Boston Public Library Commemorates Phase One Anniversary of Central Library Renovation
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For Immediate Release
February 23, 2016
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BPL Communications Office

The Boston Public Library celebrates the first anniversary of Phase One of the Central Library Renovation this month. It opened its doors to the new second floor of the Johnson building at the Central Library in Copley Square in February 2015. In the past year, 1,290 programs were held at the new Children’s Library and Teen Central, and more than 1.5 million library users visited, checking out over 832,000 items. Phase Two of the $78 million Central Library Renovation is underway now, and is slated to open in summer 2016.

“This renewed space brings together people from across the City of Boston and around the world to explore, grow, and pursue their dreams,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The completion of the Central Library Renovation this summer will put the Boston Public Library and its staff at the forefront of modern library, public service.”

“The first phase of the renovation brought new life to this floor of the BPL’s Johnson building, serving patrons of all ages in new and dynamic ways,” said David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library. “The completion this summer will bring us full circle as we transform services, spaces and programs, again making Boston’s Central Library the place to pursue educational opportunities for generations to come.”

“Our dedicated staff members have been welcoming old and new library users of all ages for the past year and are eager to assist in all areas of service, from technology assistance and research help to reading guidance and accessing archives and special collections in new and innovative ways,“ said Chief of Public Services Jennifer Inglis.

The second phase renovation of the Boston Public Library’s Johnson building in Copley Square will be on the cutting edge of library services, reshaping and redefining the patron experience at a 21st century urban public library. Totaling approximately 110,000 square feet, the second phase renovation includes updates to the lower level, first floor, mezzanine, and the building exterior.

The first phase of the renovation, which opened in February 2015, includes 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.

This renovation is a City of Boston capital project totaling $78 million. There are approximately $2 million in energy improvements being implemented in the Johnson building at the same time as the renovation project.

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


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