Community Schools

Letter Writing Campaign to Preserve the North End Branch Library

LibraryNorthEndOk folks, it is time for a grass roots, neighborhood effort to tell the “powers-that-be” to preserve the North End Branch Library. As a result of its budget crisis, the Boston Public Library is looking to close many of its 26 neighborhood branches. Because we have one of the smaller physical book collections, the circulation numbers (3rd from the bottom) put the North End Branch Library at risk! We need to offset the statistics by explaining how this is our only branch and is centrally important to living in the neighborhood. Now is the time to fill their offices with letters, calls and emails. Other neighborhoods have a head start, so please take the time to use the form letter below (or write your own) and send it to the BPL Trustees and our elected City and State officials. These decisions are scheduled to be made by April 1st, so time is of the essence.

Here is a form letter for you to use or modify as you wish. Contact information, including email addresses, can be found below the letter.

Thanks to the Friends of the North End Branch Library, Bill Lane and the other neighbors that helped put this together. After you send your letter, go to the library and take out some books!


Letter in support of the North End Branch Library

In light of the budget crisis of the Boston Public Library, I am writing to express my support for the North End Branch Library at 25 Parmenter Street. Closing any branch is harmful, but I wanted to share why the North End Branch is particularly vital to the neighborhood.

North End/Waterfront residents have only one branch in a very densely populated neighborhood. The closing of the North End Branch would negatively impact the entire community, unlike other areas which are served by multiple branches. The nearest branches are in the West End or Charlestown, inaccessible alternatives for many residents.

Young families are increasingly staying in the city as their families grow. Having a local library is crucial for children’s reading and developmental activities. Beyond its physical resources, the branch provides a public space for tutoring, homework help, ESL and creative learning experiences. The closing of the North End Branch would encourage families to move to the suburbs, causing long-term harm to the neighborhood.

Many residents in the North End do not own cars. The North End has a substantial elderly population, many with physical challenges. Having a library branch within walking distance is crucial for our senior citizens.

The North End has seen its student population grow substantially over recent years. The student and young professional residents of the North End often do not own cars, using modern urban alternatives, such as Zipcars or bicycles. An accessible public library branch is important to keeping Boston an intellectual, academically intense city.

The North End Branch Library was established in 1913 and has become an important part of the neighborhood culture. Relocated to its current site in 1965, it is modeled after a Roman “villa.” The branch contains a unique Italian language collection. Access to this collection is important to residents that have lived in the North End for most of their lives. The Italian collection supports the culture that has long-been associated with the North End for new and old residents eager to read Italian language books and papers.

The Friends of the North End Library are active in the community, providing resources to supplement the library’s activities. For example, the Friends organization recently upgraded the exterior landscaping and brick walkway creating a wonderful outdoor space for residents and visitors to enjoy while using the branch.

I know all the neighborhoods are vying for your influence on behalf of their library branches. These are truly difficult decisions. Again, with only one library branch in our neighborhood, its closure would dramatically harm the fabric of our community forever. I feel that other neighborhoods with multiple branches are in a better position to absorb such closures.

Thank you for your help in preserving the North End Branch Library.

Name: _________________________          Date: _________

Address: ___________________________________________


Contact information for letters regarding the North End Branch Library

Trustees of the Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116

Mayor Thomas Menino
Boston City Hall
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services
North End/Waterfront Coordinator: Nicole Leo

District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina
1 City Hall Square, Suite 550
Boston, MA 02201-2043

District 1 Neighborhood Services: Kathy Carangelo-McIsaac

Michael Ross, City Council President

City Councilors-At-Large:
Stephen Murphy, Email:
John Connolly, Email:
Felix Arroyo, Email:
Ayanna Pressley, Email:

Rep. Aaron Michlewitz
State House, Room 542
Boston, MA 02133

Senator Anthony Petruccelli
State House, Room 413-B
Boston, MA 02133

Friends of the North End Branch Libarary


Read the Boston Globe article on closing library branches.

Universal Hub: City Councilor: ‘Of course,’ Library Officials Have a List of Library Branches to Cut

5 Replies to “Letter Writing Campaign to Preserve the North End Branch Library

  1. Matt, thanks for the leadership. Let’s show what the North End can do when our quality of life is threatened. The licensing board and ZBA sit up and listen when we speak with one voice, and now it’s time to show that we protect our educational and cultural treasures, too!

  2. I just emailed the letter to everyone. It took about 2 minutes to download the letter, cut and paste the letter and the email addresses, and press send.

  3. Just sent out all the emails and will send some in the mail as well. Thank you for spearheading this, I really hope it helps.

  4. It’s great to see that people are taking some time today to send out these important letters. I sent letters to this list, and for some of these it was my second outreach. Let’s get the neighborhood’s energy behind this. Great job everybody!

  5. Does anyone know if the kids from the neighborhood schools or the Nazzaro Center or the NEWMA group are organizing a letter writing campaign? I think it would be really a really powerful message if the kids get involved in this effort.

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