Boston Public Library
Press Room


Posted on June 3rd, 2015 by admin in Media Releases

Amy Ryan“Today I am announcing my resignation, effective July 3, 2015. I am choosing to step aside at this time to allow the work of the Boston Public Library to continue without distraction.

It has been a tremendous honor to serve as President of the Boston Public Library. Together with our library team and the people of Boston, we can be proud of our daily dedication to public service; new and revitalized libraries in Mattapan, Dorchester, East Boston, and Copley Square; a community-driven plan for the future, our Compass; leadership in digital services; and our preeminent collections of distinction.

I deeply appreciate the support shown to me by the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees throughout my tenure. The Trustees are a committed and faithful group of leaders who embody the mission of a public library built by the people and dedicated to the advancement of learning.

I believe as strongly in the mission of the Boston Public Library today as when I arrived from Minnesota nearly eight years ago. I am honored to have contributed to the success of a public library system that is truly free to all and unswervingly committed to serving people of all ages and from all walks of life throughout the City of Boston and the Commonwealth.”



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

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Boston Public Library Operational and Financial Assessment

Posted on June 3rd, 2015 by admin in General

The Boston Public Library’s Operational and Financial Assessment, called for by Mayor Walsh, and conducted by Chrysalis Management, LLC, is an independent operational and financial assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses of the Boston Public Library and to specify both short and long‐term practical improvement opportunities. Boston Public Library is one of several agencies and departments of the City of Boston that have undergone audits since January 2014. The audit launched on December 8, 2014, and began with senior team meetings and a review of key documents provided by the staff at the Boston Public Library, followed by in‐person interviews with staff from the BPL, City of Boston, and coordinating organizations such as the Leventhal Map Center, Digital Public Library of America, the Boston Public Library Foundation, President of the AFSCME union, and more. The final report was completed on May 1, 2015. The BPL will respond with an Action Plan based on the opportunities identified in the audit to be submitted to Mayor Walsh by June 19, 2015.

Boston Public Library President Announces Collection Management and Systemwide Safety and Security Action Plans

Posted on June 3rd, 2015 by admin in Media Releases
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Today, Boston Public Library (BPL) President Amy E. Ryan announced action plans for the BPL’s collection management and systemwide safety and security. The plans include an expanded and accelerated inventory and assessment of Special Collections with a focus on the most important and valuable, the transfer of 24,000 paper catalog cards to the electronic catalog over 12 months, and a completed comprehensive Systemwide Safety and Security Plan by the end of July 2015.

President Ryan made the announcement at a special meeting of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees at the Central Library in Copley Square. The meeting included an update on the ongoing investigations into two missing artworks, the recently released external Operational and Financial Assessment of BPL by Chrysalis Management, LLC, an overview of the library’s systemwide safety and security, and an overview of BPL collection management.

Collection Management Action Plan

  • Inventory of the Print Collection
    • Expert preservationist Dr. Martha Mahard, with 35 years of experience at Harvard University, has begun an item-by-item inventory of all 200,000 prints and drawings and 120,000 chromolithographs to be completed by the end of the year.
    • Print staff redeployed to inventory; public service curtailed
      • Digital access remains

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Statement from BPL President Amy Ryan on Meeting with Mayor Walsh

Posted on May 26th, 2015 by admin in General

Below is a statement from BPL President Amy Ryan on today’s meeting with Mayor Walsh.

“Today Jeff Rudman, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Boston Public Library, and I met with Mayor Walsh to review the situation of the missing Durer engraving and the Rembrandt etching. A federal investigation into these two significant pieces of the BPL’s Print Collection is currently underway.

We recognize the balance of the Boston Public Library’s mission to make our collections available to the more than 3.7 million annual visitors to our system, while maintaining the security of our holdings.

I was notified of the missing Albrecht Durer engraving on Friday, April 10, and learned that it had been missing for almost a year, a time gap of significant concern which will be part of the administrative investigation.

I notified Chair Rudman the next day, on Saturday. Working with our legal team, I directed an immediate internal search which was launched on Monday, April 13. As a result of this search, staff discovered that a Rembrandt etching was also missing.

While still hopeful that the prints were misfiled, it was clear that the BPL may have been the victim of a crime.

On Wednesday, April 15, Jeff Rudman and I contacted the office of Mayor Walsh and Commissioner Evans. The Boston Police Department then launched a criminal investigation while we continued our internal search which is still ongoing.

BPL’s security protocols in allowing the public to view our special collections are equivalent to standards being used by institutions across the nation to protect their valuable materials. There is limited employee access to the print collection, and controlled public access.

We are beginning an independent review of these protocols now as part of BPL’s ongoing work to invest and update our security systems as standards and technology evolve.

The Boston Public Library is cooperating fully with the investigation by the Boston Police Department and the FBI, and staying in close contact with Mayor Walsh. We will be calling a special meeting of the Boston Public Library’s Board of Trustees in the coming days. It is our hope to see this situation resolved swiftly and thoroughly.”

Boston Public Library’s 2015 Concerts in the Courtyard Series

Posted on May 21st, 2015 by admin in Media Releases
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Lunchtime and evening concerts fill Copley Square this summerconcert

One of Boston’s most picturesque spaces will be filled with music in a free concert series on Wednesdays and Fridays in June, July, and August. Starting on June 3, the courtyard at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street, will feature music selections from a variety of influences, from jazz and folk to classical and contemporary music. Concerts are held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. through August 28. All concerts are free and last approximately one hour.

“Partaking in this free summertime series is an ideal way to spend part of an afternoon or evening enjoying music in one of Boston’s finest cultural institutions,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I thank Boston Public Library staff, the Boston Public Library Foundation, and Deloitte for providing such wonderful programming for library users and visitors.” Read more »