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July Literary Events at Boston Public Library Locations

Posted on July 1st, 2015 by admin in Media Releases

Desktop219Central Library and six branches to host

Boston Public Library locations host a variety of author talks for people of all ages this month. Highlights include Revolutionary War-themed talks, children’s story times, Emmy-award winning Cokie Roberts, and more:

  • Author and illustrator Matt Tavares visits six locations in July, speaking about his book Growing Up Pedro and facilitating a drawing session for ages 7 and up.
  • Rosana Y. Wan discusses The Culinary Lives of John & Abigail Adams: A Cookbook on Monday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the West Roxbury Branch, located at 1961 Centre Street. Part of the BPL’s Revolutionary War initiative, which marks the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act crisis.
  • South End author Irene Smalls reads from her books, tells stories, and shows children, parents, and caregivers how to combine reading with healthy exercise on Wednesday, July 8, at 10:30 a.m. at the South End Branch, located at 685 Tremont Street.
  • Alan R. Hoffman, the translator of Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825: A Firsthand Account of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour of America, brings expert insight into the Marquis and his farewell tour of America on the same week as the historic arrival of the replica of Lafayette’s frigate Hermione to Boston Harbor. Thursday, July 9, at 6 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the BPL’s Revolutionary War initiative, which marks the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act crisis, and the Local & Family History Series, which shares information about the history of Boston and its diverse neighborhoods.
  • South End resident Alison Barnet shares her collection of columns from South End News about the people and places in her neighborhood on Thursday, July 9, at 2 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Never Too Late Series, one of the country’s oldest, continuously running groups for seniors.
  • Local children’s author Carla Marrero reads from her books and leads the audience in a craft during Family Night Story Time on Tuesday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the South End Branch, located at 685 Tremont Street.
  • Frances Driscoll, author of The Swan Boat Ride, takes children back in time as she remembers when her grandmother took her for a ride on the swan boats in the Boston Public Garden. Monday, July 20, at 1 p.m. at the South End Branch, located at 685 Tremont Street.
  • Cokie Roberts details her books Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty, and Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington on Tuesday, July 21, at 6 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the2015 Lowell Lecture Series, which explores social, political, cultural, and economic themes related to the American Revolutionary War era.
  • Dina Vargo brings to light the remarkable stories of audacious reformers, socialites, and criminals who made Boston what it is today in Wild Women of Boston: Mettle and Moxie in the Hub on Thursday, July 23, at 2 p.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street. Part of the Never Too Late Series, one of the country’s oldest, continuously running groups for seniors.

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Central Library Renovation Profiles: Chris Glass, Reader and Information Librarian, Reference and Reader’s Advisory Department

Posted on June 12th, 2015 by admin in General

Chris Glass highlights the features of the new second floor’s Adult Reference area.

What role did your department play in the Central Library’s Johnson Level 2 renovation?

Chris GlassBecause the Reference and Reader’s Advisory department staffs Adult Reference on Johnson Level 2, we got to contribute our ideas for the orientation of the Information Desk, the layout of the area, and the technology in the space, such as the dedicated research computers. We also launched new online library guides to coincide with the renovation opening. The library guides are a collection of online information and resources on particular topics, including Boston history, literary resources for ESL students and educators, and health tips. Not only do the guides help library users navigate specific topics, but they also connect people outside of the building with our resources.

How does the renovation benefit the public and the particular group you serve?

We’ve introduced a new staffing model of having one librarian at the desk and one librarian on the floor assisting users, and this has created more engagement with visitors. Because of the bright windows and open layout of the space, users are better able to navigate the shelves. We were also able to add to our nonfiction collection and replace outdated books – computer manuals, for instance – with up-to-date editions. The teens benefit from now being on the same floor as the adult nonfiction collection, as they often use those books for homework and research.

IMG_05328What is your favorite thing about the Johnson Level 2 renovation?

Visitors to the new floor want to spend time there. Before the renovation, they would grab a book and go, but now they spend all day studying, working, and reading in Boylston Common, the community reading area. I like that the space provides an alternative atmosphere to the McKim building’s Bates Hall. If visitors want a more casual, comfortable environment where they can work with others, they can come to Johnson Level 2; if they want a quiet area for individual reading and studying, surrounded by historical art and architecture, they can go to Bates Hall.

