Storefront Library Blog Archive

Books and culture in Boston’s Chinatown, new effort underway

We concluded the Storefront Library over a year ago in Chinatown, and tonight I’m excited to share photos of something new underway which I believe has tremendous potential to carry the torch forward in the neighborhood. Terrific people are getting behind a new, energetic effort to create a space for Chinatown that can offer books, […]

A Storefront Library for Evanston IL

Creating a community Storefront Library is an odd line of work—exhausting and exhilarating, a thousand mundane details and then moments that move you to tears, all in a day’s work. I suppose it’s like being a librarian, on a kind of stage. One thing is for certain, there aren’t many people doing it. So when […]

Boston Globe editorial, Chinatown library

The Boston Globe published an editorial this morning proposing that the city, Boston Public Library and members of the Chinatown community sit down with developers of a lot on Washington St. and renegotiate a public benefits package to re-direct funding towards the creation of new branch of the BPL in existing underutilized space in the […]

Storefront Library plants a seed at Oak Terrace

Here’s an update on one of the small ripples created by the Storefront Library in Boston’s Chinatown following our closing in February. At the conclusion of the project, our volunteers and staff went to great lengths to distribute the components of the Storefront Library to seed emerging projects in the neighborhood. Read more here. At […]

Time to Move on. . .

Dear Patrons, Supporters and Sponsors, The last day of the Storefront Library at 640 Washington St. will be Sunday, January 17, 2010. If you haven’t had a chance to come by, please do! This weekend, in addition to storytime and a special science activity, we’ll be giving tours for the American Librarians’ Association Midwinter Conference. […]

We're in this (space) together

At the Storefront Library, whether you’re attending a program, reading a newspaper, or working the Drawing Lab, you’ll find yourself among people making the most of a formerly vacant storefront—doing things together and doing things “alone.” As always, we’re open late on Thursday until 8PM. And we’ve got your favorite bilingual storytime at 6PM featuring […]

Sunday: go ahead, draw on the walls & talk

Drawing Workshop in the Storefront Library Sunday, January 10, 12PM-3PM. MAKE YOUR MARK and DRAW in the Drawing Lab! Come DRAW and EXPLORE with artist, Deb Putnoi. You will: Draw to music and different sounds; Draw using your sense of TOUCH as your guide; Experiment with DIFFERENT DRAWING MATERIALS; Draw on different kinds of papers […]

Saturday in the Storefront

Start off with Storytime at 11:30AM. We’ll read the Very Hungry Caterpillar and make our own caterpillars to take home. We’ll be bilingual throughout (English and Cantonese). Thanks to Volunteer Staff Laura Jean and Celia for teaming up for this event. Then, from 12PM-1PM, join educators from Opera Boston for an hour of special storytelling […]

Moose in the Library—Storytime Tonight

Tonight’s storytime is all about moose. Join readers Sharon Tomasulo and Annie Wu at 6PM for Moose Tracks by Karma Wilson and If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff. We’ll make our own antlers to wear. Bilingual reading (Cantonese). The Library is open Thursday nights until 8PM. When you visit the Storefront […]

Today: Language Learning in the Library

Join us in the Storefront Library today for two language learning events: 1PM—English Language Conversation Practice. Join a guided conversation to practice your English skills. All levels—drop in anytime from 1-2PM. 5PM—Workshop on ESOL Courses & Scholarships at The American Chinese Christian Educational and Social Services.  Come learn about Intensive courses for improving pronunciation and […]

The future of (storefront) libraries

Here’s an interesting prediction about the future of libraries just posted by a blogger who works in electronic resource management in New Jersey. Eric Hellman thinks the advent of ebooks and high operations costs will lead to fewer libraries but more locations in places like shopping centers and storefronts: While the shift to digital media […]

Closed for the Holidays. Open Jan 3, 2010.

The Storefront Library is closed for the holidays and will re-open January 3, 2010. 图书馆在假期会关闭直到2010,1月3号. Many of our volunteer staff are traveling home for the holidays right now. Have a safe and happy holiday break. See you in 2010!

