The Week In Library Land: May 19th to May 25th

What a fun week in Library Land! There weren’t a ton a libraries but there were plenty of library-related events happening.

MLA agenda.jpg

The first stop in Library Land was the Massachusetts Library Association conference, which took place in Framingham. The time we spent there was pretty interesting. We met with so many people that day, all working with libraries in different ways. We heard from a few people that Library Land is leading to conversations in the Massachusetts library community and we certainly hope that’s a positive thing.

We also heard that there are some people who take umbrage with the fact that we write about and rate libraries. We hope it is clear that we have nothing but high regard and deep affection for libraries and the people who keep them running. While it’s true that neither of us are librarians, we believe it’s valuable to share our perspectives as patrons. Whether you agree or disagree with our approach or have thoughts on how we might improve, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a note at

Tuesday was a red letter day in Library Land. It was the formal and grand opening of the Boston Public Library’s Map Room Tea Lounge. We already wrote about its soft launch and this past week’s shindig so no need to recap things here, except to say that it’s really amazing and everyone should go and have a cocktail!

But was there a fine?

But was there a fine?

On Wednesday is was Westboro Public Library. This is a smallish library, built in 1908 and expanded in the 1980s. There are two comfortable rooms in the old section, one for teens and the other used as a reading room. One of the neatest things at the library is the display of its most overdue book, which was checked out in 1811 and not returned until 1914!

The main collection of dutifully circulated books is in the new building, which is serviceable but definitely showing signs of wear-and-tear. The library recognizes this and is currently on the list to receive state funding for a major renovation. Hopefully that will happen! Until it does, the staff is making amazing use of the existing space and resources, with a “Room of Things” (their Library of Things collection), an available meeting room and a freshly painted upper floor in the old building that has a pretty nice makerspace. Library Land Score: 3.91.

Hi, Lydia!

Hi, Lydia!

Friday was a big day too, they just keep happening! We went to the Boyden Library in Foxboro, a Brutalist building from the 1970s that has been recently expanded and reskinned. It’s quite nice and the staff were super friendly, showing us around the new space, talking about what they loved about it and generally sharing their enthusiasm. Library Land Score: 4.25.

All of that was awesome. What was even more awesome was that we met with our new Library Land intern, Lydia, who is also a library blogger at her site, Lydia’s Libraries. Lydia is going to be helping us with a few improvements we’d like to make to the Library Land site, as well as to contribute posts, reviews, and photos. Welcome, Lydia, so nice to have you on the team!

Not sure what this coming week will bring, but whatever happens, you’ll read about it here!