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A Letter from the President

Boston Public Library

Contact Name: David Leonard,
Type of Initiative: Civic Engagement   


A Message from President David Leonard

To the Boston Public Library Community:

During this time of uncertainty the Boston Public Library remains a constant for our community, as it has since its founding in 1848.

Dedicated to the advancement of learning, the Boston Public Library serves “to educate the people as the safeguard of order and liberty.” That conviction and our promise to be Free to All are carved into the façade of the McKim building at the Central Library in Copley Square and illustrate our commitment to providing all Bostonians, Massachusetts residents, and visitors with library services.

Each day when we open our doors we pledge to offer our communities reading and literacy services, stimulating and relevant programs, welcoming spaces, access to information and technology, and engagement with our cultural heritage.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh is resolute that Boston is and will remain a city of inclusion. The American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries, to name two of the affiliations we hold close, have made affirming declarations of their commitments to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. Boston Public Library and the 480+ staff members who serve our 26 locations are proud to stand with the Mayor and our library affiliates to reassert that we are Free to All and here to welcome everyone equally regardless of gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, faith, or economic status.

Our library services must remain available to all, without fear of discrimination. We work to help our users navigate the world. Whether they seek Boston Public Library services for intellectual growth, self-inquiry, academic support, or a multitude of other reasons, we serve as advocates for personal advancement and for clarifying the pathways to that achievement. And we will always protect our users’ rights to privacy in so doing.

It is in times of uncertainty when we as an institution must reflect on and recommit to our founding principles—preserved in granite—that are the foundation from which every patron interaction originates.

David Leonard

President, Boston Public Library