Did you know that the Jamaica Plain Branch Library on Sedgwick Street was the first building ever constructed in Boston used as a neighborhood library? Did you know that most months the JP Branch Library is used more heavily by JP residents than any of the other 26 branch libraries in Boston? Yet the building itself has not been renovated since it was build a century ago, and the facilities are woefully inadequate for the needs of JP children and families who rely on the library.
In May 2012, the JP Neighborhood Council sent a letter asking the City to make necessary renovations to the Library, and you can send your own letter: the Friends of the JP Branch Library have set up a Change.org petition that you can sign, which will be sent directly to the City Council and City officials. Read on for more details:
In 2006, the City of Boston Property and Construction Management Department published a study and master plan to renovate and expand the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. This was the result of many hours work by a Task Force made up of representatives of the City of Boston, the Boston Public Library, residents of the community, and an architectural firm retained by the City of Boston. Below is a summary of the issues needing attention:
While it has received some improvements over the years, the Library is largely unchanged since its construction about 95 years ago.
- The Library lacks basic accessibility features expected of all public buildings.
- The children’s area is small, lacks space for associated children’s programming, and is the main traffic pathway for the branch. The large collection and reading rooms on the main floor are…cramped with equipment, shelving, and Library materials.
- The central problem of the Library is its small size with a floor area of only 10,200 square feet – almost half of which is not available for Library programming – it is too small to serve the functions expected of it. The adult collections lack comfortable reading areas, and there is not a dedicated young adults area.
- Computer access points are insufficient.
A final proposed design concept was presented in the December 2006 report, and yet six years later all of these identified problems still remain.