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Category Archives: General

Boston Public Library’s School Vacation Week Programming

Posted on February 13th, 2018 by rlavery in General

This February Vacation Week (February 20 – 23), Boston Public Library locations across the city host a variety of entertaining and educational programs funded by the Highland Street Foundation and with support from Boston Public Library donors. Children and families can enjoy a fun and funny concert by Matt Heaton, an interactive show about bubbles with Mike the Bubble Man, an educational, Brazilian-influenced concert from Sulinha’s Trio, and a musical retelling of Hansel and Gretel from the Boston Lyric Opera. For a complete list of offerings, locations, and dates across the city, visit www.bpl.org/calendar.

Boston Centers for Youth & Families’ community centers across the city additionally host special programming during February Vacation Week, which can be viewed via www.boston.gov/bcyf.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the Highland Street Foundation on this program series for the second year in a row, ensuring a break from the classroom can be both educational and entertaining,” said Farouqua Abuzeit, Boston Public Library’s Youth Services Manager.

Program Descriptions:

Concerts with Matt Heaton: Children and their families will enjoy an entertaining concert by Matt Heaton. Matt’s songs are a mix of rockabilly, surf, American roots, and Irish traditional music, delivered with a sense of humor and sincere sense of fun. View dates and locations here.

Mike the Bubble Man: Mike the Bubble Man brings magic and science to the stage with this interactive show about bubbles. Through music, choreography, and comedy, bubbles — in all different shapes and sizes — come alive, sparking imagination and wonder. A love for bubbles is never outgrown, especially when there’s a chance to see the world from inside of one. View dates and locations here.

Hansel and Gretel with Boston Lyric Opera:  Join Boston Lyric Opera to learn how they bring the story of Hansel and Gretel to life through music, acting, and movement. Two professional singers, a pianist, and a teaching artist engage audiences in this interactive introduction to opera through a one-hour retelling of the Brothers Grimm classic fairytale. Ideal for youth ages 6-12. View dates and locations here.

Concert with Sulinha’s Trio: You will hear Itzy Bitzy Spider in a Bossa Nova beat, as well as many original songs with topics such as counting, the four seasons, elephants, and many other interactive and dancing songs. Children will be introduced to traditional instruments from Brazil such as Berimbau, Cuica, Pandeiro, and Surdo. View dates and locations here.

 

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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BPL Bingo: A Chat with a Winner

Posted on September 18th, 2017 by awilliams in General

BingoThis summer, adults across Boston had as much fun with summer reading as kids, thanks to BPL Bingo. Adults picked up or downloaded a BPL Bingo card and read various books and completed activities for a chance to win prizes, including Duck Boat tickets, BPL totes, pens, and mugs, Barnes & Noble gift cards, and more. The Adams Street Branch winner, Boston Public Schools teacher Mary O’Brien, chats with us about her experience playing BPL Bingo.

How many books/activities did you read/do as part of BPL Bingo?
I completed roughly 20.

What was your favorite book you read?
The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg – a librarian I work with gave it to me as a gift. It was very funny, and I listed it under the “recommended by a librarian” box.

BPLBingoDid you read a book/genre for BPL Bingo that you normally wouldn’t have read?
I read last year’s Newbery Award winner, The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, to fulfill the childhood classic category. I am not a fan of fantasy, so I was surprised that I enjoyed it!

Which of the activities did you complete?
I visited several of the new branches of the BPL – East Boston, Mattapan, and Jamaica Plain.

What was your overall experience? Will you do it again next year?
Yes! I teach 2nd grade in BPS, so summer is my free time to read and catch up. I’m hoping next year has new reading categories to choose from!

Look out for BPL Bingo to come back next summer, with more great reading categories, activities, and prizes!

A Message from President David Leonard

Posted on February 10th, 2017 by rlavery in General

To the Boston Public Library Community:

During this time of uncertainty the Boston Public Library remains a constant for our community, as it has since its founding in 1848.

Dedicated to the advancement of learning, the Boston Public Library serves “to educate the people as the safeguard of order and liberty.” That conviction and our promise to be Free to All are carved into the façade of the McKim building at the Central Library in Copley Square and illustrate our commitment to providing all Bostonians, Massachusetts residents, and visitors with library services.

