Boston Public Library Honored on a National Scale
Programming, communications, and facilities recognized
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For Immediate Release
July 02, 2012
Released By:
Library
For More Information Contact:
Communications Office
news@bpl.org

BOSTON - July 2, 2012 – The Boston Public Library (BPL) recently earned several prestigious national awards for its programming, public service, and well-designed spaces. The recognition came from the American Association for State and Local History, the International Interior Design Association, the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and several divisions of the American Library Association.

“Each day, the skilled staff of the Boston Public Library finds innovative and creative ways to offer the best in library service to those who look to us for information and assistance. It is gratifying for all of us when these efforts are singled out for recognition,” said Boston Public Library President Amy E. Ryan.

The Boston Public Library was honored for its commemoration of the American Civil War with an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History Leadership in History Awards. Throughout 2011, the Boston Public Library commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with an array of system-wide programming, including exhibitions, lectures, films, tours, and live performances. The Leadership in History Awards, now in its 67th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

A brochure detailing the BPL’s commemoration of the American Civil War was named a “Best of Show” award winner in the national PR Xchange Competition. The annual  Best of Show Awards recognize the very best public relations materials produced by libraries in the past year. The competition is sponsored by the Leadership Administration and Management Association, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). In the same competition, the Boston Public Library’s 2011 Latino Life Booklist was awarded an honorable mention in the “Bibliographies & Booklists” category.

The BPL’s pilot Digital Access Project with the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library received honors from the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, a division of the American Library Association; Keystone Library Automation Systems; and the National Organization for Disabilities. The annual honor is presented to organizations that produce noteworthy services and programming for library users with disabilities. Through the Digital Access Project, the Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library and the Boston Public Library, with additional involvement from the Internet Archive, make print books in the BPL’s collection available to those who are unable to read traditional printed text. Books are scanned, page by page, and converted into a copyright-protected Digital Audio Information System (DAISY) file that can be listened to via adaptive technology utilizing text-to-speech synthetic voice technology.

The Boston Public Library’s renovation of 5,760 square feet of space for the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center received an honorable mention in the “Single Space” category from the International Interior Design Association and the ALA’s Library Leadership and Management Association. The new Leventhal Map Center space, which opened in October 2011, features an exhibition gallery, a public learning center, and a reading room for rare map research. In the same competition, the Boston Public Library’s Mattapan Branch, which opened in 2009, received an honorable mention in the “Public Libraries” category.

In addition, the Boston Public Library’s Mattapan Branch was honored with the 2012 AIA/HUD Secretary's Award for Community Informed Design. The prize, issued by the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, highlights important benchmarks in the design industry.

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