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Renovations may create more Boston library jobs

Posted on June 2, 2017

The renovation and reopening of a local library may create more Boston library jobs.

The newly renovated branch, Jamaica Plain Branch, is at 30 South Street with a ribbon cutting ceremony that was attended by community members and elected officials. The $10 million renovation revitalizes the branch services and spaces, including a 20 percent increase in space for the community to read, browse the collection, access computers, attend and host meetings, and participate in programming.

Reaffirming Mayor Walsh’s commitment to bringing quality library services to neighborhoods throughout the City, nearly $14 million in library projects are planned across the city as part of the Mayor’s Capital Plan in FY18 and an additional $102 million in funding for library projects is slated for FY19-FY22.

“Libraries are essential resources for neighborhoods, and it is important that we continue investing in them to improve access, add services, and build a strong sense of community,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Jamaica Plain library branch is the second busiest in our BPL library system, after the Central Library, and it is exciting that with the expansion we’ll now be able to accommodate even more visitors. As the first project under the City’s Percent for Art program, we’re excited to start integrating arts and culture into our public facilities, and look forward to the future projects across the City that will enhance our libraries.”

“We are thrilled to reopen the Jamaica Plain Branch and provide a transformed building and services to community members that inspire intercultural and intergenerational connections.  Once again the library will be the center of civic life at the corner of South and Sedgwick streets,” said Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Vice Chair of the Board Public Library’s Board of Trustees.

“The success of this renovation is a tribute to collaboration between the City of Boston’s Offices of Public Facilities Department, Budget Management, Library staff and the Architects and Construction partners, and especially the longstanding advocacy of the Friends of the JP Library, and we are confident this newly renovated space will serve lifelong learners, today and well into the future,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.

The renovation features a 700-square foot addition facing South Street that will serve as a community reading lounge; a terrace along Sedgwick Street where residents can read and mingle; multiple meeting spaces; improved and more flexible space for children, teens, and adults; and a refreshed collection of 30,000 items. Technology improvements include 15 new desktop and 20 laptop computers, free WiFi, additional self-checkout stations, creativity software in the new digital maker-space, and hearing loop technology for people with hearing loss. Other features include an elevator for full ADA accessibility to all levels, new and more efficient mechanical systems, parking for over 15 bikes, and new exterior landscaping.