For Immediate Release
March 25, 2010
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Board to vote on FY11 budget on April 9; lead libraries identified
BOSTON – March 25, 2010 – Boston Public Library Trustees met this week to discuss the library budget with BPL President Amy E. Ryan. Friday, April 9, is the date on which the Trustees will vote on the Boston Public Library FY11 budget, which includes reductions at the Central Library in Copley Square, in administration and operations, and in the neighborhood branches.
Prior to that date, the Trustees will meet on Wednesday, April 7, to hear additional detail on the budget including a series of scenarios that examine what the system would look like with the closure of 8, 5, 3, and 0 branches; and what the corresponding hours reduction would be.
At the March 24 meeting, the BPL Board of Trustees approved a series of measures and definitions. These measures are posted on the library’s web site at www.bpl.org/budget. The Trustees requested additional measures such as proximity to schools and community centers be added as well as a breakout of types of programs held. The list of measures will be amended by BPL staff in the coming days. The data that corresponds to the measures will be published by the BPL by the end of March.
The BPL Board of Trustees also approved the definition of “lead libraries” in the Boston Public Library system. Lead libraries are presently slated to remain open, regardless of the public service options selected for the Central Library and neighborhood branches. There are nine lead libraries: Brighton, Central Library (Copley Square), Codman Square, Dudley, Grove Hall, Honan-Allston, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and West Roxbury. A lead library is defined as being or having: 20,000+ square feet, new or renovated building, higher levels of energy efficiency, current electrical and data systems with ability to expand, readily accessible via public transportation, parking lot with branch or public parking adjacent to branch, ADA accessible, adjacent to existing/expanding commercial service areas, and strong school-age services with potential for expanded services.
Also at the March 24 meeting, BPL Director of Partnerships & Communications Koren Stembridge made a presentation on the BPL’s public participation process to date. At the February 17 and March 9 Trustee meetings, more than 50 BPL customers spoke, and at the March 24 meeting another 16 made public comments. To date, the Boston Public Library has received more than 650 messages via email, postal mail, fax, and phone. The BPL is in receipt of petitions from several branches, totaling more than 1,200 signatures. The BPL monitors comments posted on Facebook, Twitter, and other online sources – and has used its BPL eNewsletter, which reaches 100,000 cardholders, to raise awareness.
In response to these questions and messages, the BPL has taken the following actions:
- Created a “budget” page on the library’s website, which is updated frequently with budget documents, meeting times, and other information as it becomes available
- Added elements (such as proximity to public transportation) to the list of BPL measures presented to the Trustees
- Chosen evening, weekend, and online times for community conversations to ensure that the greatest number of people have an opportunity to attend and participate. A flyer on these meetings is available at www.bpl.org/budget.
- Arranged for Spanish language translation at the upcoming East Boston and Jamaica Plain community meetings.
Ms. Stembridge’s complete remarks are available online at www.bpl.org/budget.
Key information about the Boston Public Library budget is available online at www.bpl.org/budget. From that web page, community members can send recommendations and other feedback. The Library is also collecting comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and via US Post to 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116.
As part of the ongoing public process, four community meetings and one online meeting will be held in March and April in order to collect feedback on library services. The dates, times, and locations of these meetings are:
- Saturday, March 27, at Harborside Community Center, 10:00-11:30am 312 Border Street in East Boston
- Saturday, April 3, at Codman Square Branch Library, 2:00-3:30pm 690 Washington Street in Dorchester
- Monday, April 5, at Honan-Allston Branch Library, 6:00-7:30pm 300 North Harvard Street in Allston
- Tuesday, April 6, at Curley Middle School, 6:00-7:30pm 493 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain
- Wednesday, April 7, at www.bpl.org (online moderated chat) 6:00-7:30pm.
The BPL Board of Trustees will meet:
- Wednesday, April 7 in Rabb Lecture Hall, Central Library in Copley Square, 8 am. (Please note change in time.)
- Friday, April 9 in Rabb Lecture Hall, Central Library in Copley Square, 8:30am.
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LINKS of NOTE
The BPL budget page: www.bpl.org/budget
BPL Director of Partnerships & Programming Koren Stembridge’s remarks on the public participation and process from the March 24, 2020 meeting of the Trustees: http://www.bpl.org/general/budget/stembridge_presentation_20100324.htm
BPL President Amy E. Ryan’s remarks from March 9, 2010 meeting of the Trustees: http://www.bpl.org/general/budget/aryan_remarks_20100309.htm