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RFP for Executive Search Firm for Boston Public Library Presidential Search, Now Available

Posted on September 21st, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases

city sealToday, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees announced the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an executive search firm to assist with the search for the next president of the Boston Public Library. The executive search firm will advertise, locate, recruit, interview and evaluate top candidates for the position.”The Boston Public Library is a dynamic and vital cultural institution, that touches every neighborhood and every resident of Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. “The new president should be a strong leader who has deep appreciation for the library’s unique collections, while advocating for technological innovation and new approaches to service delivery.”

“The executive search firm will ensure that the broadest and most qualified pool of candidates is identified in the search for the next Boston Public Library president,” said John T. Hailer, Interim Chair of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees.

The next president of the BPL will be expected to shape and build upon the BPL’s strategic vision, the Compass Strategic Plan, the strengths of its Collections, its technological innovations, and services across the neighborhoods of Boston; and to exert the leadership necessary to realize that vision.

The presidency of the BPL requires strong leadership, focused both internally and externally, supporting affiliates’ fundraising activities, active community building, collaboration with the school system and other city organizations involved in the mission of lifelong learning, as well as management and oversight of BPL operations.

The president must have the capacity to create a cohesive community and address challenges of morale and a healthy workplace in what are times of great change and challenge for all institutions, including public libraries and the communities they serve.

The selected executive search firm will work closely throughout the presidential search process with the Mayor’s Office, the BPL Board of Trustees, the BPL Presidential Search Committee, and the community, to identify and select the next president of the BPL.

The RFP is available at the Boston Public Library, Business Office, Room 332, 700 Boylston St. Interested firms should contact Carl Lehto at for more information. Responses to the RFP are due no later than Friday October 9, 2015 at 1:00 PM.

About the 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



Homework Help Resumes at the Boston Public Library

Posted on September 21st, 2015 by BPL News in General

BacktoSchoolBeginning Monday, September 21, students in grades K-8 can receive free homework help, academic support, and mentoring in all subject areas from high-achieving high school students as part of Boston Public Library’s Homework Help Program. The program runs throughout the 2015-2016 school year.

Afterschool Homework Help is offered two to four times a week at most Boston Public Library locations, and the Central Library in Copley Square offers Homework Help on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. No appointment is necessary; students looking for homework assistance can drop in anytime during the scheduled hours. For the full schedule of locations and times, visit

Last year, more than 17,000 Homework Help interactions happened across the city. Not only is the program beneficial for students who receive help, but it is also a paid opportunity for high school students. The high school mentors receive training from Harvard University’s SmartTALK program in order to gain skills to support the homework help attendees. This year, returning mentors will help lead the training sessions.

For more information on the Homework Help program and to view the schedule, visit

Temporary Closure of the Rare Books Department

Posted on September 18th, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases
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The Rare Books Department at the Boston Public Library will be temporarily closed for 5 to 10 weeks due to the discovery of mold in scattered locations in the department.

This is a proactive measure to safeguard the approximately 500,000 books and 1,000,000 manuscripts in the collection and prevent the spread of mold spores.

BPL is working with Polygon, experts in temporary climate solutions and document recovery services, to clean the collection and address the situation. Because the majority of the manuscripts are housed in archival boxes, the cleaning will focus on the Department’s books.

Some more fragile items may need additional conservation care, which will be identified during the cleaning by Polygon.

The Rare Books Reading Room and Lobby are the only areas within the Rare Books Department that are accessible to the public, and those areas are now closed to the public.

The air quality in the Rare Books Department is being monitored and no health or safety risks have been identified.

BPL will work to reopen areas of the Rare Books Department as cleaning progresses and to provide limited public service.



The temperature and humidity in the Rare Books Department is monitored on an ongoing basis, and interventions, such as dehumidifiers are implemented as conditions require.

BPL believes that extended periods of high heat and humidity this summer were likely a factor in activation of mold spores.



Monday, 9/14: Staff member identifies mold in the Rare Books Department on the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books.

Tuesday, 9/15 & Wednesday, 9/16 – Rare Books Department management and BPL Facilities begin work to determine extent of issue, cause, and engage outside expertise.

Thursday 9/17 – Additional high grade dehumidifying equipment brought into the space to bring the relative humidity levels down.

Thursday, 9/17 – Containment is mobilized and clean up and remediation work begin.

A second wave of humidity regulating equipment will be online no later than Monday, September 21.


