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Boston Public Library’s Top Ten Books for Black History Month

Posted on February 3rd, 2016 by BPL News in General

2016 low resIn honor of Black History month, Boston Public Library publishes the annual “Black Is” book list, a compilation of recent works by and about African Americans for adult readers. BPL staff have undertaken the difficult task of narrowing down the list of titles to bring you their top ten favorite books from 2016’s “Black Is” book list.

Fiction

Non-fiction

To view the full “Black Is” book list, download a PDF or pick up a copy at any Boston Public Library location.

Boston Public Library Celebrates Black History Month with Booklist, Programs

Posted on February 1st, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

blackis2016coverBoston Public Library honors Black History Month at locations throughout the city with a plethora of lectures, music celebrations, workshops, and crafts this February. The BPL published its annual “Black Is” booklist, a list of recent books concerning the African American experience compiled by staff members for all to enjoy. Categories of books include international and urban fiction, biography/memoir, expressions, and history and contemporary issues in nonfiction. Authors featured include Toni Morrison, Shonda Rimes, Whoopi Goldberg, and more. Copies of the booklist will be available at the Central Library and all branch locations this week.

The BPL also honors Black History Month through a variety of themed programming. Highlights include:

  • The Triumph! Black Military Unsung Heroes exhibition takes viewers through the rich history of how heroes contributed mightily to the history of our nation and secured the freedoms that, for many of them, were delayed over time. On display at the Grove Hall Branch, located at 41 Geneva Avenue in Dorchester, from Wednesday, February 3, through March 18.
  • Desiree Taylor takes audiences on an investigative journey through story into the Harlem Renaissance at the Charlestown, Uphams Corner, South Boston, and West Roxbury branches throughout the month of February.
  • Learn about an important African American inventor or innovator each week, beginning on Wednesday, February 3, at 4 p.m. at the Adams Street Branch, located at 690 Adams Street in Dorchester. For children and teens.
  • Roxbury’s own Valerie Stephens shares tales of freedom in a storytelling series based on the courageous actions of Americans during the American abolitionist movement and slavery. Thursday, February 4, at 6 p.m. at the Grove Hall Branch, located at 41 Geneva Avenue.
  • Children make music together featuring African American musicians on Saturday, February 6, at 11 a.m. in the Children’s Library at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Discover and access the BPL’s online resources to help enrich learning about African American history, life, and culture on Wednesday, February 10, at 2:30 p.m. at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • A Black History Month film series take place at the Lower Mills Branch on Fridays throughout February at 27 Richmond Street and a film fest occurs on Thursday, February 11, from 12 to 7 p.m. at the Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.
  • Youth make mobiles honoring Black History Month on Tuesday, February 23, at 4 p.m. at the West Roxbury Branch, located at 1961 Centre Street.
  • Listen to d’Allegro’s take on classic and inspirational tunes by African American artists on Thursday, February 25, at 6 p.m. at the Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.
  • The Grove Hall Branch holds the Kevin Harris Project jazz concert on Saturday, February 27, at 2 p.m.

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Boston Public Library February Literary Events and Programs at Branch Locations Across the City

Posted on January 26th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

Feb talksFebruary programming at Boston Public Library locations include music, crafts, celebrations, and literary events for all. Below are highlights of the upcoming month, for a full listing visit the BPL Calendar of Events.

  • The West End Branch celebrates 120 years of library service on Thursday, February 4, at 6:30 p.m. with a lecture by historian Anthony Sammarco, who will detail both the histories of the West End and that of the branch.
  • Children 8+ learn about the United States through stories and crafts on Friday, February 5, at 3:30 p.m. in the Children’s Library at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • The Adams Street and Fields Corner Branches honor the Vietnamese New Year with Tết celebrations with crafts, food, and fun for people of all ages on Saturday, February 6, at 11 a.m. (Fields Corner) and on Saturday, February 6, at 2 p.m. (Adams Street Branch).
  • Teen Central at the Central Library in Copley Square hosts career discovery lectures on Monday, February 8, at 4 p.m. and on Monday, February 22, at 4 p.m., located at 700 Boylston Street. Teens will learn about potential careers and how to prepare for applying to them.
  • Anthony  Sammarco discusses his forthcoming history of Boston’s first department store, Jordan Marsh, on Monday, February 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Adams Street Branch, located at 690 Adams Street in Dorchester.
  • Boston Globe Spotlight reporter Stephen Kurkjian will read from his book Master Thieves: The Boston Gangsters who Pulled Off the Greatest Art Heist on Tuesday, February 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the South End Branch, located at 685 Tremont Street.
  • Charles R. Gallagher describes a covert British operation in Boston and discusses the consequences of both Nazi and British spying in his talk “Spy Hub: Catholicism, Anti-Semitism, and Secret Intelligence in Wartime Boston” on Wednesday, February 10, at 6 p.m. in in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.  Part of the Local & Family History Series.
  • The West Roxbury Branch hosts the performance “Love Notes” by the Swing Fever Trio on Thursday, February 11, at 2 p.m., featuring the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Duke Ellington and many more. The branch is located at 1961 Centre Street.
  • The South Boston Branch hosts a wintertime book sale on Saturday, February 13, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., with all types of adult, teen, and juvenile books, audio-books, and CDs available at 646 East Broadway Street.
  • Desiree Taylor takes listeners on an investigative journey through story into the Harlem Renaissance on Wednesday, February 17, at 3 p.m. at the Charlestown Branch, located at 179 Main Street.
  • Peter Grinspoon, author of Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction discusses his troubles and road to recover y on Thursday, February 18, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Marta Crilly, Archivist for Reference and Outreach at the Boston City Archives, highlights records available to researchers and offers tips on navigating the Archives’ collections in her talk “History of the Hub: Resources for Local and Family History at the Boston City Archives” on Wednesday, February 24, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Listen to d’Allegro’s take on classic and inspirational tunes by African American artists on Thursday, February 25, at 6 p.m. at the Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.
  • The Grove Hall Branch holds a book sale and open house on Saturday, February 27, at 12 p.m., followed by a Kevin Harris Project jazz concert at 2 p.m. at 41 Geneva Avenue in Dorchester.

