Statement from the Boston Public Library: Technical Outage

Thursday, 9/2 Update:

ECard registration functions have now been restored. Patrons may now use the form at to register or renew eCard accounts. 

  • eCard registrations attempted between August 23-25 need to be re-registered. If you attempted to register for a new eCard or to renew your existing eCard between Monday, August 23, and Wednesday, September 1st the transaction must be resubmitted. Please fill out the eCard form again at
  • For new eCards registered around the attack timeline, you'll receive a different eCard number. We will be in touch with you directly, but please contact with any questions. 

Wednesday, 9/1 Update:

As the Boston Public Library continues recovery from the August 25th cyberattack that affected many of our systems, we are pleased to share that we have completed restoring key essential business functions, and will be returning additional patron-facing services today.

As of Wednesday, September 1, Boston Public Library patrons will once again be able to: 

In-person technology services are returning, including:

  • Public computers are being restored to service throughout the library system. Please call ahead to your preferred location to confirm the availability of public computers.
  • Catalog computers at all locations are online 
  • Public WiFi at all locations has been restored 
  • Public printing at all locations is back online 
  • Self-checkout stations are now online at all locations 

OverDrive/Libby holds were mainly frozen during this outage:  

We are currently working to release holds, which were frozen during the outage. Most users should find their OverDrive/Libby holds still in place, and OverDrive hold notifications are now being sent out.  

However, If patrons discover that they have missed a window to check out a hold on OverDrive/Libby, they can contact with the following details: 

  • The title they placed on hold 
  • Their library card number  
  • The email address at which they were notified that the hold was ready 
  • The notice they received from OverDrive, if possible 

As always, users can request help with any other issues at 

For transactions that took place between the evening of Monday, August 23rd through the end of the day on Tuesday, August 24th: 

As our systems have come back on line, we were not able to recover some data from approximately the evening of Monday, August 23rd at 9pm through the end of the day on Tuesday, August 24th.  This means that:  

  • Patrons who had physical library cards issued to them on August 24 will need to bring those cards in so they can be reactivated.   
  • Any patron who updated their account between Monday 8/23 at 9PM and Wednesday 4AM will need to log back on and re-enter those changes.

Patrons who returned or checked out physical items during the outage may not see the items reflected on their account immediately. We appreciate your patience as we work to update transactions in our online system that were recorded by hand over the past few days. 

We are continuing to work on restoring eCard registration and services. More information will be coming shortly, specifically for patrons who registered for eCards between August 23-25, or those who are looking to register a new eCard. 

As always, we are grateful for the patience and support of our patrons. We look forward to returning to safe, secure, and complete service soon.   

Tuesday, 8/31 Update:

While our current outage is not yet fully resolved, our team is continuing to rebuild and securely restore our systems, assisted by an expert team of consultants. We are confident that we will be able to begin restoring in-person and online patron-facing services shortly. As of today, Tuesday, staff have begun to use our restored system to begin inputting transactions that were recorded by hand during the outage.  

Our current focus is on restoring our essential library business functions as well as the systems that staff and patrons use online and in person to look up and check out books, eBooks, and other materials. The following phase will be the restoration of public computing and printing systems at all locations. Public WiFi has already been restored. 

In addition to our technology partners, we are also working closely with cybersecurity experts and law enforcement. Because of this ongoing investigation, we will continue to limit the level of detail that we share publicly.

We appreciate all the support and patience we have received from our patrons, and we look forward to returning as many services as possible as quickly and safely as possible.

Friday, 8/27 Update:

On Wednesday morning, 8/25, the Boston Public Library experienced a systemwide technical outage due to a cybersecurity attack, pausing public computer and public printing services, as well as some online resources. Affected systems were taken offline immediately, and proactive steps were taken to isolate the problem and shutdown network communication. There is currently no evidence that sensitive employee or patron data has been disclosed. 

The library is working with the Mayor’s Department of Innovation and Technology and law enforcement officials to address the cybersecurity attack. The Library’s IT department is working on restoring all technology services, and in the meantime, all locations will remain open, patrons will still be able to check out books, and some online services remain operational. This is an ongoing situation and the library will update patrons and staff about services and impacts on its website. 

“We apologize for any inconvenience this outage may have caused patrons,” said Kurt Mansperger, Chief Technology Officer of the BPL. “Thank you for your patience as our team and law enforcement officials work to restore our digital services and protect the library from future attacks." 


Patrons may contact the library with any questions at 617-536-5400 or

Press may contact Natasha Fee at or 617-859-2348.