Part of my adventures in school librarianship is participating in professional development, such as attending the Maryland Association of School Librarians annual conference, SLJ Leadership Summit, the MCPL Diversity in Children’s Literature Symposium, and the Enoch Pratt Free Library Storytelling Conference. I have also become involved in my local, state, and national teachers’ unions, and am proud to be a delegate at the 2017 National Education Association Annual Meeting and Representative’s Assembly in Boston, Massachusetts. As luck would have it, the hotel my state delegation is staying at is directly across the street from the Boston Public Library, and I was able to take their Art & Architecture Tour of this beautiful (and magnificent) set of buildings that comprise their central library.
The original cornerstone of the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building was laid in 1888, and was completed in 1895. From the rose granite and the beautiful courtyard to the stunning two-dimensional murals and the mosaic vaulted ceilings, this building is a masterpiece of art – inside and out. Restoration of the building began in 1980, and continues today – it is a must see for library lovers of all ages!
The McKim Building houses the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, one of America’s top 10 map collections. The map center’s current exhibit is entitled Regions and Seasons – Mapping Climate through History, and the website includes a virtual tour of the map center. Also on exhibit is Who We Are: Boston Immigration Then and Now – a celebration of Boston’s diversity. The map center’s Walk to the Sea provides a great virtual tour of the transformation of Boston. In addition, they offer educational programs for students, as well as professional development for teachers, and there are many tools for teachers available, too.
The addition to the central library, the Johnson Building, opened in 1972 and houses the BPL Children’s Library , the Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center and Boston Public Library Studio. The bright and open design of this building is stunning, and I plan to bring back to my school library some of the wonderful ideas that I gathered there!