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Posts Tagged ‘#KeepReading’

Karin Tanabe Discusses “The Gilded Years” at BPL

Posted on September 16th, 2016 by rlavery in General

img_1869The Gilded Years author Karin Tanabe visited the Central Library on Thursday, September 15 to discuss her historical fiction work, which tells the story of Anita Hemmings, the first black woman to attend and graduate Vassar College by passing as a white woman in the late 1890s. Anita has local ties – she grew up in Roxbury and worked at the Boston Public Library as a cataloguer, and likely met her husband at the BPL. Tanabe is a Vassar alumna and first got the idea for the book in 2014, when she flipped through her alumni magazine and saw mention of Anita. She began researching the woman and quickly found that not too much information could be found, but the subject of her next book was quickly brewing in her head.

Tanabe and some of her friends visited Vassar to search through their archives to find correspondence and details about Anita Hemmings. She was active in school, a member of the debate club and choir, and a very intelligent woman. Though no “majors” existed at Vassar at the time, Anita focused on languages and wanted to be a teacher. The year after she graduated, her college roommate of two years leaked the news that she was an African-American woman after her suspicions were raised in their senior year. After college, Anita married and lived with her husband in Tennessee before relocated to New York City. Anita did not pursue a teaching career after marrying and having children.

A question and answer period followed the reading of a passage. Audience members were curious to know if Anita was related to Peter or Sally Hemmings (maybe), and if Tanabe had communicated with any of Anita’s ancestors; Tanabe has been in touch with Anita’s great granddaughter. Listeners also asked if Anita was involved in civil rights issues, and Tanabe said she was not, to her knowledge, but Anita had a best friend who went to Wellesley College who was. One of the most challenging aspects of writing this book, Tanabe said, was tracking down the name of Anita’s roommate; she wrote most of the book without knowing. Tanabe also discussed how the book has relevance today, as racial tensions and acceptance of others is still an issue more than 100 years later.

Tanabe concluded the talk by signing books and showing photographs of Anita and others related to The Gilded Years.

The next Author Talk is Tuesday, September 20, at 6 p.m. in Rabb Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square, featuring Stacy Schiff, author of The Witches: Salem, 1692.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Public Library Celebrate Central Library Renovation Opening Today

Posted on July 9th, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases
Click for full size (4071 × 2214)

Click image for full size (4071 × 2214)

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston Public Library celebrated the grand reopening of the Central Library Renovation today with a 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting. The grand reopening marks the completion of the second and final phase of the renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, which has been managed by the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department. This second phase of work includes updates to the lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and the building exterior of the Johnson building, which opened in 1972. The Central Library Renovation puts the Boston Public Library on the cutting edge of library services – reshaping and redefining the patron experience at a 21st century urban public library.

“The reopening of the Central Library’s Johnson building represents the investments we make in the future of all Boston residents, as our libraries are critical resources where residents gather to exchange and seek knowledge and information,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m grateful to all who contributed to the success of this project, and I look forward to Boston’s residents and visitors enjoying the library’s enhancements.”

Highlights of the second phase of the renovation include removal of the granite plinths that covered the Johnson building windows – reconnecting the building to the street; a revamped lecture hall for author talks and programming, a new innovation center, new Mac and Windows computers for the public computing area, a hi-tech community learning center, an enlarged Fiction section and new ways of book browsing, digital stacks to explore the BPL’s digitized collections, a state-of-the art Welcome Center, a digital imaging suite, and major landscape components along Boylston Street, including a civic table and new trees. The enterprise retail space at the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets will feature The Newsfeed Café, opening mid-summer and operated by The Catered Affair, and a WGBH News satellite bureau and studio. Patrons will move seamlessly between the enterprise retail space and the Library. (more…)

Boston Public Library’s Summer Reading Program for All Ages Begins

Posted on June 27th, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases

readBoston Public Library’s annual free summer reading program (www.bpl.org/summer) begins this month, offering educational experiences for youth and adults throughout the City of Boston through August.

“We are very happy to see our summer reading program also expand to adults this year, offering everyone an opportunity to exercise their minds through reading regardless of age,” said Boston Public Library President David Leonard. “We are as always grateful to our sponsors for their commitment to our library users.”

