Direct your support to the program area that means the most to you.
Gifts to the Boston Public Library Fund (BPLF) unlock opportunities for patrons from all walks of life.
Future Readers Club
Our goal is to create for Boston’s children a true ecosystem for early-childhood reading readiness and services. The Future Readers Club encourages parents and other caregivers of thousands of children from newborns to kindergartners to read aloud by providing the tools needed for them to read 1,000 books before their child enters elementary school. Your gift will grow our online and in-person Story Times at our branches; expand Kindergarten Camp, a free, in-person summer program featuring songs, books, games, and crafts that nurture school readiness; provide additional books and take-home materials in multiple languages; and expand collaborations with city agencies, local hospitals, daycare centers, preschools, and other partners.
Scholastic Assistance Programs
The Library is leveling the playing field so all Boston K–12 students can reach their full academic potential. Your gift will expand our Homework Assistance Program, which annually provides Boston students with thousands of hours of free tutoring in multiple languages. It will ensure that class-exam prep, SAT /ACT tutoring services, and post–secondary school exam prep services are available free of charge to all who need it; offer mentoring services by college students to those considering post-secondary education; and fund efforts to ensure that students and families know how to access these and other no-cost resources.
Creative Teen Technologies
Every year, 14,000 teens come to the Library and its branches to experience new technologies, including art and content-creation tools and programs, they might never have access to otherwise. Teen Tech Mentors — talented 9th- through 12th-graders who serve as paid staff — help the Library devise programming for teens and tweens. Your gift will expand programs at the Library’s Teen Central in areas such as video gaming, software, and coding; graphic design and digital art; music production and audio design; video production; and 3D modeling and printing.
The BPL’s Artist-in-Residence for Teens program fuels the budding artistic abilities of young people across the city by funding an artist who lives in Boston to create and implement programs for tweens and teens in Grades 6–12. Your gift will support a resident artist who has a strong interest in and experience working with teens and would like to collaborate with Library staff and young people to create youth-centered art and tools that can be shared with the community. Over a six-month period, the artist will design workshops for teen audiences and develop a forum for presenting and promoting work created during the residency.
Arts for All Communities
The Library collaborates with community arts organizations to help all Bostonians tell their stories, with an emphasis on the lived experiences of persons of color, new citizens and immigrants, LGBTQIA+ communities, young people, and older adults. Your gift will empower the Library’s efforts to create and expand programming of this type, making Boston’s arts and culture sector stronger, more equitable, and more inclusive as we reach out to new groups across the city.
Financial Empowerment/Financial Literacy
The Kirstein Library and our new Community Learning effort provide high-quality, community-centric programming on financial empowerment at the Library in Copley Square and across all of our branches. Your gift can fund a financial adviser mentorship program, a financial check-up program in collaboration with the Roxbury Office of Financial empowerment, or free classes on tax preparation and home buying.
Workforce Preparedness and Career Counseling
Leveraging existing programs and partnerships, the BPL is dedicated to helping adult job seekers locate opportunities, successfully apply and interview for positions, and persist in employment. Your gift will help fund staff who will take a case-management approach to helping patrons find meaningful employment. This individualized method gives every patron the level of support needed and is augmented by free programs such as training in Microsoft and Adobe, preparation for license certification for commercial drivers, and the creation of internship/apprenticeship opportunities.
The BPL is helping Bostonians eat healthier foods and live healthier lives. At the newly renovated Roxbury branch, the Library empowers Bostonians to improve their own and their community’s health and food security through programs and hands-on classes that encourage healthier eating within a limited budget. Professional development and partnerships with local organizations — among them urban farms, nutrition educators, and restaurants — are integral to the Nutrition Lab’s work. Your gift will support these efforts and help individuals develop life and work skills regarding nutrition and the planning of healthful meals.
Activating Outdoor Spaces
COVID-19 taught us that the outdoor public spaces at our branches can be incredibly joyful, valuable havens for building community and delivering much-needed services. Temporary renovations at nine branches created seasonally appropriate seating, surfaces, shade, and cooling systems to enable the community to gather despite a public health emergency — even in extreme heat and humidity. Your gift will make these renovations permanent and expand outdoor access to Wi-Fi and physical spaces at additional branches.
