Boston >Educational Services > Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St, Boston, MA | Directions 0211742.349571 -71.077308
Mon-Thurs 9am-9pm; Fri-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 1-5pm
Neighborhoods: Back Bay, Back Bay East
Frustrating, if you really want a particular book. – The library has a vast collection of important works, but a large number do not circulate, meaning that one has to read them in the library. "Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs" by Kielan-Jaworowska, as just one example, is 630 densely-written pages long but does not circulate! Is there a point in BPL's even owning the book? Other libraries, fortunately, are not so close-fisted. Any Massachusetts resident can get an Everett Public Library card and request the book, circulating and renewable, from an academic library. But one then has to go to Everett to pick it up--a nuisance for a Boston resident. This should not be necessary!
the most convenient and scenic library in the city – I really enjoy this library mostly because of its location. It is easily accessible right off the Copley stop on the Green Line, and adjacent to Newbury Street so you can go shopping/on a leisurely stroll before or after you ive into your books. The library is pretty vast, with 3 floors to browse from - including DVD rentals, which is great if I don't feel like paying money to rent an older film. Also, I usually get all my school books here to avoid paying for literature I'll never look at after classes are over. Oh, also if you go to their customer service area you can request tickets for free admission to most of the local museums (I've gotten free aquarium and Museum of Science tickets here before, but you do have to ask very early in advance - like at least a month). The outside architecture of the library is something I also really enjoy, especially the marble steps where you can find a majority of the public resting on during the warmer/summer months. Library cards and admission are both obviously free, so enjoy the scenery and take a visit here sometime!
Favorite Springtime Spot – Most people know the BPL as a landmark in Boston, with beatiful marble staircases and handpainted ceilings. But the Library is one of my favorite places to go in the Spring because of its outdoor courtyards. Separating the old part of the library with the newer section (with entrance on Boylston), there is a small outdoor courtyard. Barren in the Winter, the courtyard lights up in the spring with peaceful fountains and wonderful plants. It is the ideal outdoor reading spot or place to study. Perfectly shady and sunny at the same time, it is worth spending a Spring afternoon there.
As good as it gets – The library representa all that good civic architecture can be. Each turn of the head, each stair landing opens up new delights. Go and see it for yourself.
The first major free city library in the U.S. hosts a wide array of free art exhibits and musical programs. – In Short
An architecturally impressive Copley Square complex combining the 1895 Charles Follen McKim building and a 1972 addition (designed by Philip Johnson), the BPL remains a cultural hub in the Back Bay. The older building features murals by noted artists de Chavannes, Abbey and Sargent. The Bates Hall reading room, in the restored McKim building, is two-thirds the length of a football field and features 15 arched windows, a marble floor and built-in bookcases.
A Must-See – One of my favorite places in Boston. There's history and art and architecture. If none of these appeal to you, go just to see the spectacular fountain in the courtyard. The inside is one of the most beautiful buildings in Boston and it's easy to imagine all of the people who walked thru its halls over the centuries. If you have extra time, it's a wonderful place to take a siesta in the courtyard.
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