The Jamaica Plain Branch Library on Sedgwick Street has been closed for the past week for electrical repairs. The building won't reopen until December 3rd, but before that happens anyone who is missing this vital community resource has a chance to make a huge difference in the future of our beloved institution. This Wednesday (November 28th) there is a public meeting from 6-8pm to dicsuss the renovation plan for the JP Branch. It will be held at Curtis Hall Community Center (since the library is closed).
The Boston Public Library opted not to include the full renovation of the JP Branch in its capital budget request again last spring (for the 5th year since the City created its comprehensive renovation plan). Instead, the BPL is spending $.5M on a facilities study to determine what needs to be done in all the 25 branches. Since the Mayor did actually go on record last spring many folks think something is happening on the renovation front. True, we got a new bike rack and they are currently fixing wiring that in anything but a public building would have been condemned. But what the busiest library branch in the City deserves is a full and comprehensive renovation.
The BPL has contracted with the architectural firm Miller Dyer Spears to facilitate their study and they have chosen the JP Branch as a pilot for this process. The public meeting on Wednesday is the big first step. It would be GREAT if everyone who uses the library would come to the meeting and be vocal about their 21st century requirements: Parents and kids (if it isn't past their bedtimes!) who could argue for a children's room that is not the main entry into the building and has furniture constructed in this century & geared to kids; computer users who currently squeeze into the only space available, but who deserve more hardware and more space; anyone with mobility issues who cannot access the bathrooms or the auditorium (I wish they could see the new community-created mosaic down there) and should have full access to the whole building; young adults who should have a dedicated space with programming geared to their needs; and poets/knitters/bi-lingual conversationalists (among other groups) that spend time in the building in nooks and crannies not best-suited to group meetings asking for a meeting room.
Jamaica Plain - your library branch needs your support and it will only be with a great turnout to this meeting and a visible demonstration that we deserve a renovation that we can move forward to make our branch a place that will serve the community for another 101 years. See you there!