The city's library chief said Monday night she would "strongly support" keeping all of Boston's library branches open if funding was found. Amy Ryan, the head of the Boston Public Library system, said she would also be prepared to make that recommendation to the library system's board of trustees.
The comments, a marked shift in tone after months of talk of closing the Lower Mills branch and others, came at a packed meeting at the Richmond St. library. About a hundred supporters gathered at the Richmond St. library on Monday night as part of a "working session" on the future of the library.
Sen. Jack Hart (D-South Boston) said he was seeing an "attitude change." "I think we're heading in the right direction," he said. Read more
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
The state Public Health Council on Wednesday unanimously backed the sale of the non-profit Caritas Christi hospital chain to Steward Health Care System, a subsidiary of the major private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management.
The proposed transfer of the six hospitals attracted a crowd of about 100 to a council meeting Wednesday morning. 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
Boston Public Library system president Amy Ryan is scheduled to meet tonight with activists and groups that support the branches.
The agenda includes a review of the system's financial status and plans for upcoming community outreach efforts.
The Menino administration has proposed shuttering four library branches, including the one in Lower Mills.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the orientation room of the central library in Copley Square.
Local elected officials, who have frequently sought to save Carney Hospital from being shuttered, greeted the headline in Friday’s Boston Globe – “Caritas warns of 2 hospital closures” – with caution, saying the hospital chain has frequently mentioned that a New York private equity firm’s ownership investment is necessary if the six-hospital system is to remain viable. Read more
Boston's coffers ended fiscal year 2010 with a $9.1 million surplus, a fiscal watchdog group reports.
The Boston Municipal Research Bureau said Monday that the $9.1 million represents represents 0.4 percent of that fiscal year's $2.3 billion in spending.
But let's not start jumping around and compiling a list of programs to restore to full funding just yet.
Sam Tyler, head of the BMRB, notes, "This is money that has to be reserved for fiscal 2012." 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