Libraries & Community History

You're invited to the Boston Public Library Fund’s annual breakfast and conversation event!

Thursday, May 18 from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Newsfeed Cafe, Central Library in Copley Square

Scroll down to register for this free event. 

Take a first look at the Library’s new Boston Community History Project as a panel of local historians, storytellers, and community leaders discuss the importance of enabling greater equity for all Bostonians to create, preserve, and share their diverse stories.

You’ll enjoy coffee and a conversation moderated by Kenzie Bok, Boston City Councilor, and David Leonard, Boston Public Library President, on how innovative library resources, philanthropy, and community partnerships come together to support the stories of Boston’s diverse and historically underrepresented communities.

Please join us to learn more about this exciting new initiative and to make new connections.

The Boston Community History Project was launched thanks to the generous support of Bank of America. Please contact us to learn how your institution’s giving can sustain this important work.


Angie Chatman; Writer, Editor, Storyteller

A contributor to Business Insider and iPondr, Angie’s short stories have been anthologized in Dine (Hippocampus Books), and appeared in Literary Landscapes, Pangyrus, the Rumpus, Blood Orange Review, Hippocampus magazine, fwriction:review, and the blog Slice of MIT. She has performed stories for The MOTH, the RISK! podcast, StoryCollider, MassMouth, Tell-All Boston, and the TV series Stories from the Stage (WGBH). She is a WEBBY award winner and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She holds a BS from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MS in Economics from MIT Sloan, and an MFA in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction from Queens University of Charlotte.

Dan Cohen; Dean of Libraries; Vice Provost for Information Collaboration; Professor of History at Northeastern University

Dan Cohen is the Vice Provost for Information Collaboration, Dean of the Library, and Professor of History at Northeastern University. His work has focused on the impact of digital media and technology on all aspects of knowledge and learning, from the nature of libraries and their evolving resources, to twenty-first century research techniques and software tools, to the changing landscape of communication and publication. He has directed major initiatives that have helped to shape that future. Prior to his tenure at Northeastern, he was the founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America, which brought together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and made them freely available to the world.

Eson Kim; Director of Community Engagement at GrubStreet

Eson Kim (she/her) serves as the Director of Community Engagement at GrubStreet, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her stories have appeared in Calyx Journal, Denver Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, among others. She received a Writing Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and earned the David B. Saunders Award for creative nonfiction. She was also named to the Notable list of Best American Essays. She’s appeared on Radio Boston’s Summer Reads series and Stories from the Stage (WGBH). She loves any opportunity to talk about books for all ages, preferably while sipping on a tall glass of bubble tea.

Dory Klein; Community History and Digitization Specialist, Boston Public Library

Dory works with organizational partners and individuals in Boston neighborhoods to co-design and develop projects that bring deep community histories to light. Dory is committed to challenging oppressive power structures in research institutions; as such, she works to preserve and elevate the histories of communities traditionally marginalized in these spaces, in their own voices and on their own terms. Previously, she was the librarian and archivist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, and she also served as the map librarian at the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center at the BPL. She is a graduate of Simmons University, where she earned both her MA in History and her MLIS with a concentration in Archives Management.

Heang Rubin; Principal and Founder of CHIC Community Engagement Consulting

As the Principal and Founder of CHIC Community Engagement Consulting, Dr. Rubin believes in bringing the core values of her company – compassion, healing, imagination, celebration – to all the work that she does.  Some of her current projects include working as a facilitator with the Boston Research Center to support the development of the Chinatown Collections Project.  She is also working on a community storytelling project for PRX to support the development of a storytelling ecosystem in the Gateway Cities.  This work grows out of ten years working as a community-engaged researcher in academic medicine and public health and twenty-five years of working with the Asian American community both locally and nationally, serving as the Board President of the Friends of the Chinatown Library for eight years. 

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