Please Support an Increased Roslindale Library Renovation Budget

We're in the design phase of our library renovation, and we're lobbying Mayor Walsh and the Boston City Council for additional funding. The Roslindale Branch library is scheduled to be renovated starting in late 2018. Our current renovation budget of $6.7M was established almost five years ago, and our community’s vision for our renovated branch has continued to evolve. The Friends now believe that an additional $3.5M would lead to a more strategic and comprehensive renovation that will take us much farther into the future.

Increasing our current budget could make the basement level into a usable programming and storage space (which requires an elevator), pay for a new roof (which will be needed within ten years), and some other upgrades. A budget of ~ $10M will also more closely align Roslindale’s renovation budget with other, similar branch renovations across the city. The additional work, which will result in a slightly longer project timeline, will also avoid the need for future renovation and closure in the near term. We believe that our request for additional funding represents a sound and strategic investment to ensure that our renovated branch will be ready to best serve our evolving community with creative and innovative programming and events.

What you can do:

  • Call, email, or request a meeting with Mayor or call 617-635-4500
  • Call, email, or request a meeting with the city councilors we are targeting: Annissa Essaibi George, Michelle Wu, Michael Flaherty, Ayanna Presley, Tim McCarthy, Matt O’Malley, and Andrea Campbell.
  • Attend the BPL Trustees meeting at the Roslindale library on Thursday, March 8, at 5 pm: We need as many community members as possible to represent our vibrant community and our interest in increased funding.
  • Letter Campaign: You can send an email directly to our public officials through our online letter campaign. Roslindale residents can send letters to Mayor Walsh and city councilors.

Library Renovation Project

The Roslindale Branch Library has hosted two community meetings with BPL leadership and project architects Leers Weinzapfel about our branch's design and renovation process. The meetings gave community members an opportunity to offer feedback on the Leers Weinzapfel presentation and to make additional design suggestions.

The Leers presentations from the October 2017 and February 2018 meetings are available.

Please continue to send your suggestions to Priscilla Foley ( We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Read the Friends priority list for the renovated library here.

Renovation Background

Our library was built in 1961 and it’s time for some major updating.

The Library renovation process involves three rounds of work.

The first step is a programming study to look at how the building is used and how space might be reconfigured to best support those operations. The Friends held several public meetings around this study, which was completed in 2013, and can be accessed here.

The study led to three possible design options. With the help of our City Councillor, Tim McCarthy, we succeeded in getting funds allocated (for the most expensive option) in the City’s most recent Five-Year Capital Budget.

The second round of work will be the design phase, during which actual architectural plans are drawn up. It takes about a year from bidding to completion. Again, due to Councilor McCarthy’s work, the design phase for the Roslindale branch is scheduled to begin in spring 2017 (FY17) or summer/fall 2017 (FY18). We need to continue advocating to keep our place in the queue of Boston Public Library capital projects.

Leers Weinzapfel Associates are the architects on this project. Here is the timeline for the next phases of the renovation.  The design phase is when the architects take the information from the completed programming study and start to create a design with the assistance of engineers. The design phase has three phases: Conceptual Design, Schematic Design and Design Development. In each phase, the design becomes more refined and detailed.  The design phase is where the community provides feedback and helps inform the design process. There will be three or four community meetings during this phase. Following the Design Development phase, the architects put together construction documents.  Approximate timeline for this process is between 12 – 18 months.

Bid for construction Summer/Fall 2018
Start construction early 2019

The final phase is construction (which should immediately follow the design phase). It will involve closing the library for some extended period of time. Ideas for relocating children’s programming and how to share books during this period are welcome.

The Friends are volunteers and welcome your help and input.

Please get involved in making our neighborhood library a great place for everyone.

Library Renovation Questionnaire

We are looking for people with the following expertise to join the committee to help support the design phase.  Please contact if you are able to help.

  • Lighting
  • Acoustics
  • Security
  • Early Childhood Education classroom design
  • Environmentally Sustainable building design
  • Technology for institutions
  • Fundraising

We are also seeking input from community members, especially those that represent constituencies in Roslindale.  To participate, please fill out this questionnaire:

Renovation Committee Study Visits

The Renovation Committee will also make study visits to other libraries in the Greater Boston area.  Please check back soon for upcoming site visits.

Get involved with the renovation project!

We are looking for community members interested in joining the Library Building Committee to identify short-term solutions, plan community education/outreach, and continue to advocate for longer-term renovation.  People with architecture experience are especially encouraged to join! For more information, please contact Nicolene Hengen at