For additional information about the Rare Books Department visit:


Boston Public Library’s Top Ten Books for Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted on September 17th, 2015 by BPL News in General

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), Boston Public Library publishes “Latino Life,” a list of recent books concerning the Latino experience. In celebration, Boston Public Library staff have chosen their ten favorite books from 2015’s “Latino Life.” For the complete list, download a PDF or pick up a brochure at any Boston Public Library location.

Barefoot Dogs1. Barefoot Dogs: Stories
   by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

2. Canto Hondo/Deep Song
    by Francisco X. Alarcón

3. Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families under Fire
    by Margaret Regan

4. The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Líder Máximo
    Tangoby Juan Reinaldo Sánchez with Axel Gyldén

5. The Gods of Tango
    by Carolina De Robertis

6. Half-Resurrection Blues
    by Daniel José Older

7. The Ladies of Managua
    by Eleni N. Gage

Mexico8. Mexico: The Cookbook
    by Margarita Carrillo Arronte

9. Pedro
    by Pedro Martínez and Michael Silverman

10. War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony
      by Nelson A. Denis

Boston Public Library Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director

Posted on September 16th, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases

Lisa Bevilaqua, Executive Director of the Boston Public Library Foundation

Lisa Bevilaqua, Executive Director of the Boston Public Library Foundation

BOSTON, MA – September 16, 2015 – Today, the Boston Public Library Foundation (the “Library Foundation”), a non-profit affiliate of the Boston Public Library (“BPL”), announced that Lisa Bevilaqua, former Director of Development at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will serve as the new Executive Director of the Library Foundation. The Library Foundation’s mission is to be an advocate, and to raise public awareness and philanthropic support for the operations and capital projects of the BPL’s Central Library and 24 branches.

“I am pleased that Lisa has agreed to take on this important role supporting the Boston Public Library and its top notch programming and services for the public to enjoy,” said Mayor Walsh.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the Library Foundation’s Board of Directors, the BPL’s Trustees and staff, and other library affiliates, in expanding public awareness and private support for all that the library is doing, and can do, for our urban communities,” said Bevilaqua. “In partnership with Mayor Walsh, who has made the health and vibrancy of the BPL a priority, the Library Foundation will look to attract the kind of philanthropic and civic leadership that led to the founding of the BPL over a century and a half ago.”

“Lisa’s dynamic understanding of development strategies, ranging from events to major gifts to government fundraising, will be incredibly useful to the Library Foundation as it works to expand its support of the BPL,” said Jeff Hawkins, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Library Foundation.

“The Library Foundation is an important ally in the work we’re doing at the BPL to provide access to learning in Boston,” said John Hailer, Interim Chair of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees. “Congratulations to the Library Foundation board for identifying Lisa as the next Executive Director. I look forward to a close working relationship.”

“The Boston Public Library can only fulfill its mission of “Free to All” with strong support from the broader community,” said David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library. “The Library Foundation currently supports programs such as Summer Reading and the Lowell Lecture series, and has the potential to be a significant resource for the BPL. I look forward to collaborating with Lisa in the months ahead on new programs, campaigns, and outreach.”

Bevilaqua is a seasoned non-profit executive with 18 years of experience.  Most recently she served as the Director of Development at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and was instrumental in the successful completion of the museum’s $180 million capital campaign that led to inspiring new programming spaces, a state-of-the-art conservation center and significant endowment growth.

As part of her 12 year tenure at the Gardner, Bevilaqua successfully served in two prior positions, first as Director of Institutional Support, and then as Deputy Director of Development.  In addition to working on the capital campaign, other highlights of her accomplishments include increasing annual and event support, and stewarding and engaging the governing Board and volunteers through special initiatives and program committees. Bevilaqua was also a member of the Gardner’s leadership team, working closely with the museum’s Director and Board on institutional and strategic planning during a time of transition and transformation.

Prior to the Gardner, Bevilaqua held senior management positions at the New England Aquarium and Boston Medical Center, and her development and non-profit career began at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Bevilaqua earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies, English from Boston University, and a Masters in non-profit management from the Heller School at Brandeis University. Bevilaqua is from Boston’s North End, and currently resides in Jamaica Plain.


The Boston Public Library Foundation acts as a partner and ambassador for the Boston Public Library and encourages philanthropy at all levels to help the library achieve its goals. In recent years, the Boston Public Library Foundation secured support for academic and enrichment programs for children, teens and lifelong learners, including summer reading, after school programs, science programs, and an adult lecture series. To learn more, visit