Each day when we open our doors we pledge to offer our communities reading and literacy services, stimulating and relevant programs, welcoming spaces, access to information and technology, and engagement with our cultural heritage.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh is resolute that Boston is and will remain a city of inclusion. The American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries, to name two of the affiliations we hold close, have made affirming declarations of their commitments to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. Boston Public Library and the 480+ staff members who serve our 26 locations are proud to stand with the Mayor and our library affiliates to reassert that we are Free to All and here to welcome everyone equally regardless of gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, faith, or economic status.

Our library services must remain available to all, without fear of discrimination. We work to help our users navigate the world. Whether they seek Boston Public Library services for intellectual growth, self-inquiry, academic support, or a multitude of other reasons, we serve as advocates for personal advancement and for clarifying the pathways to that achievement. And we will always protect our users’ rights to privacy in so doing.

It is in times of uncertainty when we as an institution must reflect on and recommit to our founding principles—preserved in granite—that are the foundation from which every patron interaction originates.

 

David Leonard

President, Boston Public Library.

 

 

Boston Public Library Announces January-May 2017 Author Talks, Lowell Lecture Series

Posted on January 10th, 2017 by rlavery in General

bpl-brochure-author-talks-wint-spring-2017-r12digitalopt-1Boston Public Library’s January – May 2017 Author Talks and Lowell Lecture Series begin this month, featuring an array of talented writers and topics, highlighted by award-winning and bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Colum McCann. Hear authors read from their books, purchase a copy and have it signed, and learn about the creative process that gets such magnificent stories told. The 2016 – 2017 Lowell Lectures Series commemorates William Shakespeare in the 400th anniversary year of his death and features transformative coming-of-age authors. All talks and lectures are free and open to the public, and are held at the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome so many notable authors in the first half of 2017 and are grateful to the Lowell Institute for their collaboration; we look forward to what promises to be a season of compelling and thoughtful talks and lectures,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.

For full event descriptions, visit http://www.bpl.org/programs/author_series.htm.

Full schedule:

Tuesday, January 24 ● 6 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon, Central Library

Julie Rodriguez and Piotr Kaczmarek, author of Visualizing Financial Data

 

Thursday, January 26 ● 6 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon, Central Library

David Grinspoon, author of Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future

 

Thursday, February 2 ● 6 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon, Central Library

Twists, Turns, and Double Crosses: Boston Thriller Writers Hank Phillippi Ryan and Peter Swanson

 

Wednesday, February 22 ● 6 p.m.

Rabb Hall, Central Library

Christina Baker Kline, author of Piece of the World  

 

Tuesday, February 28 ● 6:30 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon, Central Library

Romance Fiction Panel with Eloisa James, Lauren Willig, and Sarah MacLean

Moderated by Caroline Linden, author of Six Degrees of Scandal

 

Thursday, March 2 ● 6 p.m.

Rabb Hall, Central Library

Lowell Lecture Series – Joseph Luzzi: From Twain to Toni Morrison—A Literary Journey through America

 

Monday, March 6 ● 6 p.m.

Rabb Hall, Central Library

Lowell Lecture Series – Nicole Galland: The Play’s the Thing—Shakespeare on Stage

Presented as part of All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare at the Boston Public Library

 

Thursday, March 16 ● 6 p.m.

Rabb Hall, Central Library

Kate Clifford Larson: Harriet Tubman, Mary Surratt, and Rosemary Kennedy

Wednesday, March 22 ● 6 p.m.

Rabb Hall, Central Library

Lowell Lecture Series – Reginald Dwayne Betts: An Evening of Poetry

 

Tuesday, March 28 ● 6:30 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon, Central Library

Noam Maggor, author of Brahmin Capitalism: Frontiers of Wealth and Populism in America’s First Gilded Age

 

Tuesday, April 4 ● 6 p.m.
Rabb Hall, Central Library
Lowell Lecture Series – Neil Gaiman, author
Moderated by Jared Bowen, Executive Arts Editor for WGBH
*Requires event sign up

 

Thursday, April 6 ● 6 p.m.

Rabb Hall, Central Library

Lowell Lecture Series – Marjorie Garber: Desperately Seeking Shakespeare

Presented as part of All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare at the Boston Public Library

 

Wednesday, April 12 ● 6 p.m.