What has most surprised you about the public’s reaction to the renovations?

IMG_05316The feedback from the public has been overwhelmingly positive. People seem to feel comfortable and at home on the new second floor, and they love the bold colors in particular.

What are you most looking forward to about phase 2 of the renovation?

I can’t wait to see what it will look like when it’s done. The new books and media area inside the Boylston Street entrance will provide a great opportunity for interaction and conversation. Our job as a department is not only to help with research and assist people in using the different parts of the library and catalog effectively, but to also connect readers with what interests them. The new space will facilitate both of those goals.

Boston Public Library Hosts Foremost Experts on American Revolution

Posted on June 10th, 2015 by admin in Media Releases

lowell2015 Lowell Lecture Series: “Revolutionary Ideas” includes speakers Joseph J. Ellis, Cokie Roberts, M.T. Anderson

Boston Public Library’s 2015 “Revolutionary Ideas” Lowell Lecture Series begins June 11 and runs through October, featuring some of the most eminent authorities to explore social, political, cultural, and economic themes related to the American Revolutionary War era (1750-1800).

“The Lowell Lecture Series is an opportunity to hear experts’ perspectives on the founding of our country and to reflect upon the ways in which our predecessors changed the course of history through revolutionary ideas,” said Beth Prindle, Manager of Exhibitions and Programming.

The series accompanies the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center’s gallery exhibition We Are One: Mapping America’s Road to American Independence, on view at the Central Library in Copley Square through November 29, and an expansive schedule of related programs, performances, and special events takes place in Boston Public Library locations across the city. For more information about the BPL’s Revolutionary Boston programs, visit www.bpl.org/revolution. (more…)

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

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

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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Central Library Renovation Profiles: Daniel and Dana van Ee, Children’s Library Users

Posted on May 15th, 2015 by admin in General

Daniel and DanaFour-year-old Daniel and his mother Dana, originally from Liberia and now living in the Back Bay, are frequent visitors to the renovated Children’s Library.

What do you like about the Children’s Library? 

Dana: I love everything about it, from the natural light to the colors to the layout and design of the different areas. I like that we can move from playing with puppets to using computers to activities in the program room. There are separate areas for each age group, but the children are not restricted to those areas; I see older children in ToddleTown using the sensory wall to teach the younger ones about magnets or sounds, which is part of the learning process. I also appreciate how all the book shelves are at the kids’ eye-level. This is a magnificent example of what a children’s library can and should be.

Daniel: I like the puppets and the dress up clothes. My favorite puppets are the police officer and the doctor. I like to play builder with the construction outfit. I like how Miss Maggie and Miss Maija and Miss Laura and Miss May talk to us. And I like the computers here. I play soccer and Humpty Dumpty games on the computer. And I do puzzles and play with Mr. Bones on the computer who teaches you about inside your body.

What activities and programs do you like to attend in the Children’s Library?

Dana: We come to the Children’s Library about three times a week. All the librarians put such time and care into fine-tuning beautiful programs for children. We recently attended a wonderful presentation about Georgia O’Keeffe, where afterwards the children made 3D flowers and plants with craft materials. The Museum of Science also visited with a great program about the science behind magic tricks.

Daniel: I like coloring and painting. I made a colorful mask and do many projects. I like to make airplanes and cars with Legos. Sometimes I play with other kids and sometimes I play alone. I met my friend Gwyneth here. The Museum of Science showed us how to make a water balloon pop, and the water popped everywhere. I love the library. The library is awesome!

How does this renovation benefit children?

Dana: The Children’s Library is very welcoming. The open layout of the room means that caregivers and parents can watch their children but give them freedom to roam and explore. I find that many people of different backgrounds and from different Boston neighborhoods all frequent the Children’s Library. It’s a place where children of Boston and the world can learn and grow.

What are your favorite things to borrow from the library?

Dana: We love to check out books and audiobooks. We read together every night. Listening to audiobooks is something we can do together or Daniel can do independently.

What books would you recommend to other kids?

Daniel: The Velveteen Rabbit; We’re Going on a Bear Hunt; Guess How Much I Love You.

Dana: I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! by Dr. Seuss is a great life lesson book, and Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria by Kyra E. Hicks is a true story about Liberia, England, and perseverance.