Workshop on Childcare Options in Chinatown

Join us today at 5PM for a free workshop hosted by The Chinatown Human Development Studio: “Childcare with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.” Learn about BCNC’s Child Care programs, including family child care homes, the Acorn Center for Early Education and Care, and the Red Oak After School program. The workshop will help you answer: […]

We will close due to weather Sunday, Dec 20

The Storefront Library will be closed Sunday, Dec. 20 due to a snow storm. We expect to re-open on Monday for regular hours 11AM-6PM. 因为明天十二月二十会下大雪,我们闭馆一天

Hope enters our 4000th book in online catalog

On Sunday, Hope Nguyen entered the 4000th donated book in the Storefront Library Online Catalog, as Amy Cheung, Program Manager, looked on. In two months, more than 40 volunteers have contributed nearly one thousand hours of public service in the Storefront Library, and it’s fitting that Hope was there to mark our latest milestone. Hope […]

Sunday: Chinese Shadow Puppet Theater

Join us from 2-4PM Sunday for a repeat of yesterday’s “Shadow Puppet Theater.” Try out Chinese Shadow Puppets using kits provided by the Boston Childrens’ Museum. Drop in anytime. For all ages.

Neighborhood Network News covers Storefront

Chinatown Storefront Library from Chris Lovett on Vimeo.

Saturday is when we go to work in the Library

This Saturday, we’ve got five events for you and your family: Listen to Storytime at 11:30AM. Join Be the Match and learn how easy it has become to become a bone marrow donor (and how critical your donation can be for Asian Americans and people of mixed-race descent). 12-4PM. Check out Chinese Shadow Puppets with […]

The Storefront Library counts

During the operation of the Storefront Library, a headcount of adults and children is taken every 30 minutes. The chart below is a snapshot of combined (adults+children) headcounts from the first month of operation. We use headcount data to adjust operating hours, staffing, and program schedules for maximum impact. Boston Street Lab and the Storefront […]

Storefront hosts exhibit of Historic Restaurants

Chow Mein, Chicken Wings, and Cheeseburgers: Recalling Downcity Chinese in the Postwar Era is a photo exhibit of historic Chinese restaurants in New England that revisits the world of Chinese restaurants in downtown Providence from its heyday in the wake of World War II through its decline in the 1980s. The exhibit remembers Ming Garden, […]

Free Zine Event with Papercut Zine Library

Join us for a unique event in the Storefront Library on Saturday, December 12, 3-6PM: a workshop for teens introducing zines (“zeens”) and zine-making. The free session will cover the basics: how to spot zines, where to look for them and what they can be used for. It will also feature step-by-step instructions on how […]

Voices raised in the Storefront Library

Monday evening, the Storefront Library hosted a rousing spoken word performance sponsored by students of a Storytelling, Performance and Production class at the University of Massachusetts, Boston in collaboration with the Asian American Studies Program at U. Mass. Open to the public until 9PM, the Library was packed and standing room only—which is good thing […]

Saturday's a wrap—join us Sunday.

Thanks to all today’s Storefront Library volunteers who logged a total of 36.5 hours of public service, and also Liz Coffey, Amy Sloper, and the folks at Home Movie Night for a terrific show this evening. Visit the multimedia player here at for photos from Saturday’s events, including Storytime run by Lucy Borgheiinck (Simmons GSLIS […]

Start small, aim big: Express Library, Mesa AZ

We just read with interest about a newly launched “Express Library” in Mesa Arizona: 2500 square feet, open three days a week, funded by impact fees from real estate developers. Less than 7% of the start-up costs were used to renovate the storefront—the rest was spent on materials. Ongoing operating costs will be covered by […]

Spend a Saturday in the Storefront Library

Start things off with Storytime at 11:30AM. Follow with Chinese Celebrations from 2:00pm – 4:00pm where you can drop in and learn about Chinese celebrations through hands-on activities, guided by Storefront Library staff, using kits provided by the Boston Childrens’ Museum. For all ages. Wrap it up with Home Movie Night—a celebration of amateur film where you […]

A busy night at the Storefront Library

Tonight was record-breaking—three simultaneous events and scores of people using the library into the evening. But why is busy important to us? In short, the more you use the Storefront Library, the more we learn from this experiment. Boston Street Lab and the Storefront Library Interns and Volunteers are committed to documenting the broad demand […]

