The renovated Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library reopened on Saturday, May 20, 2017. The $10 million renovation of the Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library revitalizes the branch services and spaces, including a 20% increase in space for the community to read, browse the book collection, access computers, attend and host meetings, and participate in programming.
DISTINCTIVE ASPECTS OF THE COLLECTION
The branch holds a large collection of local history books, local poets' works, mysteries, cookbooks, graphic novels, Teen materials, travel guides, classic American and foreign DVDs, and children’s picture and chapter books. The children’s room has a collection called “Picture Peace,” which contains books on peace, respect, and creative conflict resolution. The branch also houses a collection of adult and children’s Spanish language materials.
RECURRING PROGRAMMING OFFERED
The JP Branch offers a variety of programs for children of all ages including baby, toddler and preschool story times, an afternoon Kids' Club for elementary students featuring books and crafts, homeschool and children's book discussion groups, creative library drama, and technology and STEM programs. A summer reading program is offered which includes regularly scheduled programs and Thursday evening programming featuring magicians, musicians, puppeteers, and more.
Programs for adults include frequent art exhibits, musical performances, author talks, topical lectures and workshops, a Social Justice Book Discussion Group, and technology programs, including classes about using the branch's Maker Space software and 3D printer. Each year the Friends of the JP Branch sponsor a fundraising concert of Irish music and other fun community programs.
The Jamaica Plain Branch began in June, 1876, as a small Reading Room in Curtis Hall, with books supplied by the Roxbury Branch of the BPL. In September, 1877, it expanded and became the first BPL branch to purchase books from public funds. After a fire in 1908, the present building was constructed. The architecturally distinctive building features large schoolhouse windows and two fireplaces. It opened on July 24, 1911. An addition was built in 1936 and the interior was remodeled in 1963.