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22 Branches to Remain Open With Current Hours -- But Orient Heights is History!

Boston Public Library Board of Trustees Approves Budget

Boston – April 9, 2010 – The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees today approved a proposed $38.9 million budget for the upcoming 2011 fiscal year. The plan keeps twenty-two branches of the Boston Public Library open with their current hours. It also closes four branch buildings: Faneuil (Brighton), Lower Mills (Dorchester), Orient Heights (East Boston), and Washington Village (South Boston).

“After much study, the board has come to what I deeply believe to be a judicious and prudent decision for the Boston Public Library in a difficult time,” said Jeffrey B. Rudman, Chairman of the Trustees. “We are very grateful to President Ryan and her team for the rigor, fairness, and wisdom they have brought to this budgetary process.”


The Trustees further voted that the Boston Public Library would establish as the first priority in its capital projects expenditures the construction of a brand new branch library in East Boston. Earlier this week, the Trustees announced that the City of Boston would fund the library at the same level as the current fiscal year, adding nearly $300,000 to help close what had been a $3.6 million gap. The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees also approved the submittal of the library’s budget recommendation to Mayor Thomas M. Menino to be included in the total City of Boston budget to the Boston City Council. Funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be finalized in the coming months.


Boston Public Library President Amy E. Ryan expressed her confidence that FY11 budget would begin to move the library forward. “While we understand the natural attachment that people have to the branch with which they are familiar, all of the efficiencies in this plan will lead to a more robust, sustainable, and modern library system,” said Ryan.


At the morning meeting, Ryan reiterated that the BPL’s FY11 budget also includes significant reductions at the Central Library in Copley Square and in administrative services and support. Two-thirds of the library’s budget gap is being closed by cutting back in these areas, including the reduction of up to 69 positions. Non-personnel reductions and efficiencies identified in the FY11 budget range from reducing the library’s leased vehicle fleet by one-third to cutting back on maintenance contracts. In the branches, up to 25 positions are expected to be eliminated.


Even as the library sees a decrease in overall revenues, the demand for books and programs is on the rise. In the last three years, the number of books, CDs, DVDs borrowed from the library is up 31%. “Today, half of Boston residents use their Boston Public Library card,” Ryan noted. “With our resources aligned properly, we can reach even more. The plan approved today is a significant step forward in making the library the reliable and responsive institution that the people of Boston deserve.”


In the months since her preliminary budget presentation in January, President Ryan and the Boston Public Library staff hosted multiple community and Trustee meetings, and solicited feedback about the proposed budget. More than 1,000 email messages and letters were sent to the Boston Public Library, and more than 100 community members spoke at Trustee meetings at the Central Library and community meetings in the neighborhoods.


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For more than 160 years, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Today, the Boston Public Library boasts a Central Library, 26 neighborhood branches, free wireless internet access, two unique restaurants, and a robust web site. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts nearly 12,000 programs, answers more than one million reference questions, and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibits are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning.  |  |


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Gina Perille
| Communications Manager
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
617.859.2273 office

617.388.5690 mobile |



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