Laura Koenig '07LS in the new Children’s Room at the Boston Public Library

June 12, 2015

Laura Koenig

Boston gets the "world-class Children's and Teen's spaces that our city deserves."

Simmons is fortunate to be surrounded by Boston’s unparalleled historical and structural landmarks. Among these institutions is the Boston Public Library—and notably, the Central Library in Copley Square. Over 3500 visitors came to the BPL’s Central Library the weekend of February 21, 2015, to celebrate and check out the newly renovated Children’s Room and Teen Central on the second floor of the Johnson Building. The unveiling, which commenced with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Walsh, indicates completion of the first phase of the Central Library Renovation. The second phase, already under way and expected for completion next summer, will focus on the lower levels and exterior of the Johnson building, with a new community learning center, expanded technology, and more.

Laura Koenig, Children's Services Team Leader at the Central Library, and Simmons College alum ’07LS spoke with Infolink about her involvement in this monumental undertaking.

Can you talk a bit about the massive planning process that went into the rebuild?

Many people put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into this process, including our architects and designers, Boston Public Library staff, construction workers and contractors, and members of the public who provided ideas and feedback. Small teams of library staff focused on specific aspects of the project and worked closely with the architects from William Rawn Associates to create a vision for each section of the Johnson building. I worked on the team dedicated to the Children’s Library and Teen Central; I was amazed by the scope of imagination and critical thinking that went into every facet of the design.

What part of the new children’s library is your personal favorite?

I genuinely love the space as a whole, but if I had to pick a favorite area it would be ToddleTown, our early literacy area. This space was designed with our youngest visitors in mind, with bins of board books and toys on the floor at baby level, comfortable seating that allows families to enjoy a book together, and furniture that creates an enclosed area so that crawlers and young walkers have a space to explore. The big pendant lights and bright wall graphics, designed to evoke the Boston Public Garden, are inviting. This space also features our Pathway to Reading Sensory Wall, a fun playtime destination for young visitors designed to contribute to infant brain development. It is an engaging space that has been in constant use since we opened.

Read the full article at InfoLink. Watch this video for more about the library renovation.