Press Room

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Explore the BPL’s Digital Collections

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

AEB_2470Explore the Boston Public Library’s extensive digital collections using four new Digital Stacks. Maps, photographs, prints, and travel posters are just a few of the kinds of items that can be viewed through this interactive exploratory tool.

Meant to be used for discovery rather than as a reference tool, the digital content is sourced from the BPL’s collections on, which provides public access to the resources of cultural heritage organizations throughout Massachusetts. Users can search through the 150,000+ items in the Digital Stacks by creator, color, location, and subject. For example, a patron can zoom in on the town where he or she was born and find all the items in BPL’s collections that are geolocated to that place; they can then save the items to and access them later. New content is digitized and added to the Digital Stacks on a continuous basis, part of the BPL’s commitment to improving public access to special collections.

Located on either side of the Johnson building’s DeFerrari Hall, the Digital Stacks were designed by the Cambridge-based Small Design Firm.

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Book Browsing Encouraged

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

AEB_3511Voracious and casual readers alike will feel at home in New & Novel, an open and inviting new space inside the Central Library’s Johnson building. Designed for browsing, New & Novel showcases the Library’s new fiction and nonfiction books, staff picks, and curated displays of titles from the BPL’s collections. BPL Readers Services staff are on hand to provide reading recommendations and discuss books, and visitors can use digital displays to browse the library’s catalog, eBook collections, and online book lists. Readers looking to bypass the waiting list for the current bestseller can also test their luck with the Lucky Day Collection, which offers patrons the chance to find popular titles available immediately for a 14-day loan period.

Stuck finding your next read? New & Novel also operates virtually, providing patrons who haven’t visited the library with personalized reading recommendations. Answer a few questions about your reading habits and preferences online and BPL librarians will respond with 3-5 picks, just for you.

The BPL’s newly reorganized Readers Services Team is knowledgeable about new books and trends in publishing, excited to engage visitors about reading across genres, and ready to help readers find what they should read next. The staff creates displays that highlight books from all parts of the collection based on themes, current events, and other popular trends.

With a wall of tables overlooking Boylston Street available for individual work on laptops, popular magazines for browsing, and daily newspapers to read, New & Novel is a space where visitors can make themselves at home.

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Expanded Computer Resources at Tech Central

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

Tech Central is the place at the Central Library to use a computer and get onlineAEB_2805 as well as use basic printing and scanning services. Located on the first floor of the Johnson building, the BPL now offers twice as many computers as before, with 85 workstations for 60-minute use and 20 for express use. In addition, the offerings at Tech Central have been expanded to include both Mac and Windows computers.

With their library cards, patrons can log into any available 60-minute computer workstation, or put themselves in the queue via a signup station if no workstations are available. New wall-mounted queue screens allow patrons to see their position in line more clearly. Tech Central also has upgraded accessibility options, with five dedicated computers that feature updated software, including a closed-circuit television, scanner, Braille embosser, and computers with JAWS 17, a screen reading program that converts text and pictures into audio.

For those patrons who are interested in developing their computer skills, the Johnson building’s new Tech Lab on the mezzanine hosts a variety of computer-themed classes, including beginner- to intermediate-level computer classes and workshops on tablets, social media, and career resources.

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Supporting and Empowering Entrepreneurs

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

AEB_3423Media creators, innovators, job seekers, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, investors, coders, and makers are all invited to the Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center (KBLIC). Business-minded individuals can enjoy an inviting and modern space with over 5,000 square feet of printed resources, flexible seating, innovative technology to conduct business research, and dedicated areas for collaborating on projects with colleagues or developing a new career skill. Drop by KBLIC for access to and courses in the latest video editing and production technologies. Visitors will be inspired with a fresh vibe, cool color pallet, and a variety of comfortable work tables and seating options.

Outside KBLIC on the lower level of the Johnson building is the Exchange, an area that offers a multi-use conference room, classroom, and a “teaching maker space.” The KBLIC also offers startup mentorships, legal clinics for small businesses, financial planning seminars, career guidance, learn-to-code classes, graphic design tutorials, and more.

For aspiring media creators, the InnoLAB is the perfect space to design and produce video and record audio. Patrons can create polished projects with access to software such as Final Cut Pro, LogicPro, Ableton, Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator and enhance their work through the use of a green screen and mixing board. Visitors can also explore and use the InnoLAB’s 3D printer.

For visitors looking for a casual meeting space, the renovated Johnson building offers the Connector. Located between KBLIC and Rabb Hall, the Connector is a welcoming place to network with peers over a cup of coffee.

KBLIC also hosts a variety of short-term partners-in-residence from the area’s creative entrepreneurial network. At Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center, business is more than just numbers; it’s also creativity and collaboration.

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Lifelong Learning

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

AEB_3325From college preparation to literacy and tech classes to talks and lectures, the Central Library Renovation provides a place for lifelong learning in Boston. Enjoy classes, events, and programs in new cutting-edge spaces, or book a meeting room for a small group.

The revamped Rabb Hall, located on the lower level of the Johnson building, is a state-of-the-art auditorium for lectures and programs. The space has a capacity of 323 with 306 seats, new carpet, theater-quality lighting, a new projection display system and speakers, wood wall panels with acoustical treatment for optimized sound, and updated technology for filming and streaming programs. Rabb Hall includes space for up to 17 wheelchairs and a new lift that will assist patrons and presenters.

Rabb Hall is home to the BPL’s Lowell Lecture series, Author Talks and other high-profile lectures, as well as new programming such as a fall/winter concert series and theater productions performed in conjunction with the library’s Shakespeare-themed exhibition in fall 2016. Rabb Hall is also available for nonprofit and community meetings and events.

Learning and discovery continues on the Johnson building’s mezzanine level in the Community Learning Center, which includes three conference rooms and the Classroom. In the Classroom, which houses 20 computers, the public can take a variety of computer-themed classes, including beginner- to intermediate-level computer classes and workshops on tablets, social media, and career resources. The three conference rooms are for ESL conversation groups and classes, ESL tutoring, adult basic education workshops, literacy-themed classes, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services information sessions, community-based organization legal clinics, and more. In addition the three conference rooms are available for the public to book for community meetings as outlined in the BPL’s Meeting Room Use Policy.

The Central Library Renovation also provides space for one of the Boston Public Library’s partner organizations, the ASA College Planning Center. From its new location in the lower level of the Johnson building, as well as throughout the branches, the nonprofit continues to help young people and adults from all backgrounds plan for college and find sources of financial aid.