Rabb Hall, Central Library

Colum McCann, author of Letters to a Young Writer

 

Wednesday, May 3 ● 6 p.m.

Rabb Hall, Central Library

Lowell Lecture Series – Ken Ludwig, author of How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

Presented as part of All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare at the Boston Public Library

 

Thursday, May 11 ● 6 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon, Central Library

Richard Taylor, author of Martha’s Vineyard: Race, Property, and the Power of Place

 

Tuesday, May 16 ● 6 p.m.

Commonwealth Salon, Central Library

Dr. James O’Connell, author of Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor

 

About the LOWELL LECTURE SERIES

The Lowell Institute has sponsored free public lectures and other educational programs throughout the Boston area since its founding in 1836 by businessman John Lowell, Jr. Over the decades thousands of members of the Boston community have attended Lowell lectures on topics ranging from science to the arts to humanities, from literature to politics to world affairs. The Lowell Institute’s mission since its inception—to inform the populace regardless of gender, race or economic status—has led to the establishment of other great Boston institutions, including the Harvard Extension School and WGBH. Today, the Institute continues to pioneer education and fund innovative projects such as the current expansion of the Lowell Institute School at Northeastern, which was recently awarded a “First in the World” grant for innovative educational programming by the Department of Education. To this day, the Lowell Institute continues to provide a wide variety of free public lectures and educational programming throughout the city of Boston.

 

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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Brendan Kiely, Jason Reynolds, and Boston Public Library Visit DYS

Posted on October 28th, 2016 by awilliams in General

keily-and-reynolds-2

Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds speak youth in the DYS residential programs in Dorchester.

Boston Public Library’s partnership with the Massachusetts juvenile justice agency, the Department of Youth Services (DYS), is one of the key ways that BPL helps connect people of all ages and backgrounds with books that reflect their lived experiences. As part of these outreach efforts at DYS, on Wednesday, October 5th the Boston Public Library brought Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds, coauthors of the young adult book All American Boys, which examines police brutality from the perspective of two characters, to speak to youth in the DYS residential programs in Dorchester.

Kiely and Reynolds met with two groups of DYS youth to discuss how and why All American Boys, a 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, came to be. Jason Reynolds, recently short-listed for the National Book Award for Ghost, wrote about Rashad, a black teen who experiences violence at the hands of a cop. Kiely, author of The Last True Love Story and The Gospel of Winter, contributed the sections featuring Quinn, Rashad’s white classmate who witnesses the incident.

The book has roots in the authors’ own experiences and perspectives. When he was a teenager in Washington, D.C., Reynolds explained, he and three other black friends were pulled over by a cop for running a yellow light. When one of his friends opened the car door to hand the cop the registration, the cop pointed a gun at them. Four more cop cars pulled up, and the officers ordered the boys out of the car, handcuffed them, and searched the car. After the cops finally let them go, Reynolds and his friends never talked about the incident – for them, Reynolds said, there was nothing unusual about it. Kiely explained that growing up as a white kid in the Boston area, he didn’t have the same experiences as Reynolds, and he created Quinn because he wants people like him to understand that police encounters like the ones described in the book actually happen.

keily-and-reynolds-1The DYS youth had plenty of questions for the authors. In response to a boy who asked what it takes to write a book, Reynolds replied “Discipline.” Another asked how they chose the title for the book, and Kiely and Reynolds said that they wanted to show that the character of Rashad is as much of a typical American as Quinn. Reynolds added that his one objection to the title is that it leaves out girls; he said that women have always been the backbone of change in America, and the book’s strong female characters reflect that.

In addition to bringing authors to DYS, BPL’s teen and youth librarians make monthly trips to the residential facility to give book talks and make books available for the youth to borrow. The youth can also request books, and the librarian will bring them on the next visit.

“Our partnership with DYS helps connect the youth residents to books with characters and experiences they can identify with,” says Jessi Snow, Central Teen Services Team Leader. “Talks with such notable authors as Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds get DYS youth excited about reading.”

Other Boston Public Library outreach initiatives for children and teens include visits to Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, where youth librarians read to patients and introduce teen parents to the BPL’s many free resources related to children and literacy.