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The Library as Museum

The Boston Public Library’s hour-long tours speak volumes


Views of the library’s courtyard are visible from a number of windows. Photo by Devon Maloney

Competing with online access, information overload, and life’s fast pace, public libraries are pulling out the stops to attract visitors — and to survive. One way is to let people know that many of theses literary catacombs have more to offer than bookshelves.

One of the most well known, the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, for instance, has free daily tours of its ornate architecture and gallery exhibitions. Lasting about an hour and led by volunteer guides, the tours explore the work of architects Charles Follen McKim and Philip Johnson, as well as the building’s many sculptures and paintings.

The BPL is right off the Copley T stop on the Green Line. To begin browsing through the stacks in a whole new way, join the guided tour leaving tonight at 6 p.m. from the lobby of the Dartmouth Street entrance, around the corner from the main entrance at 700 Boylston St.

More information is available here, or call Joan Eldredge at 617-536-5400, ext. 2216.

Devon Maloney can be reached at devon.maloney@gmail.com.

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