Local elected officials, including Mayor Martin Walsh, gathered at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library on Sept. 25 for the groundbreaking ceremony for the $10 million renovation of the building, which will have new youth spaces.
JP Branch librarian Laura Pattison said that the renovated library will move the children’s room from the front of the library to the back. The round, wooden table that has been a fixture there will be refurbished and the new space will have a “nice reading nook” facing the fireplace mantel. There will also be a place for parents to read to their kids.
She said that “a big change” will be the addition of bathrooms for children, tweens and teens, as before those age groups had to use the adult bathrooms.
The tweens, which Pattison said covers youths between ages 8 and 12, will have a space in the middle room where the circulation desk used to be. The area will have a glass partition to separate it from the rest of the library and it will also have bright lounge chairs.
The teens will have a renovated mezzanine area for their space. Pattison said libraries have found that teens are an age group who like to have their space separate from everybody else. She said the teens will have their own computers on the mezzanine and also have comfortable lounge chairs.
Pattison said she expects the youths to have a lot of interest in the “maker space” the renovated library will have, which is a space that will have a 3-D printer and graphics-editing software. She said that that is a part of a new trend for libraries being a place for engagement instead of where people “get stuff and leave.”
The renovation project is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.