Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Profiles – Uma Murthy, Branch Librarian

by Gina Perille

When Uma Murthy first came to the U.S. from India, she wanted a place where she could go and feel part of the community. She found it at her local branch of the Boston Public Library. Now, as a Boston Public Library branch librarian, she is delighted to offer that same sense of belonging to others in her neighborhood.

The branch at which Uma serves is the Brighton Branch, which is housed in a building that was recently extensively renovated according to U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Commercial Interiors guidelines. “People come to see it and ask how we’re saving money,” Uma reports. More than that, the building design invites the community in. “It has big double doors and very good lighting,” she says. “It’s very welcoming.”

The branch’s programs and resources also draw people in—from books and technology resources to active children’s and adults’ programming, including book clubs, English as a Second Language classes, support groups, and more, depending on the current needs of the community.

The branch’s two librarians also often reach beyond the building walls to drop off pamphlets at local colleges, restaurants, and the YMCA. “We want to let our friends and neighbors know we’re here,” says Uma.