, photographs, prints, and travel posters.

 

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Investing in Our Digital Future

Posted on June 6th, 2016 by BPL News in Central Library Renovation Reopening

Digital ServicesWith the Central Library Renovation, Boston Public Library has expanded its commitment to digital services, carving out customized space for its digitization team and affiliated digital partners. The BPL was one of the first libraries in the nation to dedicate space to this type of work, and the Johnson building will now provide approximately 6,000 square feet on its lower level to the BPL’s Digital Services department and digital imaging studio as well as BPL’s digital partners, Digital Public Library of America and Internet Archive.

The new location is outfitted with secure storage units for items pending digitization and climate control to protect materials. Camera stations are located in an area with the perfect balance of isolation and proximity for ultimate efficiency, security, and image quality. There is also room to grow, as the space allows for the expansion of the BPL’s digital team as demand for these services evolves.

With this digitization work and commitment to the facilities that support it, BPL continues to make its special collections and those of cultural heritage organizations throughout Massachusetts available to patrons from all over the world. Visit DigitalCommonwealth.org to access the BPL’s digital collections.

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Refreshed Collections

Posted on June 6th, 2016 by BPL News in Central Library Renovation Reopening

AEB_2836Visitors to the Central Library can now enjoy refreshed and updated Fiction, World Languages, and Movies & Music collections. Not only do theses collections showcase new materials, but they are also sorted, arranged, and displayed for optimal user-friendly browsing.

Stop by and browse through Fiction on the Johnson building’s revamped first floor and mezzanine. Along with new books and new editions of core, classic novels, the fiction collection is also arranged by genre to provide you with the best experience for browsing and exploration. Discover and locate book titles grouped under: sci fi/fantasy, urban fiction, large print, general fiction, mystery, romance, graphic novels, and new books. In addition, user tools such as staff recommendations and picks line the shelves, helping visitors explore and discover new books.

Visitors to the first floor can also dig into a wide variety of audiobooks, movies, and music. The Movies & Music section has newly added DVDs and CDs, and the space also includes five new computers—one ADA-height catalog station, two stations for browsing catalogs, and two stations for accessing streaming collections.

On the mezzanine, explore the expanded World Languages collection, including fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books in such languages as Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. The section also holds recently acquired titles in Arabic, French, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, German, and Italian.

Patrons who have placed books on hold will pick them up across from the Borrower Services desk , and AV holds can be picked at the Borrower Services desk.