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The Jamaica Plain Branch Library building was the first structure built by the City of Boston for use as a branch library. Today, in terms of circulation, the Jamaica Plain Branch is often the most heavily used branch of the 26 branches, even though many other branches are housed in larger and newer buildings, have more library staff and are open more hours each week.

Since 2004 dozens of individuals in the Jamaica Plain community have volunteered and invested hundreds of hours of their time toward the goal of achieving a comprehensive renovation and expansion of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. These efforts began by obtaining over 1,200 petition signatures in support of this goal and continued with the completion of a Task Force Expansion Study in conjunction with the City’s Property and Construction Management Department and the Boston Public Library.

On December 7, 2006, the Jamaica Plain Branch Library Expansion Study was published by the City of Boston Property & Construction Management Department. The complete master plan can be viewed at

In that study the following was stated:

--While it has received some improvements over the years, the library is largely unchanged since the construction about 95 years ago.
--The library lacks basic accessibility features expected of all public buildings.
--The children’s area is small, lacks space for associated children’s programming, and is the main traffic pathway for the branch.
--The large collection and reading rooms on the main floor are…cramped with equipment,shelving, and library materials.
--The central problem of the library is its small size with a floor area of only 10,200 square feet—almost half of which is not available for library programming—it is too small to serve thefunctions expected of it.
--The adult collections lack comfortable reading areas, and there is not a dedicated young adults area.
--Computer access points are insufficient.

A final proposed design concept was presented in the December 2006 report. It is now 2012, and the City has still not allocated the capital funding needed to renovate our branch.

Mayor Menino and the City Council will soon be making their final decisions on projects to include in the fiscal year 2013 capital budget; that budget should include funds to renovate and expand the Jamaica Plain Branch Library. We need your help to advocate for our branch and this project. Please sign our peition to Mayor Menino and the City Councilors and ask them to include funding and make the renovation and expansion of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library a priority in the FY 2013 capital budget.

Letter to
Mayor of Boston Thomas Menino
Boston City Councilor - D8 Michael P. Ross
Boston City Councilor - D7 Tito Jackson
and 11 others
Boston City Councilor - D5 Robert Consalvo
Boston City Councilor - D4 Charles C. Yancey
Boston City Councilor - D3 Frank Baker
Boston City Councilor - D2 Bill Linehan
Boston City Councilor - D1 Salvatore LaMattina
Boston City Councilor - D6 Matt O’Malley
City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley
City Councilor At-Large John Connolly
City Councilor At-Large Felix Arroyo
City Councilor At-Large Stephen Murphy
Boston City Councilor - D9 Mark Ciommo
The Jamaica Plain Branch Library building is over 100 years old and deserves a complete renovation and expansion to bring it into the 21st Century. Currently, the building is not accessible to all and there are no bathrooms for people with disabilities. The Children's Room is cramped and functions as the main traffic pathway for library users. It lacks adequate programming space and children still use chairs that are original to the building. The electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems are antiquated. A plan to fix all of these problems was completed by the city in 2006. All that is needed to implement the plan is funding. I urge you to show your support for the Jamaica Plain community, and the civil rights of disabled people to access public buildings, by including full funding in the 2013 capital budget for the complete renovation and expansion of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library.

Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library started this petition with a single signature, and now has 196 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.