Boston Public Library
Press Room

Posts Tagged ‘Community Gathering’

Meet Laura Barkema, Reader and Information Librarian

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by admin in General

IMG_5306Laura Barkema works in the Reference and Reader’s Advisory department at the Central Library in Copley Square, assisting patrons with a variety of needs from research to helping users with their devices.

Why do you enjoy working for the BPL?

I enjoy explaining to library users that our services our free, because a lot of people do not realize that. The excitement people show when they realize this is great. Through teaching classes, I also see how appreciative people are to learn about the Internet and gaining computer skills.

How do you assist users in using digital services?

I’ve taught classes that give overviews of e-books and drop-in sessions for people with devices that need assistance. I also help users frequently at the reference desk with any of our digital services, such as our digital magazines, the mobile app, or streaming media. I like being a go-to person if someone has a question on how to navigate one of our digital services step-by-step.

How does technology enhance library service?

In a digital world, it’s important that our library services are up to date. The technology opens up our services to a new population of users; people who live anywhere in the state are able to get an e-card and access our digital resources. If a print copy of a book is not available, I might suggest the e-book version, and many people are open to learning.

What is an area of your job that some people may not know about?

In addition to reference, we also help users with our Reader’s Advisory service. I like giving book recommendations to people and giving them some options, and I hope to do more of that when the New Books area opens on the first floor of the Johnson building.  The other day I helped a patron who was looking for a David McCullough book. We didn’t have it in, but I knew she was interested in history and biographies, and I found a popular presidential biography for her and a few other recommendations — she was very happy.

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.

Opening the ‘Dear Boston’ Exhibition

Posted on April 8th, 2014 by Gina Perille in General

The exhibition Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial opened this week to an appreciative audience and a wide range of well wishers. During the opening program, the speakers included Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Ed Markey as well as Boston Public Library President Amy E. Ryan, New England Museum Association Executive Director Dan Yaeger, and Iron Mountain Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Samantha Joseph.

Created in honor of the one-year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Dear Boston features select pieces from the makeshift memorial created in Copley Square. The exhibition is organized by a partnership that includes the Boston City ArchivesBoston Art CommissionNew England Museum Association, Boston Public Library, and Iron Mountain. Rainey Tisdale is the curator.

The Dear Boston exhibition is open through May 11. It is part of a larger array of programs offered by the Boston Public Library in honor and commemoration of the 2013 Boston Marathon.