Boston Public Library reveals new wing for young readers

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The Boston Public Library unveiled its new and improved central library for teens and children on Saturday. Filled with bright colors, the second floor of the Johnson Building on Boylston Street was a sight for sore eyes. Although the first floor is still under renovation, the beauty and liveliness of the young adult center is something to be appreciated.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan led the ribbon cutting ceremony in front of a few dozen families and onlookers. The mayor and president were joined by Library Board of Trustees member Jeffrey Rudman as they congratulated and thanked the people who have worked tirelessly to make these renovations possible.

“We really wanted to design the entire building. That design has been completed and as we were designing the building, we thought ‘what would be the best possible space for children and teens?’ and we thought it would be this level,” said Ryan.

“And this is the first phase. We’re also remodeling the entire building for future generations,” she added.

After the congratulatory speeches and ribbon-cutting ceremony, Ryan and Rudman joined spectators inside the new children’s room, where they mingled with different families who have shown their appreciation for this service. Everyone from teachers and students, to parents and random passersby appreciated the new decor.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

“We wanted to do the second floor first and try to keep as much of the building open as we could. But children and teens are very critical to our mission and it’s safer for them up on the second floor than on the first floor, we can provide greater security and access,” said Rudman.

“We thought we’d begin here but we’re going to do the whole building and wait until you see what’s coming. Because we are going to reunite the front of this building with Boylston Street in a way that it’s been separated for far too long,” he continued.

A key point discussed at the unveiling was how important it is to foster the minds of children and how their development is crucial to the advancement of society. Each of the speakers expressed their hope that the library can be a beacon of this dream and possibly create an environment of learning where all children can go.

“We honor people of all ages and walks of life and we know the library can contribute to academic success. That begins from the youngest babies, fostering a love of reading and brain development,” said Ryan.

“We feel it’s like starting from the beginning helping out our youngest children going into school age to teens or tweens,” she continued.

As for the renovations, the president said that it was a process of coming together and working with each individual, from librarians to readers ,to know what changes would be deemed positive. With the city’s backing, they were able to seamlessly go through the entire process.

“We really had the support of first, Mayor Menino, and then Mayor Walsh. It took all of us coming together as a team and also talking to our users like the people who actually use the library,” said Ryan.

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