Press Room

Boston Public Library’s Summer Reading Program for All Ages Begins

Posted on June 27th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases
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readBoston Public Library’s annual free summer reading program (www.bpl.org/summer) begins this month, offering educational experiences for youth and adults throughout the City of Boston through August.

“We are very happy to see our summer reading program also expand to adults this year, offering everyone an opportunity to exercise their minds through reading regardless of age,” said Boston Public Library President David Leonard. “We are as always grateful to our sponsors for their commitment to our library users.”

“Summer reading offers a variety of programs and reading opportunities, giving youth a safe and fun environment in which to learn, explore, and grow during out of school time,” said Farouqua Abuzeit, Manager of Youth Services.

The children’s theme this year is “On Your Mark, Get Set…Read!” All locations throughout the system will receive visits from the Museum of Science, Historic New England, New England Aquarium, and the ReadBoston Storymobile, in addition to story times, crafts, and additional programming at locations. Read more »

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Public Library Announce Grand Reopening Date for Central Library Renovation

Posted on June 20th, 2016 by BPL News in General

Mayor Walsh to attend celebration; all are welcome

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Public Library announced today that the grand reopening of the Central Library Renovation will take place Saturday, July 9, and will be commemorated with a 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting. The grand reopening will celebrate the completion of the second and final phase of the renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, which has been managed by the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department. This second phase of work includes updates to the lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and the building exterior of the Johnson building, which opened in 1972. The Central Library Renovation puts the Boston Public Library on the cutting edge of library services – reshaping and redefining the patron experience at a 21st century urban public library.

The Central Library in Copley Square will be closed on Thursday, July 7, and Friday, July 8, to prepare and train staff in the updated spaces, and will reopen on Saturday, July 9, following the ribbon cutting.

“The reopening of the Central Library’s Johnson building ensures a bright future for all who seek educational opportunities through utilizing the services of this grand civic space,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am grateful to all who contributed to this project and I am confident library patrons and visitors will love the enhancements.”

Highlights of the second phase of the renovation include removal of the granite plinths that covered the Johnson building windows – reconnecting the building to the street, a revamped lecture hall for author talks and programming, a new innovation center, new Mac and Windows computers for the public computing area, a hi-tech community learning center, an enlarged Fiction section and new ways of book browsing, digital stacks to explore the BPL’s digitized collections, a state-of-the art Welcome Center, a digital imaging suite, and major landscape components along Boylston Street, including a civic table and new trees. The enterprise retail space at the corner of Boylston and Exeter Streets will feature The Newsfeed Café, opening mid-summer and operated by The Catered Affair, and a WGBH News satellite bureau and studio. Patrons will move seamlessly between the enterprise retail space and the Library.

The public can learn more about the Johnson building’s new features at www.bpl.org/bplreno and by following the BPL on Twitter (@bplboston), Facebook, and Instagram (@bplboston).

“This is one of the most significant milestones in Boston Public Library history; the Central Library Renovation has greatly expanded the offerings for people of all ages, as this library has truly been transformed,” said Chair of the Board of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library Robert E. Gallery.

“The goal of the renovation was to reinvent both our building and our library services as inviting, dynamic, and modern, to be responsive to twenty first century urban civic life and to strengthen the Central Library and its connection to the City,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “We are proud to welcome everyone, from near and far, to celebrate a new era of library service in Copley Square.”

The first phase of the renovation, which opened in February 2015, included a colorful Children’s Library with books and media, early literacy and story time space, a tween corner, and flexible program space; Teen Central, a distinctive and media-friendly space with books, digital lab, media lounge, a dedicated quiet zone, and homework and hangout booths; refreshed and reorganized nonfiction collections and reference services; and an adult reading area and workspace for individuals and groups.

The Central Library Renovation is a City of Boston capital project totaling $78 million. In addition to the City of Boston’s Public Facilities Department, the project team includes  PMA Consultants as the Owner’s Project Manager, Consigli Construction Co., Inc. is the contractor, and the project architect is William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc.

 

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

 

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Boston Public Library Board of Trustees Offer Presidential Role to David Leonard

Posted on June 14th, 2016 by BPL News in General

Today the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously to extend an offer of employment for the position of BPL President to current Interim President David Leonard. The offer came during a special meeting of the Trustees to discuss the presidential search after San Jose City Librarian Jill Bourne declined the position last week.

“I am thrilled David Leonard is the new President of the Boston Public Library and look forward to seeing the BPL thrive under his continued leadership,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “I am also extremely grateful to all involved in this process over the past year, including the Board of Trustees, Presidential Search Committee Chair John Palfrey and the committee members, and the community for their contributions and input.”

“The Board of Trustees and I have full confidence that the Boston Public Library has a bright future ahead with David Leonard as President; his leadership capabilities and vision over the past year have kept this great institution evolving and innovating, and we know that will continue for years to come,” said BPL Board of Trustees Chair Bob Gallery.

“I look forward to serving as President of the Boston Public Library and expanding on the many accomplishments of the last year,” said David Leonard, President of the BPL. “Extensive knowledge of the institution – its successes and its challenges – and strong working relationships with staff and stakeholders should enable me to be an effective steward and leader of the BPL. Thank you to Mayor Walsh and the Board of Trustees for their confidence and support in my leadership.”

