Oct. 25, 2010
Boston Public Library president Amy Ryan has just told an overflow crowd at Lower Mills library that she will "strongly support" keeping BPL branches open if sufficient funding is supplied to do so. More than 100 people are packed into the Lower Mills branch on Richmond Street to hear on update on the BPL's plans. The library was supposed to close this fall, but was granted a reprieve by Mayor Tom Menino last summer.
Ryan has told the assembly that she will recommend that the board of trustees vote to keep the branches open. Such a move would mark a dramatic reversal of the BPL's prior positions on branch libraries.
Developing story... Read more
A meeting at the Lower Mills library on Monday evening could well decide the fate of that branch and, ultimately, branches throughout Dorchester and across the city at large. It is now time for all people who feel — as we do — that libraries are a critical civic asset to show up and make their voices heard.
Library officials have scheduled two sets of meetings, starting this weekend. One set of seven meetings — dubbed “strategic planning” sessions by the BPL brass — starts on Saturday with a kick-off event at the Copley Square central library. Then, on Monday, a second-tier set of four meetings— all to take place at branches that are scheduled to close — begins with a gathering at the Lower Mills branch at 6:30 p.m. Read more
Supporters of the Lower Mills library are urging fellow activists to show up in force at a meeting at the branch tonight [at 6:30 p.m. at the Richmond Street branch] with Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan as a local lawmaker said there has been a “shift in ‘tone’” coming from City Hall about whether it will be closed.
At last Tuesday night’s meeting of the Lower Mills Civic Association, a representative from the mayor’s office said “re-use” of the building isn’t the focus of the Monday meeting.
Oct. 13, 2010
One promise stood high from the Boston Public Library (BPL) management during last spring’s budget process: Cuts in personnel and branch closures would secure the stability – even the improvement – of library services citywide. We recently learned that this promise no longer holds true. Cuts in personnel that took effect this week will cause services and programs to be significantly reduced throughout Boston.
BPL President Amy Ryan acknowledged in two recent meetings (with the BPL Trustees and with the Friends of Libraries groups) that the system will be in “tremendous upheaval” with “adverse impacts” on services and programs. What, then, have the BPL system and the surviving branches gained from the decision to close the Lower Mills Library and other three neighborhood libraries in Boston? The answer is: Nothing! Read more
Oct. 7, 2010
Four libraries, including the Boston Public Library system’s Lower Mills branch, remain slated for closure next spring and both proponents and opponents are digging in for a battle over the Menino administration proposal.
Several city councillors and a number of library activists this week reiterated their opposition to the closures as administration officials asked for patience and said they were pushing ahead with meetings in each of the four communities – Lower Mills, South Boston, Brighton, and East Boston – affected by potential closures in each of those neighborhoods.
City Councillor Charles Yancey, who chaired a Post Audit Committee hearing into the library system’s finances on Monday, said he was seeking to “lower the temperature” and “detoxify” what he called a “poisoned” atmosphere.
“We’re going to do whatever we can to find resources” to keep the libraries open, he said after the hearing. Read more
Oct. 1, 2010
A Menino administration official on Thursday night pleaded for patience from residents pushing to keep open libraries slated for closure. Justin Holmes, who handles constituent engagement for the mayor, said the administration had spent the summer in conversations with elected leaders over the proposal to close four branch libraries.
Supporters of the city’s libraries met with Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan and other library officials at the Copley Square branch Thursday night. Read more
Mayor Menino and his administration are fooling themselves if they think that neighbors in Lower Mills are prepared to give up in the fight to keep our branch library open. Any discussion about the BPL’s services in Lower Mills needs to be based on a fundamental premise: That the Lower Mills branch will not close as threatened in the next year and that any discussion of how to reform the BPL needs to start from scratch. Read more
It usually goes like this: An angry mob, largely clueless and fearful of government taking away their guns and religion, faces off against an elected or appointed official who attempts to explain how government actually works.
But there was somewhat of a role reversal this week, as an angry mob that included a number of elected officials at the state and local level, clinging to four branch libraries slated for closure, attempted to explain how government works to the Boston Public Library board of trustees. Read more