Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Children’s Library: Johnson Building Improvement Project

by Gina Perille

The Johnson Building Improvement Project got its start from discussions of how to improve library services for the Central Library’s youngest visitors, so it is fitting that the first phase of the project will begin with the design and construction of a new children’s library. At the beginning of the master planning process, we shared this description of what a successful children’s library would include. And below, we have highlights of the key ingredients along with a diagram that demonstrates what could fit in the available space. The new children’s library has not been designed yet. It is envisioned that the children’s library will move to the second floor of the Johnson Building with its own entrance and restrooms.

Children’s Library

  • Family-friendly destination
  • Interactive learning environment
  • Age-appropriate zones, infants thru tweens

The first image below shows the location of the new children’s library (highlighted in blue) on the second floor of the Johnson Building. The second image shows some concepts for major design elements that the design team assembled through research and discussion. Your responses and suggestions are welcome. Please feel free to comment directly on this blog, send an email to, or send a letter to Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116.


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