Film Screening: From Hutong to Highrise, Dec 4

Film Screening: From Hutong to Highrise: The Transformation of Beijing, a documentary by Jasper Goldman and Beatrice Chen Friday Dec 4 6pm. (20 minute film). Here’s an event Flyer—help us spread the word. In the summer of 2001, urban planning students Beatrice Chen and Jasper Goldman, traveled to China to document the rapidly disappearing urban […]

Friends of the Chinatown Library Meeting

The Storefront Library will host a meeting of Friends of the Chinatown Library, Friday, December 4, 4:00pm. All welcome. For more information and to rsvp, contact Lisette Le, Civic Action Coordinator, Chinese Progressive Association, 617-357-4499 or

Storefront Library nurtures another library in the neighborhood

Storefront Library staff coordinated and delivered a donation of 350 high quality classic fiction titles to the Quincy Upper School, a Boston Public School on Arlington Street that serves grades 6 – 12. The books had been carefully selected from high school reading lists by a donor who asked for our help in getting these […]

Boston Public Library President visits

Amy Ryan, President of the Boston Public Library, dropped in at the Storefront Library during our open hours today. She spent time talking with staff and volunteers, and we showed her some of our initial usage data and described our operations. We also talked about how operating in a street-level storefront space encourages us to […]

English Conversation—drop in and practice

Every Monday from 1:00-2:00pm, Storefront Library Volunteer Emily Wu leads a drop-in English Language Practice group. Participants can practice English language skills through guided conversation, which is free and open to all ages. This Monday, a group of nearly 40 ESOL students from the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center dropped in for a tour of the […]

Storyhour Workshop for Storefront Library staff

Leading a children’s story hour can be a challenge, even for experienced librarians. Today, Laura Jean Miller, a graduate of the Simmons Graduate Program in Library and Information Sciences and coordinator of our twice-weekly (and often bi-lingual) Storefront Library Storytime, offered an in-depth workshop for staff about strategies for reading to kids. She covered methods […]

8centric volunteers stop by and sweep up

Jason Chou and a group of 8centric volunteers stopped by the Storefront Library as they made their way through the neighborhood on a street clean-up. Jason lives in the neighborhood and is a founder of 8centric, an organization that mobilizes volunteers to address needs in the Chinatown community. 8centric also offers a free evening English conversational […]

The Storefront Library—open this weekend, lion dance workshop

On Sunday, the Storefront Library will host a Lion Dance Workshop at 2:00PM. Come learn about the Lion Dance and its history with Adam Cheung of Woo Ching White Crane. Try on the lion head and play the drum. Here’s a flyer for the event—please spread the word. We’re open every weekend from 11AM-6PM on […]

Join us with your home movies, Dec 5

Home Movie Night at the Storefront Library Saturday, December 5, 5:00-8:00pm. Here’s an Event Flyer—help us spread the word. This event is brought to you by the Boston hosts of the annual nationwide Home Movie Day. Home Movie Day celebrates amateur film by inviting people to bring their films to be screened. We will show film […]

Comic-making workshop on Thursday, Dec 3

Join local authors Phil Amara and Richard Jenkins for an evening workshop on comic-making at the Storefront Library. Phil is the author of So, You Wanna Be a Comic Book Artist? and former editor of Dark Horse Comics, and Richard is the author of Comics in Your Curriculum. Phil is also a teacher at the […]

WISH TREE by Yoko Ono at Storefront Library

Instructions: Make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper. Fold it and tie it around a branch of a wish tree. Ask your friend to do the same. Keep wishing until the branches are covered. Yoko Ono’s WISH TREE project began in 1981. She was originally inspired by her childhood memory of […]

Storefront Library online catalog hits 3000

Melissa Saggerer (Simmons GSLIS ‘10) and Amalia Child (Simmons GSLIS ‘11) entered our 3000th book into the Storefront Library catalog just before closing this evening. Over 5000 books have been donated since the project began. Read all about the collection here. Thanks to Valerie Wong, Susan Chin, and Astrid Müller for working this afternoon on […]

Sampan Newspaper covers Storefront Library

An article in this week’s Sampan Newspaper looks at the Storefront Library in operation, and includes interviews with Library volunteer staff. Writer Kyle Chayka with reporters Ben Ross and Averi Becque spent several hours observing and interviewing, and their article offers a glimpse into the process of real-time evaluation and adjustment that have been central […]

Saturday Storytime: All About the City

Saturday’s Storytime is all about the city. We’ll read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and The Night Worker. We’ll also make cityscape pictures. Join us at the Storefront Library at 11:30AM on Saturday, Nov 21.

