Boston Public Library
Press Room

Meet Gregor Smart, Electronic Resources Specialist

Posted on January 6th, 2015 by admin in General
Tags: , , , , , , ,

IMG_5369What do you enjoy about working for the BPL?
The Kirstein Business Library has been providing business and company research information since 1930. Our patrons come to us with dreams, whether it’s to start a business, a new career, or they have a desire to reach their financial goals for retirement. I love being a part of helping them reach those dreams by showing them the research tools to get them there. And, these resources are free.

What are some of the most popular electronic resources people use?
Our AtoZdatabases resource contains profiles on over 30,000,000 companies. This resource helps those looking to start a business find competitors, research a given industry, and create targeted mailing lists. Our Career Transitions database is a very popular resource for our job seekers. It offers a resume wizard and gives tips and advice for job searching. For those who need help researching stocks and mutual funds, the Morningstar Investment Research Center is a great resource. You can screen for funds, look at analyst ratings or download their investing newsletters. Small business guidance, employment searching, and personal finance research are some of the most popular kinds of assistance we provide.

How does technology enhance library service?
Technology makes our resources much more accessible to people. Now people can access many of our directories online without having to visit us in person or having to wait for someone to return the printed version. There are so many ways to access the data — via tablets or phones, and much more.

How do you assist users in using digital services?
I do a lot of one-on-one support – if someone wants to start a business, I can help with their market research, find similar businesses, or point them to various associations that might be beneficial. I have also taught a variety of technology workshops such as conducting an online job search, creating a budget, resources for researching stocks and mutual funds, and how to build a web page.

What electronic resources do you use?
I love using our Ancestry Library Edition resource for genealogy. It’s been fun to find out more about where my grandparents worked and lived. It is also a helpful resource if you want to look at historical Massachusetts city directories.

Boston Public Library’s Local & Family History Series Begins January 14

Posted on December 22nd, 2014 by admin in Media Releases
Tags: ,

lehrTwelfth year of series explores Boston’s rich past, experts give genealogy research tips

Boston Public Library’s Local & Family History Lecture Series begins in January, sharing information about the history of Boston and its diverse neighborhoods, as well as tips and guides for those beginning their own genealogical research. Lectures in 2015 will take place in the Abbey Room, located on the second floor of the McKim building at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.

The series includes the following lectures, all of which are listed with additional detail at www.bpl.org/localhistory:

Read more »

Boston Public Library Reveals Top Titles of the Year

Posted on December 15th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases
Tags: , , ,

Desktop167

Boston Public Library shared its list of the ten most-borrowed titles of 2014. This year’s list features fiction titles in a variety of genres ranging from romance to mystery to science fiction. Boston Public Library’s number one most-borrowed title in 2014 was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Top 10 Most-borrowed Titles in Boston

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  4. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  5. Inferno by Dan Brown
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  7. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Read more »

Meet Laura Barkema, Reader and Information Librarian

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by admin in General
Tags: , , , ,

IMG_5306Laura Barkema works in the Reference and Reader’s Advisory department at the Central Library in Copley Square, assisting patrons with a variety of needs from research to helping users with their devices.

Why do you enjoy working for the BPL?

I enjoy explaining to library users that our services our free, because a lot of people do not realize that. The excitement people show when they realize this is great. Through teaching classes, I also see how appreciative people are to learn about the Internet and gaining computer skills.

How do you assist users in using digital services?

I’ve taught classes that give overviews of e-books and drop-in sessions for people with devices that need assistance. I also help users frequently at the reference desk with any of our digital services, such as our digital magazines, the mobile app, or streaming media. I like being a go-to person if someone has a question on how to navigate one of our digital services step-by-step.

How does technology enhance library service?

In a digital world, it’s important that our library services are up to date. The technology opens up our services to a new population of users; people who live anywhere in the state are able to get an e-card and access our digital resources. If a print copy of a book is not available, I might suggest the e-book version, and many people are open to learning.

What is an area of your job that some people may not know about?

In addition to reference, we also help users with our Reader’s Advisory service. I like giving book recommendations to people and giving them some options, and I hope to do more of that when the New Books area opens on the first floor of the Johnson building.  The other day I helped a patron who was looking for a David McCullough book. We didn’t have it in, but I knew she was interested in history and biographies, and I found a popular presidential biography for her and a few other recommendations — she was very happy.

December Literary Events at Boston Public Library Locations

Posted on November 20th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases
Tags: , , ,

decemberLocations across the city host events for reading enthusiasts

Boston Public Library locations host events for readers of all ages this December, including children’s book club meetings, author talks, and book sales. Highlights include:

  • Tween Book Club: Fifth, sixth, and seventh graders discuss the graphic novel Drama, which tells the story of diverse characters exploring friendship, crushes, and all-around drama. Wednesday, December 3, at 4:30 p.m. at the East Boston Branch, located at 365 Bremen Street.
  • Winter Read-aloud Club: Children ages 6-10 listen to chapter book stories and make a craft to take home Thursdays in December at the Egleston Square Branch, located at 2044 Columbus Avenue in Roxbury.

Read more »