Posted on April 17th, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags: Jamaica Plain
On April 9th, the Library, architects from Utile, Inc, and project managers from the City’s Property and Construction Management team joined over 50 community members in Jamaica Plain to begin discussions on the design for a renovated Jamaica Plain branch of the Boston Public Library. Located at 12 Sedgwick Street, the branch opened in 1911 and the last major interior renovation was in 1963. In 2013 a program study was completed with the goals of renovation to include accessibility, expanded spaces for all ages, art gallery space, and a rejuvenated multi-purpose room. The next meeting of the community group will be on May 21st at the Jamaica Plain branch at 6pm. Join the conversation in person or online. All meeting minutes and presentations will be posted here: http://www.bpl.org/branches/branch_capital_projects.htm#jamaicaplain_library
Posted on March 18th, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Major Projects
The first section of signage installed over the front doors of the Dudley Branch.
Work on improvements to the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library continue this week with the installation of the marquee signage on the building.
While this work is on-going, patrons may be asked to use a side entrance to get into the building. We thank you for your patience with this.
Also included in this project: new paint in the lobby, security cameras, improved lighting on the interior and exterior, and landscaping.
Posted on March 10th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Branches, Johnson Building Study, Library Services, Major Projects
Tags: Back Bay, Copley Square, East Boston
A pair of Boston Public Library’s major projects have been in the news recently. The Boston Globe architecture critic Robert Campbell wrote a review of the new East Boston Branch. In his review, Mr. Campbell wrote:
“This is the best small contemporary library I’ve seen anywhere.”
“Architecture always embodies a message. Here in East Boston, the message is a metaphor. The library floor is like a piece of land shared by many kinds of people under a soft bright sky. It embodies the truth, or maybe the hope, that with all our many differences we can be one community.”
The New York Times New England Bureau chief Katharine Q. Seelye wrote a feature article about the Central Library renovation.The sub-heading of Ms. Seelye’s article is “Boston and other cities turn sanctuary of the past into an information center of the future.” In the article, Ms. Seelye wrote:
“With a major renovation underway, this Copley Square institution is breaking out of its granite shell to show an airier, more welcoming side to the passing multitudes.”
Posted on February 24th, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Collections, Library Services
Tags: East Boston
The new East Boston Branch opened on November 2, 2013, and the first two months of service saw over 23,000 visitors. People of all ages and from all walks of life have come to the branch to read, use the computers, attend a story time, get a free museum pass, and to marvel at the beauty of this new neighborhood landmark. Computer use by all ages has certainly been popular as have the variety of programs for all ages. The collection has grown by the thousands since opening day. Each month new books, DVDs and CDs are added and it’s evident that the collection is responsive to community interests by the following facts:
- On average, 34% of the collection is in circulation at any time – this is the highest in entire system, even higher than the Central Library
- In November 2013 alone, the number of books, movies and CDs borrowed was 28% more than the November 2012 circulation of the former East Boston and Orient Heights branches combined
- Over 20% of books are checked out at the self-check kiosks
- Juvenile DVDs are in highest demand with 59% of that collection in use, on average
- Juvenile easy books and early chapter books follow in highest demand at 57% in use
- 41% of the children’s picture book collection is in use at any given time.
William Rawn, Architects, the City of Boston and the Library are finishing up some small ‘punch list’ items including installing lights on study tables, addressing some air vent noise in the quiet room, and installing additional signage. Community support and dialogue about the new branch has been strong. The East Boston Times ran several articles about the $25,000 Massport programming donation, the Friends fundraising efforts for the Frederick Leonard King paintings, and profiles of users of the branch. In the coming months, the Library will be highlighting additional user profiles and their stories as well as promoting the various programs for kids, teens and adults. The Friends have also begun conservation efforts on the first of the Frederick Leonard King paintings and we look forward to seeing it back in the branch when fully restored.
Branch Librarian, Margaret Kelly reports that overwhelmingly, the community has shown great support of the library. The staff sees about 50-60 children and teens from the local schools each day; patrons report loving the book drop as it offers them an opportunity to return books off-hours that they didn’t have before; and the teens are especially excited about the new PS4 video game system that is coming to the branch soon. The first 100 days were filled with greeting old friends and making new ones, teaching classes and preparing story time, learning new systems and procedures, getting to know new staff members, and figuring out all the ins and outs of a new building. The increased demand for services has been an adjustment as well, but one that the staff has fully embraced.
First 100-day quotables:
- Jill on Facebook said: “I can not wait to visit our new and improved East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library!”
- Branch patron said “When I come here, I feel like this is what it must be like to work at Google.”
- Teens lounging in the Teen Room said “We love it here, we didn’t go to the old branch because there wasn’t a good spot for us, we like this one.”
- A Yelp user reviewed: “My third time here since I moved to Boston. I finally got my Boston library card. And I’m sooooo excited.”
- From this blog: “Thank you for this beautiful library. I am so proud that East Boston residents have this wonderful resource.”
Posted on January 14th, 2014 by Christine Schonhart in Branches, Library Services
Tags: Children and Teens, Hyde Park
Thanks to a generous donation from the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, the small homework room in the children’s library at the Hyde Park branch will receive a much needed facelift and be dedicated to Thomas M. Menino.
The room, located just off the main children’s room, is currently used by homework mentors, ESL groups, a tween book club and as a small study room. The space will be designed with this need for flexibility in mind with new furniture, paint, flooring, writable wall spaces, storage, and fun graphics on the walls. This will be a fitting tribute to a Mayor who was so dedicated to children and learning, and is a great fit with the Library’s mission of the advancement of learning.
The project is expected to be complete in spring 2014.