Friends of the Chinatown Library Meeting

The Storefront Library will host a meeting of Friends of the Chinatown Library, Friday, November 20, 4:00pm. All welcome. For more information and to rsvp, contact Lisette Le, Civic Action Coordinator, Chinese Progressive Association, 617-357-4499 or

Storytime Thursday Nights 6PM

This Thursday night, storytime is all about the farm. We’ll read This Little Chick and Duck on a Bike, and we’ll make our own Big Red Barns. The Library is open Thursday nights until 8PM. Check out photos from last week’s Storytime in the media browser to the right. When you visit the Storefront Library, […]

Special Bi-lingual Tours of the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library, Copley

Please join us for the final of three, special guided tours of the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library at Copley. These free, guided tours have been specially arranged with the Chinatown community in mind, and Storefront Library volunteers will provide translation in Cantonese. The first tours gave an overview of the Copley Branch […]

Gift Arrives to Storefront Library from Boston Sister City Hangzhou

The Storefront Library received a generous donation of books and DVDs about Hangzhou from the Municipal Government of Hangzhou, China. Hangzhou is Boston’s Sister City, with ties established in 1982. These materials are now available to the public at the Storefront Library. Thanks to Boston money manager, award-winning local author, and President of the Boston-Hangzhou […]

This Weekend: Storytime + Ancient Egypt

Saturday is big in the Storefront Library. Start off at 11:30AM with a our weekly You and Me Storytime. This week: Cars and Trucks and Things That Go! Follow up with a special event at 2:00PM: Ancient Egypt! Discover mummies and the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. Try hand-on activities guided by Storefront Library staff, using […]

Today at the Library: TALK READ PLAY

Talk Read Play is a public awareness campaign focusing on the role of parents as their children’s first teachers from birth to age five. The campaign provides critical information and resources to support parents in educating their young children. Friday, November 13 is Talk Read Play Day in the City of Boston. Sponsors of the […]

Storefront Library: now open all weekend.

Entering our second week of operation, we’re announcing new hours designed to meet strong weekend demand for the library. We are now open Saturday & Sunday 11AM-6PM. We’re also open Monday  to allow restaurant workers and their families to visit the library on their day off. Here are the new hours of the Storefront Library: […]

Tufts University’s EXPOSURE to Document Storefront Library

EXPOSURE, a Tufts University’s program for photojournalism, documentary studies, and human rights will be documenting the Storefront Library in photographs and interviews to be gathered during the fall. Students, led by Kyle Chayka, will be visiting the space routinely to create an in-depth look at the library’s operation. EXPOSURE’s Ben Ross attended the opening ceremony […]

Storefront Library open until 6PM tonight

The library will stay open an extra hour tonight, until 6PM. Please drop in. Regular hours are TUE-THU 11AM-6PM, FRI & SAT 10AM-5PM. (Update: new hours posted here)

The Storefront Library has been open one week

During our first week, you told us that: you want more Chinese language materials you want to check out books you don’t want to wait in line to use a computer Here’s what we’ve done: Volunteer Astrid Muller led a drive for Chinese-language materials from sources all over Boston, including local organizations and foreign student […]

Friends of the Chinatown Library: Community Meeting with Candidates

Today, Thursday, October 22, from 4pm – 5:30pm Come hear about the campaign for a permanent branch library in the neighborhood, hosted by the organization: Friends of Chinatown Library. Candidates for Mayor and City Council at-Large, and Councilor Linehan’s office have been invited, and will have an opportunity to share their ideas. All welcome. For more […]

We are not alone.

On Sept. 17, 2009, a temporary branch of the North Park Library was opened in a Kmart Plaza storefront in North Buffalo, NY. The library is 4000 sq. feet and includes a computer lab and children’s area. We appreciate how the planners created a timeline describing the steps they took in developing this project, including […]

Urban Wildlife in the Storefront Library

Join Erin Kelly, naturalist from the Boston Nature Center for a nature program in the library: Wild in the City. Thursday, October 22, 10am-11:30am a free event at the new Chinatown Storefront Library 640 Washington St (between Essex and Beach) Preschool age children learn how wildlife survive in the city through picture book reading, sharing, […]

The Storefront Library is an experiment

The Storefront Library is a working library and also an experiment. Here’s a snapshot of visitor head counts taken every 30 minutes during our first day of operation: Come visit, use the library, and tell us what you think. The more you put the Storefront Library to the test, the more we all learn about […]

Storefront Library open until 6PM tonight

The library will stay open an extra hour tonight, until 6PM. Please drop in. Regular hours are TUE-THU 11AM-6PM, FRI & SAT 10AM-5PM. (Photo by Jerry Huang.)