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Conservation Team Begins Restoration of Treasured Artwork

Posted on January 14th, 2016 by kmiller@private.bpl.org in General

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes' Philosophy PanelArtist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes’ Philosophy panel on the wall of the grand staircase in the McKim building at the Central Library in
Copley Square is undergoing restoration. The panel is one of eight allegorical murals that surround the Central Library’s grand staircase, each panel depicting an academic discipline, including Astronomy, History, Chemistry, Physics, Pastoral Poetry, Dramatic Poetry, and Epic Poetry.

Chavannes’ panels were painted on linen canvas in Paris and adhered to the library walls in 1895-96 using the “marouflage” technique, binding canvas to plaster support with an adhesive paste. Over time, the plaster and adhesive behind Philosophy has weakened, jeopardizing the panel.

Conservators, led by Gianfranco Pocobene, head of conservation at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will stabilize the mural and detach it bit by bit until the entire canvas can be safely removed in one piece for relining onto a stable solid support and re-installation. This ambitious procedure has rarely been attempted on a marouflaged canvas, making the project complex and extraordinary.

The conservation team will work in the McKim building’s Cheverus Room for six to eight weeks to restore the work, addressing any areas of paint loss and lining the canvas with a rigid honeycomb support. The panel is expected to return to its location on the grand staircase in April 2016.

BPL is thrilled to further their commitment to preserve the institution’s treasures for future generations. This masterpiece – like every other artwork in the building and collection – is freely accessible to the public.

Boston Public Library December Author Talks & Lectures

Posted on December 1st, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases

Downloads1Central Library, Mattapan, Uphams Corner, South End, West Roxbury to host

Boston Public Library locations will host a variety of literary events this month, with topics ranging from the history of tea to the American maritime industry and more:

  • Sister Souljah meets with teens and adults, discussing her works and signing copies of her new book A Moment of Silence on Tuesday, December 1, at 6 p.m. at Teen Central at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Russ Lopez reads from his new book Boston’s South End: The Clash of Ideas in a Historic Neighborhood, a comprehensive history of the South End on Tuesday, December 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the South End Branch, located at 685 Tremont Street. Part of the South End Writes Series.
  • Marilynn Johnson discusses how foreign-born residents shaped Boston in The New Bostonians: How Immigrants Have Transformed the Metro Area since the 1960s on Wednesday, December 2, at 6 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Local and Family History Series.
  • Discover the collections of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center on a tour that includes the current exhibition, Women in Cartography: Five Centuries of Accomplishments, featuring maps from the 17th century to the present.  Wednesday, December 2, at 12:30 p.m. in the Map Center at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street.
  • Donald Yacovone, Ph.D., commemorates the 150th anniversary of the final issue of William Lloyd Garrison’s celebrated abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator on Thursday, December 3, at 6 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square. Highlights from the Boston Public Library’s Anti-Slavery Collection will be on display and a reception follows.
  • Discover how to get started on researching your family history with genealogist Rhonda McClure from the New England Historic Genealogical Society on Thursday, December 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the West Roxbury Branch, located at 1961 Centre Street.
  • Sonya Harris speaks about how people cope with self-destructive behaviors and failed relationships, and how they in turn impact our health in My Body Is Calling on Saturday, December 12, at 2 p.m. at the Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.
  • The Sisters in Crime Panel presents “Stealing from the Dead: Ideas and Where We Get Them” on Monday, December 14, at 6 p.m. at the Honan-Allston Branch, located at 300 North Harvard Street in Allston.
  • Senior maritime historian of the New Bedford Whaling Museum Michael P. Dyer brings listeners back to the end of the fifteenth century as he talks about how the islands of the Atlantic figured prominently in the American maritime industries on Thursday, December 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Uphams Corner Branch, located at 500 Columbia Road in Dorchester.
  • Anthony Sammarco presents “A History of Tea,” which examines how tea has been enjoyed over the centuries on Thursday, December 17, at 6:30 p.m. at the Brighton Branch, located at 40 Academy Hill Road.

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