Press Room

Central Library Renovation Reopening: Elevating Arts, Culture & Special Collections

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

AEB_2961Boston 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 provides 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 hang, and the Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center, which features large-scale reproductions of photographs of Boston by Spencer Grant and Lance Keimig.

In addition, patrons are 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 are also 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. BPL was one of the first libraries in the nation to dedicate space to this type of work, and the Johnson building now provides 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 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.

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.