BPD Officer Tommy Yung donates books

Officer Tommy Yung of the Boston Police Department stopped by on his day off to donate eight boxes of books. Officer Yung patrols the neighborhood on bicycle, and he has already met with staff to coordinate public safety around the library. He will be swinging by regularly as part of his work in the neighborhood. […]

Greg Tang Math Workshop at Storefront Library, this Saturday 11AM

Join Greg Tang, author of The Grapes of Math, for a math workshop at the Storefront Library this Saturday, Oct. 17 at 11AM. Learn effective ways to think about numbers and practical strategies that make math easy and fun! Parents and other homework helpers are encouraged to attend. Suggested for ages 8-12. Free and open to […]

The Storefront Library is now open + WBUR

The Storefront Library opened to the public this morning at 11AM and will be open until 6PM tonight. Thanks to the hundreds of people who came to the opening ceremony last night. It’s less crowded this morning, but no less exciting. Check out a story about the Storefront Library by WBUR’s Andrea Shea which ran […]

Storefront Library Opening Ceremony

Thank you to the 250+ people who attended the opening ceremony of the Storefront Library on Oct. 14, 2009. Your show of support was overwhelming and deeply appreciated by the staff, volunteers, and contributors to the project. (Photos contributed by Cynthia Yee, Ben Ross, and Peter Davol.) Thank you to our featured speakers: Mayor Tom […]

Storefront Library prepares for launch

Thanks to Lee Moreau for graphic design donated in-kind to the Storefront Library. Lee also connected us with Mark Andreasson’s firm Design Communications Ltd (DCL) which donated fabrication and installation of our new nine foot window sign. Angela Exposito & Adam Lawson of DCL came out this morning and installed the new sign with good humor and […]

Library volunteer staff training completed

Over 20 volunteer staff have completed early morning and evening training sessions about the operation of the Storefront Library. The Storefront Library front-line volunteer staff are smart, energetic, and excited to open the doors of the library to the community. They come from different backgrounds, including the Chinatown community, and library science graduate programs. All […]

Storefront Library hours of operation expanded

When the Storefront Library opens on October 15, operating hours will be TUE-THU 11am-6pm, FRI & SAT 10am-5pm. The newly revised schedule will keep the library open more hours overall, and it will allow us to maximize the number of staff, interns, and volunteers working in the space. In addition to regular operating hours, watch […]

Storefront Library collection growing

In the past 48 hours, the Storefront Library  collection has nearly tripled in size, with generous donations from The Learning Project Elementary School, Dawn C. Donovan, Hiroko Kikuchi & Jeremy Chi-Ming Liu, Virgina Ward, and many others. Adam Robinson, Brianna Belanger, and Lucy Borgheiinck from Simmons Graduate School of Library Sciences have volunteered hours of […]

Storefront Library Bookplate

We’re pleased to announce that a bookplate designed by Boston-born artist, Sarah Sze, will mark each book donated to the Storefront Library’s collection.

Under Construction: the Storefront Library

For the past three days, volunteer crews from Shawmut Design and Construction have helped pack, move, and assemble furnishings for the Storefront Library. Special thanks to Shawmut and also the staff at Archstone Boston Common for working with us to bring the library and space online.

