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Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Mayor Walsh Celebrates Groundbreaking on Renovations to Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library

Posted on September 25th, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases

Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Boston Public Library and its Board of Trustees, the City of Boston’s Property and Construction Management Department, and the Jamaica Plain community, celebrated a groundbreaking for a major renovation project for the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library located at 12 Sedgwick Street. The renovations to the building, constructed in 1911, will provide more than a 20% increase in space for the community to read, browse the book collection, access computers, attend and host meetings, and participate in programming.

“Libraries are at the heart of every Boston neighborhood, and the Jamaica Plain community is passionate about their community,” said Mayor Walsh. “This investment in the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library will provide new opportunities for learning to children, teens, and adults, and serve as a meeting place for neighbors.”

“Investing in our neighborhood libraries, and expanding learning and opportunity to all corners of the City, is core to the Boston Public Library’s mission,” said John Hailer, Interim Chair of the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees. “Thank you to Mayor Walsh for making this commitment to the Jamaica Plain Branch, and I look forward to gathering here again for the ribbon cutting.”

“The JP community has been advocating for these renovations for many years. Thanks to a great collaboration between neighbors, City Hall, and the BPL, this project is moving forward, and the new features of the Jamaica Plain Branch will be truly reflective of the needs of this diverse community,” said David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library.

The $10 million renovation includes: a 700-square foot addition facing South Street that will serve as a community reading lounge; a terrace along Sedgwick street where residents can read and mingle; multiple meeting spaces; improved and more flexible space for children, teens and adults; and a refreshed collection of 30,000 books. Technology improvements include 15 new desktop and 20 laptop computers, free WiFi, additional self-checkout stations, and a creative suite of software in the new digital maker-space. Other features include an elevator for full ADA accessibility to all levels, new and more efficient mechanical systems, parking for over 20 bikes, and new exterior landscaping.

To determine priorities in the building redesign, the Boston Public Library, the City of Boston’s Property and Construction Management team, and Utile, Inc. Architecture & Planning, the design firm for the project, collaborated closely with the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library and the community at-large. The general contractor for the project is Colantonio, Inc.

The Jamaica Plain Branch of the BPL will be closed throughout the renovation and is anticipated to re-open in spring 2017. During the construction Jamaica Plain residents are encouraged to use the nearby Connolly Branch of the BPL located at 433 Centre St, and the Egleston Square Branch of the BPL, located at 2044 Columbus Avenue.

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit


Central Library Renovation Profiles: Angie Ortiz, Teen Central’s 2015 Summer Intern

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by BPL News in General

IMG_6614Angie Ortiz, 18, is a recent graduate of Boston Arts Academy. This summer she worked as Teen Central’s Boston Youth Fund Summer Intern. Here, she reflects on her experience.

What was your role at Teen Central?

As Teen Central’s BYF Summer Intern, I assisted with classes in the digital lab. I really liked to help with animation and iMovie programs and to show teens how to make storybooks for animation or trailers. It was cool for me to see them apply what they learned into something that they enjoyed making. I also assisted with shelving and pulling books, and I blogged about video games. I also helped with expanding our technology and media lounge. For instance, I had teens vote on what games they’d like to see added to our game collection.

IMG_05460How long have you been visiting Teen Central?

I’ve been coming to the Boston Public Library for a long time with my mom.* I’d hang out in the Teen Room before it was renovated. When I got a little older, I stopped coming, but when I heard about the renovations I had to come back to see what it was like. I thought Teen Central was so cool, and I wanted to work there. I was president and founder of my high school’s gamers club, and when I saw all the awesome resources in Teen Central’s Lounge, I brought the club there for our meetings. They really liked it, and a lot of the kids started hanging out in Teen Central on their own.

When you weren’t working, what did you like to do in Teen Central?

I liked to hang out in the Lounge, but I also liked to use the programs in the Lab. I used Photoshop to illustrate, paint, and animate GIFs. I met with friends here, and we played board games and card games. I also checked out books here.

How does this renovation benefit you and other teens?

It’s a friendly, expansive space that is welcoming to teenagers. It’s a safe space. The librarians are very helpful, and always have been. One of my favorite parts of the renovation is the addition of technology. That’s a big deal, as most occupations now require computer knowledge. There are still some teens who don’t know how to use computers, and a library is a great space for them to learn how to do that.

IMG_005536What are your plans now that you’ve graduated high school?

I’ll be attending Lesley University on a full scholarship to study animation in the fall. I want to go into game animation. There’s a huge gap of women in the video game industry, and I want to create more female protagonists and stronger representation for women in games.

What books would you recommend to other teens?

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan. It’s part of the Heroes of Olympus series, a sequel to the Percy Jackson novels that I read when I was young. The books are about a boy who doesn’t fit in at school but found a place where he belonged and was a hero. I was having a hard time at school, and the Percy Jackson books inspired me to go to Boston Arts Academy, where I founded the gamers club and made a lot of friends. The main characters are funny, regular teens, too.

*Angie’s mom is BPL Board of Trustees Vice Chair Evelyn Arana-Ortiz.

Comic Books, E-books Added to Boston Public Library’s Free Streaming Media Service

Posted on August 25th, 2015 by BPL News in General


Boston Public Library’s free streaming media service hoopla now offers 2,500 comic books for all ages and nearly 20,000 e-books, with new titles added weekly. Comic books from publishers such as DC Comics, Titan Comics, and IDW include Watchmen, Batgirl, Doctor Who, Peanuts, and My Little Pony. Users who download the latest version of the streaming media app can have full-page and panel-by-panel views for a digital reading experience that is as immersive as reading a physical comic book. E-book genres include cook books, history, health and fitness, gardening, graphic novels, fiction, and more.

The new comics and e-books join the movies, television shows, music, and audiobooks that have been available through the BPL’s streaming media service since March 2014. Boston Public Library card and eCard holders can access this digital content instantly from anywhere for streaming or temporary download for their smartphones, tablets, or computers. All titles are available 24 hours a day for simultaneous access with no waiting periods. Users can borrow up to 10 total items per calendar month. Records for all comics and e-books can be found in the library’s catalog, as well as through the app. E-books and comics have a 21-day checkout period.

To access the service, visit Library users can log in with their Boston Public Library card, create a hoopla reader account, and download an app for iOS and Android devices. They will also find information on the digital media service, along with “getting started” tips and check-out guides.


Libraries Are for Making: Teen Tech Week at the BPL

Posted on March 6th, 2015 by admin in General

Basic CMYKWorkshops for teens take place March 9-14

Boston teens are invited to check out a wealth of programs during the Young Adult Library Services Association’s nationally celebrated Teen Tech Week, which takes place March 9-14 with the theme “Libraries Are for Making.” Six neighborhood locations in the Boston Public Library system have events planned, including the Central Library and Grove Hall, Dudley, East Boston, Hyde Park, and Mattapan branches.  Offerings throughout the system range from coding and gaming workshops to learning about the BPL’s digital resources.

Download the flyer (two pages)

The Central Library’s Teen Central, which opened last month, features a digital lab complete with a 3D printer and more than a dozen software programs to enhance teen’s experiences with technology. A few highlights of BPL programs for Teen Tech Week  include the Central Library’s Digital Lab 3D Design workshop on Wednesday, March 11, at 3 p.m., at 700 Boylston Street and an Hour of Code with the Best Buy Geek Squad on Monday, March 9, at 4 p.m. at the Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.  View the complete schedule of events for Teen Tech Week via the BPL calendar.

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…)