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Posts Tagged ‘Inside BPL Collections’

Boston Public Library Unveils New Collections of Distinction

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

Collections include historical works detailing American and European history

gleasonBoston Public Library unveiled its newest Collections of Distinction, adding six to the initial 18 collections that represent the most outstanding, expansive, and renowned of its holdings of more than 23 million items. The collections include Massachusetts Newspapers, Boston Artists, Boston Pictorial Archive, the Book of Common Prayer, works by Daniel Defoe, as well as the Mellen Chamberlain Collection of Autographs. Within the collections is an array of books, prints, letters, drawings, and other original works dating back as early as the 14th century.

“It is our privilege to share these distinguished collections; from manuscripts to modern art, they bring stories and culture of the past and present to life for the world to view,” said Amy E. Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library. “We invite the community in to discover the rich history these collections hold.”

Among the historical items from Massachusetts are works of Boston artists from the 1940s to the present, a collection of photographs and lithographs of Boston scenery from the 18th through 20th centuries, and an archive of Massachusetts newspapers dating back to 1706. Additionally, the Mellen Chamberlain Collection of Autographs contains 20,000 letters, engravings, and documents highlighting American and European history, including documentation of the Salem Witch Trials, the American Revolution, and correspondence from famed authors Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and John Singleton Copley. (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.

Boston Public Library Reveals Top Titles of the Year

Posted on December 15th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases

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Boston Public Library shared its list of the ten most-borrowed titles of 2014. This year’s list features fiction titles in a variety of genres ranging from romance to mystery to science fiction. Boston Public Library’s number one most-borrowed title in 2014 was Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Top 10 Most-borrowed Titles in Boston

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  4. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  5. Inferno by Dan Brown
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  7. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

(more…)

Boston Public Library Expands Free Digital Magazine Offerings

Posted on November 12th, 2014 by admin in Media Releases

Acquired titles include the New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Wiredmags

Boston Public Library expanded its free digital magazine service by adding publications in a variety of genres; including the New Yorker, Wired, and Bon Appétit, as well as Architectural Digest, Brides, Condé Nast Traveler, and GQ. More than 130 magazines are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Portuguese, with a new option to filter by language. Library cardholders can now also request a weekly email notification when new issues of favorite magazines are available to download. (more…)

Meet Monica Shin, Digital Projects Librarian

Posted on October 10th, 2014 by admin in General

Monica ShinAs a digital projects librarian, Monica identifies and links digital images to information that makes them more searchable in a digital setting, which supports the Access and Innovation principle of the Compass strategic plan that focuses on the library leading in digitization practices. She works to catalog the more than 95,000 images on the BPL’s Flickr site for all users to enjoy.

Do you have a favorite collection on Flickr?

We work with many collections, but I’d say my favorite is a collection by Leslie Jones, which has about 30,000 images. His sports photography from the 1930s and 1940s is amazing, and the collection itself is an archive of life as it was happening during that time period. He also gave many personal photos, which show his family on vacation, for example, and others that are beautifully created from a photography perspective.

What is the best part about working for the library?

I enjoy working with and digitizing older items from our collection that haven’t seen the light of day in a long time; whether they are in the stacks or parts of the library that the general public doesn’t get to see very often. We pull out things that our colleague curators find interesting and then get to expose them to the world, which is awesome. It helps cement the BPL presence as a research library and one that shares its treasures with everyone.

 How do you interact with library users interested in the Flickr collection?

Flickr users can leave comments on pages or email the library with questions or potential corrections to descriptions. Our team acts as the mediator between the library user and our curators, who look into the subject matter closely. We also encourage library users to make recommendations on collections for digitization. The best email to to use is digital@bpl.org.

How does technology and digital offerings enhance service to library users?

Researchers who are interested in certain collections may or may not have the chance to physically come to the library. We recently put up 3,000+ stereographs on Flickr, which could be of great use to someone researching the subject. Showing the digital images with good data really helps people understand the breadth our collections. And, it might persuade people to come in and visit. Having a digital presence is important because the library is so much more than just books; posters, architectural drawings, and manuscripts are just a few examples.