Harvard/MIT Coop donates books

New and gently used book donations have been steadily coming in over the past month. Next week, Storefront Library Interns from Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences will take a “shopping trip” on behalf of the Storefront Library, courtesy of our latest in-kind sponsor, the Harvard/MIT Cooperative Society. Books selected from the Coop will help round […]

Boston Globe covers Storefront Library

For Chinatown, a new chapter: Residents hope library is preface to new branch (Metro B1, Sept. 21, 2009) Storefront library exposes gap (Globe Editorial, Sept. 25, 2009) This recent coverage is part of a long-standing discussion about how to bring library services to Chinatown. The Storefront Library aims to demonstrate that there are ways—right now—that […]

Storefront Library Book Drive

The Storefront Library is seeking donations of books.  In particular, we need picture books in English for children, and browse-able materials (such as non-fiction and reference books) in both Chinese and English for adults. Books will not circulate outside the Storefront Library, so titles that can be browsed and read in the space are preferred. […]

INSERT for the Chinatown Storefront Library nears completion – exhibition at Harvard’s GSD

This past spring and summer, students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, in partnership with the art and design collective Department of Micro-Urbanism, designed and constructed shelving, seating, and workspaces for the Storefront Library, with the support of community design fellowships from Harvard. “This project represents a different way for architects, educators and students […]

Archstone donates space for the Chinatown Storefront Library

Boston Street Lab, nonprofit producer of the Chinatown Storefront Library, is pleased to announce that real estate firm Archstone, developer and owner of Archstone Boston Common apartments and the recently opened Archstone Avenir apartments in Bullfinch Triangle, has generously donated temporary use of 3,000 square feet of prime street-level commercial space for a three-month installation […]

Hiring Storefront Library Site Manager

Boston Street Lab is now accepting applications for Site Manager of the Storefront Library in Boston’s Chinatown. Two shifts need to be filled (morning and afternoon), and the Site Manager(s) will receive a stipend of $12/hour. The Site Manager will be supervised by Boston Street Lab and will be responsible for day-to-day operation of the […]

Storefront Library at August Moon Festival

On August 16, the Storefront Library Project was at the 2009 August Moon Festival. Staff were on-hand to talk about the project, and elements of the Storefront Library program were demonstrated, including a children’s reading area, photography, art and calligraphy books for adults, and free WIFI. A slideshow of the event is available in the Multimedia Player, […]

Storefront Library partners with 2010 US Census

The Storefront Library has formed a partnership with the 2010 US Census where we will be a site for education and outreach for the upcoming Census. Bi-lingual print materials about the 2010 Census are already on hand and will be distributed at upcoming “mobile” Storefront Library events, such as our appearance at the August Moon […]

Storefront Library presented at Chinatown Residents Association

The Chinatown Residents Association met this evening in the cafeteria of the Quincy Elementary School and invited us to present the Storefront Library. Over tea, the residents were briefed on the ongoing development of the Storefront Library, and plenty of questions were asked. Some residents requested that Chinese Opera be featured in the Library, though […]

Penpower Technology to donate handwriting recognition & Chinese language learning tools

Thanks to a generous in-kind donation from Penpower Technology Ltd, the Storefront Library will feature two new tools supporting Chinese language speakers and learners: A tablet, called Penpower Junior, enables anyone to conduct a web-search, write an email, or otherwise input text into a computer by writing. Traditional or Simplified Chinese, Hong Kong characters, Japanese […]

Storefront Library at Chinatown Main Street Festival

On Sunday, July 12, a mobile version of the Storefront Library Project made an appearance at the 2009 Chinatown Main Street Festival. Staff were on-hand to discuss the project, and elements of the Storefront Library program were demonstrated, such as a small children’s reading area, photography and calligraphy books for adult browsing, and free WIFI. A […]

Storefront Library Seeking Program Partners

Boston Street Lab is looking for nonprofit organizations and groups who provide educational and community programs consistent with a public library, such as ESL and computer classes, reading groups, screenings, talks, meetings, and events. The Chinatown Storefront Library will launch in Fall 2009 and will showcase some of Boston’s civic and cultural resources in a highly visible, street-level space. […]

Cheng & Tsui Donates New Books

Cheng & Tsui, an independent publisher and distributor of English and multilingual educational materials about Asia, has made a generous donation of new books to the Storefront Library. At a meeting today of the Friends of the Chinatown Library, community members got a chance to inspect some of the titles and were especially pleased by the […]

Library Events in Development: Film Series

Here’s a preview of an event in development for the Storefront Library, Fall 2009. Chinese Language Film Series, Thursday Evenings. Every year, Jean Lukitsh, curator of Films at the Gate chooses five films to entertain the Chinatown community during the free, outdoor movie series held on a vacant lot in the heart of Chinatown. But […]

Storefront Library Seeking Partners

Boston Street Lab is looking for nonprofit organizations and groups who currently provide educational and community programs consistent with a public library, such as ESL and computer classes, reading groups, screenings, talks, meetings, and events. The Storefront Library will be a showcase of Boston Chinatown’s civic and cultural resources in a highly visible space on the street. […]

Locating Libraries in Metro Stations, Stockholm.

