How We’re Reopening

Limited in-person services returning in June

Last updated Friday, June 11

All branch libraries not currently under reconstruction will open for in-person services on June 14. The Central Library in Copley Square will expand in-person services on June 14. All reopening plans follow the latest city and state public health guidance.

Central Library in Copley Square

Central Library Hours

Starting June 1st

Monday 10AM – 6PM
Tuesday 10AM – 6PM
Wednesday 10AM – 8PM
Thursday 10AM – 6PM
Friday 9AM – 5PM
Saturday 9AM – 5PM
Sunday Closed

Walk-up services

  • Browse select books in the building
  • Other materials can be retrieved by staff on request
  • Pick up holds
  • Check out books, CDs, and DVDs
  • Spend time in the courtyard
  • Renew your library card
  • Use public computers and print
  • Make photocopies

On June 14, all remaining public floors will be open for browsing, which includes:

  • The Children's Library
  • Teen Central
  • Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center
  • Book Delivery desk in the McKim building
  • The Sargent and Chavannes Galleries in the McKim building
  • The Abbey Room in the McKim building
  • Bates Hall (for reading, working, and studying)

All reference services will be available on the 2nd floor of the Boylston Street Building (previously called the Johnson Building). 

Some collections are still unavailable like Special Collections, and Archival Center materials.

Services by appointment

Research Collections

For use of in-library use only materials such as books and microfilm, please email or call 617.536.5400. We will set up a time for you to view materials. Appointments will not be necessary starting on June 14.

Some collections remain unavailable at this time, such as Special Collections and Archival Center materials.

Kirstein Appointments

Appointments are still required to book the InnoLAB and Bloomberg Terminal.


Book time in our InnoLAB. This is a space for audio, video and music production only.

  • 120-minute session maximum per day, 3 sessions per week
  • 1 patron allowed in space
  • Adults 18+ only with valid BPL Library Card
  • Face mask required
  • Leave time at the end of your session to pack up equipment and save your work

Book time on our Bloomberg terminal. This resource offers access to business, stock market, and financial news

  • Use of the Bloomberg terminal is restricted to Bloomberg research only
  • 90-minute session maximum per day, 3 sessions per week
  • 1 patron per session
  • Face mask required
Small Business Legal Consultations

Are you a small business or entrepreneur with a legal question? Kirstein has partnered with the Am50 global law firm, Goodwin, to offer virtual monthly small business legal consultations.

  • Booking Window: Second Thursday (5:00-7:00 pm EST) and Fourth Thursday (10:00-12:00 pm EST) of the month
  • Consultations are intended only for small businesses/entrepreneurs
  • Topics are limited to: Corporations and Other Entities, Commercial Lease, Contract Law, Debt/Loans
  • Intellectual Property Appointments (4th Thursday on the month session only)
  • Consultations are 20 minutes in duration
  • Zoom invite to be sent prior to appointment

Branch Libraries

After branch locations reopen, you will be able to pick up holds, check out books, spend time browsing, use printers, make photocopies, and enjoy limited time use of the library’s computers. Branch exterior spaces, including courtyards and reading gardens, will also be accessible. You will no longer need to make an appointment to pick up holds. You may simply collect your reserved items at the branch's front desk during new adjusted branch hours. Find adjusted individual branch hours.

BPL To Go is no longer operating. 

Safety Requirements

When you visit any library location, you will be required to wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times and abide by all staff instructions regarding safety.

You will not be allowed to eat or drink inside the libraries or to use meeting rooms during this initial reopening phase.

Children's Services

Large groups visiting our children’s spaces will be limited. Any camp, or other organization that wants to bring a group of children to visit the library must contact the library and speak with a librarian in advance. If a group of children arrive at the library without a previously arranged appointment, they will be asked to come back at a pre-arranged time. Groups will also be limited to 10 - 25 children maximum, depending on the size of the branch. For this reason it is imperative that you contact the branch before you visit.

While social distancing restrictions have been lifted, we are still requiring that all visitors over the age of 2 wear face coverings when they visit the library. This applies to adults and children alike. We will have adult-sized and child-sized masks available if someone breaks or forgets their own mask. In addition, eating and drinking will not be allowed in our buildings.

We will also not be running any in-person, indoor programming for any ages for the time being. We will continue to provide virtual programming, and we will be trying some outdoor programming where possible.

Future Services

We will be reopening additional services and spaces at the Central Library in the coming weeks, such as public meeting rooms, Art and Architecture Tours, and in-person programming, as staffing levels and staffing capacity return to normal.

Throughout the summer, programs for all ages will be available outdoors at many branch locations, from story times to ESL Conversation Circles.