Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Category Archives: Technology

Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center

Posted on April 23rd, 2015 by Michael Colford in Library Services, Major Projects, Technology

Plans are being finalized to revitalize and expand the purpose of the popular Kirstein Business Library and create an exciting and dynamic Business Library & Innovation Center. Teens have flocked to the Teen Central Digital Maker Lab on the renovated second floor of the Johnson Building. The logical question that has followed is where can adults make use of 3D printers and high level software? The renovation originally called for a similar Digital Maker Space on the renovated Mezzanine level adjacent to the Community Learning Center. Instead, the BPL is following the lead of some innovative urban libraries in Pikes Peak and Chattanooga to combine their Business Research services with production and design spaces. This new renovation will incorporate these offerings with our Kirstein Business Library to create a collaborative, innovative space to serve jobseekers and entrepreneurs alike.

The purpose of the revitalized Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center (KBLIC) is to provide an innovation-focused space for job-seekers, small business and start-ups, entrepreneurs and budding professionals; equipped with cutting-edge creation and production technology (hardware and software), as well as print and electronic resources in business research and career services, supported by a rich diversity of expertise and programs. Through strategic partnerships, the innovation center will serve as a public laboratory, an informal networking space and an educational facility with a focus on information, entrepreneurship, design, technology and creation. Equipment, expertise, programs. classes, events, conferences and meetings will be among the resources available to visitors. Program and educational development will emerge from library staff, community partners, and library users themselves. Moving beyond simply the consumption of information, the KBLIC will support the conception, production, connection, and sharing of knowledge and ideas by offering access to tools, instruction and community.

The KBLIC and the Rabb Lobby together will serve as a dynamic co-working and networking space with a coffee bar and a variety of seating options from workbars and cafe tables, to study tables and lounge seating. Frequent demonstrations, or “Maker Breaks” will stimulate creativity and learning in a casual setting.

It’s “Teen Tech Week” – check out these programs

Posted on March 9th, 2015 by Christine Schonhart in Library Services, Technology
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shutterstock_127444130-copy-300x300Boston teens are invited to check out a wealth of programs during the Young Adult Library Services Association’s nationally celebrated Teen Tech Week, which takes place March 9-14 with the theme “Libraries Are for Making.” Six neighborhood locations in the Boston Public Library system have events planned, including the Central Library and Grove Hall, Dudley, East Boston, Hyde Park, and Mattapan branches.  Offerings throughout the system range from coding and gaming workshops to learning about the BPL’s digital resources.

Download the flyer (two pages)

The Central Library’s Teen Central, which opened last month,features a digital lab complete with a 3D printer and more than a dozen software programs to enhance teen’s experiences with technology. A few highlights of BPL programs for Teen Tech Week  include the Central Library’s Digital Lab 3D Design workshop on Wednesday, March 11, at 3 p.m., at 700 Boylston Street and an Hour of Code with the Best Buy Geek Squad on Monday, March 9, at 4 p.m. at the Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.  View the complete schedule of events for Teen Tech Week via the BPL calendar.

Central Library Renovation: Phase 2 Components

Posted on August 4th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Central Library Renovation, Collections, Library Services, Major Projects, Technology
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The second phase of the Central Library renovation begins in earnest this fall and includes the first floor, mezzanine, lower level, and exterior of the Johnson building. It’s important to note that Phase 2 will start before all elements of Phase 1 are complete. Here’s a quick summary of the Phase 2 spaces that are slated to be renovated, built as new, and otherwise improved:

  • First floor: new books section; lobby and welcome area; an enterprise or retail space; the fiction collection with stacks and seating areas; borrower services; movies and music; and Tech Central. The first floor will also include an exhibition gallery, various installations of BPL art, interactive digital displays, and new restrooms.
  • Mezzanine: world languages and areas for group work such as conversation circles, a new public instruction classroom, and meeting room.
  • Lower level: updated Rabb Lecture Hall and supporting AV and green room, the lobby outside of Rabb, a new digital innovation space, and updated restrooms. Also under discussion is a review of the refurbishment of the Kirstein Business Library.
  • Exterior: a new entrance vestibule and window system, paving and landscaping upgrades, signage and lighting improvements, and outdoor furniture and bike racks.

Less visible to the public are a range of infrastructure improvements to plumbing, piping, electrical and data systems,; heating and cooling and air distribution;  and fire suppression and control systems. In addition, there are notable “back of house” changes planned for the first floor: the loading dock and shipping room, freight elevator improvements, the borrower services workroom, and some minor updates to basement-level spaces.

A rendering of what the library might look like from the vantage point of Boylston and Exeter Streets. As always, all elements are subject to change

A rendering of what the library might look like from the vantage point of Boylston and Exeter Streets. As always, all elements are subject to change.


A rendering of what the new books area on the first floor of the Johnson Building might look like. Boylston Street is to the right and Exeter Street far ahead (for purposes of orientation).

Central Library Renovation: Phase 1 Renderings

Posted on July 18th, 2014 by David Leonard in Central Library Renovation, Collections, Library Services, Major Projects, Technology
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Even as construction of Phase 1 is well underway in Copley Square, the designs for each of the components in Phase 1 are still receiving final touches. The second floor of the Johnson building improvements include:

  • Children’s Library, with four specialized areas: early literacy, story time, tweens, and a program room.
  • Teen Central with a digital lab, lounge for gaming and films, and quiet study area.
  • Nonfiction collection with integrated displays of the library’s art, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and more.
  • Reference point.
  • Public restrooms.
  • Community reading area.

In conjunction with the Phase 1 areas listed above, the following improvements will also be completed in time for the reopening of the second floor, scheduled for early 2015:

  • Replacement of the second floor windows and curtain wall systems.
  • Upgrades to the railing in Deferrari Hall from the first floor stairs to the second floor balcony; an improvement required by new building codes.

Pictured below (starting at the top, left and moving clockwise) are renderings of the entrance to the Children’s Library, the main reference point on the second floor, the entrance to Teen Central, and a view into the community reading area.


Central Library Renovation: Moves

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by Gina Perille in Central Library Renovation, Major Projects, Technology
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The Central Library’s public computing area, Tech Central, is now located in the Washington Room, which is on the second floor of the McKim building. Thank you to all the library users who adapted to the new space so quickly.

A view into the Washington Room, the new location for Tech Central.

A view into the Washington Room, the new location for Tech Central.

To find Tech Central: if you enter on Dartmouth Street, take the stairs or the elevator to the second floor and follow the signs to the Washington Room. If you enter on Boylston Street, turn left after passing through the lobby, cross over to the McKim building, and then take the West Elevator up to the second floor. View the library’s current building directory (which will be updated later this summer).