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Posts Tagged ‘youth services’

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 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 Celebrates Teen Tech Week

Posted on February 29th, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases

teensPrograms take place at six locations throughout the system

Boston Public Library celebrates Teen Tech Week March 6-12, an annual national initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association. Six neighborhood locations in the Boston Public Library system, including the recently renovated Teen Central at the Central Library, have events planned with the theme “Create it at your library.” Through these programs, learning is extended beyond the classroom and teens have a space in which they can explore, create, and share content, and learn to be competent and ethical users of digital media.

“Teen Tech Week is a great opportunity for our young residents across the city to participate in free programs that will advance their skills in using modern technology,” said Mayor Walsh. “I encourage all of our teenage learners to participate in these programs that will help them expand their knowledge of digital media and technology, and gain a competitive advantage that will help them achieve their future goals.”

“Boston Public Library joins libraries across the nation in supporting the digital literacy needs of teens everywhere,” said Boston Public Library Interim President David Leonard. “Boston teens across the city have a variety of programs to choose from and can further their education and skill development in a safe learning environment.” (more…)

Boston Public Library Commemorates Phase One Anniversary of Central Library Renovation

Posted on February 23rd, 2016 by rlavery in Media Releases

Renovation photos1The Boston Public Library celebrates the first anniversary of Phase One of the Central Library Renovation this month. It opened its doors to the new second floor of the Johnson building at the Central Library in Copley Square in February 2015. In the past year, 1,290 programs were held at the new Children’s Library and Teen Central, and more than 1.5 million library users visited, checking out over 832,000 items. Phase Two of the $78 million Central Library Renovation is underway now, and is slated to open in summer 2016.

“This renewed space brings together people from across the City of Boston and around the world to explore, grow, and pursue their dreams,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The completion of the Central Library Renovation this summer will put the Boston Public Library and its staff at the forefront of modern library, public service.”

“The first phase of the renovation brought new life to this floor of the BPL’s Johnson building, serving patrons of all ages in new and dynamic ways,” said David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library. “The completion this summer will bring us full circle as we transform services, spaces and programs, again making Boston’s Central Library the place to pursue educational opportunities for generations to come.” (more…)

A Tuesday in the Children’s Library

Posted on October 19th, 2015 by awilliams in General

No two days of the week are alike at the Central Library in Copley Square’s new Children’s Library. With an early literacy area ToddleTown, a StoryScape space for reading and imaginative play, an area just for tweens, and a wide range of offered programs, kids of all ages and interests are sure to find an activity to enjoy at the Children’s Library.

IMG_7430Tuesdays in the Children’s Library begin with Tinker Tots at 10:30 a.m. The program is aimed at young children and explores a STEM concept through stories and activities. The theme for the October 6 Tinker Tots is “fall.” Toddlers and their caregivers gather in the StoryScape area, where Children’s Librarian Laura Koenig reads autumn-themed picture books and leads the group in interactive seasonal songs. Participants then move to the sunny and spacious Margret and H. A. Rey Program Room to explore various fall-focused exploration stations, including a leaf-print craft, a sensory box of nature items including acorns and pine cones, and a table with magnifying glasses for examining leaves.

IMG_7433Next on the schedule is LEGO Club in the Rey Program Room at 3:30 p.m. LEGOs of all shapes, sizes, and colors are on hand to encourage young children supervised by caregivers to build, create, and interact with one another. One young girl shows Early Literacy Librarian Theresa Furbish the flying machine she made, and a little boy works on building a boat. DUPLO bricks are also available for the youngest participants.

At 5 p.m., Children’s Librarian Maggie Levine leads Tween Tuesdays, a club in which tweens (kids ages 9-13) work on projects using the technology available in Teen Central’s digital lab and participate in art- and writing-focused activities, among others. On this Tuesday, the kids continue work on a commercial promoting all the benefits of the Boston Public Library. They review the previous week’s footage and then pick which scenes they still need to shoot. They will eventually use software in Teen Central’s Lab to edit the footage together to create the final product. Club member David, age 10, says that his favorite thing about Tween Tuesdays is “doing all the cool stuff with technology.”

“With such a wide variety of programs and visitors, every day in the Children’s Library is a new adventure. The staff here loves helping children and caregivers IMG_05460explore this exciting space, choose their next great read, and enjoy our many programs. This is a special place, and it’s an honor to share it with children from Boston and beyond,” says Laura Koenig, Team Leader of Central Library Children’s Services.

In August, over 3,900 children attended programs in the Children’s Library, including story times, arts and crafts, music events, and book-themed parties. In between programs, the Children’s Library buzzes with children exploring the early literacy area’s interactive sensory wall featuring visual, auditory, and tactile panels; reading and playing in the StoryScape space; using the computers in the tween area; and browsing books, audiobooks, and DVDs to check out and take home.

For Children’s Library hours, visit, and find the full schedule of programs via

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

Posted on August 26th, 2015 by awilliams 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.