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Posts Tagged ‘Center of Knowledge’

Date Set for Opening of Renovated Second Floor at BPL’s Central Library

Posted on January 16th, 2015 by admin in Media Releases

Date Set for Opening of Renovated Second Floor at BPL’s Central Library

BOSTON – January 16, 2015 – renovThe date has been set for the opening of the renovated second floor of the Johnson building at Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square. On Saturday, February 21, the residents of Boston and beyond will get their first look at the new second floor, which includes a new children’s library, teen area, nonfiction collection, reference services, and a community reading area.

“The opening of the Central Library’s renovated second floor is an exciting preview of what will be a world-class renovation of one of Boston’s cultural gems,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Libraries are places of opportunity and people of all ages will enjoy the books and programs as well as the family-friendly, state-of-the-art space in Copley Square.”

The Central Library in Copley Square, located at 700 Boylston Street, opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 21. Both the Boylston Street entrance and the Dartmouth Street entrance will be open. The celebratory ribbon cutting will take place at 12 p.m. The Mayor is scheduled to attend. (more…)

Meet Gregor Smart, Electronic Resources Specialist

Posted on January 6th, 2015 by admin in General

IMG_5369What do you enjoy about working for the BPL?
The Kirstein Business Library has been providing business and company research information since 1930. Our patrons come to us with dreams, whether it’s to start a business, a new career, or they have a desire to reach their financial goals for retirement. I love being a part of helping them reach those dreams by showing them the research tools to get them there. And, these resources are free.

What are some of the most popular electronic resources people use?
Our AtoZdatabases resource contains profiles on over 30,000,000 companies. This resource helps those looking to start a business find competitors, research a given industry, and create targeted mailing lists. Our Career Transitions database is a very popular resource for our job seekers. It offers a resume wizard and gives tips and advice for job searching. For those who need help researching stocks and mutual funds, the Morningstar Investment Research Center is a great resource. You can screen for funds, look at analyst ratings or download their investing newsletters. Small business guidance, employment searching, and personal finance research are some of the most popular kinds of assistance we provide.

How does technology enhance library service?
Technology makes our resources much more accessible to people. Now people can access many of our directories online without having to visit us in person or having to wait for someone to return the printed version. There are so many ways to access the data — via tablets or phones, and much more.

How do you assist users in using digital services?
I do a lot of one-on-one support – if someone wants to start a business, I can help with their market research, find similar businesses, or point them to various associations that might be beneficial. I have also taught a variety of technology workshops such as conducting an online job search, creating a budget, resources for researching stocks and mutual funds, and how to build a web page.

What electronic resources do you use?
I love using our Ancestry Library Edition resource for genealogy. It’s been fun to find out more about where my grandparents worked and lived. It is also a helpful resource if you want to look at historical Massachusetts city directories.

Meet Paul Cho, Special Library Assistant

Posted on November 17th, 2014 by admin in General

IMG_4568Paul Cho works with library users at the Honan-Allston Branch of the Boston Public Library. He has worked at the library for more than 25 years; working at the Charlestown Branch and the Central Library previously. His work supports the Community Gathering principle of the Compass Strategic plan through linking community members with to library programs and services within and beyond the BPL system.

Why do you enjoy working for the BPL?

All staff have the opportunity to increase their work knowledge through trainings provided. Working for the library is a very rewarding experience; I get a lot of satisfaction in helping patrons achieve their goals.

How do you assist users in using digital services?

I explain all of the options they have for using a certain service, such as the streaming media service hoopla. You don’t have to worry about expiration dates, patrons can browse music or TV shows, and hoopla is compatible  with a number of devices. I love using hoopla for music and it is very popular with users as well. I also let patrons know we have Zinio, a digital magazine service. People are surprised to know they can check out an unlimited number of magazines. We  have a lot of electronic databases that users may not know about that I also promote.

How does technology enhance library service?

It helps bring people in to the library. A lot of people in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood come in to use the computers, check out DVDs, or browse the online catalog. It’s very easy for the patron to find information in today’s world.

What is an aspect of your role that people may not know about?

I am able to assist people who speak languages other than English; I am fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.

Meet Jazmin Idakaar, Generalist Librarian

Posted on October 31st, 2014 by admin in General

jazminJazmin, who joined the library staff in 2014, works at the Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library with people of all ages. Supporting the Center of Knowledge principle of the Compass Strategic plan, she works to support the technical literacy of library users through working with other staff members to facilitate technology classes at the branch.

Why do you enjoy working for the library?

I love building new connections with library users; I have some regulars who come in now and we know each other’s names. I get to know what their needs or challenges are and build upon them.

Describe your experience teaching the laptop classes.

Each seasonal session, we offer the same basic classes to help beginners build their skills - navigating the web, word processing, social media, etc. Occasionally we get a guest speaker; we recently had a cyber security class for seniors. I walk around, make sure everyone is on the same page, and dialogue and review with everyone. I get the chance to demonstrate and explain things on the fly frequently when participants bring up new questions, which is stimulating. Regardless of the challenge of the day, it is exciting to help people acquire new skills.

How do you see users interacting with technology?

Technology has become a necessity, especially with job applications. I assist people looking for jobs via the Internet and I help guide them to sites and resources that are helpful. A large number of people who come in go straight to Bing or Google and not the BPL webpage, so I like to mention at least a few services we provide directly from our own site. Users come in with e-readers and that is my opportunity to tell them about BPL services specific to devices, for example, OverDrive.

What is your favorite service offered by the BPL?

I’d have to say OverDrive; some of my favorite audiobooks are on there. It’s nice to borrow them first and then if I like them, I might buy a few.

What Type of Library User Are You?

Posted on September 17th, 2014 by admin in General

The Pew Research Center has focused some of their work on studying on the internet, technology, and libraries recently, particularly in relation to library users’ habits, engagement, and experiences. Below are just a few highlights from their research:

  • 72% of all Americans ages 16 and older have either used a public library (in person or via website) in the past 12 months or live in a household where another family member or a child is an active recent user of the library.
  • 80% of Americans under age 30 say that librarians are a “very important” resource for libraries to have.
  • Almost one in five (18%) Americans ages 16-29 have used a mobile device to visit a public library’s website or access library resources in the past 12 months, compared with 12% of those ages 30 and older.
  • 71% of city dwellers say the library is important to them and 59% have library cards — and 69% of suburban residents say the library is important and 61% have library cards.
  • Family and friends are the primary source of book discovery for Americans 16 and older, especially so for suburban (66%) and urban residents (66%). Some 60% of rural residents say they get book recommendations from family and friends. Similarly, city dwellers (25%) and suburbanites (24%) are more likely than rural residents (18%) to have received recommendations from book stores they visit. Residents of all three kinds of communities are equally likely to say librarians and library websites are sources of book recommendations.

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To see more of Pew’s research, visit pewresearch.org/topics/libraries/. To learn how to sign-up for a Boston Public Library card, visit bit.ly/BPLgetcarded. September is national library card sign-up month. Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Massachusetts can have a Boston Public Library card.