“Summer reading offers a variety of programs and reading opportunities, giving youth a safe and fun environment in which to learn, explore, and grow during out of school time,” said Farouqua Abuzeit, Manager of Youth Services.

The children’s theme this year is “On Your Mark, Get Set…Read!” All locations throughout the system will receive visits from the Museum of Science, Historic New England, New England Aquarium, and the ReadBoston Storymobile, in addition to story times, crafts, and additional programming at locations. (more…)

Read Your Way to Fenway Summer Essay Contest Begins at Boston Public Library

Posted on June 1st, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases

rywtfYouth ages 5-17 are eligible to win tickets to a Red Sox game

Boston Public Library’s annual Read Your Way to Fenway summer essay contest begins today for young people in Boston ages 5 through 17. Readers may download an application via www.bpl.org/summer or pick up an application at any Boston Public Library location. Children and teens are encouraged to read a minimum of three books and write an essay about their favorite for the chance to watch the Red Sox play at Fenway Park on Sunday, August 28.

“Summer is a key time for our young people to pursue their reading interests – to stimulate imagination and creativity, to work on hitting grade-level reading standards, or just for fun,” said David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library. “We are extremely grateful to our sponsors for their support – Read Your Way to Fenway is a key program among our summer learning offerings, and combines themes of reading and sports in a uniquely Boston way.”

“The essay contest is a prime opportunity for youth to be active readers and writers this summer and to experience the fun of America’s favorite pastime in historic Fenway Park,” said Farouqua Abuzeit, Boston Public Library’s Youth Services Manager. (more…)

Boston Public Library June Literary Events at Locations Across the City

Posted on May 24th, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases

Downloads3Boston Public Library offers a wealth of author talks and book sales throughout the month of June; visit www.bpl.org/calendar for a complete list.

  • The Brighton Branch, located at 40 Academy Hill Road, holds a book sale on Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • The Central Library, located at 700 Boylston Street, hosts a book sale in the McKim building’s Cushman Room on Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator E.B. Lewis speaks to children about how picture books are created on Tuesday, June 7, at 4 p.m. at the Faneuil Branch, located at 419 Faneuil Street in Brighton.
  • The Parker Hill Branch hosts a book sale on Thursday, June 9, from 4-7:30 p.m. at 1497 Tremont Street in Roxbury.
  • Anthony M. Sammarco gives a slide show presentation and talk about his book Lost Boston, which details Boston’s fascinating lost architectural heritage on Thursday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lower Mills Branch, located at 27 Richmond Street in Dorchester.
  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor offers profound insights in her in-depth look at the political landscape that gave birth to Black Lives Matter, discussing From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation on Saturday, June 11, at 12 p.m. and on Saturday, June 25, at 12 p.m. at the Dudley Branch, located at 65 Warren Street.
  • Local author Myra Love speaks about her new book, My Life as a Poet: Minerva’s Story, which details Minerva’s senior year in high school, in which she resists others’ efforts to define her, even when illness and violence intrude. Monday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Connolly Branch, located at 433 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain.
  • Join biologist Nathan H. Lents for a discussion of his book Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animals; through a mix of colorful reporting and rigorous scientific research, Lents describes the exciting strides scientists have made in decoding animal behavior. Thursday, June 16, at 6 p.m. at the East Boston Branch, located at 365 Bremen Street.
  • Local author Kenneth Turino speaks about his book Haymarket, as the Boston market district has changed dramatically but continues to serve a constant stream of students and tourists, longtime residents, and newly arrived immigrant families. Thursday, June 16, at 6:30 p.m. at the West End Branch, located at 151 Cambridge Street.
  • Stop by the South End Branch, located at 685 Tremont Street, for a book sale on Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • The South Boston Branch, located at 646 East Broadway, holds a book sale on Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Jenna Blum reads from her book Those Who Save Us, which combines a love story and mother-daughter drama on Tuesday, June 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the South End Branch, located at 685 Tremont Street.
  • Bob Backlund, WWE Hall of Fame member, discusses his book Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion on Thursday, June 30, at 6 p.m. at the West End Branch, located at 151 Cambridge Street.

(more…)