David Leonard has held the Interim President role at the BPL since July 2015 during which time he has overseen the $78 million renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square opening in July 2016 and branch improvement projects, including the groundbreaking and ongoing construction of the Jamaica Plain Branch. His work in the past year includes strengthening relationships with stakeholder groups such as the Boston Public Library Foundation, the Associates of the Boston Public Library, and The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center; overseeing management of the second phase of the Print Collection Inventory, an item-by-item inventory of the BPL’s prints and chromolithographs; environmental improvements and mold remediation in the Rare Books Department; and preparation for the BPL’s Special Collections Assessment, which includes compiling a master list and priority ranking of 800 collections set to be assessed and inventoried.

Prior to Leonard’s appointment in 2015, he was the Director of Administration and Technology (a position he still holds concurrently). In his seven years at the BPL, Leonard has also served at various times as both the acting Director of Administration & Finance and separately as acting Chief Financial Officer. He was first hired as the Chief Technology Officer in 2009. Leonard recently began a PhD program in Library Information Science at Simmons College.

Prior to the Boston Public Library, Leonard initially pursued an academic career, transitioned to the non-profit sector and then spent ten years in the private IT consulting world in roles that spanned business development, management, and technology consulting, working on both strategic and tactical projects and services. Leonard holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Mathematics and a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University College Dublin. He originally came to Boston for post graduate work in the Philosophy doctoral program at Boston College.

Background on the BPL Presidential Search

In September 2015 Mayor Walsh selected John Palfrey, head of school at Philips Academy, Andover to lead the BPL Presidential Search process, and in November 2015 Mayor Walsh announced the 15-member BPL Presidential Search Committee.

Seven Public Listening Sessions were held with the BPL Presidential Search Committee at branches across the Library system for the community to share their thoughts on what qualities they believe the next leader of the BPL should have and to assist in the development of the presidential job description.

The BPL Presidential Search Committee worked closely with Executive Search Firm Spencer Stuart on identifying candidates for the position.

On Saturday, May 21, the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees voted to extend an offer of employment for President of the Boston Public Library to Jill Bourne, City Librarian for the San Jose Public Library. The decision was made following public interviews of Bourne and David Leonard, Interim President of the BPL, and deliberation amongst the Trustees during a public meeting at the Central Library in Copley Square. It was announced on Friday, June 10, that Jill Bourne declined the offer due to personal reasons.

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

 

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Boston Public Library Board of Trustees Call Special Meeting in BPL Presidential Search

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting next week to discuss the status of negotiations in the search for a president of the Boston Public Library. Jill Bourne, City Librarian for San Jose, declined the offer due to personal reasons. Bourne had been offered the position by the BPL Board of Trustees following a public interview on Saturday, May 21.

“This does not diminish the Board of Trustees excitement about the future of the Library. I’m confident we’ll be able to select a strong leader to fill this role early next week,” said Bob Gallery, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “The Board of Trustees was looking forward to welcoming Jill Bourne to the Boston Public Library but the Trustees are understanding of her decision and wish her all the best.”

“I am extremely honored to have been offered the position of President of the Boston Public Library.  The institution, staff, and community support all attracted me to this position, as much as the city, its leadership, and the exciting things that are happening there,” said Jill Bourne, City Librarian for San Jose. “However, I have made the decision to withdraw my candidacy for personal reasons that were not anticipated while I participated in this process. This has been an incredibly difficult decision, and I greatly appreciate the patience and support of the Mayor’s office, the BPL Board of Trustees, and others.  While I cannot accept this opportunity, I am fortunate to stay in San José with a wonderful staff, colleagues, and community.”

The special meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 14 at 8:30 a.m. in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square.

During the meeting, the BPL Board of Trustees may consider Interim President David Leonard for the position. Leonard was publicly interviewed for the role by the BPL Board of Trustees at the end of May. He has served as Interim President of the BPL since June 2015. The Trustees may also enter into an executive session to review the negotiations with Jill Bourne since details of personnel matters are legally protected from public discussion.

Background on the BPL Presidential Search

In September 2015 Mayor Walsh selected John Palfrey, head of school at Philips Academy, Andover to lead the BPL Presidential Search process, and in November 2015 Mayor Walsh announced the 15-member BPL Presidential Search Committee.

Seven Public Listening Sessions were held with the BPL Presidential Search Committee at branches across the Library system for the community to share their thoughts on what qualities they believe the next leader of the BPL should have and to assist in the development of the presidential job description.

The BPL Presidential Search Committee worked closely with Executive Search Firm Spencer Stuart on identifying candidates for the position.

On Saturday, May 21, the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees voted to extend an offer of employment for President of the Boston Public Library to Jill Bourne, City Librarian for the San Jose Public Library. The decision was made following public interviews of Bourne and David Leonard, Interim President of the BPL, and deliberation amongst the Trustees during a public meeting at the Central Library in Copley Square. The interviews were open to the public and held in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square.

 

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

 

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Central Library Renovation Reopening Date Press Release

Posted on June 6th, 2016 by BPL News in Central Library Renovation Reopening

Press release coming this week.

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