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Central Library Renovation Profiles: Daniel and Dana van Ee, Children’s Library Users

Posted on May 15th, 2015 by Anna Williams in General

Daniel and DanaFour-year-old Daniel and his mother Dana, originally from Liberia and now living in the Back Bay, are frequent visitors to the renovated Children’s Library.

What do you like about the Children’s Library? 

Dana: I love everything about it, from the natural light to the colors to the layout and design of the different areas. I like that we can move from playing with puppets to using computers to activities in the program room. There are separate areas for each age group, but the children are not restricted to those areas; I see older children in ToddleTown using the sensory wall to teach the younger ones about magnets or sounds, which is part of the learning process. I also appreciate how all the book shelves are at the kids’ eye-level. This is a magnificent example of what a children’s library can and should be.

Daniel: I like the puppets and the dress up clothes. My favorite puppets are the police officer and the doctor. I like to play builder with the construction outfit. I like how Miss Maggie and Miss Maija and Miss Laura and Miss May talk to us. And I like the computers here. I play soccer and Humpty Dumpty games on the computer. And I do puzzles and play with Mr. Bones on the computer who teaches you about inside your body.

What activities and programs do you like to attend in the Children’s Library?

Dana: We come to the Children’s Library about three times a week. All the librarians put such time and care into fine-tuning beautiful programs for children. We recently attended a wonderful presentation about Georgia O’Keeffe, where afterwards the children made 3D flowers and plants with craft materials. The Museum of Science also visited with a great program about the science behind magic tricks.

Daniel: I like coloring and painting. I made a colorful mask and do many projects. I like to make airplanes and cars with Legos. Sometimes I play with other kids and sometimes I play alone. I met my friend Gwyneth here. The Museum of Science showed us how to make a water balloon pop, and the water popped everywhere. I love the library. The library is awesome!

How does this renovation benefit children?

Dana: The Children’s Library is very welcoming. The open layout of the room means that caregivers and parents can watch their children but give them freedom to roam and explore. I find that many people of different backgrounds and from different Boston neighborhoods all frequent the Children’s Library. It’s a place where children of Boston and the world can learn and grow.

What are your favorite things to borrow from the library?

Dana: We love to check out books and audiobooks. We read together every night. Listening to audiobooks is something we can do together or Daniel can do independently.

What books would you recommend to other kids?

Daniel: The Velveteen Rabbit; We’re Going on a Bear Hunt; Guess How Much I Love You.

Dana: I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! by Dr. Seuss is a great life lesson book, and Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria by Kyra E. Hicks is a true story about Liberia, England, and perseverance.

Central Library Renovation Profiles: Laura Koenig, Team Leader, Central Library Children’s Services

Posted on April 30th, 2015 by Anna Williams in General

Laura talks about the work that went into the creation of the new Children’s Library.

What is your role in the Central Library Renovation?Laura Koenig

I was a member of the library team that coordinated with the architects on the design of the Children’s Library and Teen Central. I gathered feedback from children, teenagers, and families on what they would like to see in the space and brought those ideas to the design team. I also got to have a hand in all the design elements in the Children’s Library and Teen Central. I took a lead role in the creation of the sensory wall in the early literacy area ToddleTown, which serves not only babies and toddlers but also children on the autism spectrum. I spoke to people who work with children on the autism spectrum and combined that with my own knowledge of early literacy and brain development in young children to make suggestions about how the area could meet the needs of both communities.

What was one of your goals with the Johnson Level 2 Renovation?

My main goal was to create a first-class space for Boston’s children and teens. I also wanted the Children’s Library to benefit kids in all stages of development. There is a huge difference between how a two-year-old and a ten-year-old use a library, and during the design process, we put a lot of thought into how the Children’s Library could serve each age group. The early literacy area ToddleTown provides children ages three and under with a safe space to explore and move; the StoryScape area is for older children to engage in imaginative play with books, toys, costumes, and props; and the tween space gives tweens a place to hang out away from the younger kids, and it’s also where afterschool homework help takes place.

What is your favorite thing about the Johnson Level 2 renovation?

I love the Children’s Library as a whole; my very favorite part is ToddleTown, the early literacy area. It reflects our research into early brain development, and I like that it also addresses some of the needs of children on the autism spectrum. The Public Gardens-themed graphics with details from Make Way for Ducklings are charming, and it is home to one of our three lion cubs. The best part is that it has gotten very heavy use and is beloved by children and parents.

What are you most looking forward to about the next phase of the renovation?

I am excited about the new books and media area that will greet visitors when they enter the Johnson building. I also think the digital labs for adults will be a great addition. The digital lab in Teen Central has gotten a great response, and the next phase of the renovation will make that technology available for everyone.

Naming of Children’s Library Lion Cubs

Posted on April 23rd, 2015 by admin in General

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The Central Library’s Children’s Library lion cubs are nameless no more. Earlier this week, a ceremony was held to name the cubs and honor the children who won the naming contest. Seven children submitted the three winning names: Leon, Cubby, and Dandelion. The winners met Boston Public Library president Amy Ryan and received a prize packet. Below are some of their inspirations for the names:

Eve: “I named you Cubby because you rhyme with chubby. And you’re a little chubby.”

Maddie: “I named you Cubby because you are a very cute lion cub.”

Maia on Dandelion’s name: “I picked you because you look yellow.”

Lucia: “I chose Leon because it’s a special name and not that many lions have that name.”

Visit www.bpl.org/kids to find out more about Boston Public Library events and programs for children.

Renovated Second Floor Media Coverage

Posted on April 8th, 2015 by admin in General

Enjoy the clips and stories below about the Central Library Renovation and the corresponding opening of the new second floor:

• The Bay State Banner: baystatebanner.com/news/2015/feb/25/bpl-opens-new-teen-childrens-spaces/
Boston.com: www.boston.com/entertainment/books/2015/03/02/children-library-bpl-expands-along-with-children-publishing/uayE9fyuhBEoMbiSwMWyOK/story.html
Boston.com: www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2015/03/03/look-inside-the-bpl-renovated-children-library/w7OO9qvaoT4OYtAkVLD09H/story.html
Boston Business Journal: www.bizjournals.com/boston/real_estate/2015/02/take-a-tour-inside-the-boston-public-library.html
Boston Magazine: www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2015/02/23/boston-public-library-renovation-photos/
Boston Neighborhood Network News: vimeo.com/120410181
BostonZest: www.bostonzest.com/2015/02/colorful-bright-new-community-workspace-at-the-boston-public-library.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feedutm_campaign=Feed%3A+Bostonzest+%28BostonZest%2
BU TV: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLg4GsZySOs
Don’t Mind the Mess blog: dontmindthemess.com/2015/03/childrens-room-boston-public-library/
The Huntington News: huntnewsnu.com/2015/03/overhaul-modernizes-central-bpl/
Suffolk Journal: suffolkjournal.net/2015/02/boston-public-library-reveals-new-wing-for-young-readers/
• WBUR: artery.wbur.org/2015/02/21/boston-library-renovation
• WHDH: www.whdh.com/story/28168899/newly-renovated-bpl-central-library-unveiled

 Renovation photos

 

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.