By Mayor Martin Walsh
A library card gives you access to not only printed books and e-books, but streaming audio books, movies, music, television shows, and digital magazines and comics. In September, during ‘Library Card Sign-Up Month,’ more than 6,600 individuals signed up for a free library card with the Boston Public Library.
Here in Boston, we are proud to have one of the best library systems in the world. And we have hundreds of thousands of card holders across the city and the state. People come from all over to visit the library and take advantage of what we have to offer. Our library and branches promote learning through a wealth of resources and knowledge – which are free to all.
And each library branch has something unique to offer. We have 24 neighborhood branches all across our city, in addition to the Central Library in Copley Square. They serve as anchors for our communities. There’s something for everyone here – from learning programs, to creative activities, to free Wi-Fi, to places for the community to gather.
Our library locations offer important learning spaces for our children with daily story times for babies and toddlers. Many of our neighborhood branches offer “Homework Help,” which is a program that has qualified high school students assist younger students with their school assignments. Parents can feel relieved knowing their children are learning and thriving in positive environments.
Our locations offer wonderful senior programming, as well. Last year, the Boston Public Library Foundation and the Boston Public Library teamed up to encourage neighborhood branches to develop new senior programming. Last year, our branches offered fun programs, such as memoir writing workshops in Brighton and Tai Chi and Qigong in Uphams Corner. We’re excited that this initiative will happen again in 2016.
The Boston Public Library is also leading the way in innovative learning. It offers tons of e-books, digital and audio resources. All locations offer computers for public use, where people can access services from government websites to language programs. Our branches make sure that everyone who needs and wants access to a computer can get it.
I encourage you to visit your local branch. Signing up for a card is easy, and our friendly library staff is always happy to help. Bring your family, check out the activities going on, and connect with your neighbors in the community. You’ll find that your library card will give you access to much more than books – you’ll have access to a world of imagination, information and support.