Inauguration day of “T-Sture”, the new Metro Library at Stureplan, Stockholm from Ã…ke Nygren. Here’s a glimpse of what appears to be the opening of a new library in a Metro Station in Stockholm. (Note the fresh flowers, cafe area, and acrobats.) We’ve been exploring the concept of “library outposts,” a term which we trace […]

Open-air Reading Room at Bryant Park, NYC

  Boston Street Lab toured the open-air Reading Room at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan and met with Paul Romero, Project Director. The original Reading Room began in 1935 as a public response to job losses in New York, and it ran until the start of WWII. The current Reading Room draws on that precedent by offering carts […]

Storefront Library at Chinatown Coalition Meeting

Boston Street Lab announced the Storefront Library at the most recent meeting of The Chinatown Coalition (TCC).  TCC brings together neighborhood residents, community members, businesses, and institutions committed to serving Boston’s Chinatown. The TCC meets monthly and provides a forum for discussion, collaboration, and resource sharing. Boston Street Lab encouraged TCC members to support the Storefront project […]

Historic photos of original Boston Public Library Branch in Chinatown

Storefront Library internships

Boston Street Lab has reached out to Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Service for interns to participate in development the Storefront Library program this summer and interns to help operate the library next fall. Interns must be graduate students in the Simmons College GSLIS program who have completed 12 credits, including the completion of the reference, […]

Visit to Chatham Square Library, NYC

The Chatham Square Branch of the New York Public Library is located in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown. It houses a Chinese Heritage collection with special resources about the Chinese experience in the United States. It’s also got experienced librarians who gave Boston Street Lab guidance about bilingual signage.  We visited the Chatham Square […]

Nate Hill—library outposts

The concept of a storefront library is not unique to this moment in Boston. There is a gentleman who has been thinking about library outposts for some time. Boston Street Lab is thrilled that Nate Hill, currently heading up the Greenpoint branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, has agreed to sign on as a Project Advisor to the […]

Meeting with Boston Public Library

Development of the library program for the Storefront Library is underway. Today, Boston Street Lab met with librarian Rebecca Campbell of the Boston Public Library (BPL), who will be helping to coordinate the advisory role of the BPL as we develop the services, activities, and events of the temporary library program. Our challenge is to […]

Ideas from "Abroad"

Last week, we took a trip to the Bay Area and met staff at two remarkable libraries: the San Francisco Public Library Chinatown Branch and the Oakland Public Library Asian Branch. San Francisco and Oakland have large Asian American communities, each with a thriving, centrally located library branch. In the months ahead, we plan to […]

Tufts Students raise $1,600

Tufts students raised $1,600 for the activities of Friends of the Chinatown Library at the Tufts Asian American Alliance’s annual charity auction last week. Freshman Joseph Ha, a co-coordinator for the event, said. . .”This year, a lot of the Asian groups around Boston have been in turmoil because of … the recession. Chinatown is […]

Design Process Underway

The Storefront Library is a unique opportunity to model and test how the physical elements of a branch library can be designed to best serve aspects of a library program. Students and architects from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) have begun work on creating concepts for a unique, visually and tactilely engaging space which […]

Search for a space

We’re looking for a vacant, street-level, accessible commercial space in Chinatown that can serve as the temporary home of the Storefront Library. For owners of vacant commercial real estate, this is an opportunity to improve the community surrounding your property. Hosting Storefront Library will bring positive attention to your role in the community and put […]

Storefront Library, new site launched

Visit to learn more about our latest project, the Chinatown Storefront Library.  The Storefront Library will transform one of Boston’s vacant street-level spaces into a temporary public library, featuring readings, talks, screenings, and events. Coming Fall 2009.

Web site launched

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be rolling out more information about the development of the Chinatown Storefront Library. Here are ways to stay connected with the project: Subscribe rss, atom Follow on Facebook

This page is an archived collection of blog posts from the 2009-2010 Storefront Library at 640 Washington St.

Learn more about the Storefront Library project here.