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Jamaica Plain branch library to close 2 weeks this fall for electrical project

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  September 7, 2012 03:15 PM

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The Jamaica Plain Branch of the Boston Public Library will be closed for two weeks this fall while work is done to update the building’s electrical wiring.

The library, at 12 Sedgwick St., will close at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, city library officials said in a statement. It is scheduled to reopen on Monday Dec. 3 at 10 a.m.

During the closure, the branch’s collection of more than 50,000 items will not be accessible, nor will the location’s book drop. Patrons are encouraged to use the nearby Connolly Branch library at 433 Centre St., where museum passes normally assigned to the Jamaica Plain Branch will be available for pickup and return.

The $27,000 project funded through the city library’s capital budget includes rebuilding and rewiring all lighting fixtures, which will allow for the use of higher-efficiency bulbs. That work will be done through a partnership with NStar.

The branch is also in line to install a new circulation desk sometime during 2013. The cost for that has not yet been determined, library officials said.

Separate the rewiring and new front desk projects, library officials in 2006 approved an $8.5-million renovation and expansion plan to repair aspects of the building, make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act; improve the front of the library and expand some services.

None of the plan has been carried out and the project has yet to be put into the library’s budget.

But, Gina Perille, spokeswoman for the Boston Public Library, said Friday that the plan is “absolutely on the library’s radar.”

“Even though the Jamaica Plain Branch [renovation and expansion] plan is six years old, it will still be a relevant resource in the discussion as we move forward with a system-wide facility review.”

The Boston library system plans to soon start reviewing the physical condition of all of its 25 neighborhood branch buildings this year. The effort will be piloted by reviews at the Jamaica Plain branch and at two others: in Roslindale and Dudley Square, Perille said.

The city library expects to spend $150,000 on the review of its branch buildings this fiscal year out of a total budget of $440,500 that is slated to be used for the reviews by fiscal year 2017.

The branch reviews aim to inform future project planning by assessing how each facility is able to meet the library system’s recently-defined strategic goals and principles, Perille said.

The 9,600 square-foot Jamaica Plain branch is 101 years old – the third-oldest neighborhood branch library in Boston. It was the first independent building, apart from the Copley Square Central Library, built by the city exclusively for library use.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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