We wandered around the BPL in Copley Square today, and the kidlet got her first ever look at an actual card catalog - and microfiche readers - in the shabbier, lesser known reading room, the one upstairs from the grand Bates Hall reading room, the one with the peeling paint and the, well, card catalog and microfiche readers. She also got her first look at one of the request slips you'd fill out after finding the book you wanted in the card catalog.
But even in the Bates Hall reading room, it seemed like half the people in the place were scanning laptop screens rather than actual printed material, so all those lamps were more for mood lighting than anything else.
Tristan reports a water-main break shut the main BPL library in Copley Square today.
Mayor Menino announced the new program - in which iPads will come "preloaded with bestselling books and apps to connect them with job searching, social media, and language-learning tools" - in a speech today before the Boston Municipal Research Bureau.
Menino also pledged to have 30,000 new housing units built in Boston by 2020 - and that not all of them would be luxury apartments in downtown high rises.
Also announced: New tennis courts and other fields at Millennium Park in West Roxbury and a new committee to look at ways to improve the quality of Boston schools now that BPS is switching to a new assignment system for elementary and middle-school students.
Our own eeka explains her first-hand experience with the new rule.
The Boston Public Library today announced a fine amnesty for three weeks to try to get people to return overdue books.
From Nov. 1 until Thanksgiving, you'll be able to return overdue books - and CDs and DVDs - to any BPL branch and you won't have to pay a cent in fines.
"Sometimes fines stop people from using their library," said Amy E. Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library. "This campaign is about welcoming our books back and about welcoming people back. We see it as an opportunity to say thank you to our users and to make it easier for them to be part of the everyday library community."
The amnesty only applies to material returned in November; if you already have a tab for previously returned books, you'll still have to pay up.
A concerned citizen reports:
Unaccompanied trash and luggage next to Boston Public Library Copley. If this were just a backpack police would swarm it.
The Boston Business Journal reports city officials are considering leasing 150,000 square feet on three floors of the Johnson building (the newer one) to retailers - and that they are looking at changes to the building's exterior to make it more Apple Store-ish. Nordstrom at the BPL, anyone? Ooh, what about a Barnes and Noble?
In a tweet, BPL replies:
There's a proposed study in next year's capital plan. No firm plans until the FY13 budget is voted.
The plan shows a $1.5-million expenditure to study "enhancing the potential of the Children's Room, lecture hall and front entrance of the Central Library's Johnson Building."
"There's a lot of wasted space in that building," Mayor Menino told a group of reporters. Menino said the city would also look at other uses, including college classrooms, and that any changes would likely be on the Lenox Hotel side of the building.
WBUR reports on the new branch, which will replace the current two branches - and be larger than both of them combined.
Updated, 6 p.m.
Boston Police report a man who robbed the CVS at Charles Circle this morning handed workers a note that said there were bombs both there and at the nearby West End branch of the BPL and to give the man all their good drugs.
Bombs were not found at either location, police say:
The note further stated that someone would be watching the store in the event police were called. Provided police weren't called, in 2 1/2 hours time, bombs would be deactivated in the pharmacy and the library. After receiving an undisclosed amount of prescription drugs, the suspect fled the store on foot.
Several hundred people, including Mayor Menino, attended an MBTA service cut/fare hike meeting at the BPL in Copley Square tonight. Michael Ratty snapped a photo of one of the people wondering where Gov. Patrick was.
The Globe's Andrew Ryan tweets Mayor Menino has named the writer to the Boston Public Library board of trustees.
A $350,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant will let the Boston Public Library and MIT mount a traveling exhibition of the work of Rafael Guastavino, whose "thoughtful design of public spaces transformed American architecture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries:"
Guastavino and his family invented a colorful tiling that is lightweight, attractive, fireproof, and virtually indestructible. Excellent examples of his work grace buildings in 40 states. Examples include the Grand Central Terminal in New York City, the United Stated Supreme Court Building, and the Nebraska State Capitol. Guastavino used his extraordinary gift to elevate public spaces including transportation centers, government centers, libraries, and churches.
The exhibition will first open at the BPL main branch in Copley Square - which was the site of Guastavino's first major work in the U.S.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenters for noting the photo I posted from the McKim building was not of one of the ones Guastavino designed. See if you can spot his work in this collection of McKim construction photos.
The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees voted today to restore Sunday hours at the main library for October through May.
Trustees had earlier voted to shutter the main library on Sundays due to an anticipated $350,000 cut in state funding; instead, the current state budget includes level funding for the BPL.
The library will be open 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays, starting Oct. 2, with the exception of holiday weekends.
The East Boston Times-Free Press reports the mayor is vowing to go ahead with the $11.3-million project even without the $8-million state grant the city had applied for, but probably won't get.
Last year, BPL trustees had targeted the Orient Heights branch for closure, in part on the assumption the city would build an entirely new branch to replace the tiny building and the neighborhood's other branch.
How did they get there? Nobody knows, NorthEndWaterfront.com reports, adding somebody took one home tonight for dinner.
A Globe editorial calls for restoration of Sunday hours at the Copley Square main library, and says part of the fix is ending the "tragedy" of having all those damn branch libraries:
The system doesn't need 26 branches to function well, especially in the digital age. But last year's vote of the trustees to close four branches was met not only with protests from patrons but an end run by state legislators who threatened to cut off all state aid to Boston's library system unless the Menino administration backed off the closure plan. It only delayed the inevitable; eventually, some branches will need to close.
One might hazard a guess that the author doesn't live in Oak Square or Lower Mills, or realize that libraries are about more than just books.
The Dorchester Reporter has the details on the latest from Boston Public Library trustees.
Boston Police report Joseph Whalen, 66, of Yarmouth, was arrested for allegedly striking a man in the back of the head with a blunt object yesterday afternoon outside the BPL main library in Copley Square.
According to police, the victim was working on his laptop in the library around 4:45 p.m. when Whalen went up to him and demanded "Give met that!" Police say the victim refused, then left the library:
However, as he was exiting the library, the victim says that the suspect struck him in the back of the head with some sort of blunt object. Officers observed that the victim had a laceration in the back of his head. The victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Whalen was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Police say they recovered a pocketknife from his backpack.
The Boston Public Library will be rolling out a new search tool for finding stuff - simple-to-use initial form, but with an advanced-search page if you want to do some of that old Boolean magic.
Too many branches, too little money, he tells the Globe.
Shoshanna Kahne reviews Matt Hosey's works, on the walls of the BPL branch in Grove Hall - built entirely out of material he finds in hardware stores:
Hosey doesn't take pictures of his inspiration anymore. He just sees something — electrical wiring, roof lines, filled?in holes in the sidewalk and street — and he carries that feeling back to the studio with him. It's not about recreating the shape that so fascinates him; it's about recreating the feeling