Technology, Accessibility, and Connectivity
As an integral forum for community education and information, the Boston Public Library relies on technology to make its collections, resources, and services available and accessible, free to all. With your support, new technologies such as permanent and portable video conferencing as well as live streaming will provide opportunities for Library patrons to connect to one another and to the myriad programs and services. Gifts will increase tech support to patrons with limited computer skills, fund updates to digital signage in the Central Library and at the branches, and promote digital equity by providing reliable outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots at BPL locations.
Your gift will help ensure visitors become more informed and active members of civic life.
The BPL has played a major role in helping people become more media-literate and discerning about information they take in during this period of prolonged health crisis, intense political fracturing, intentional misinformation campaigns, and pervasive conspiratorial thinking. The Library is creating a journalist-in-residence position to expand programming to help patrons develop and apply critical-thinking skills to their media consumption and increase coverage of local community issues of interest to groups such as new Boston residents, nonnative speakers of English, and underserved populations. Your gift will help fund an individual who will publish journalistic content and mentor patrons on media-literacy issues through workshops and one-on-one conversations as well as creating an annual media symposium.
Entrepreneur-in-Residence: Kirstein Business Library
A truly democratic society enables all to meet their full potential. Yet one of the biggest impediments to success for minority-owned businesses is the lack of peer expertise and mentorship. The Boston Public Library is piloting an Entrepreneur-in-Residency (EIR) program to provide Boston-area entrepreneurs —particularly those of color — with mentoring, skills-building programs, and advice as they prepare their own innovative endeavors. With your support, EIRs will create an entrepreneurship hub that will offer aspiring business owners the opportunity to connect with successful entrepreneurs and business experts who understand the disparities of entrepreneurship due to their own life experiences.
All are welcome here. Staff at the Central Library in Copley Square record more than 120 monthly interactions with housing-insecure patrons. Hundreds more unrecorded interactions occur across the BPL system as patrons seek services for a wide-range of needs. Your gift will support programs developed by our Health and Human Services Librarian, and help fund a full-time Library social worker. It will provide for additional training for staff serving these patrons, and create at the Library a site placement for social work students. By enhancing services and expanding partnerships with the Boston Department of Mental Health and other community organizations, the Library will play a significant role in helping housing-insecure individuals and others at our branches find the services and resources they need to move ahead in their lives.
Adult Online High School
An educated population is key to a thriving democracy. Through our Adult Online High School program, adults earn an accredited school diploma, which provides a clear advantage in seeking employment and pursuing higher education in comparison to a GED. Your gift will fund scholarships for adults to participate each year and expand program eligibility beyond the city of Boston to include all Massachusetts residents.
English for Speakers of Other Languages
As one of the only 100 percent cost-free ESOL programs statewide, the BPL’s English for Speakers of Other Languages is an essential resource for an increasingly diverse populace seeking to participate fully in our democracy. Through participation in virtual and in-person classes, tutoring sessions, conversation groups, and test preparation for the General Educational Development (GED) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), patrons become more engaged members of society, obtain new jobs, and may ultimately become citizens and unlock greater economic potential. Your gift will fund additional instructors and a volunteer coordinator; expand in-person offerings to all 26 branches; and support the creation of marketing materials in multiple languages to increase awareness.
Your gift will help fund the preservation and activation of the vibrant resources that define and distinguish the Boston Public Library.
Our Gift to Future Generations
Architectural marvels, breathtaking works of art, and rare manuscripts. Archives that trace our collective history. Branches that act as vibrant community hubs. The BPL encompasses an abundance of spaces and collections, all of which belong to the people of Boston. Every day, our dedicated staff work to preserve and make accessible a treasure trove of records and objects that chronicle the past, speak to us in the present day, and illuminate the future. Our branches deliver valuable, engaging programming within walking or biking distance of every Boston resident. We owe it to ourselves — and to future generations — to preserve these shared treasures, just as we take pride in our own homes and possessions.